The last time that I visited Fuerteventura I spent much of my time lying on the floor of a bright red Jeep which Judith Chalmers was driving. She was recording a feature for the Wish You Were Here television programme, and I was required to keep out of camera shot from time to time, hence my familiarity with the transmission tunnel of one of the USA’s greatest four wheel drive exports. When not filming, we pretended that we were Thelma and Louise, driving from Corralejo in the north of the island all the way to the fabulous beach at Morro del Jable in the south. There are not many people in travel who can lay claim to having played Geena Davis to Judith Chalmers’ Susan Sarandon. At the end of the film we thought about holding hands and driving off the cliffs at Punta de Jandia and into the Atlantic Ocean. The director however thought that it might be too much for the Wish You Were Here audience to take.
5 Star Luxury
We were staying in Corralejo at the luxurious Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real. It’s the sort of 5 star grand luxe establishment that prides itself on its service, and rightly so. Ms Chalmers casually mentioned at check-in that she would require an ironing board and iron in her room, and both items arrived in the room before she did. Not to detract from the hotel’s service, but things do take longer when you’re travelling with television royalty. We needed to build in extra time to get to places. It could easily take at least 40 minutes to cross the hotel’s admittedly palatial reception room as someone was always looking for a photo opportunity with the television presenter, or an autograph, or asking Ms Chalmers to have a quick telephone conversation on a mobile to relatives back home.
The hotel has a great location on the sea-front. It neighbours the sand dunes in the national park and is very handy for a visit to Corralejo. It’s a bustling port and the old harbour area has colourful fishing boats, old bars, fine fish restaurants and atmospheric back streets. And of course the main attraction of the island are the beaches; 152 of them. What’s more as the island is only inhabited by 76 people and 152 goats, thats half a person and one goat per beach. Or at least that’s how it seems. You feel a long way from the real world, which is perfect for a holiday in the sun.