23 dec. 2012


South-east from the Teide vulcano, on the higher plane-lands, is where Almodovar has set up for an Alice in Wonderland film. Or what is going on i Vecindario?

From the the motorway it's easy to miss this strip of flip. The name easily slips away, from memory, maps and tourist guides.This is not a place you're supposed to go. It is between the airport and tourist resorts, yet far away from both. The Motorway cuts it off from the ocean and this far south the mountains above are dryer than around Telde or Las Palmas, further north.

To get to Vecindario, talk to the guagua-drivers, they know it. This is where people live and mad artists thrive. Get off in the centre, go up-hill and you will come to a wide boulevard, along the hillside. Follow it south on superb bike-lanes, 'till you spot the elbow of El Grand Nadador (swimmer). By now, you are already deep down the rabbit hole. Have a look around!
Skateboard, the magic carpet! Ever since I started riding one, I have ended up in the most amazing places, one after the other. Maybe it works the same with other things. I wouldn't know.

Riding up through Vecindario, from the main street bus-station, ordinary houses give way to empty waste-land and wide empty streets. Further south is the sports area and swimming stadium.
Coming around the corner from the enormous swimming man statue, at first it doesn't register that the curb is half a meter high. Picture a giant, 5 meter tall, doing a slappy on that thing

Further up the mountain, behind the Alien Stadium, stands what must be one of the weirdest skateparks on planet Earth. In a satellite photo, the Vecindario skatepark looks like a UFO crash-site (see for yourself; map co-ordinates "27.844685,-15.453931").

Gary going high in the "mini U"
In reality, this is a skateboarding-mountain, with several different slopes but no lifts. At the bottom of a ski resort, where the crowd and press photographers flock for competitions, there is usually a bit of flat for the racers to come to a stop. Not so at Skatepark de Vecindario. You go from full speed big-jump landing, into curb and dried-out plantations. But there are also real gems hidden, up the slopes and around the bottom of the hill.

Among the local kids there were two skaters who went from shakey backside kick-turns to carves and grinds in no time. Thanx for the session!

Gary y Nevi, Digame aqui abajo, en los commentarios, si pasa algo de "skate" en Vecindario, o si puedo ayudarte con algo de monopatin!
Nevi is up there. Truck!

15 dec. 2012

El Cotillo, classic landing site for pirates
Damn ye, you are a sneaking puppy, and so are all those who will submit to be governed by laws which rich men have made for their own security, for the cowardly whelps have not the courage otherwise to defend what they get by their knavery . . . Damn them for a pack of crafty rascals, and you, who serve them, for a parcel of hen-hearted numskulls. They vilify us, the scoundrels do, when there is only this difference; they rob the poor under the cover of law, forsooth, and we plunder the rich under the protection of our own courage. Had you not better make one of us than sneak after the arseholes of such villains for employment?
/Captain Bellamy (1717), in response to a merchant captain who declined joining Bellamy's crew of pirates (from "If a pirate I must be...", by Richard Sanders)

In civilised society there are roads for bikes, with street bumps for occasional skateboarding breaks.
Goat skull, El Cotillo
Fuerteventura has always been a poor place. The dark vulcanic land lacks all vegetation above the height of ones knees, it rarely rains, eastern winds carry sand over from Sahara when there is not a steady wind laying on from north or west (fuerte ventura = strong wind). Many struggling farmers and fishermen have left for South America in the last century and today there are more goats than human residents on the island.
La Oliva "bowl"
According to legend, the La Oliva reservoir is actually constructed for skateboarding
La Oliva
 "The Latin of the Mass was a language that threw you out of the field of domesticity. The altar was turned so that the priest's back was to you, and with him you addressed yourself outward. Now they've turned the altar around -- it looks like Julia Child giving a demonstration -- all homey and cozy. [...] They've forgotten that the function of ritual is to pitch you out, not to wrap you back in where you have been all the time." 
(from Joseph Campbell, 
The Power of Myth)
Headed out to where the pavement turns to sand
With a one-way ticket to the land of truth
And my suitcase in my hand
(Neil Young, Thrasher)
The South - miles of wide sideways for bikes. And flat ditches...

... with the occasional banked hip-snake. This is rough and skateable, 90-95A UDR (urethane durometer rating).

La Lajita, ollie + ollie
Morro Jable, backside ditch (regular)
Key words: skateboard skateboarding monopatin mono patin 
Canary Islands Islas Canarias Fuerteventura