Nomad Life - Fuertaventura

NOTE This is my old journal note I’ve written after coming back from Canary Islands where I was nomading for 2.5 months. Original version was written in Polish and the English version was just translated by Google Translate so it might contain errors. I’m leaving it here just to keep it somewhere. Maybe one day I will come back and correct the errors.

It was the last day of my stay in the Canary Islands. In total, it has been 2 months since I left Poland to escape the winter. It was still warm in Fuertaventura. It is true that the weather suddenly changed overnight from warm to not-not-so-warm. Which made the locals wear winter jackets, and I started wearing a hoodie. After all, the sun was still fully shining, and the only sign of a local winter was strong and fairly cool winds. The Canary Islands belong to Spain and in theory it is still Europe, but in terms of weather, landscape and geographic location closer to Africa.

I was in Fuertaventura for 2 weeks. Why so long? This question would probably be asked by a person who has already visited this place and knows that apart from many beaches (which, by the way, are the most beautiful I have seen so far), several volcanic mountains and individual attractions in the style of a lighthouse at the very end of the island, there is nothing visit here. A few days is enough to see everything and bask on the beach.

This island is famous for one more thing - water sports. Lots of wild and undeveloped beaches, easy access to the ocean and a geographic location with lots of winds make it a great place for all kinds of water sports. There are plenty of points on the island where you can rent equipment for Surfing, Paddle, Windsurfing or Kitesurfing which has been gaining popularity recently. I also followed the trend and spent these two weeks on the island learning Kite.

Lonely kitesurfer on the beach

“If you learn Kite on Fuertaventura, then you can swim anywhere in the world” used to say our instructor and ship captain Olaf

But let’s come back to the last day of my stay on the islands, mentioned at the beginning. The situation is tense. It’s Friday and the next day I was flying to Madrid and after 3 lessons so far I didn’t have the skills to swim freely. So I wanted to try one last time.

鈥淕uys, can we reschedule course to 15:00? There is no good wind in the morning 鈥潂 was Olaf’s voice in the telephone receiver

Another transfer of the time of my last course did not herald anything good. I was hopefully looking at the WindGuru website for improved weather conditions. However, I relied on our coaches that they would find a suitable spot.

There is one thing you need to know about Kitesurfing lessons in Fuerteventura - they take place in the open ocean, not where all experienced kitesurfers swim, i.e. by the beach. The reason is legitimate. Kite in the hands of an inexperienced practitioner can lead to serious injuries and even death. It is enough for it to fly speedily into the rocks. Therefore, schools in Fuerteventura prefer to throw their pupils out into the ocean. No rocks around, no problem.

3:00 pm I am there. We’ve got the equipment covered and we’re going to the port. I wear a wetsuit, harness, helmet and life jacket. Moments later, we are all sitting in the boat with all the necessary equipment.

“Guys, there is no good wind near Fuertaventura, so we will go to Lanzarote” ~ the ship’s captain informed us ~ “It will take us 30 minutes to get there”

So I took a comfortable position and prepared for my journey. Whoever sailed a small motor boat through the waves at full speed probably guesses what this trip looked like. Suddenly the waves become incredibly hard, and every steep rise causes the boat to soar high and then forcefully strike the hard water. It’s fun, you just have to hold on tight.

All our instructors are Italians, there are three of them. Our captain and the two who jump into the water with us to give instructions and develop equipment. It is around 4:00 p.m., clouds are above us and the sun is slowly moving towards the horizon. On the islands at this time of the year, the sun sets at around 6 p.m. So it is not exceptionally warm. The first instructor jumps into the water to roll out the equipment and immediately shudders from the cold despite the thick wetsuit he wears. When the first student jumped into the water after him, it was my turn.

I looked at the size of the kite. 15 square meters. It was the largest kite they had in their assortment. After the experience from the previous lesson, where the wind was strong enough to throw me left and right, even though I was only 11 m2, I asked the Italian instructor if it was the right size for me, because I don’t weigh too much.

“Yes, the wind is not so strong, so this one is good for now,” he assured me.

So I jumped into that cold water.

As it turned out moments later, he was right. The wind was not strong, but with my less than heavy weight it was perfect. After short instructions, a one-time loss of my board in the ocean (fortunately the captain came by the boat and helped me recover it), slowly, with a definite progress, I started to swim. At first, shyly, I swam a few meters to the right, to the left, then again and again. Within an hour, I was able to take off freely and swim in different directions. Exchange instructors They only enlisted a board for one that made it easier to cut through the waves and took care of the rest of the group, leaving me alone in the open ocean.

