For our day on Fuerteventura we took the easy way out and went on one of the ships tours. It was called Fuerteventura Highlights. Overpriced as usual but an easy way to see things when you don’t have a particular must see.
We started with a drive to the ancient capital of Betancuria. This small town was founded in 1405 by the Normans. It was built in the mountains to protect it from pirates.Nowadays it makes all its income from tourists. There are two museums and you can have a tour of the religious buildings. But really its just a pretty place to walk around.
Then to an Aloe Vera farm. This evergreen perennial grows wild in tropical climates it needs lots of light and not much water so Fuerteventura is an ideal place. Much of the Aloe Vera grows in Tiscamanita. We were taken to see the fields and then shown how the gel is extracted. The plants grow slowly and don’t produce gel until they are four years old. This gel is used to treat burns and skin conditions its a natural anti histamine and also used in cosmetics.
This was of course a shopping opportunity. I think there are still aloe vera skin creams at the back of the bathroom cupboard (with the dead sea mud and the Turkish rose attar).
This open air museum has seven reconstructed houses made from stones and mud showing the traditional architecture of the area. There are traditional furnishings in some of the houses showing how the locals lived. Camels and chickens roam freely outside. We walked round the houses going inside each one. The best thing was no one expected you to ride the camel.