Fuerteventura: a day of headwinds and “weather”

Puerto del Rosario

As the western world was waking up to the dreadful news of the earthquake in Japan and the threatened tsunami, I set off optimistically for a full day´s ride into the mountains, only to be caught by a major thunder storm, which drove me back to base. This was not a typical March day for Ferteventura! By noon the skies had cleared and I set of for Puerto del Rosario, the capital. By “capital” I simply mean the town where the seat of local government is. It´s population is only 8,500, but if you include the military barracks (which used to be the home of the Spanish Foreign Legion) it´s nearer to 17,000. I was gently cautioned by one of the military guards when my camera seemed focused on their headquarters. I pleaded my case!

To my astonishment, I discovered the former house of the famous early 20th century writer Miguel de Unamuno. When the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera was established in the early 1920s, Unamuno

Miguel de Unamuno

was immediately seen as a “persona non grata”. He was a liberal thinker and champion of freedom of speech, so was seen as an imminent threat to the new regime. He was dismissed from his professorship at Salamanca University and sent into exile. His house is now a museum where the walls are bedecked with the many complimentary poems and writings about his time in Fuerteventura. He took the place to his heart.

Hermitage in El Time

Climbing higher into the mountains, the views of the coastline became increasingly more dramatic. The tiny mountain-top villages of El Time and Tetir offered tantalising 16th century churches, with a host of interior decorations

Church of Tetir

and furnishings, but they were closed to the casual visitor like myself. When I made an enquiry at a local house, I was told that the church in El Time is only opened one Sunday a month, and that is for mass. Unfortunately, such rich treasures have to be kept secure behind locked doors, to protect them from “chorizos”. (Now, we all know that a “chorizo” is a garlic pork sausage, but is also a pejorative term for louts and thieves).

Distance covered: 65kms

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About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on March 11, 2011, in Cycling Fuerteventura and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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