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Ken Tours The Island of Fuerteventura

[ Admin Note: Ken left this as Comments to another Post on the Blog, which is buried so deep in the Blog most will probably never see it. So, I’ve moved it here. You can read the original by clicking here. ]

My wife and I recently returned from two weeks on the island of Fuerteventura, part of the Canary Island chain and a part of Spain. The island is a 4.5 hours flight from Hamburg. We booked a package deal-flight, hotel with breakfast and dinner included. The island is very popular with Germans and Brits seeking to escape the winter cold of Germany. Our interest in the island was piqued by some friends who have been going there for the past eight years so we decided to give it a try.

The island, located about 65 miles off the west cost of Morocco, is fairly barren with little vegetation but thousands of goats. The islanders that farm raise primarily tomatoes and potatoes and that’s about it. Lots of folks are engaged in the tourist trade as there are many hotels and restaurants as well as all of the peripheral businesses associated with tourism. Most of the tourist enclaves are located on the east side of the island where there are nice beaches in a number of locations. The west side of the island is pretty harsh with strong Atlantic waves.

We rented a car and toured part of the island with friends who have been going there for the past eight years and know all of the “hot” spots. There are no active volcanoes on the island now, the last one erupting about 5,000 years ago. Roads on the island are good and I kept wishing I had my motorcycle with me…lots of twisties.

The hotel was pretty nice…not luxurious but comfortable with three swimming pools (one heated indoor, one heated outdoor and one unheated) plus a kiddy pool. Rooms were air conditioned and with ceiling fan but the weather was perfect for good sleeping and not overly warm during the day. Meals were all buffet style with lots of choices. Unfortunately the hotel is about 450 rooms so one can imagine the madhouse effect at meal times. On the other side, most of the guests were our age or older so there some sense of order.

The down side of the trip was that we both got sick, hit by a virus that seems to be going around the island. Of course, with in fairly close contact with lots of people, it has to be expected. However, next time (probably next year) we will make different accommodations, staying in a different hotel with only breakfast…that way we explore more restaurants and at the same time, eat less at night, our preference.

All in all, we enjoyed ourselves but I have to say, I was glad to be home.

Ken

9 comments to Ken Tours The Island of Fuerteventura

  • Burt

    Hey Key!

    The Canaries are one place I haven’t visited yet that are on my ‘to do’ list. Your report confirms that I’ll visit some day.

    Thanx.

    Burt

  • Ken

    Burt, there are several islands to the chain, Fuerteventura being just one. Two others are very popular with Germans, with many of them buying vacations homes there or starting businesses catering to the tourists. Ken

  • Admin

    Ken, are here a lot of Canary birds on the islands? Is that why they are called the Canary Islands?

    Bob

  • Ken

    Bob, can’t speak for the other islands but certainly not on Fuerteventura…its a pretty barren place except for those areas that have been built up to accommodate tourists. According to some history that I read in a brouchure provided by the hotel, at one time the island was pretty green, but thousands of goats depleated the vegetation over time and now its pretty much scrub and lava stones. The built up areas are nice…Google “Costa Calma” to see the area where we stayed. Then Google “Villa Winter” and look at a couple of the sites that are found…Interesting stuff. We saw the Villa Winter from a distance but we wanted to just walk along the beach.. Beautiful beach but very strong surf and undertow….and it was a bit too chilly to dip the toes in the water. Ken

  • Admin

    Ken,

    Very interesting place. I noticed a lot of “wind generators” for electrical power. Is most of the Islands’ electrical power provided by ‘wind’? I’m really into alternative enegry sources, such as wind generators, etc. which is ‘clean energy’ and renewable, at little cost. Infact, a 10 mile by 10 mile ‘wind farm’ could provide about twice the electrical power currently being consumed by the entire USA. So why aren’t we using it?!

    Also, where does the island get its water supply from?

    Villa Winter certainly has an interesting history and ‘legends’ surrounding it. Doesn’t it??!! Does kinda make you wonder about why it was built, etc.

    Beautiful beachs … too.

    Thanks for sharing, very interesting and enjoyable to learn about this place.

    Bob

  • Ken

    Bob, Europe is very much into wind power. Here in northern Germany there are hundreds, if not thousands, of modern electricity-generating windmills and quite a few on Fuerteventura as well. In some areas the winds are pretty constant and can be quite powerful as well. Water is desalinated and is primarily used for households. Drinking water is all bottled but there must be some springs or wells on the island as some of the water is bottled on the island under their own name. How or where that takes place, I have no idea.
    I met an engineer I know from Frankfurt on the island and he says that the island of Lanzarota (next island north) has an active volcano which if tapped, could provide electricity for the entire chain. I know Iceland uses their thermopower quite a bit – hot water, power, etc.
    I recently saw a TV program here in Germany on trash recycling…right now, some areas of Germany have recycling plants that are so sophisticated that almost all of the trash is recycled and what cannot be, is burned to generate heat and power. Very exciting and interesting. Italy (Naples area) is currently exporting their trash to Germany to dispose of thru incinerators here. Italy pays to transport it and to have it burned, and Germany get the hot water and power for free and sells it to the consumer…good deal, huh?!.
    Recycling here is a really hot topic. In our household we have containers for paper, biotrash (veggies, etc.), plastic & metal, glass and burnable trash. Electronics have to be taken to a special facility and paid for to recycle. Batteries and the newer long-life light bulbs are returned to an electrical shop for recycling. And most Germans are very conscience about the subject. We are not allowed to wash cars at home (pollutes the ground and ground water), and car wash facilities have to have some sort of water recycling facility. Not sure how oil and such are disposed of.
    OK, enough of this. Have a great week. Ken

  • Admin

    Ken, thanks. Great information and most interesting to learn how other places in the world are dealing with these areas.

    I would imagine Fuerteventura has some artisan wells, in the form of underground lava tubes and caves that fill up with ground water,etc. Much like Hawaii does. But, it appears Fuerteventura does not get much rainfall.

    I found it interesting to check out the Real Estate prices there. Boy Oh Boy, they are not bashful at all … lol … 🙂

    Have the Germans gotten into operating their cars on ‘water’, yet? With less then $100 in parts any internal combustion engine can be modified, very simply, to operate on water. Increases milage up to 60-70 miles per gallon; and, reduces emissions to near non-existant. Becoming quite popular in the USA as more people learn about it. I find it interesting USA auto makers are not using this. But, then they are in bed with the oil industry. LOL 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, Ken.

    You and yours have a wonderful holiday season! 🙂

    Bob

  • Ken

    Don’t know about “water” cars but Hamburg (and probably others) have started operating buses that run on hydrogen. The cost over $1M apiece. The city is acquiring them slowly, keeping diesel buses as well. I think hydrogen is the future, but we are far from good technology for converting automobiles.

    Thanks and the same to you and your family. Ken

  • Burt

    Wow! What a ton of neat info! Thanx for sharing Ken…

    Burt

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