Well, I think yesterday was probably one of my favourite days on the island, ever. After a late, leisurely breakfast sitting on the terrace of our apartment, we headed out along the costal path towards Antigua, taking in the stunning views of a very feisty Atlantic! We saw lots of chipmunks (and cats!) and had a fun couple of hours sitting in the sun taking photographs.
After a couple of beers in another bar built on the edge of the sea, we walked back through the harbour just in time to see the sea lions being fed.
Had a late lunch and then went back to the apartment, where I spent an hour getting highly frustrated with the internet speeds trying to send messages and upload photographs. The Spanish internet is akin to Spanish life – plod along at a leisurely pace for a while, stop abruptly and down tools for a couple of hours and then spring back into life again.
However, the above is all the prelim for the evening entertainment. We were collected at 6.30pm by Damiano, a very jovial chap, and he regaled us with stories of the island’s history whilst we drove to Corralejo to collect the next passengers. Two very lovely ladies, both on the large side and, when we got to the next pick up, the remaining participants had to be told they would have to get a taxi to the restaurant, as there was not room for them on the bus. Bit embarrassing for the ladies, I imagine, but what can you do?!
Eventually the whole team arrived at the restaurant in Villaverde, a Michelin-starred restaurant called Casa Marcos. The building is an old farmhouse and steeped in history, and they’ve won countless awards for their food. We were treated to cava, red wine and an amazing selection of local dishes, all of which were beautifully presented. The guide explained that the area of the island we were in was too cloudy for star gazing, so we were going to have to go on a hunt to locate a clearer area of sky. It was all rather exciting, a bit like storm chasing, I imagine! We hurtled through the night in a clapped out Fiat with Karen, a lovely lady who, originally from Watford, moved to the island some years ago and set up Stars By Night. Given the transportation issues of earlier, she’d driven to the restaurant to assist with getting people to the observation point.
We drove into the desert, along a dirt track, until we reached the observation point in the middle of nowhere. I cannot clearly put into words just how beautiful the stars were here. The lack of light meant millions were visible. There was a presentation, a bit of a Q n A session, and we got to see Jupiter and the four moons, the Orion nebulae, a binary star and many clusters of stars through the telescope. Bloody amazing! We tried to take photographs but it was far too windy, the camera would not keep steady enough to focus. It was disappointing, but a great learning curve, photography-wise, and I’m looking forward to trying again when we return in August (The Milky Way will be visible then, too!) There are a couple of shots I might be able to salvage when we get home through the powers of Photoshop, but I’m not holding my breath!