Migration, permanent or temporary, from anywhere to anywhere is never easy. I’ve migrated from Australia, and I’ve lived in Fuerteventura for a full eleven days. What an eleven days!
First up, I’ve come from a cold grey winter to bright warm sunshine, the maximum temperates double if not treble what I’ve been used to. It was 35 in the streets of Puerto del Rosario yesterday, with 80% humidity. And I wilt in the heat. The large shopping mall there has it’s air-conditioning set at the government mandated 27 degrees. Two days after my arrival, I suffered mild heatstroke sorting out my new mobile phone, saved only by the actions of a good friend and large ice cubes wrapped in a hand towel. There’s a sign up now warning people about the heat in the shopping mall and I wonder if my ‘episode’ had anything to do with that – I had to sit on the floor of the store looking very ill while the mobile phone and plan got sorted. How embarrassing! And those things always take ages! (Anyone migrating from a cool climate would be advised to arrive in the winter.) But, I did get my phone and now have a Spanish phone number! What a novelty!
While I slowly acclimatise, I’ve also tackled the essential paperwork for the Padron certificate and then the TIE – foreign identity card. Then there’s the shopping, everything from towels to a fitness mat. All the things that wouldn’t fit inside the two suitcases I came with.
Even though I have lived in the Canary Islands before, it was a long time ago and there is a lot to adjust to. I am embracing all the differences, large and small, and the way things are here. I’ve switched off comparing here to where I’ve come from as there is nothing to compare. Besides, I think I enjoy a permanent romance with this island. Many do. For one thing, the Canary Islands have the best climate on earth, I believe. And of course there are the magnificent beaches. Most come for the beaches…
I came for the mountains, and the history and culture. For the slow pace of life. And so I can walk by buildings with facades like this:-
I’m finding the local majoreros very relaxed and easy going, friendly, and also cautious. Perhaps, a bit curious. Who is this newbie woman? Why is she here? More’s the point, why isn’t she in one of the resort towns on the coast, where almost all the other expatriates are? I’ve come for the solitude, not the sand. And not everyone eyes me with curiosity. When the assistant who dealt with my Padron application last week shook my hand and welcomed me to the town, my heart swelled in my chest.
Something else I enjoy here are all the sculptures. This one is situated at the southern end of the plaza in La Antigua.
Such sculptures are everywhere. I enjoyed some of the sculptures in Puerto del Rosario on my holiday here in 2020. https://isobelblackthorn.com/2020/02/26/a-short-journey-into-the-past-in-puerto-del-rosario-fuerteventura/
After eleven days, I feel privileged to be here. It’s been a long hard road though, involving many moments of intense doubt and cold feet, but I am so glad I persevered. Ahead of me is masses to learn, not least the language. Without it, I can’t begin to really understand the culture. I’m looking forward to the challenge. Meanwhile, natural beauty makes a big difference when it comes to adjusting to a new way of life and Fuerteventura has that in spades.