The sun was already low on the horizon, the wind was losing its strength, and I was already a little chilled. The lesson was drawing to a close. The boat approached each of us in turn, the instructors collected the equipment and we packed on board.

鈥淐ongratulations Filip, today you have become kitesurfer. You have joined small, but astonishing group of worldwide kitesurfers “- the Ship’s Captain sounded when I was boarding the boat.

After hours spent in water and liters of salt water drunk, these words were like honey on my ears (what does that even mean?). In the end, I managed to achieve the goal of my trip to this island.

After a few minutes, all the students were on the boat. The Captain of the Ship must have felt that it was Friday and there was no reason to hurry anywhere. He set course for Fuertaventure and slowly, lightly pulled the lever. The engine hummed and in no hurry began to push the boat towards the island.

This vehicle had one more thing that always made my sailing on the ocean nice - a music player. Olaf, often treated us with his favorite pieces from a pendrive connected to this device. He did it this time as well.

So we are sailing at a slow pace, the three Italians have been discussing unknown topics for several minutes, gesturing intensively. And we students sit in the corners of the boat in silence, warming up in the additional marshmallows. Suddenly, a song from my favorite band, Comfortably Numb, played by Pink Floyd comes out of the speakers. I just asked Olaf if he would give it louder. He gave it his full power, and the Italians who had been discussing fervently so far quieted down.

On our right there was an endless ocean, over which the sun was just setting, and the sky was shimmering with a beautiful gradient of blue. The last rays of light fell on the small island of Lobos to our left. In front of us, Fuerteventura grew slowly, more and more. And the Pink Floys played melancholically from the loudspeakers. The whole boat was silently consuming the moment, not in a hurry to get home. It was the last day of my stay in the Canary Islands.

馃嚨馃嚤 Wersja Polska

To by艂 ostatni dzie艅 mojego pobytu na Wyspach Kanaryjskich. W sumie by艂y to ju偶 2 miesi膮ce odk膮d wyjecha艂em z Polski w ucieczce przed zim膮. Na Fuertaventurze wci膮偶 by艂o ciep艂o. Co prawda pogoda z dnia na dzie艅 nagle zmieni艂a si臋 z ciep艂ej na wcale-nie-tak-ciep艂膮. Co spowodowa艂o, 偶e lokalsi zacz臋li ubiera膰 kurtki zimowe, a ja natomiast bluz臋 z kapturem. Mimo wszystko, s艂o艅ce nadal 艣wieci艂o w pe艂ni, a jedyn膮 oznak膮 lokalnej zimy by艂y silne i do艣膰 ch艂odne wiatry. Wyspy Kanaryjskie nale偶膮 do Hiszpanii i w teorii to wci膮偶 Europa, jednak zar贸wno pogod膮, krajobrazem jak i po艂o偶eniem geograficznym bli偶ej im do Afryki.

Na Fuertaventurze by艂em 2 tygodnie. Dlaczego tak d艂ugo? To pytanie pewnie zada艂aby osoba, kt贸ra odwiedzi艂a ju偶 to miejsce i wie, 偶e poza wieloma pla偶ami (kt贸re swoj膮 drog膮 s膮 naj艂adniejsze jakie do tej pory widzia艂em), kilkoma g贸rami-wulkanami i pojedynczymi atrakcjami w stylu latarni morskiej na samym ko艅cu wyspy, nie ma co tutaj zwiedza膰. Kilka dni wystarczy 偶eby zobaczy膰 wszystko i wygrza膰 si臋 na pla偶y.

Wyspa ta s艂ynie z jeszcze jednej rzeczy - sport贸w wodnych. Du偶o dzikich i nie zabudowanych pla偶, 艂atwy dost臋p do oceanu i po艂o偶enie geograficzne, przez kt贸re przewija si臋 du偶o wiatr贸w sprawia, 偶e jest to 艣wietne miejsce na wszelkie sporty wodne. Na wyspie jest mn贸stwo punkt贸w, w kt贸rych mo偶na wypo偶yczy膰 sprz臋t do Surfingu, Paddle, Windsurfingu czy zyskuj膮cego ostatnio na popularno艣ci Kitesurfingu. Ja te偶 poszed艂em za trendem i te dwa tygodnie na wyspie przeznaczy艂em w艂a艣nie na nauk臋 Kite鈥檃.

