In my life I have not only traveled for passion, but alas also for love.
I am an extremely impulsive girl, and when I met this boy, his way of capturing my attention totally. We had the same passions and the same concept of life. But in this article I don’t want to talk about him or our story that is over, but just how I ended up living in one of the most beautiful islands of the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura.
When I arrived in Fuerteventura, the feeling he felt was that of deep freedom and curiosity and the desire to discover it grew in me. This island is more than a destination, it is a state of mind. In this volcanic island, the oldest of the Canaries, time seems not to be as important as for the rest of the world. Thanks to the wild nature, the hippie spirit of most of the inhabitants and the very long days, this is because compared to Italy the hands go back an hour back.
The slow isla, they call it. No social life, little night life. On the other hand, a lot of nature, sport and attention to well-being in general.
I was on an island I didn’t know but I already loved, with a boy I didn’t know and I couldn’t wait to meet. The first few days he dedicated them only to me, he made me discover every corner of Corralejo, and slowly made me enter his everyday life made of surf, bare feet and lots of passion for that kind of life.
He took me to La Oliva, in the north of Fuerteventura, where there are some of the most beautiful and famous places on the island. The pristine islet of Los Lobos, the beach of Corralejo, the mountain of Tindaya and the Natural Monument of the Malpais de la Arena. The town of La Oliva does not have elements of particular appeal. The Church of Nuestra Senora and the Town Hall, also known as Casa de los Coroneles, are worth a visit.
The capital is, Puerto del Rosario. This fascinating name is reminiscent of colonial adventures, expeditions, sailing ships that leave for the Americas, when the Canaries were the transit point for expeditions. The most interesting part of the city is that of the Old Port, where there are some buildings in the traditional Canarian style. Much more attractive than the city center are the surroundings of the province of Rosario, where there are some very characteristic places, such as Puerto Lajas, where the maritime atmosphere reigns and the fish and Casillas del Ángel gastronomy, famous for goat based specialties.
When I returned home to Italy, I lasted very little, I wanted to stay with him and return to that place that gave my being the chance to live 100%, so even after a week I was on a flight back to Fuerte this time without a ticket back.
Having more time available, the one who now became my boyfriend decided to take several days to introduce me to the whole island.
He took me to one of the wildest beaches, with less urban development than the island. Located on the northern peninsula of Jandía, in the south of Fuerteventura, Cofete is a delight for the eyes of endless white sand, a violent ocean and a feeling of total freedom. Its 12 km, the lack of housing, the lack of paved roads and the need for a 4×4 to visit it, say a lot about its characteristics. The term ‘pristine’ was simply invented for these beaches.
I immediately loved this place, I immediately felt immersed in nature, by its colors, in a sense it had taken me back in time, to my wonderful wild childhood.
I will never forget a lunch made there; we were the only ones there, so many sheep and an elderly gentleman who kindly prepared us a very fresh fish with potatoes, salad all accompanied by bread and alioli sauce, I was crazy about it. Needless to say, it was one of the most beautiful lunches of my life.
Everything around me blinded me, heaven then, in Fuerteventura, is crazy. It is located in the south west of Morocco, in the middle of the Atlantic. The latitude is the same as in Mexico. The light is so powerful that anything looks brighter. Although there is not a luxuriant vegetation (there is not much water and with the exception of the palms it does not grow much) one does not have the impression of crossing an arid land, far from it. The brown slopes of the slumbering volcanoes host patches of green or bright red, depending on the life cycle of the aloe plantations. Aloe is an important item on the island for local trade: it is a formidable ingredient for taking care of the body and health.
Body that is easy to keep in training: between surf, windsurf, kite and bicycle for sportsmen there is plenty of choice. To the north there are some of the most beautiful beach breaks in Europe, while in the south, thanks to the strong wind that blows from the north east, the kite sails occupy much of the landscape. As for the two wheels there are many paths to travel by bike that penetrate the interior by furrowing the dark earth.
I love sports and I couldn’t not learn to surf like this on a gray day at El Cotillo, a beach frequented by the best surfers on the island. My boyfriend and I stole a long (longer and more stable surfboard) from a fellow instructor surfing and with a bit of embarrassment, I entered the water imagining already the falls I would have made; luck has meant that all my years of dance and sport have meant that I immediately got into position and surfed my first wave.
