Having photographed a ruined, traditionally built Fuerteventuran village at La Florida, I was delighted to find the Ecomuseo La Alcogida. We’d passed through this place many times not realising just how extensive this museum was. A whole village, just like La Florida had been, renovated using the traditional building materials available to the builders just as the village of La Florida would have been constructed. We had traversed the island many times and passed through this museum on numerous occasions. I’m so glad we decided to stop.
Limestone is plentiful on the island of Fuerteventura and was used to build the houses. A lime and sand mortar was used to build and fill the gaps while lime plaster lined the walls inside the homes. Bamboo laid across beams and the covered in mud and straw provided a nearly waterproof roof. Most houses had an oven, built in the same way, attached to the house for baking bread. These ovens and this method of making the daily bread as well perhaps, as making casseroles, still exist, attached to many properties and are still used to this day.
These are simple dwellings with dirt floors but with no need for heating given a very temperate climate all year round, I found the idea of moving into one of these simple houses very attractive. However, I didn’t come across any bathrooms. Certainly no showers in the older properties. I wonder how they managed these particular needs. A dip in the ocean perhaps..? I’m sure I could manage without electricity, not sure I could manage without a toilet and a shower.
Anyway, here are some photographs of what La Florida would once have looked like.
I Was interested to see the same stains down the walls in the refurbished homes as I’d seen in the ruins of La Florida. Clearly on the rare occasions when it rains, the rain finds a way in where the mud roofs meet the walls.
I’m still a landscape photographer at heart and the Fuerteventurian landscape has so much to offer. When clouds hang over the middle of the island and a few drops of rain are perhaps in the offing, not likely but maybe, of course I’m ready with my camera. After a wonderful day on the beach, much needed recharging of the batteries before facing the British Winter, this was the scene as we crossed the island from east to west.
The second picture, taken just a few minutes later as we approached the west coast, is of this wonderful lone palm tree with lava field and mountain beyond. I posted another version taken at dawn that wasn’t quite right. This version was taken from the car as I was whisked by, by my companion, impatient to get home for that late afternoon, holiday gin and tonic. I will definitely try, before I leave, to get the composition I want with the conditions I want but if I don’t, there’s always, hopefully, the next trip. :-)
Austerity was introduced in the UK by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne, following the 2008 financial crisis. It basically means that the least well off in society pay, and are still paying, for the greed of the richest that led to the crisis in the first place. Oops mustn’t get political again. :-/
Here in Fuerteventura, there is evidence of austerity through many decades from humble one room dwellings, part of an entire abandoned village, to once grand houses, reduced to rubble along with modern apartment complexes left skeletal and unfinished presumably post 2008. I’ll get to those. Clearly here, it’s not just the poor that have suffered from harsh economic times.
You can guess my next project. I’ve set about, in between enjoying the beach and the fine restaurants, to document this in a photo essay and articles to be produced when I get home.
Here’s just a taste of what I’ve found in a few days. I hope you enjoy the photographs.. :-)
it was a little bit political and that’s not what this blog is about so I removed the post. Thank you to those who commented. I hope you received my replies before I removed the post. My heart really does go out to all those affected by these terrible storms and I hope relief comes quickly to those that need it.
I’m in Fuerteventura enjoying very stable, very convivial weather. Thirty degrees with a nice breeze and the sun shining. Just what I need.
Having just finished one project, met the deadline and thinking I’m on holiday, I find myself on an island that immediately demands that I start a new project so it’s not going to be all play. I’m going to be working too but as I love what I do, that’s no hardship.
I’ve posted below a photograph I took at dawn this morning from the window of my car with my phone. I will be going back. I’ve also posted below the image I posted the other day. The lady with the child on a bicycle just happened along and added just what I needed to the photograph. I hope you enjoy the photos. I’ll endeavour to ignore the news and immerse myself in the Canary Island experience which I can recommend to anyone..
On my recent visit to Fuerteventura, out of the 23 days we were there, we had two really quite stormy days and rather than spend my time, as so many visitors appeared to be doing, wandering around shopping malls looking thoroughly miserable, of course for me as a photographer, this was an opportunity. I grabbed my camera and headed off into the mountains but not before catching one last photo of the sunshine on the beach before the clouds finally took over completely.
If you look closely, down in the bottom left, you can just see a tiny red flag on the beach indicating it was no longer safe to swim on what is normally a very safe beach indeed. Stormy weather indeed!
Such a wonderful backdrop to this tiny village in the heartland of Fuerteventura. This extinct volcano, its caldera so clearly defined
What was wonderful to see after the rain, just a couple of days remember, was the scrub and even the sand come alive with green plants and fresh green shoots. It was as if spring had arrived in the island though of course it was autumn.
