Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Canary Capers Continued

We’re still in Bournemouth, with Doug playing his cards, but here’s the final instalment of last weeks’ trip to Fuerteventura. We managed to see the island from north to (almost) south and there are some fantastic views to be had…………..


………this is around the middle of the island where we were so high up we could see the coast on both sides.


Just around the corner from the last view point we came across these two very nice chaps!   Here’s James making friends with one of them.


At this one of the numerous little bays and inlets around the island the Atlantic surf was coming in with spectacular power – these waves were at least 30 feet high.


At the north end of the island (where there’s an awful lot of sand!) we could look across to Lanzarote, with the tiny island of Lobos (the dark bit) in the foreground.

Our sightseeing trips were punctuated in the evenings by some local nightlife at Peiro’s Cafe Bar in Caleta de Fuste.   The star talent being Brian………… 


………..who did brilliant impressions of Freddie Mercury and Tina Turner and who was the liveliest “wire” we’ve ever seen.


One evening we met a lovely couple – Sharon and Robert from Glasgow, who were on the last night of their holiday.  We had a great evening with you guys and we’re pleased to have met you.


Another day’s sightseeing took us south, with more dramatic scenery.  All the roads look as if they were laid yesterday (thanks to EU grants!) and, even though we were on this tiny island, it sometimes felt as if we were in the USA.


This ancient volcanic landscape is barren beyond belief.


Our last night was spent back at Piero’s Cafe Bar where Brian’s amazing voice and energy kept us dancing the night away.  This is Les and Doug strutting  their stuff!


The last picture goes to Brian! Thanks for giving us some great entertainment as you may be reading this!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Canary Capers.

We spent last week in Fuerteventura, visiting members of the Braidbar Boat Owners Club (Canary Islands Branch!), aka Bill and Eileen from nb ‘New Dawn’ and Chris and Les from nb ‘Eleventh Heaven’.  They are ‘wintering’ there at the moment and kindly invited us out to spend some time together.
Doug  breakfasting/lunching  in No 1 lounge at Gatwick before our departure.
Our meal together on the first night – Les, Bill, Eileen, Doug and Chris.  Notice the the doors on the front of the restaurant are wide open – we were feeling very sorry for everyone back home (!).
This was probably Monday when we enjoyed a BBQ (and the sunshine) at the villa.
We did quite a lot of walking while we were there – the main town of Caleta de Fuste being about a mile from the villa, we decided the hire car could stay put.  On this occasion we met up, and had coffee, with the other four who drove down to the town later in the day.
The fun and laughter continues well after dark back at the villa in the incredibly warm pool (29 deg!).  Eileen, Doug and Les.
More pics in the next blog – for ‘technical’ reasons we couldn’t seem to blog on our tablet / ipad last week while we were there.  This blog comes from (not so sunny) Bournemouth where Doug is enjoying a whist convention this week!  It was a quick turn round for us as we didn’t get back from Fuerteventura until midnight on Saturday and we arrived here Sunday afternoon!  

Monday, 14 January 2013

Chance Visit

We are spending a couple of nights on ‘Chance’ as there is a warranty job to be done on the engine and it seemed like a good idea to check on things as the weather looks to be getting cold in the next few days.


After quite a cold night a reasonable spattering of snow greeted us when we woke this morning.


It quickly turned to rain as Marcus from Marcus Marine, who carried out the warranty repair for Beta Marine, started on the work.


There was small diesel leak from the flexible pipe just below the fuel filter.  It took Marcus about half an hour to put another pipe and clip on and getting fairly wet in the process! 

Later today we popped down the cut to pay a surprise visit on Tom and Jan on nb ‘Waiouru’ based  at the moment at Reading Marine and sitting out the bad weather before they make their maiden voyage in their  finished boat.  We had a good technical chat (as usual) before leaving them to their domestic cosiness and Tom who was trying to fix a technical fault on his new satellite dome.

Tonight we are going for a meal at the Butt Inn at Aldermaston Wharf.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Iceland Adventures

We’re now back in Selsey after our 4 day break in Iceland.  It was a weird experience spending so much time in the dark.  Most of the time it felt like being out after a late night party when, in fact, it was 10 o’ clock in the morning!  A lot of our sightseeing around Reykjavik (and consequently a lot of the photos) was done in the dark as the tours we went on took up all the daylight hours.


We took a trip to The Blue Lagoon – about an hour from Reykjavik, where we bathed in the hot thermal waters.  This beautiful feature is the by product of a geothermal energy plant.  The water is about 38 deg C as it enters the lagoon and it can be very hot in the places where it enters the lagoon.  It must have been one of the most bizarre things we’ve ever done because, on the day we did it, there was a howling northerly gale blowing!  The sleet and rain stung our eyes unless we found a sheltered spot.  It was a very strange feeling having your body so warm and your head so cold.


This picture was taken from the outside viewing platform where it was impossible to stand still because of the wind.  It should have been a tranquil scene with clouds of steam gently rising from the warm waters but never mind, it was great fun nonetheless!


This is the Hallgrimskirkja – Reykjavik’s cathedral.  At 240 feet, the tower is easily the tallest structure on the island and it dwarfs all the other buildings.  We went up the tower to get some superb views of the city but we couldn’t go inside the main building because of maintenance work being carried out which was a bit frustrating. 


This is the Reykjavik’s new opera house (at 10 ‘o clock in the morning!) It’s a stunning building, inside and out – the whole structure displays a light show representative of the Northern Lights.


We enjoyed a meal at the ‘Icelandic Fish and Chip’ restaurant – well Doug enjoyed the fish while James had and a very good vegetarian alternative.


We went on a sightseeing trip into the mountains and lava fields east of Reykjavik.  This is Doug in front of the Gullfoss waterfall.  This melt water from the Langjokull glacier produces an icy wet wind as it tumbles over 100 feet into the canyon below.   Hence the expression on Doug’s face!


Another amazing sight was at Geysir where there is the world’s  original “geyser”.  Sadly, it doesn’t perform for the public that often these days but the one behind us, Strokkurr,  struts it’s stuff every 5 minutes or so……. 


………like this! 

We also visited the area where the North Atlantic and European tectonic plates meet and where Iceland is still expanding at the rate of 3cm a year.  At that rate , in a million years or so it will be one of the biggest countries in the world!  Our efforts to see the Aurora Borealis however, came to nothing we’re sad to say, as the weather was too cloudy.  Never mind, we’ll have to go back and try again one day.


We met a great couple, William and Kay from Texas, on the Geyser / waterfall tour and we spent our last evening with them enjoying a terrific Thai meal at a restaurant close to our hotel.  Thanks for your company guys!

We spent a fantastic few days in Iceland – having some weird and wonderful experiences.  The strangest thing is the amount of darkness as there is only daylight between 11am and 4pm at this time of year -  the weather could have been better but that’s nature for you!  We’d certainly like to return and enjoy more of the fascinating things Iceland has to offer.  James wants to go glacier trekking amongst other things!  Maybe next year.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

We've arrived in Iceland

Just a quick blog to say we flew in to Reykjavik today.  We've had a quick look around the town and went to a vegetarian restaurant for a meal this evening.  This is the view from our hotel room - it got dark just as we arrived late this afternoon so we've only got a night time picture to show.  There are only about 5 1/2 hours of daylight each day so that will be interesting for the next few days!  Tomorrow we're on a sight seeing trip round the island with a chance to bathe in the The Blue Lagoon!  Can't wait!