<< magazine top >>

Canary Islands

"20 km to Morro Jable" I was so depressed as seeing the road sign. The Morro Jable was the town where I had to go back. The sun was almost going down to the horizon. I was walking on the edge of road. No pavements. Cars were passing in 100km/h speed just beside me. I saw many bodies of wild goat on the tarmac road. They were hit by the cars. I tried to keep my eyes off. But the widely opened eyes of goat stared at me and it said "You could be a next victim" .... I was so scared.

The record album "A long vacation" by Japanese singer & song writer, Eiichi Otaki. The first thing I imagined when I saw the name of the Canary Islands on the map was the jacket of the album and the covered song which was titled "Canary Islands". Released in 1981, it's already long time ago.
There had been an illustration on the jacket. The swimming pool and palm trees had been described in it. On the background you could see the afternoon beach. From the beautiful song and picture, the Canary Islands in my mind had been described as a paradise. But the real islands was absolutely far from the image. The real Canary Islands was more desolate place with wild nature.

Especially, The island named Fuerte Ventura was a rocky island which was exposed to strong wind and sand storm. The scenery was like an end of the world rather than a paradise.
However, not being developed too much means having good circumstances. Therefore the stay in the apartment which I rented was really comfortable. Every morning, a bread was delivered in the quilting bag hanging on the door knob. I made a sandwich with it, and got starting the adventure with MTB.

But the island was covered with rocks and sand. Plus, there were dangerous crevasses on the ground. Of course, no street lights were there. So I always had to think about returning time before dark. Even on the tarmac road, the island was quite tough for bike riding because of heavy up and down.
Through the reason, I eventually gave up riding the bike, and changed it to a bus.

One day, I could not find the bus stop for going back to the town. And I missed the last bus. Actually, I waved to the bus driver passing by on the road side. But he shook his head in the bus without mercy.
Hey! The young guy who could not find a bus stop raised his hand in such a desolated island. Why not stop for him?

I made my mind for walking up to the town. And shortly after, I came across to the road sign "25km to Morro Jable"
I should encourage myself with positive thinking. OK. Let's see. "I run 37 km at the Marathon meeting in high school" "I usually took photos walking on the street for 6,7km" A human beings tends to look for even microscopic positive experience in the memories when he is in the pinch. Then he makes it to be the tool for self enlightenment.

With full of brave, I kept walking for another 5km. The passing 4WD was pulled up 100m ahead. Two girls got off the car and were enjoying the twilight ocean view. "If I loose this chance, I would not get the others" I ran and ran breathlessly. And asked them if they could pick me up to the town.
At the parking space in the dusk, they were discussing behind me. While I was hearing whisper voices in the language which I didn't know, I sweated in my palm.

They gave me the answer. Fortunately, I got the right to get ride on the rear seat of the 4WD. They were German tourists. When we got to the town, the girls looked me back and said "Sir, we got <MORRO YABLE>"with holding a cigarette on the corner of a mouth.

Every day at the time for dinner, strong wind started blowing and it had blown for all night.
In this way, new sands are brought from Western Sahara tonight too. And Fuerte Ventura Island is getting closer to "the end of the world".

If I made the song which named "Canary Islands", the CD jacket must be the photo of "the cactus and desolate landscape".

Feb. 2006

Today's piece
"Cactus" Fuerte Ventura Island, Spain 1993

fumikatz osada photographie