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Phespirit goes to Fuerteventura
Jandía     September 2009

Indolence. Carefree indolence. That's what Phespirit's travels have been lacking. Every trip has been meticulously crafted to maximise his yield of knowledge from personal experience, and to cover the greatest possible area on the smallest possible budget. Lately even his relaxing days have been costed and timetabled. What he desperately needed was total downtime in comfortable surroundings, with nothing to see, and therefore nothing to fret about not seeing. It was time for a return to Fuerteventura. When he previously visited the island he stayed in the north, at Corralejo. This time he would be heading south to the Jandía peninsula, staying at the upmarket beachfront hotel Fuerteventura Princess for two weeks. But how exactly would Phespirit fill a fortnight of nothingness? And what would become of him?

Day 1, Thursday: He started with a nice lay-in, a copious breakfast and a morning orientation of the hotel. In the afternoon he headed down to the beach, walking south for an hour to the Faro del Matorral lighthouse. On the way back he laid down his beach towel and put on his suncream for a few hours' attempted tanning. Too late though: his shins and ankles were already well burned and his face and arms were on their way. Day 2, Friday: Properly covered from head to toe in all-day suncream, topped off with a baseball cap, Phespirit set out for the beach again in the late morning. Realising he'd forgotten his sunglasses, he nipped back, put them on and started again, only to get to the beach and realise he'd now left his baseball cap behind. Oh well, sod it, he carried on north up the beach and got in four hours' sunbathing. The baseball cap was significant, however, as its removal also removed all the suncream from his forehead. It felt on fire all that evening and all the next day. Day 3, Saturday: Phespirit could never realistically spend two weeks just laying about, so he found some nice hikes around the peninsula. Hike I was from Costa Calma to Morro Jable.

Day 4, Sunday: Phespirit walked northwards along the beach and settled down for another idle day in the sun. His plan was thwarted, however, by driving northerly winds that drove him back to his hotel after just an hour. So he did what he'd always avoided doing on his travels: he spent the rest of the day on a sunlounger by one of the hotel's pools. Phespirit is indeed getting old. Day 5, Monday: Back in his hiking boots, Phespirit set off on Hike II between Costa Calma and the west coast, crossing the Pared Isthmus. Day 6, Tuesday: Two days ago high winds had hied Phespirit to the sanctuary of the hotel pool. Having warmed to its comfortable convenience he now willingly spent a full day there. Clouds came and went. To everyone's appreciative bemusement, a tiny sieving of rain issued from a lugubrious charcoal cloud late in the morning. Little else of note occurred.

Day 7, Wednesday: This was the day of Phespirit's most testing hike, Hike III to Pico de la Zarza, the highest peak on Fuerteventura. Tough at the best of times, it was made tougher by an early wrong turn. Day 8, Thursday: Morro Jable is the old established Spanish town on the south coast; Jandía is the newer tourist-orientated town that extends seamlessly to the east. Nowadays the two are barely distinguishable, so Phespirit paid them a joint visit. Specifically he looked around Morro Jable's quiet ferry port, and Jandía's weekly market before returning for another afternoon by the pool. Day 9, Friday: Phespirit's only group excursion was a free 'promotional' tour to Pájara and La Pared. That is to say it was free in terms of financial cost, but the price was an hour spent listening to a sales pitch for blankets and mattresses. Phespirit would best describe it as a plausible medicine show delivered in good old fashioned market-trader back-of-the-van patois. The gung-ho British woman presenter drew her style from a bone dry well somewhere between Victor Kiam and Peter Kay. Wearisome it was, but just about worth it for Pájara and La Pared.

Day 10, Saturday: The first of two back-to-back hiking days, Hike IV was from Morro Jable to Cofete and back. Day 11, Sunday: The next day's exertions took Phespirit from Costa Calma to the west coast, then south and back east down to his hotel on Hike V. Epic stuff. Day 12, Monday: The clouds of the previous few days had largely dispersed but the wind remained a force to be reckoned with. Phespirit quickly assessed that being buffeted all day on the beach would be no fun, so he opted again for the hotel pool. On windy days (i.e. most days) Phespirit had learned it is best to lay all day by the pool, or walk all day on the beach. This was a laying day.

Day 13, Tuesday: Phespirit walked all day on the beach. In a repeat of day 3, he caught a bus from his hotel down to Jandía town, and then another bus up to Costa Calma, from where he started the long walk back south. This time he went a bit further though, starting from where the first grains of sand begin and ending six and a half hours later where they run out at Morro Jable. Day 14, Wednesday: Sitting by the pool, winding down the clock. The sky was overcast, offering an occasional precipitation of well-spaced raindrops. It was a day that seemed to herald the onset of autumn, and would perhaps help Phespirit prepare for the altogether harsher autumn he would find back in England. It was also the last day of that carefree indolence he came is search of, and fairly well found. Phespirit loves Fuerteventura and hopes not to wait another eight and a half years before returning again.

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