Night out in Corralejo | Lunch in El Cotillo | Fuerteventura Vlog August 2017
August in Fuerteventura was a very hot one. Although we always have good weather, it was very hot for the whole month, which is unusual. Actually it was too hot at times, particularly at night, making it difficult to sleep. We had a number of Calimas too which didn’t help.
we went for a night out in Corralejo with friends we hadn’t seen for almost 10 years.
we went to the Banana bar for a drink, followed by the Antiguo Tapas restaurant and then to a cocktail bar
I had to take Jenson to the vet in Corralejo as his anal glands were blocked again. Poor dogs – reminds me of my prostate check at the doctors!
a birthday lunch for Jacqui in El Cotillo (sorry, more singing)
a swim in the pool (which got lots of use this month)
a late evening walk in the river beds with Oscar and Jenson
Fuerteventura Vlog July 2017 – I need to get out more!
Recently I seem to be going out less and less so I think I need to get out more. I hardly seemed to do anything in July, which makes producing a monthly vlog harder to do.
This month includes:
– Jenson’s 3rd birthday so he had a piece of steak with three candles on it and stupid Sue and I sang “Happy Birthday” to him.
– Filming the wildlife in the back garden at night, including a Gecko and some bats. I enjoy a bit of bat spotting in Fuerteventura. – Eating lunch at the kiosk in La Oliva – Cleaning the swimming pool to get rid of the dust from the Calima – Going to the dump in Lajares – Messing about with the camera while driving over the river beds
It is all excitement being an expat living in Fuerteventura you know!
Where to live in Fuerteventura – La Oliva Fuerteventura
The most often question I get asked when people contact me is “Where do you live in Fuerteventura?” As most people never visit La Oliva when they come to Fuerteventura I thought I would do a video on what there is here to see and what facilities there are.
Frankly, it is not the most exciting place in the world to live. There are few places to eat or drink, and what bars there are really have little to recommend them. Having said that, the centre is ok and it is quite nice having a coffee at the kiosk in the church square (plaza del Iglesia).
Where to live in Fuerteventura was an easy one for us. We would have preferred to live in El Cotillo but there are only apartments there and we wanted a house (as we have dogs). Our second choice was Lajares, which I still like, but the houses are more expensive there. So we ended up in La Oliva.
Well Fuerteventura in April was a bit of a lazy month. I didn’t achieve very much to be honest but never mind. The weather seems to have settled down to almost normal now. We still didn’t get to the beach – perhaps this month!
Many people seem to think that being an expat in Fuerteventura or even being an expat in the Canary Islands is just one long holiday but it isn’t of course. Actually we now feel quite envious of people who come here on holiday, as we used to, as they are spending a week or so doing nothing but enjoying themselves. When you live here life sort of just takes over.
This months Fuerteventura vlog includes:
– a timelapse shot from our apartment in El Cotillo – a sunset from the garden – coffee and fountains in the La Oliva church square – our house Geckos – eating out at the Canela Cafe in Lajares – Sue’s teddy bear can see for the first time in 50 years as she has given him new eyes – our first swim in the pool this year – a female Common Kestrel and her chick – El Cotillo Friday Craft Market – a walk along Corralejo’s sea front after my dental appointment – natural sand sculptures and the dogs in the river beds
On 18th March the annual parade of the Corralejo Carnival 2017 took place. It started about 7pm and continued until quite late, as most things tend to here.
This is quite a large affair and takes probably 2 hours or more to pass by. Many people that go to watch also dress up even if they are not in the parade. This year’s theme was medical and science.
The Corralejo Carnival starts at the top of the main strip and runs all the way down to the Shell petrol station. It then turns left and goes up the hill and finishes behind the bus station.
My favourite in the whole night was the giant spider! A dog in fancy dress.
Everyone seem to have lots of fun at these events and the party continued at the end of the parade until 4am. It was lucky that the weather was ok as the north of Fuerteventura had heavy rain and hailstones that afternoon.
