Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Kites and Canaries; Why Not Escape Our Bleak Winter and Follow FRANK CORLESS on a Trip to the Canary Island of Fuerteventura? My Holiday

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Kites and Canaries; Why Not Escape Our Bleak Winter and Follow FRANK CORLESS on a Trip to the Canary Island of Fuerteventura? My Holiday

Article excerpt

Byline: FRANK CORLESS

MY feet were firmly planted in glorious soft white sand but my eyes were locked on to a giant penguin hovering above me.

Trailing behind it was a character looking amazingly like Dennis the Menace, followed by a sea serpent, a teddy bear and then an octopus.

They were soaring, plunging or just hanging about - as kites are prone to do. And a lot of them were doing it. Some of them even got to drop down little parcels of sweets to scores of delighted children at the Playa del Burro beach in Fuerteventura, the regular venue for the island's international kite festival.

POPULAR: Palace Only a handful of enthusiasts saw the first event 22 years ago. Now it's a soaraway success as kite fliers jet in from all over Europe for a long weekend.

Volcanic eruptions Raymond Smith, and his wife Sheila from Yorkshire were celebrating their 12th time at the event. But they hadn't made the trip just for the kiting. They are devoted to all-things-Fuerteventura. So, what's the appeal? Well, don't judge Fuerteventura, the second largest island in the Canaries, by first impressions. Because of volcanic eruptions millions of years ago it does have a stark, dramatic, lunar landscape.

In parts there is What even a martian Red Planet feel as black rock merges with copper coloured rock, reddened by geothermal heat.

It's a strange mixture that occurs all over the island. Yet, looks are not everything. Fuerteventura definitely grows on you. Families will find lots to see and do - attractions range from a water park and zoo to camel riding, golf, whale and dolphin-watch cruises, submarine trips, and boat rides to the small uninhabited island of Lobos. There are also golf courses, top quality restaurants and loads of shops.

Culture vultures can turn to museums, craft centres, old windmills, churches and historic villages. Tindaya, a hauntingly beautiful mountain sacred to the island's original inhabitants, is worth a visit.

Caleta de Fuste, a rapidly developing resort, has everything any holidaymaker could want - and plenty of room to expand. We stopped for lunch at the Puerto Castillo restaurant on the harbour and, with the sun on high and a busy chatter all around, it was difficult to drag ourselves away. …

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