.........and it certainly is at the moment. We landed at 5pm and it was still 25 degrees, slightly different from the torrential freezing rain we left behind.
We first discovered Fuert about 10 years ago, the attraction being the beaches, which are fabulous, and the surf, which is 'pumping'...so Im told !
There is no doubt it is a beautiful island in its own way although pretty devoid of any vegetation due to the fact its volcanic. 10 years ago Fuert was really taking off as far as tourism is concerned. Due to its position just off the north African coast it has year round sunshine. New bright shiny apartments and villas were being built almost over night and a lot of British visitors saw this as a good investment opportunity. Although the development never reached the levels seen at Tenerife or Lanzarote it soon reached saturation point....after all there were still only limited flights from the UK. Fuert was holding its own and the bars and restaurants were doing well, although it was hard work. Then this year came the first of 3 blows to the tourist industry over here. XL Airlines went bust and recently RyanAir announced they would no longer be flying here after a disagreement with the Fuert Tourist Agency. So no more cut price flights. And then ofcourse the credit crunch which has hit everyone and the tourist industry everywhere very hard, and now the final blow .....the weak pound which is almost at parity with the Euro now.
Apartments and villas bought a few years ago are worth about a third of their purchase price, thats if they can be sold at all. All building has stopped with many developments left unfinished, just concrete shells. The lack of visitors now means bars and restaurants are closing and those that are still open are having to reduce their prices and fight for the few customers left.
It really is quiet and this is supposed to be one of Fuerts busier times, around Christmas. The place Catherine and I are staying has about 30 other visitors, and most of them are from Germany. Which is quite nice actually, it very peaceful here. Yesterday we spent the afternoon sun bathing around the pool which we had virtually to ourselves.
Apparently, according to Catherine, I've become a bit of a 'babe magnet'. Everywhere we go there will be some young man who wants to strike up a conversation with me. This would be very flattering but for the fact that its blatantly obvious why this is occuring. Catherine. In her lovely naive teenage way she has failed to realise that the easiest way to chat to a girl is to pay attention to her mother ! And boy does she get some attention. She doesnt even realise its happening but heads turn when she walks past with her glossy dark red hair and pale skin...she is completely oblivious of it and it makes me smile. Oh to be 17 again !
Last night in the bar there was a Music Quiz. 'Goodie' I thought, I can show off my encyclopaedic knowledge of 1980's disco and punk. No such luck, most of the questions were about up to date obscure dance music or R n B. So Catherine wiped the floor with the opposition and won a cocktail.
A very strong cocktail.
Which is probably why she is still fast asleep now !