The traditional Easter family holiday 2016 to the island of Fuerteventura in the Canaries, region, Jandia (and for the record it’s pronounced ‘HANdia’, not ‘JANdia’ – ruddy English tourists, I’m not telling you guys again!) Anyway, the holiday could probably be best summed up in three quotes. The first being the aforementioned (roughly translated as “I’m sorry sir, I speak very little Spanish, very little!”). The second, ‘Do you think he looks in the mirror and thinks “45 years old and I’m performing with a wife who can’t even sing Shania Twain right”?’ The final, “oh for Christ’s sake India!”
Working backwards, the latter exclamation was caused when my darling sister made what can only be described a very silly mistake. My sister, who is currently studying an MSc degree in Geography at Cardiff University (a Russell Group University I add). I was taking in the view, photoing the delights of Birmingham airport…
…When I heard “oh. Do we have any glue?”
Now, bearing in mind we hadn’t even left British soil at this point, I turned to my right and saw this:
Cue quote number 3.
The holiday had begun.
Trying to block out my ever-so-clever sister trying to establish whether chewing gum could work as a bonding agent, I turned to my yoga music and the Thompson in flight magazine to distract me.
Despite being on holiday though, the magazine only made me think about the state of my glass surfaces back at home.
(“Hmm, you smell lovely darling. Is that a hint of disinfectant I’m smelling?” “Yes, I accidentally sprayed the window cleaner on my neck. Sniff the mirrors though, they smell delightful!”)
Once we landed and got to the hotel after a long journey in buses where health and safety is just a ‘minor detail’…
…we got to the hotel. And a lovely hotel it was/is:
India made herself at home very quickly. Almost too much at home…
(For the record, that isn’t a posed photo. I poked her a few times and she grumbled, so I assumed her to be alive).
A few days in and I was torn as to whether I should be asking the local police to remove the crazy homeless lady from my room:
I on the other hand took to making the most out of being somewhere more exotic than Swindon. Even if that did mean posing in locations in my costume that couldn’t be much further away from water if it tried…
(Eager eyed readers will notice that the sea is not located on the balcony or anywhere near said author.)
Near to the hotel was a beach, where papa Bennett (much to India’s annoyance) actually ended up being the centre of a nice photo.
And we soon discovered that segway-ing was a popular activity along the promenade.
In addition to this, the hotel also had it’s own closed down zoo located a 15 minute walk away.
A bit spooky really, but hey, every resort needs one!
Food/drinks were all inclusive, although that didn’t stop me being an annoying heath freak all week.
My consumption of apricots and sunflower seeds went through the roof.
A day trip around the sights of the island was a definite highlight. I don’t know if it was intended or not, but I think there was a classic case of lost in translation with the tour operator:
I tellin’ you, ain’t nobody ‘fit’ on that bus.
On this trip we covered a range of historic places around the island, including churches, a wind mill, a cave, a goat farm, mountain views and an aloe vera farm. We covered it all in one day. In one of the churches we discovered both how Jesus dealt with annoying disciples and, coincidentally, how he invented the ‘fake phone call’.
Thus answering one of my ‘big’ questions: “How did Jesus deal with the people he really didn’t have time for? All those followers and there wasn’t one he just got fed up of?”
In the same church I learnt the Virgin Mary coined the fashionable ‘Western Catholic in mourning’ look hundreds of years before the religion was even established.
No wonder she’s sad.
I also learnt a valuable Christian lesson that day: I’m going to hell while the Priests, Cardinals and Popes are going straight to Heaven on fast track. Think of it like Amazon Prime, but you can’t buy it, well, you sort of can, but we don’t like to talk about it.
On the trip I discovered given despite unstable economic climate, some villages are able to really prioritise the important things:
At the aloe vera farm we learnt about the many uses of the plant, in a way that totally wasn’t a sales pitch for us to buy their products, not at all. We all got to take a bit and try it out. Most people played about with the chunk of goo and then binned it. Not me though. I stashed it in my bag and used it to drive my little sister insane for the rest of the day.
Totally worth the slime patch in my bag.
We also went into a cave:
…avec steps which pushed some of those health and safety guidelines.
Near to this cave was also this sign:
It was a sign was stoping to photo.
In Fuerteventura the people are big into goats, like seriously big. While there are reasonable grounds to this (goats almost outnumber people, or maybe it’s one goat every three people, I really can’t remember), I felt that the island should be pushing the bird/fish route. I mean, I’m not on the tourist or marketing boards, but the island does look like either one of those animals:
They’re missing such a trick.
Although you can buy a lot of goat tat if you want. Examples include:
…And whatever the heck this is:
Even I found that top too wacky to handle. I mean where does one even start?
Statement number two: The entertainment was pretty good at the venue, even though the photoshop skills of some of the acts left a bit to be desired:
That is some impressive balancing skills I must say.
There were highlights and lowlights. There were some good acts. The trio above did put on a good show and were very watchable. Justin Smith (last name is a guess) and Insignia (again, I really can’t remember the duo’s name) were, well, interesting shall we say. They did create a fun addition to the night when we played “guess that song”, and I’ll admit India and I were the only two people probably on the whole island dancing to Justin’s rendition of the Phil Collins’ hit “You Can’t Hurry Love”.
The hotel’s main source of mild entertainment were the flashy touch screens that were located everywhere:
It was through these touch screens that I learnt what noises the animals make in Spain:
I am now one step close to becoming at one with the animals. I tried my cat impression out on the hotel cat, but with little joy. I really need to improve my Spanish.
Speaking of Spanish, that takes me to my last statement and also the title of this post. I am truly embarrassed to say that despite repeated attempts to get back into Spanish and despite my hard grafted B grade at GCSE, my grasp on the language is terrible. I can understand 1000 times more than I can speak, but that was of little use to me when I needed it most. Time and time again I am deeply embarrassed by how everyone in the world is expected to speak English and/or German. To combat this I tried on serval occasions to ask questions in my broken Spanish. Ecstatic that a young English girl in a nice dress could speak Spanish, what followed was either multiple questions about my education or long flowing sentences that, for better or worse, I could not understand. On one occasion I literally said “vino blanco y Irish Cream por favour” and got the happiest waitress all night because of it. “Hablo muy poco” became my signature phrase. I know I keep saying it but I truly need to improve my Spanish!
As always, it was a good holiday and a nice excuse to put my feet up.
Favourite bit: help yourself prosecco
Not so favourite bit: Having to tear myself away from a) Pajaja’s village donkey:
b) the adorable baby goats (i.e. kids) on the farm.
They’re little devils but they’re so cute!
Hilarious moment: when the hotel cat wanted to come in and hang out in our room but we had nothing to offer it (drawbacks of all-inclusive hotel rooms). What made it so hilarious was India struggling to deal with the cries of a cat when she knew she couldn’t offer him/her anything. The girl was in absolute torture (which, as a result, was hilarious for me).
I tell you what, when you look at photos like this you’d almost think we were a normal family…