I remember equally big parades when I was a child growing up in Hayes, West London but that seems to be a thing of the past. I think it still takes place but is tiny by comparison these days.
The Fuerteventura squirrels are found pretty much all over the island. Their correct name is the Barbary Ground Squirrel which are endemic to Western Sahara, Algeria and Morocco. They were introduced into Fuerteventura in 1965 and have thrived ever since. Many people refer to them as chipmunks or Fuerteventura chipmunks, which they do resemble.
Next to goats they are probably the most common animals of Fuerteventura, perhaps even more common. They live in colonies and family groups in burrows. I don’t know how they survive in the summer to be honest, when there is no water and little vegetation.
They are extremely friendly and very cute. They take food out of your hand and I have never known one to bite. I think they are definitely my favourite type of wildlife of Fuerteventura.
The local councils are trying to stop people feeding the Fuerteventura squirrels as they are considered “introduced vermin”. Well every living thing in Fuerteventura has evolved elsewhere and ended up here so perhaps that should apply to all animals – especially man! My advice is ignore the notices and carry on feeding them.
Fuerteventura Squirrels at the Volcano
I filmed this at the top of a volcano near Lajares in the north of Fuerteventura, not far from Corralejo, which can be seen in the background of the video. The walk up there was also filmed, to show how to get to the viewing platform. Unfortunately the camera didn’t record it. So I guess I will make a follow up video showing how to get there. Still the exercise will do me good. It takes about 45-50 minutes to walk from the road between Lajares and Majanicho.. I guess I will have to take some more food and water for the cute chipmunks of Fuerteventura.
See how cute the squirrels are by watching the video below:
Here in Fuerteventura we don’t have wheelie bins and a weekly or fortnightly rubbish collection. This is the case in many northern European countries. Instead we have large bins positioned in most streets are emptied overnight every day, except Sunday. There are also strategically placed recycling bins for paper, glass, cardboard etc around each town/village. I actually think the system works much better here.
In order that the bins don’t smell too much by being full in the heat all day you can only throw rubbish in them at certain times. These are between 20:00 and 02:00 hours from October to March and 21:00 to 02:00 hours from April to September. Not unreasonably, the waste must be in a closed bag when it is put in the bins.
If you are spotted by the local police (wardens with guns) throwing your rubbish in the bins outside of these times you can get a fine of up to 3,000€ . Well, if you aren’t a local that is of course! Mind you, it seems it is ok for the rubbish which is put in the bin on Saturday evening to sit in a hot bin all day on Sunday getting smelly until it is emptied on Monday morning. I can just imagine what my colleagues and I would have said in the Police if we were told we had to fine people throwing rubbish in bins outside of certain hours!
During 2016 295 fines were issued in Corralejo; 6 in El Cotillo; 2 in Lajares; 1 in Parque Holandés and Villaverde.
The Mayor, Pedro Amador, said “We live in a paradise that we must care for, a land that is visited every day by thousands of tourists, we must continue to give our best image.”
Fuerteventura Vlog January 2017 – Food, Friends and Music
In this month’s Fuerteventura Vlog January 2017 we had friends over who were staying in a hotel early in the month so we met up with them (and ate). We also had friends coming over to stay with us for the last week of the month. This means we can play at being tourists again and go out visiting places and, inevitably, out to eat. We certainly did plenty of that in the last week.
We also saw plenty of live music: Eric Sijpestijn playing in Corralejo, a girl playing the cello in Puerto del Rosario and an amazing trio appearing at the Cotillo Beach Hotel in El Cotillo which comprised an Albanian violinist, a Spanish guitarist and an Argentinian Tenor. You really can’t complain about entertainment like this for the cost of a beer.
I hope you enjoyed this vlog of an expat in Fuerteventura. If you are considering retirement abroad then you may find Fuerteventura is the best place to retire in the Canary Islands. Becoming an expat in the Canary Islands isn’t as hard as you might think.