Samotny kitesurfer na pla偶y

鈥淚f you learn Kite on Fuertaventura, then you can swim anywhere in the world鈥 mawia艂 nasz instruktor i kapitan statku Olaf

Wr贸膰my jednak do wspomnianego na pocz膮tku, ostatniego dnia mojego pobytu na wyspach. Sytuacja jest napi臋ta. Mamy pi膮tek i nast臋pnego dnia lecia艂em do Madrytu, a po 3 dotychczasowych lekcjach nie posiada艂em jeszcze wystarczaj膮cych umiej臋tno艣ci, aby swobodnie p艂ywa膰. Zale偶a艂o mi wi臋c, aby spr贸bowa膰 jeszcze jeden ostatni raz.

鈥淕uys, can we reschedule course to 15:00? There is no good wind in the morning鈥 ~ brzmia艂 g艂os Olafa w s艂uchawce telefonu

Kolejne ju偶 przeniesienie godziny mojego ostatniego kursu nie zwiastowa艂o nic dobrego. Z nadziej膮 patrzy艂em na stron臋 WindGuru na popraw臋 warunk贸w pogodowych. Zda艂em si臋 jednak na naszych trener贸w, 偶e znajd膮 odpowiedni spot.

O lekcjach Kitesurfingu na Fuertaventurze trzeba wiedzie膰 jedn膮 rzecz - odbywaj膮 si臋 one na otwartym oceanie, a nie tam gdzie wszyscy do艣wiadczeni kitesurferzy p艂ywaj膮, czyli przy pla偶y. Pow贸d jest uzasadniona. Kite w r臋kach niedo艣wiadczonego adepta mo偶e doprowadzi膰 do powa偶nych uszkodze艅 cia艂a, a nawet do 艣mierci. Wystarczy, 偶e wleci rozp臋dzony w ska艂y. Dlatego te偶, szko艂y na Fuertaventurze wol膮 wyrzuca膰 swoich podopiecznych na ocean. Nie ma ska艂 wok贸艂, nie ma problemu.

Punkt 15:00 jestem na miejscu. Ogarn臋li艣my sprz臋t i jedziemy do portu. Ubieram piank臋, uprz膮偶, kask i kapok. Chwile p贸藕niej wszyscy siedzimy ju偶 w 艂贸dce z ca艂ym potrzebnym sprz臋tem.

鈥淕uys, there is no good wind near Fuertaventura, so we will go to Lanzarote鈥 ~ poinformowa艂 nas kapitan statku ~ 鈥淚t will take us 30 minutes to get there鈥

Zaj膮艂em wi臋c wygodn膮 pozycj臋 i przygotowa艂em si臋 na podr贸偶. Kto p艂ywa艂 ma艂膮 艂贸dk膮 motorow膮 przez fale przy pe艂nej pr臋dko艣ci zapewne domy艣la si臋 jak ta podr贸偶 wygl膮da艂a. Nagle fale staj膮 si臋 niewiarygodnie twarde i ka偶de wi臋ksze wzniesienie powoduje, 偶e 艂贸dka wzlatuje wysoko po czym z impetem uderza w tward膮 wod臋. Fajnie jest, tylko trzeba si臋 mocno trzyma膰.

Wszyscy nasi instruktorzy to W艂osi, jest ich trzech. Nasz kapitan oraz dw贸ch, kt贸rzy wskakuj膮 razem z nami do wody, aby dawa膰 instrukcje i rozwija膰 sprz臋t. Jest oko艂o 16:00, nad nami chmury a s艂o艅ce powoli zmierza ku horyzontowi. Na wyspach o tej porze roku zach贸d s艂o艅ca nast臋puje ju偶 oko艂o godziny 18:00. Nie jest wi臋c wyj膮tkowo ciep艂o. Pierwszy instruktor wskakuje do wody aby rozwin膮膰 sprz臋t i od razu wzdryga sie z zimna pomimo grubej pianki na sobie. Gdy pierwszy kursant wskoczy艂 za nim do wody, przysz艂a kolej na mnie.

Spojrza艂em na rozmiar kite鈥檃. 15 metr贸w kwadratowych. To by艂 najwi臋kszy latawiec jaki mieli w asortymencie. Po do艣wiadczeniach z poprzedniej lekcji, gdzie wiatr by艂 na tyle silny, 偶e miota艂o mn膮 na prawo i lewo, mimo, 偶e mia艂em tylko 11 m2 zapyta艂em W艂oskiego instruktora, czy to odpowiedni rozmiar dla mnie, bo za du偶o to ja nie wa偶臋.

鈥淵es, the wind is not so strong, so this one is good for now鈥 - zapewni艂 mnie.

