Gran Tarajal, Fuerteventura

Last night I’d had my sleep broken several times in what was a very rough night.  The Braemar had been pitching and rolling and my bed had never been still.  This morning, however, all was quiet as we found ourselves docked in Fuerteventura.  We hadn’t been to this island before so we were looking forward to seeing what it had to offer.

We felt a bit sad this morning as our long-anticipated holiday was fast coming to an end and we would have to do our packing later.  But never mind that for now; the weather looked as though it would be a lot better today so we were going to make the most of our last day.

We disembarked the Braemar and enjoyed a pleasant slow stroll along the harbour.  Gran Tarajal is, apparently, one of the biggest towns on the island and owes its success to the fact that all of the island’s tomatoes were once shipped from here.  From the harbour you could see numerous small streets and alleys built into the hillside so we set off to explore.  🙂

We took a walk along the seafront where there were several small bars and cafés.  The sun was out at last although there was still a lively breeze.  We came to a small market square and had a browse among the stalls, before coming to a wide sandy beach where a few people in wetsuits with surf boards were putting the wind and waves to good use.  Apart from that though the beach was pretty much deserted, which was probably most unusual.

Exploring some of the streets we discovered another one of those miscellaneous stores selling all sorts of imported Oriental stuff, so once again I was able to go in and buy lots of different kumihimo cords at a bargain price.  🙂  Then we spotted a bar with free wi-fi, so we went in and ordered a beer each, and I was able to check my emails and upload some of this blog.

Then we wandered around a bit more before returning to the Braemar just before noon and packing some of our stuff up; we then went down to lunch in the Thistle Restaurant as today they were holding their grand “King Neptune Seafood Buffet”.  They must have been making the most of all that lovely fresh seafood in Gran Canaria yesterday because the array of fresh fish was delicious.  I enjoyed fresh clams, mussels, squid, smoked salmon and sushi before going back to refill my plate, this time with half a lobster, some crab claws, shell-on prawns and langoustines.  It was scrumptious and what better to wash it down than with a glass of (free!) chilled Freixenet cava.  Lush!  🙂

Fed and watered, we then went up on deck at the stern of the Braemar to see what the weather was like.  It wasn’t too bad on the lee side of the ship in the sun,  but there was still quite a nippy wind blowing on the other side.  So we ordered a sangria each and found a sheltered spot outside to enjoy them.  🙂

Back in our cabin I read my Kindle for a while then got showered, did my hair and makeup and got ready for about 5.00pm as tonight was the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail party at half past five.  But before then, we had to go and trade in the prize vouchers we’d gained in the two quizzes our team had won; we managed to pick up a Fred Olsen Cruise Lines coffee mug.

In the Neptune Lounge we collected a free glass of ‘champers’ (not so exciting any more when it’s all free) while listening to the Braemar Orchestra.  Then Captain ‘Bent Over’ arrived and made a little speech to summarise this cruise; he commented on the weather and sea conditions and remarked that the wind had followed the Braemar all the way from Cape Verde (very true).

We had a couple more drinks then went along to the Thistle Restaurant for the “last supper” with Mick and Jackie, Les and Gillian and Kevin and Val.  Then we hotfooted it along to the Neptune Lounge for the show; we didn’t think we’d have any luck getting in but we managed to get a good vantage point right at the back by sitting on a ledge.  Tonight the performance was a variety show featuring each of the guest acts, so we saw the Scottish comedian Ron Dale, singer Jane Beaumont and another singer called Fély Pandez, but no Martin Daniels as they informed us that he’d had to fly home in a hurry due to a bereavement.  😦

We then went along to have our final attempt at the quiz which we didn’t win!  Then it was time for the last performance of the cruise in the Coral Club.  It featured the Braemar Show Company and was called “Hits from the Flicks” and was an excellent show.  I regularly read (and contribute to) the web site “Cruise Critic” and I have come across some scathing reviews of the Braemar and her entertainment programme, but the people who write these ‘reviews’ must be professional whingers because I absolutely cannot fault the entertainments team; they all work so hard and the shows have been superb.  Bravo Braemar!

It was late when we got back to cabin 7050 as we’d been making the most of the free booze on our last night!  We still had the rest of the packing to do as our cases had to be left outside the cabin before 2.00am.  We already had the boarding passes for our flight home from Tenerife tomorrow, so once the cases were outside our cabin we wouldn’t see them again until we arrived back in Manchester.

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