The New Road Finally Opens – The Fastest Road in the North
A number of subscribers asked if I could publish a trip on the new road, which surprised me. So here it is. Fuerteventura roads are pretty good which makes driving in Fuerteventura a pleasure.
This road was started about 10 years ago but then seemed to stall for a number of years. It became a bit of a local joke as occasionally you might see two men working on it, one with a shovel while the other watched him. Then, about a year ago, they really started working on it properly.
Only the southbound part is open at the moment, so ok for travelling from Corralejo to Rosario, but that is something. It is the first piece of dual carriageway in the north of Fuerteventura and it has a 100kph speed limit – 10kph more than any other road in the north.
They are continuing to work on the section which runs past Tamaragua down to the first roundabout in Corralejo. Hopefully that will open before the year ends.
Having a new piece of road open in most places isn’t such a big deal but here in Fuerteventura we take our pleasures simply 😉
A number of people have asked about our dogs – whether we bought them with us from the UK or got them here. So thought I would briefly talk about having a dog in Fuerteventura and give the legal requirements for having dogs in Fuerteventura. I did post about how we got the dogs here – https://www.jpinfuerteventura.com/categories/dogs/our-dogs/
Legally each dog must have a passport, be micro-chipped and have a Rabies jab. Unfortunately so many locals don’t do this and neither do they have their dogs neutered – but nothing seems to happen to them.
You have to have your dogs on a lead at all times, apart from in a dog park. This doesn’t seem to apply to locals. Dogs are not allowed on a beach, except for a designated dog beach. These are few and far between – if you can call them a beach anyway. Having said that, plenty of people do take their dogs on beaches. Particularly the locals – are you seeing a pattern here?
Travelling With Your Dog to Fuerteventura
To answer the questions “Can I take my dog to Fuerteventura?” or even “Can I take my dog to the Canary islands?” then yes you can, but at a cost.
If you own property in the Canary islands and are on the Padron you can take advantage of the 75% residents discount on the ferries which can save a fortune.
By Air to Fuerteventura
Flying to/from the UK, dogs have to travel on a scheduled flight (which means British Airways, Iberia or Monarch I think) and they can only fly into or out of an airport with an animal reception centre. I think this means Gatwick, Heathrow or Manchester. Because of this the dogs go airfreight which costs a fortune. Dogs flying to Germany, Holland, Belgium etc travel as baggage with a passenger. Generally the cost is about the same as the passenger pays which could be as little as 39€. Small dogs can even travel in the cabin, in a suitable carry bag. I have heard of people flying to Belgium or Holland and being met by someone who has travelled by road across the Channel, which works out much cheaper.
By car and ferry
It is possible to travel by car and ferry here with your dog, driving through France and Spain and getting the ferry from Cadiz. The service is operated by Transmediterraneas and details can be found on their website.
A viewer of my videos etc has sent me some photos about this ferry route which he has taken with his dog a few times. This is what he said and the photos – thanks John!
“Here are a few photos on board the Albayzin ferry from Cadiz-Arrecife this year clearly showing the kennels (the hotel Transylvania) on the open deck where the the dogs can be exercised every 2 hrs until midnight . The kennels re open at 8am. The kennels also have wifi cameras which you can view on your phone. Doesn’t work on iPads. Water and pooper bags available in the kennels. This years crossing took 32hrs with a return cost of approximately €1200 for two adults, 1 dog and a 6m camper van on board meals are included. We didn’t get a cabin as the cost was ridiculous and are not available in pet friendly options (no matter what the website says)”
There is a new Fred Olsen ferry starting between Huelva in Spain and the Canary Islands which has 34 covered kennels. You can visit the dogs during the voyage. Details can be found here – Fred Olsen Huelva-Canary Islands.
There are also specialist animal transportation companies which can arrange to transport dogs (and cats) from the UK here and vice versa.
There are so many dogs needing good homes here that finding a rescue dog is certainly not difficult. Fuerteventura Dog Rescue, run by volunteers, does s great job but it is an uphill battle.