Fuerteventura: Whether the weather be hot!
Weather warnings went out across the Canaries, especially to Gran Canaria, where temperatures have plummeted and rain and snow have disrupted timetables, but brightened up the lives of children! The mountain gods were only just on my side today. They helped me avoid one downpour, but I was caught by an
almighty shower on the way back to Caleta. But who cares? It´s only water, after all!
Caldo gallego. Back in Puerto del Rosario, I warmed through with a piping hot bowl of Galician stew in a bar owned by a gallego (Galician). Like the Irish, the gallegos have populated many countries in the world with their emigration over the centuries.
Fuerteventura seems to have been a popular destination, especially when tourism took off and work was freely available.
Local news. I´ve had more time today to catch up on local news via the local press. Here are a few remarkable facts:
Baby theft. The suspicion of some local parents has brought to the forefront some apparent abuse during the 1970s. Babies were born and then died in mysterious circumstances, without the parents being able to see their bodies before burial. It emerges that throughout Spain, in Maternity Hospitals run by a certain order of nuns,
babies were being stolen from their parents and sold on for adoption. There appear to be over 700 cases. This mother in Fuerteventura had given birth to twins when she was only 17 years old, and they both mysteriously died within days in intensive care. They were buried in a common grave for infants, but she always suspected that the truth was not quite what it seemed.
Carnavals. The period of Lent is always heralded by the famous Carnavals, and they are celebrated here with gusto. Everybody dresses up, there are competitions and processions, and the star acts nearly always include preposterous drag queens. The whole period of festivity is concluded with the ceremonial burial of the Sardine (look it up on Wikipedia!).
Boom in Canaries tourism. The last few months have seen an extraordinary boom in tourism, due almost entirely to the crisis in North Africa. Every cloud has a silver lining! (well for some).
International windsurfing championships. There is a danger these will be taken away from Fuerteventura, if the regional government concerned cannot honour the debt it accumulated with last year´s championship. If it loses this, it will be an enormous blow to the local economy.
And in case you need to prepare for it, you should know that Spanish Father´s day is on March 19th. If you believe the press and advertising, children all over the country will be rushing out to buy their Dads the very latest in iPods, iPhones, iPads………………. Oh dear!
Distance covered (some under rain!): 55kms