Next up, exploring Jandia National Park via ‘dune buggies’ (I’ll come to this later). We were first picked up from our hotel (SBH Costa Calma Beach Resort) in this old, rickety, metal ‘car’ where we were loosely strapped into what was really a metal cage on the back of an old land rover…dodgy yeah? We were then driven around the south of the island, whilst mum was doing well not to cry or throw up, until we arrived in the tourist land of Morro Jable. After escaping the car being thankful for our lives, we were told that we’d be given the tour inside a NEW land rover and the only way I can describe it is that it was a ‘real car’ (the green car seen below). Everyone else would be speeding around the mountains gripping on for dear life whilst we were securely strapped in with a sun roof and air-con, decent 🙂
Our lovely driver, Carlos, first drove us around the slopes up to the highest point on the island – Pico de Jandia, standing at 807 metres above sea level. Our tour guide, I cannot remember his name for the life of me, told us to keep our sunglasses inside the cars because it was going to be windy; I underestimated how windy it was going to be…it was bloody windy! My brother’s top was clinging to his body and I physically got blown back into the door of the car!! After saying hello to some friendly sheep that we passed, we explored the mystical beach of Cofete. The most interesting thing about this small village is the Villa Winter. It was occupied by a German Engineer named Gustav Winter who was supposedly one of Hitler’s spies therefore it is rumoured that Hitler himself sometimes occupied the villa and carried out torturous deeds in the basement; it is the only part of the house not open to the public today.
Our journey included passing many beaches including Playa Juan Gomez, where we ate traditional Spanish paella and I got a lot of sand in my eyes (thanks, wind), and Playa de la Concha El Cotillo where there is a memorial to one of the many surfers who have died at the hands of the severe winds the beach attracts. The tour ended on the southernmost point in Europe – Faro Punta de Jandia – which is marked by the lighthouse seen above. It’s amazing to say that I’ve been to the most southern point in my gorgeous continent, it’s only time before I can say that I’ve been to the northernmost point (which may be more difficult as its in Svalbard, Norway and isn’t easy to access).