“You’ll soon get bored with Fuerteventura,” people told me. “There isn’t the variety of landscape you get on other islands, especially when you’ve come from La Gomera.” Halfway though my stay on this amazing island, and I am utterly in love with its rolling, desert landscapes, and its breathtaking white sands. Not yet bored!
Where La Gomera was green and lush, and traveling around you didn’t know what might be around the next bend, here you can stop on almost any road and breathe in a panorama of the most stunning colors I’ve ever seen. Perhaps it is the foreign-ness which appeals to me. After all, since the English Lake District was my second childhood home, forests are a familiar landscape.The only place I’ve seen earth tones this rich before is in limited spots in the other Canary Islands.
Here, much of the terrain in the north and central parts of the island is a vibrant, rusty-red which would be an interior designers dream.
Seen from a height, these chestnut-colored plains are interrupted by volcanic mounds, rounded smooth by the constant winds, so that they resemble more the softly undulating hills of home, honed by the last Ice Age than the sharp peaks of the western Canary Islands. Their folds are brown or grey or purple, and the effect is like looking at a giant canvas which has been painted onto the landscape. The colors shift as the shadows of high, white clouds move across the scene.
In other parts the almost colorless vistas are interrupted by fields of aloe vera, one of the few, remaining crops left. Aloe is tough, and thrives on the constant sunshine. It’s serendipitous how its colors blend into the countryside.
There are, for sure, some places which are spookily inhospitable. The barrenness around Entallada, the part of the archipelago closest to Africa is scary. It is, however, a protected area, because it holds secrets to the origins of the island.
Yet, even the dead and the parched have beauty in what photographers call that golden hour before the sun begins to dip, when it casts a aureate spell over the landscape, making the ordinary glow briefly.
Well, nowhere near bored as yet. It remains to be seen at the end of this journey which landscapes I miss the most, and whether other aspects of island life trump scenery as reasons to return.