Rewind 5 days and I arrived in Fuerteventura escaping the cold, miserable weather and the panic-buying with bike in tow ready to enjoy some sea, sun, beer and riding. By Saturday night that had all gone south. Here is what happened
On our 4th night here, we’d eaten Tex Mex at Done Pepe’s, a local restaurant. Chimichangas as it happens as we continued our quest to try a different restaurant every night. When done and stuffed we strolled up the road a few yards to the Rock Cafe. Its a live music bar, busy, has a good vibe. We’d opted for Saturday night as the local singer ‘Koko’ was due to play. We stumbled upon him on our first visit to Corralejo 4 years ago and he is good, really good. Subsequently he had left the island, leaving the house band and going on his travels. We heard he’d gone to Canada. Ironic we were there just last September but its a massive country. Then..we heard via social media he was back and we were chuffed knowing we were coming back.
Koko does a great cover of Pearl Jam’s Jeremy. It became our Corralejo song
Wednesday night was our first night on the town and after a meal by the seafront we popped into the town’s music square which has live music every night. Its been 2 years since we last came but nothing had really changed other than one of the bars had closed, another had changed hands and a cover had been put over the stage. It was ironic Koko was singing and playing acoustically there as a duet. We’d found him by accident! All the memories flooded back. We even heard our waitress talking about him to some tourists. How good he was and when he plays the Rock Cafe. Saturdays and Mondays. Noted!
Back to Saturday night and we got into the Rock Cafe bar around 8.15am to see covers over the band’s instruments. We expected them to start at 9pm so were a little surprised. Goran, another singer that plays in there regularly, was mooching around though and then the drummer rocked up and they both began to setup. Then one by one the house band rolled in, the bass player, keyboards, lead guitarist but no Koko. At 9pm they were ready to go and they announced no Koku. AWOL, they said he was scared but not sure if they were having a laugh about it or not. Goran took over and sang instead. He’s good too though and the band are a well polished outfit. A few songs in and the band got introduced and they then mentioned the bar closing. A bit of googling and I found the info on the Royal Decree in Spain effectively closing all bars and restaurants for 15 days. At that point I was under the impression it would begin on Monday.
The night was broken into two sets on stage. The latter was a Reggae night with Micheal who was the first ever act we saw in Corralejo. Nothing had changed but again the announcement was made the bar and everyone else was closing that night for a minimum 15 days. They carried on and it was a great night until midnight and it all abruptly stopped. The Police had told them to close right there and then. We were also told the Police would be allowing tourists to go out but to avoid large groups. There was a bit of a scramble to get the bills out to everyone, get paid and get everyone out. No real fuss but when we walked back out into the main street it was eerily quiet. Its not a loud resort anyway but all the usual shops and bars that stay open late were closed.
Back in the hotel it was still a fresh news story. There was no info from the hotel and the info about Jet2 stopping flights and turning round was already out there. We checked out some of the selfish, stupid comments from customers online and then we went to sleep.
Sunday we got up, and we could see people milling about from our balcony. From the news we understood you were allowed out to get food etc. We left our apartment and there were a lot of people walking about. Everyone I think. A bit bemused I suppose. All bars and cafes were shut as expected. A couple of shops and a coffee shop by us were open. The supermarkets in town were open and doing a good trade though but there was no sign of any panic buying. I think it was more a case no one had anything else to do! Our coffee shop only allowed one person in at a time which meant a short queue. We bought a couple of coffees and baguettes for lunch. The owners were very grateful and apologetic at the same time.
After a lengthy walk we just came back to our apartment and chilled. No choice really. I had a snooze, Sally relaxed by the pool and then I joined her and checked out the gym and random squash court we have here. There is an exercise bike! Phew! Our night was a homemade pasta dish cooked in the room and then a Netflix binge.
We watched the first 6 episodes of Unbelievable if you’re interested. Check it out. Slow start but a good watch.
After I’d woke from my siesta I found some notes had been slipped under our door which effectively outlined the restrictions we are now under and some info on out Jet2 flights home next Saturday.
The good news is that coming home should be fine, we’ve been told to turn up for our flights as normal. In terms of restrictions, we’re only allowed out to get food or medicines from a pharmacy. Everywhere is closed and occasionally a local Police car rolls down the street outside with a loud speaker telling everyone to stay indoors I assume. It sounds dramatic and its not a curfew. If we want to go out we can, we’re not challenged but it is what I’d call a soft or semi-lockdown. I can’t cycle as I risk a 3000 euro fine and we can’t go out for leisure only for food. The other bonus is we’ve located some take-aways that deliver so we can treat ourselves to some junk food the rest of the week. The hotel pool, bar, gym etc remain open too, so cold beer on tap is available too.
We had another coffee and pastry from the local coffee shop this morning and the local supermarket reopened today, as normal, but they have requested customers where disposable gloves they provided at the entrance.
To give you some context before I wind this up, there has only been 1 case of the virus on the island which was back on March 3. An Italian doctor who had flown in. Everyone he had contact with was tested, all negative. Right now as I write this Fuerteventura is virus-free and although I understand and accept the measures in place are to prevent spread of a possible undetected infection, I can’t help be a little frustrated I can’t out at least go for a solo bike ride in the middle of nowhere as I did last week when I got here.
Shit happens I guess but I know some people are worse off than us and have lost money and loved ones. My thoughts are with them.
Adios for now peeps