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Caleta de Fuste / El Castillo

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General details:

For some reason, this place - in common with several others - has two names. Both seem to be used interchangeably.

There's a small, horseshoe-shaped, sheltered bay - open at South end - in a growing holiday resort about 1/2 - 1/2 hotels & time-shares, 10 mins S. from airport. Currently undergoing a significant amount of building development.

(Jun 2003 update: Caleta is now twice the size it was 5 years ago, with new hotels, a whole new promenade and new apartments, bars, restaurants, clubs, etc. It's becoming more like Corralejo all the time. The 18 hole golf centre is now open. It stretches all the way down to the coast road where 2 more hotels are being built in addition to the one which opened recently - just S of the town on the seafront - with plans to create a sandy beach over the existing rocky shoreline. There's a further new hotel being built alongside Frasquita - the "fish-only" restaurant on the SW point of the beach).

Whilst there are now plenty of supermarkets, shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants, etc, it's become very difficult to find anywhere to park in town. If you park in the town, make sure there's nothing in or on your car.

Culture is also approximately 1/2 UK & 1/2 German, with the Germans having the better locations (well - they got their towels out their first!). The bay is good for beginners as the wind is much lighter here than elsewhere on the island. The prevailing wind is offshore at the school/rental shop and so tends to blow the unwary/novice over the other side of the bay where it's a bit rocky & possibly out of it altogether! Not to worry however, because the German guy who runs the school there goes & fetches them back. The school itself rents out quite probably the most disreputable & decrepit-looking gear I've seen in many years & is fairly cavalier about it. They're quite happy to let you struggle with a boom that slips down or a line that's come undone while the minutes tick away. Ostensibly Fanatic; most boards are largely replacement polyester resin & glass. They also have a number of HiFly beginner boards.

The school is "in the German Quarter" - the hotel there has some brilliant evening entertainment there - especially for kids - and parking is practically impossible there.

It's easier - at the moment - to park & launch from the W side of the bay, by the Frasquita restaurant (if you've got your own kit). The wind here is normally cross-on from the left. From here, for the more adventurous - if you sail right out of the harbour & slog upwind, there's a nice reef break and the wind is much stronger. If you get into difficulties here, you'll eventually get washed up on the rocky shore heading S out of Caleta. There are questions about the cleanliness of the water here, however, though I suspect it's improved over the last few years as new sewage treatment has come on-line.

You'll probably not want to make a special trip to Caleta just for the windsurfing, but if you're staying in the town, it may be worth sailing here - especially for beginners.

The sand in Caleta is imported and, because the prevailing wind is offshore from the main part of the beach, the sand tends to blow into the bay. I'm convinced that over the years, the bay is getting smaller with the amount of sand that's blown into it and the beach is getting larger!

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Directions to the right place:

To the W side of the bay (by Frasquita):

As you turn off the main N-S road into Caleta, take the 1'st R into a residential area, drive about 200m to the end, then turn L. After another 150m there's a small car park by the restaurant, about 100m from the water's edge. The ability to park here may change once the new hotel next door has been opened.

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How the winds work:

The wind here is almost always NE (trade winds). That means cross-on from the L by Frasquita, and cross-off from the R by the windsurf hire centre.

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Tidal conditions:

I've only found the urge to sail here the once so can't really comment on the tides.

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Hazards:

Offshore breezes in the bay will take you onto the rocky, leeward shore. However, as the new hotels being built along here are planning to "re-sculpt" the shore and import sand for their own beaches, it'll not be a problem any more (but could be a long walk back!).

There's a rope running across the bay, about half way out, to stop boats entering the swimming /windsurfing area.

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Facilities:

Beach sun-loungers

Cafes

Bars

Volley ball court on the beach

Shops

Restaurants

Kit hire (of a sort)

Internet Cafes

Banks

Car rental...

In fact, just about anything you need is in the town.

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B&B's / campsites

Too many hotels and apartment complexes to mention.

No official campsites on the island, but lots of wild camping (mostly Spaniards on hol from the mainland, wanting to get away from it all - who can blame them?)

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Pubs and eateries

Too many to mention - including Chinese. In general, stick to the restaurants where the Germans go - they demand better quality than we Brits usually do. Recommendable restaurants are:

Los Caracolitos in Las Salinas - about 3km S along the main road from Caleta

Frasquita - on the beach in Caleta. A fish-only restaurant.

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