In less than no time I created my everyday life. I also found a job as a photographer in the surf school where my boyfriend worked, everything took place in the most natural way possible, in the morning a healthy breakfast, I reached the school and started to prepare wetsuits and boards for the clients and started for the most suitable spot to do lessons.
All I had to do was photograph the lesson and capture the moment when the students managed to get on the table. The portraits I took always made me smile because the photos expressed happiness and freedom. Selling the photos to individual tourists I managed to earn enough to live discreetly, considering that the cost of living is not so expensive, he managed to feel so independent that he didn’t have to weigh on my boyfriend’s shoulders.
Living in Corralejo was wonderful, every day I was lucky enough to admire an almost Martian landscape, in which it seems impossible that any life can survive. This is what you see when you approach the Dunes of Corralejo: it seems to enter a desert. Leave the car at about 800 meters and then walk towards the sea. The yellow, ocher and typical red of the desert create an alienating, exotic and non-European landscape. But after the first astonishment, you begin to appreciate the beauty of this place and under a hammering sun, without even an inch of shadow, you have fun climbing up the dunes and then rolling down, getting closer and closer to a crystal-clear sea. Here the wind is always strong and in order to defend oneself, circular forts have been built about one meter high that allow you to shelter a little when you can’t get more sand everywhere!
It’s a bit difficult to say which are the most beautiful beaches of Fuerteventura. I can tell you the ones I liked the most: there are all kinds, full of tourists or solitary, easy to reach or hidden at the bottom of a desert. Let’s start from the west of the island: the most famous are Cofete and Barlovento, km of very white sand, wind and windsurfing. To reach them you need an off-road vehicle, a bit of a walk and the ability to withstand wind and currents, but it’s worth it. In the east area stands out on all Corralejo and its desert dunes and beach together which certainly deserves a visit. Opposite is a paradise called Los Lobos, a protected and unspoiled island less than 1 mile from the coast. Continuing south, one enters the territory of Antigua, which has three great beaches, very well preserved and organized: Caleta de Fuste, EL Muellito and Pozo Negro. Further down you meet the turquoise waters of the Costa Calma with the beaches of Sotavento, Morro Jable and the Jandia Peninsula, once a separate islet and now joined to Fuerteventura.
Having been on the island so long, I had the chance to taste every typical Canarian dish.
The gastronomy in Fuerteventura is rich and varied, dishes based mainly on fish and typical products of the island; it is characterized by simplicity, variety and genuine dishes. The seas of the island are very fishy, fresh fish is the basis of many of the characteristic dishes. Major pastoral tradition is also of great influence. The first inhabitants of the island were populations of Berber origin from northern Africa. These ancient natives have imported their traditions, the cuisine is therefore rich in products such as cheese and goat meat.
The most common condiment is Mojo Rojo, a spicy sauce that can accompany a wide variety of dishes. Another very popular dish, based on potatoes cooked with peel in water and salt, seasoned with mojo, is called papas arrugadas.
Goat cheeses play a very important role. Also famous is the Chorizo Canario, a soft dough sausage made with the tenderest parts of the pig, red for the addition of paprika.
The most served marine products as appetizers are the Lapas (patelle) cooked in a pan and seasoned with green mojo; octopus served in sauce or with chopped vegetables and pinzimonio, pejines or gueldes small fish from the anchovy family and sardines (fried or dried). Thanks to the richness of the Canary waters, there are many varieties of fish for the main dishes. The “Pescado”, my favorite, is cooked mainly grilled or fried with light breading. Among the most consumed are las viejas (the old ones), the fish most appreciated by all canaries, the corvina (golden mouth croaker), the cherne (grouper), the sama, the salema (sarpa, pagrus). They are baked, fried, boiled and marinated.
The gofio is one of the most famous foods, which since ancient times has accompanied the indigenous peoples, up to the present day. It is made of flour obtained from toasted barley, but also from other cereals. It is consumed in different forms: mixed with milk, or with honey, it is also used to eat it mixed with legume soups or fish broth, vegetables or meat.
Every dish is usually accompanied with a fresh vegetable salad, and I hope you can now understand why I loved their kitchen so much.
I recommend anyone to visit Fuerteventura, because in addition to being a unique island in its genre it is a trip for everyone where you will meet health, sport and lots of fun!