Friday, June 21, 2013

¡Vamos a la Playa!

Seriously, is my best friend. Weekends away? No problem!

Rachel and I had a plan to "escape" Navalmoral for a few weekends. Where else would we go? TO THE BEACH. We needed sun; we were the whitest people in town. When the weather is nice, I have no ganas to work... no ganas to be inside... no ganas to do anything except relax!

And relax we did. We had seen bits of Spring here and there before escaping to the beach... Once, we hiked into the mountains near us and had a picnic. We played rummy like old maids and drank the classiest, store-bought tinto. The picnic was short lived after we realized there was "un animal dentro" of the field we had chosen to lay out in. We had basically trespassed (ok, we lifted up a log that was acting as a gate), but the man was nice enough to let us stay with just a warning of "you know there is an animal inside there with you" statement. While we had seen a horse at the bottom of the hill upon arrival, we got pretty anxious that it could be a bull. You know, we were in Spain after all. 
Spanish security; how could we not help but enter?
Overlooking Navalmoral and the Sierra de Gredos Mountains snow-covered in the distance!
No shoes!
Tranquilidad at it's best.
So we had to take it to the next level: BEACH. We had it planned out perfectly, with three week intervals. First up, Sardinia, Italy, the Italian island just off its southwestern coast. Second, Spain's Canary Islands... to Fuerteventura.

While both places were so different, we were able to do exactly what we wanted: tomar el sol. Since sunscreen was super expensive in Sardinia, we bought the cheapest we could find for 18euro/24dollars: 50spf. Yeah, so I got absolutely NO color. But, Fuerteventura was different... I got so much sun that I was still peeling three weeks later. Whoops!

For Rachel and I, it was like being on an episode of The Bachelor/ette. We had private beaches just for us, our umbrella and our cameras. We took stupid photos and ate too much because we could. The views were incredible... and the water was crystal clear and similar to a beach in the Caribbean where you could wade out into the water for a long time before it ever went above your knees. 
Just for us!
Toes in the water!
Ridges of sand and everything! So picturesque!
Umbrella and clear skies!
Doesn't get much better than this!
Since we were the only people, we took lots of photos like this.
This was the second beach... just as pretty!
Unique flowers, private beach, views in the distance... ahhhh!!!
Costa Rei, our third beach for the day was nothing less than ideal!
There were lagoons with flamingos... I mean, if I were a flamingo, I'd choose to live there too! The food was spectacular and we splurged on this part of the trip at dinner time. Lunch on the beach. Italian pasta and pizza and prosciutto and other tasty Sardinian dishes at night. We even found some traditional Sardinian treats made of amaretto which left you wanting MORE. Sadly, none remain. I also have no photos because we ate it all too quickly!

Overall, I had no expectations of Sardinia, and hadn't really done any homework on it before going. It was a total surprise how beautiful everything was. Even the town, which we saw for about 10 minutes (due to a marathon in town and the city bus system really being a mess) was cute. If you're looking for a beach get-a-way, with no tourists, Sardinia is definitely a place to spend some time! 
Let the sun shine in!
Looking out on Cagliari's port!
As usual, throughout Europe, there are random ruins all over the place.
I prefer photographing photos of people's plants rather than having my own.
Last year, Rachel and I went to Lanzarote, another island in the Canaries. And I had also previously visited Tenerife when I went for Carnaval two years ago... this year, we decided to go to Fuerteventura for its beaches and sand dunes.

Turns out, when everyone learned we were American, they absolutely loved us. Free honey-rum shots, free appetizers... "typical Canary treat for you" ... we acted like we had never had it and made friends. Everyone was telling us that Americans don't go to Fuerteventura mucho. Everything was in German, English and then Spanish, making you feel like you are super far away from Spain, when you're actually still in Spain.

It was very beachy with huge sand dunes just near the water. There was a boardwalk along the beach. The buses even smelt like sunscreen when you entered them! Be careful before you sit down on the bus, because chances are, the person who sat there before you was fresh from the pool/ocean and left the seat soaking wet.... for someone like me who hates getting wet in her clothes (yeah, none of those water rides for me) it was a horrible feeling. Thank goodness it was steaming hot outside that you dried quickly. Sometimes it was just so hot, that it felt like you couldn't breath... that a short walk turned into an hour because you just couldn't go any faster. haha

So nice to see bars and restaurants next to the beach!
Walking the boardwalk.
Music to the right. Beach to the left. We chose the beach.
Enjoying the sand dunes! As, we were there all alone, we took a lot of these!
Proof that there were multiple shots. (PS check out the ridges in the sand!)
We decided to take a ferry to a small island nearby "Isla de Lobos" where we (I bet you can guess) went to the beach. While the walk to the beach was only 10 minutes, it felt like an eternity... and it looked a bit like what I imagine Mars to look like. 
The ferry.
Walking through Mars on a path in scorching heat.
A more beachy view of Isla de Lobos and Rachel, of course!
Yet another foot photo. Total relaxation.
Waiting on the dock for the ferry to come back for us... the water was a beautiful color!!!
We drank champagne sangria on the beach during the day. At night, we were total tourists and sat in a small plaza and listened to live music while we drank mojitos that came with sparklers in them. Sometimes it's just nice to get away from your life and go site-seeing but just to relax. I don't think I do that near enough... (don't argue with me on this one, mom -- a weekend in Navalmoral is hard work going out until 6am!)
A perfect refreshment on a hot day!
Our beach weekends have come to an end, but as the weather gets better and hotter, I forsee myself going outside to enjoy the nice Spanish sun, which has been shining brightly these last weeks. Here's to getting morena!