Mishaps and misadventures in Spain is a new series of travel stories we’re sharing on Seeking the Spanish Sun blog. It will be a regular short story from our experiences while traveling and living in Spain.
Not everything in life goes according to plan. Sometimes the most fun is had when things go a little wrong.
When you’re looking back on a holiday or flicking through photos often the memory that stands out is that funny predicament you were in or that unusual encounter.
Mishap = a mistake or bad luck
Misadventure = an unfortunate incident
These stories are the moments like that. A weird situation we’ve found ourselves in, something that’s happened unexpectedly or was just surprisingly amusing.
This is our first story in the series…
Travel story No.1
A daring dune buggy drive in Fuerteventura
It’s a December morning in Fuerteventura, bright skies and highs of 20°c are forecast but we wake up to a gloomy grey day with heavy low hanging clouds. Hopeful that the sun will break through soon, we set off for our dune buggy excursion.
We bought our tickets the previous day and the only requirements were to bring our driving licenses, wear trainers and buy a scarf to cover our faces because of the dune dust. Looking like a pair of hooligans about to start a riot or rob a bank we climb into our designated vehicle. It’s a real beat-up, old banger. A fine layer of sand covers the seats and there is mud splattered all up the rusty roll-cage.
“This is gonna be fun” says Brad grinning. Well, I think he’s grinning but I cant see his face behind the scarf and sunglasses. “I hope I don’t have to drive this thing” I say, definitely not grinning. After a 60 second training from our guide which covers; left pedal brake, right pedal go, keep your hands inside and no selfie-sticks. We are off.
To get to the dunes from Corralejo town we have to take the highway. Speeding down with the other traffic at 40mph, the is wind whipping hair around my face and my teeth are tightly clenched. I give some helpful back seat driver instructions to Brad as he navigates his way round multiple roundabouts and follows the trail of dirt buggy’s ahead. I’m not sure that he can hear me over the almost unbearable roar from the engine anyway.
After what feels like hours, we reach the off-road lunar like sand and gravel open landscape of the dunes. We all pull up in a line and our guide shouts “Ok, now we start the real driving”. Brilliant I think while prizing my stiff, white knuckles from the handle bar. “The steering feels really heavy” Brad notes before we pull away again. “Just don’t go to fast” I respond and give him some more useful advice about how to handle corners as if I’m Louis Hamilton.
I’ve just about got my breath back and we’re skidding away again. I’m trying to enjoy the stunning views and ooh and ahh at the rocky crag and clusters of native goats but I feel like I’m hanging on for dear life. Every turn throws up a cloud of dust and Brad’s right, we are definitely veering to the right a bit.
Dodging pot holes and muddy puddles are all I can concentrate on. Screaming at the top of my lungs every time I spot an obstacle ahead seems to be helping Brad avoid any collisions. Ok this isn’t so bad, I’m thinking as I start to relax. The sun peeks through the clusters of dark grey cloud and we’ve hit a stretch of smooth path.
“Ooooooh I can see the sea!” I’m patting Brads arm and pointing “look babe!” He’s nodding but really pulling his body weight away from me and looks uncomfortably straining the steering wheel to the left. “What’s wrong?” I shout as we hit a verge made by deep tyre tracks in the mud. We skid and slide sideways onto an almighty puddle that splashes wet, gritty water all over me. We crash to a stop into a tufty grass topped mound of sand. “I think we’ve got a flat tyre” says Brad as the heavens open and it pours down with rain.
I hope you enjoyed our first story 🙂
If you would like more info on Fuerteventura in the Spanish Canary Islands read – The essential guide to Fuerteventura
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