Tour de Fuerteventura, day 1

I’m not very fond of driving, I done quite enough of it for work. However, renting a car is a great way to see a lot of things in a short time. Especially when you at first think that there’s not that much to see, and then get stuck looking at everything.

Renting a car is easy, there is one little catch though. On Fuerteventura you’re not allowed to drive on unpaved roads with your rental. There must be a reason behind that. Luckily, there are more paved roads than our GPS led us to believe. Driving several kilometres for that great shot or perfect beach, just to find out that the paved part ends, isn’t fun.

La Oliva

Not having a plan can be a hindrance or a blessing. We did have a few tips from our tour guide and so we set off with very little expectations. The first “town” or village we hit was La Oliva. We opted not to visit the Colonels house, and instead went to the Art Centre right next door, followed by a quick look at the church.

We also had the compulsory visit to an aloe shop/museum where knowledge and demonstrations were offered. I now might know how to differentiate an aloe product with its powers intact from one that only has the ingredients.

Betancuria

Founded by the Frenchman Jean de Béthencourt, Betancuria was original capital of the Kingdom of the Canary Islands, and remained the capital of Fuerteventura till 1834. A historic site, and we just checked out the church and its surroundings. For the huge fee of 1,50€ per person we went into the church, which was quite beautiful. Sadly, but probably with good reason, the most amazing room had a photo ban. The roof in the sacristy was absolutely fabulous.

Mirador de Morro Velosa

Leaving Betancuria we headed up the mountain along a winding road that much resembled the ones you find on Madeira. And at the top of one, we found the touristy look-out café. Unlucky for us, it was quite hazy and those magnificent pictures were left for another time.

Near this spot you also have the border between the two original kingdoms on the island. This is marked by the statues of these kings.

Ajuy

What’s so great with another small village on the coast? In the case of Puerto de la Peña in Ajuy there are two things. The black sand of the beach, and the absolutely fascinating geological occurrences. Here you can see the oldest parts of the formation of the Canary Islands, and younger sediments on top of that. Of course there is also the part about the limestone quarry from where stuff was shipped to other islands as well. To say nothing about the legends of the caves being smugglers’ and pirates’ stashing places.

After Ajuy, it was time to start weaving back to Corralejo. We had hopes of getting to El Cotillo for the sunset. It’s supposed to be spectacular there. Well, we didn’t make it. By the time we were in the neighbourhood, it was completely dark and we headed straight for the hotel, another day of excitement behind us.

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