Fuerteventura is a wonderful place to visit and I can recommend it to anyone. For me, in the off season, this is the very best time to visit even though you can’t be guaranteed that every day will be clear blue skies, that’s perfect for me and my camera.
And as you can imagine, missing Fuerteventura very much. I’ve attached a few pictures. This was my home for the last three and a half weeks, the squat white apartment bulding up in the dunes on the far left. There were 4 apartments in this building, all with terraces and fine views. Leaving Fuerteventura Airport with the temperatures hitting 27°C, arriving at Bristol Airport to temperatures of -3°, the shock to the system was considerable.
Staying on the Playa de Sotovento de Jandia at Risco el Passo, has been a real pleasure. This beach stretches for miles and miles and has to be one of the top beaches in the world. It is relatively sheltered here from the strong winds that tend to blow in the Canary Islands, however a very refreshing breeze is the norm keeping the temperatures for me off-season, quite bearable.
But, I’m back now and lots to get on with not least catching up with all of you which I’ll be doing in the coming days. Thank you for your patience. I didn’t think I could manage a day without the Internet let alone 3 weeks and more but it’s been a very refreshing change and one I can recommend every now and then. That said, coming home to nearly 1000 emails in my inbox means there’s a fair amount of catching up to do.
I didn’t do a whole lot of photography, I was needing a bit of a break for reasons I’m hopefully going to be sharing with you all very soon. However, when we had a couple of stormy days, I couldn’t resist getting up into the mountains with my camera! Those pictures will follow.. :-)
I’ve just arrived in Fuerteventura. I’ll be here for the next the weeks enjoying the sunshine and the wonderful sandy beaches. In staying in a villa just yards from Sotovento beach, a few miles south of Costa Calma. It’s heaven.
We’ve no WiFi here so I’m going to be out of touch for a little while. I’ll hope to catch up with you all on my return.
I’m Publishing this post from my smart phone, not something I’ve done before and it’s not going smoothly to say the least but fingers crossed.
See you all soon..
On my recent visit to Fuerteventura, I decided one morning to get up very early and drive into the mountains to wait for dawn. I didn’t have any particular destination in mind but given the island’s landscape, I knew if I took a mountain route, I was bound to find a photograph or two.
The following pictures were taken during the blue hour, the hour between first light and the actual rising of the sun when the light is very much at the blue end of the spectrum. Next time I’ll post a few more pictures from the mountains taken as the sun started to rise and the light and colours changed significantly..
A Postcard or two from Fuerteventura
Regular followers of this blog will know that I love the sea, I love the coast and I love the beach. Whether visiting the beaches around the coast of my home county of Cornwall, the black volcanic snow and ice covered beaches of Iceland or the sun drenched beaches of the Canaries, I’m a happy man.
Here a few picture postcard beach shots from my recent visit to Fuerteventura, I hope you enjoy them..
I know that conventional wisdom suggests that we should shun the sun. It’s bad for us, it can give us skin cancer. However, the sun gives us life. Life on earth would not exist but for the sun. The Incas and other civilisations worshiped the sun and with good reason. They recognised that the sun was life.
Where am I going with all of this? Well to put it frankly, the sun makes one feel good and I for one will not cover up and cower in the shadows. I can’t take heat, heat is not good for my MS however, here in the Canary Islands, in early March with a constant cooling breeze, I can enjoy the sun and enjoying is what I’ve been doing. This mega dose of ‘feel good’ is just what I needed. I can recommend it to anyone. Having seriously depleted vitamin D levels after a dire winter in the UK, I can safely say, I’m now nicely topped up.
This picture was taken at dawn this morning from the small fishing village of El Cotillo, looking south along the coast to the mountains, the extinct volcanoes that form the back bone of these islands.
No sooner had my feet touched the tarmac following a very busy time in Iceland, than they were airborne once more but this time heading south for a bit of R & R and sunshine therapy. With repeat medical tests looming, the results of which I’m more than a little concerned about, getting away and forgetting all of that for a wee while seemed a smart move.
Where better for such a thing than the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura to be exact. It’s currently 24 °c, that’s around 75 °f, not too hot and with a constant cooling breeze, it’s pretty near perfect for me and to be enjoying this in March is a real treat to be sure. Thank heavens for budget airlines.
Traveling on the first day to a near deserted beach on the northwestern side of the Island, I came across this fairly iconic symbol.
Please bear with me while I take this little break. I’ll be visiting all your blogs and catching up once I’m back to a very cold, grey drizzly Cornwall in a few day’s time. Feels like a million miles away just now not just a mere 2, 300 0dd miles. See you soon.. :-)