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July 18, 2005

The Canary Islands

After travelling 6 hours by bus with a backpack and sunburn, I arrived back in Madrid around 12:30am. A whole 8 hours to clean myself up, sleep and catch my flight to Fuerteventura. Perfect.

I was up and out the door on time, around approximately 6:30am. Why is it that I can wake up early for trips and fun things yet have consistently proven in my personal history that I am incapable of waking up for things I donīt really care about (2 final exams first semester of college, a flight to go to a wedding, English class, etc...)?

The flight is no problem, though as we near I become confused. The Canary Islands are off the coast of Morocco, but part of Spain. Fuerteventura is about 100 miles from Morocco. The captain is preparing to land. I am looking out the window. Itīs all desert with a few mountains sprinkled in. I kept thinking...hmm...maybe he made a left at Gibraltar instead of a right and we are over the damn Sahara right now. I always assumed a fīn resort island might have some vegetation on it. Silly me. But, the water was a fantastic shad of blue, so I didnīt mind too much.

The beaches were beautiful. Lots of white sand, blue water. Lots of wind. These islands are like the wind sports capital of the world. Windsurfing and kitesurfing seem extremely popular and I was pissed. Why? Because, unfortunately, I spent the first two days there hiding from the sun like Karl Rove from a polygraph because of the stupid Pamplona Souveneir Sunburn. The coolest part of the island was on the North Eastern Coast. "The Great Dunes". It was so odd. You drive for 30 kilometers and it is desert and mountains, thatīs it. Then, you see this beautiful white sand beach. Across the street from it, up on a hill, are all these natural sand dunes. They just stretch as far as the eye could see. Very cool, but very seemingly out of place. Back in the distance you could see the mountains sprouting up again.

The other thing quite noticeable about the island and, I assume, the rest of the Canaries is the fact that you are almost in England. Everyone there was seemingly British ex-pats or Brits on holiday. Restaurants advertised British football, Sheperdīs Pie, and Sky News. At times, it was difficult to remember you were in Spain.

I donīt think I will often be called a prude, but seeing 60 year old women sunbathing topless is a little disturbing. Especially when their skin more closely resembles leather than the bulls and cows I saw in Pamplona that are actually leather. On the plus side, I did get that lady from "Thereīs Something About Mary" to autograph my copy of the movie, so I got that going for me...

On my flight home I was stuck next to some poor, unsuspecting guy. I was really tired at this point. You know when you are sleeping (usually, you have just fallen asleep) and you jump awake for some reason. This happens to me all the time in public. It used to happen most in class in high school and college. I guess, maybe it was because I know I shouldnīt have been sleeping, I would jump awake. Well, the first thing you do when this happens is to look around and see if anyone saw you. The guy next to me on the plane definitely saw me the first two times. I did it three times in what had to be only an hour. Luckily for me, he didnīt see me the last time. I was dreaming. I remember my dream. I was throwing a football around on the beach. So, this time when I woke up, I wasnīt just startled, I was actually imitating the throw of a football. I imitated the throw right into his arm. He didnīt look happy. But, Iīm pretty sure I connected for a touchdown. 6 points for me. After that, I just concentrated on the music in my headphones.

I have arrived back in Madrid safe and sound and am now teaching English again until the end of July. YES!!!

Posted by KDuffy on July 18, 2005 08:05 AM
Category: Life In Spain
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