Wskoczy艂em wi臋c do tej zimnej wody.

Jak si臋 chwile p贸藕niej okaza艂o, mia艂 racj臋. Wiatr nie by艂 silny, ale przy mojej niespecjalnie du偶ej wadze by艂 idealny. Po kr贸tkich instrukcjach, jednorazowym zgubienia deski na oceanie (na szcz臋艣cie kapitan podp艂yn膮艂 艂贸dk膮 i pom贸g艂 mi j膮 odzyska膰), powoli, z zdecydowanym progresem zacz膮艂em p艂ywa膰. Na pocz膮tku nie艣mia艂o, podp艂yn膮艂em kilka metr贸w w prawo, w lewo, potem jeszcze raz i jeszcze. W ci膮gu godziny potrafi艂em ju偶 swobodnie startowa膰 i p艂ywa膰 w r贸偶ne strony. Instruktorzy wymienili mi jedynie desk臋 na tak膮, kt贸ra 艂atwiej pozwala艂a ci膮膰 fale i zaj臋li si臋 reszt膮 grupy, zostawiaj膮c mnie samemu sobie na otwartym oceanie.

S艂o艅ce znajdowa艂o si臋 ju偶 nisko na horyzoncie, wiatr traci艂 na sile, a ja sam by艂em ju偶 troch臋 wyzi臋biony. Lekcja zbli偶a艂a si臋 ku ko艅cowi. 艁贸dka podp艂ywa艂a po kolei do ka偶dego z nas, instruktorzy zbierali sprz臋t a my pakowali艣my si臋 na pok艂ad.

鈥淐ongratulations Filip, today you have become kitesurfer. You have joined small, but astonishing group of worldwide kitesurfers鈥 - zabrzmia艂 Kapitan Statku gdy wchodzi艂em na pok艂ad 艂贸dki.

Po godzinach sp臋dzonych w wodzie i litrach wypitej s艂onej wody, s艂owa te by艂y jak mi贸d na moje uszy (co to w og贸le znaczy?). W ko艅cu, uda艂o mi si臋 zrealizowa膰 cel mojej wyprawy na t臋 wysp臋.

Po kilku minutach wszyscy kursanci byli ju偶 na 艂贸dce. Kapitan Statku chyba poczu艂, 偶e to ju偶 pi膮tek i nie ma powodu si臋 nigdzie 艣pieszy膰. Obra艂 kurs na Fuertaventure i powoli, lekko poci膮gn膮艂 wajch臋 gazu. Silnik zamrucza艂 i nie 艣piesznie zacz膮艂 popycha膰 艂贸dk臋 w stron臋 wyspy.

Pojazd ten mia艂 jeszcze jedn膮 rzecz, kt贸ra zawsze umila艂a mi p艂ywanie po oceanie - odtwarzacz muzyki. Olaf, cz臋sto raczy艂 nas swoimi ulubionymi kawa艂kami z pod艂膮czonego do owego urz膮dzenia pendrive鈥檃. Nie omieszka艂 zrobi膰 to i tym razem.

P艂yniemy wi臋c powolnym tempem, W艂osi w tr贸jk臋 od kilkunastu minut dyskutuj膮 na nieznane mi tematy intensywnie gestykuluj膮c. A my kursanci siedzimy roz艂o偶eni po k膮tach 艂贸dki w ciszy, grzej膮c si臋 w dodatkowych piankach. I nagle, z g艂o艣nik贸w wydobywa si臋 piosenka mojego ulubionego zespo艂u, Comfortably Numb grane przez Pink Floyd. Zapyta艂em tylko Olafa, czy da g艂o艣niej. Da艂 na pe艂n膮 moc, a dyskutuj膮cy 偶arliwie do tej pory W艂osi ucichli.

Z naszej prawej strony rozpo艣ciera艂 si臋 bezkresny ocean, nad kt贸rym w艂a艣nie zachodzi艂o s艂o艅ce, a niebo mieni艂o si臋 pi臋knym gradientem b艂臋kitu. Ostatnie promienie 艣wiat艂a pada艂y na ma艂膮 wysp臋 Lobos, znajduj膮c膮 si臋 po naszej lewej stronie. Przed nami powoli, coraz bardziej, ros艂a Fuertaventura. A z g艂o艣nik贸w melancholijnie grali Pink Floydzi. Ca艂a 艂贸dka w ciszy konsumowa艂a t臋 chwil臋, wcale nie 艣piesz膮c si臋 do domu. To by艂 ostatni dzie艅 mojego pobytu na Wyspach Kanaryjskich.