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Phespirit goes to Fuerteventura
Jandía     November/December 2012

Phespirit has been long overdue a washed-out beach holiday. Watching from his Ryanair window seat as the plane descended through a shield of thick grey cloud, it seemed probable that this, his fourth visit to Fuerteventura, would be the one. Outside the airport he felt an extra chilling edge to the island's familiar strong winds. Yes, this would certainly be different.

His only previous visit to the south of the island had been a two-week stay in September 2009. With the time and warmth to luxuriate back then he had alternated between days spent hiking and days laying in the sun. This time, with only one week to play with and precious little sun, he spent almost every day on his feet. Firstly on a grey, wet and particularly windy day he walked to Cofete and back. Somewhere along the way he managed to strain his thighs but they were servicable by the following morning. The next two days he took the bus to Costa Calma and then walked the 17km back to Jandía along pristine beaches ill-served by intermittent dirty weather. The fourth day looked better so he hiked from Costa Calma to the west coast, then south till the dunes ran out, then back to the east coast, and finally down to Jandía.

Somewhere along this fourth hike he seriously strained the tendons of his feet. His fifth hike was a repeat of days two and three, and was in no way improved by the previous day's injuries. So he made his sixth day hike-free; just a morning's sun on his hotel balcony, and then hobbling a short way up the beach for a couple of hours in the late afternoon. Every day had been blighted by relentless winds and a tedious tendency for clouds to block the sun. Little three-minute rain showers burst forth two or three times on each of the first four days. Even so Phespirit had made it to the beach throughout. With his shirt off on principle, he defied the elements and made do.

While his holiday wasn't quite the long overdue wash-out, the same could not be said for his flight back to England. Having reached the airport and started queuing in good time for check-in he was stunned to hear that his flight was cancelled due to snow at London Stansted. A whole plane's worth of people had to queue instead at the nearby Ryanair kiosk to arrange an alternative flight. Fortunately Phespirit was close to the front but it still took an hour to reach the desk. The next London flight with an available seat was not for another four days so instead he opted for a flight to East Midlands airport on the morrow.

With an unexpected day to kill he went by bus to Caleta de Fuste, booked an overnight room and found an Internet café from where he could arrange transport from East Midlands back home via London. That done, he went walkabouts. Next day he returned to the airport and this time all was well. Back in England, two coaches, a tube and train ride got him home. The total cost of all additional expenses in Fuerteventura and the UK combined was £76.44. Not enough to warrant a futile attempt at claiming compensation. The only galling thing was that when he got home there was scarcely a flake of snow to be seen anywhere.

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