El hierro la gomera ferry: El Hierro – La Gomera Ferry, Tickets, Schedules
Walking on La Gomera and El Hierro by Paddy Dillon – Ebook
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About this ebook
Walking guide to the islands of La Gomera and El Hierro. The 45 waymarked routes in this guidebook include easy strolls and hands-on scrambles, day walks and long-distance routes including the GR132 and parts of the GR131, which runs the whole length of the Canary Islands.
Walks are spread in the guide roughly clockwise and where walks are located beside each other, links between them are often possible, giving you the opportunity to make your own alterations. The routes are described over both islands, with 27 walks on La Gomera and 18 on El Hierro, illustrated with clear contour mapping and inspirational photography.
The two smallest of the Canary Islands are no less rugged than their volcanic neighbours, offering a wide variety of little-known walking terrain from steep-sided barrancos and dramatic cliffs to the gentler slopes inland cloaked in laurisilva and pine forests.
Release dateApr 15, 2020
Paddy Dillon is a prolific walker and guidebook writer, with over 100 guidebooks to his name and contributions to 40 other titles. He has written for several outdoor magazines and other publications and has appeared on radio and television.
Paddy uses a tablet computer to write as he walks. His descriptions are therefore precise, having been written at the very point at which the reader uses them.
Paddy is an indefatigable long-distance walker who has walked all of Britain’s National Trails and several European trails. He has also walked in Nepal, China, Korea and the Rocky Mountains of Canada and the US. Paddy is a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild and President of the Backpackers Club.
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Walking on La Gomera and El Hierro – Paddy Dillon
Several routes start or finish near the church in Valverde (Walk 28–31)
A view of the rugged coastline after climbing high above Santa Catalina (Walk 25)
The seven sub-tropical Canary Islands bask in sunny splendour off the Atlantic coast of north-west Africa. Millions of sun-starved north Europeans flock there for beach holidays, but increasingly visitors are discovering the amazing variety of landscapes throughout the archipelago. Conditions range from semi-deserts to perpetually moist laurisilva ‘cloud forests’, from rugged cliff coasts to high mountains, from fertile cultivation terraces to awesome rocky barrancos carved deep into multi-coloured layers of volcanic bedrock. Some areas are given the highest possible protection as national parks, but there are many more types of protected landscapes, rural parks, natural monuments and nature reserves.
More and more walkers are finding their feet, exploring the Canary Islands using centuries-old mule tracks, rugged cliff paths and forest trails. Paths pick their way between cultivation terraces, squeeze between houses and make their way to rugged coves and hidden beaches. Some paths run from village to village, following old mule tracks once used to transport goods, while other paths are based on pilgrim trails to and from remote churches and ermitas. Many have been cleared, repaired, signposted and waymarked in recent years, ready to be explored and enjoyed.
This guidebook explores the waymarked trail networks on the islands of La Gomera and El Hierro. Despite their small size, they boast routes of all types – from easy strolls to hands-on scrambling, from simple day-walks to long-distance trails. As these routes are fully signposted and waymarked, walkers can follow them with confidence and enjoy the islands to the full. Over 700km (435 miles) of trails are described in this guidebook.
The Canary Islands are more or less enclosed in a rectangular area from 13°30′’W to 18°00′’W and 27°30′’N to 29°30′’N. As a group, they stretch west to east over 450km (280 miles). Although administered by Spain, the mother country is 1100km (685 miles) away. The narrowest strait between the Canary Islands and Africa is a mere 110km (70 miles). The total land area is almost 7500km (2900 square miles), but the sea they occupy is ten times that size.
Most of the world’s volcanic landscapes are formed where huge continental or oceanic ‘plates’ collide with each other. When continental plates collide, the Earth’s crust crumples upwards to form mountains, and when plates are torn apart, basaltic rock from deep within the Earth’s mantle erupts to form mountains. The Canary Islands, however, are different, and have a complicated geological history.
The African landmass is the visible part of a continental plate that extends into the Atlantic Ocean, but the Canary Islands lie within the oceanic crust of the eastern Atlantic Ocean, close to the passive junction with the African continental plate. It is thought that the islands now lie directly above a hot-spot, or mantle plume, some 2500km (1550 miles) deep within the Earth. The mantle plume is fixed, but the oceanic and African plates are drifting very slowly eastwards. Every so often a split in the oceanic crust opens above the mantle plume, allowing molten rock to vent onto the ocean floor. As more and more material erupts, it piles higher and higher until it rises from the sea. Each of the Canary Islands was formed this way.
Lanzarote and Fuerteventura were the first Canary Islands to form, and were subsequently pulled eastwards. The next time a rift opened over the mantle plume the islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife were formed, and these were in turn pulled eastwards. A further oceanic rift led to the formation of La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro. Looking forward in geological time more islands will appear as other rifts are torn open in the future.
The forces at work deep within the Earth can scarcely be imagined. Every single piece of rock throughout the Canary Islands once existed in a molten state. Consider the energy needed to melt one small stone, and multiply that to imagine the energy required to melt everything in the island chain, as well as the immense amount of rock beneath the sea that supports them all!
El Teide on Tenerife is often seen above the clouds from La Gomera and El Hierro
Over time huge amounts of volcanic material were piled high, but erosion has led to great instability. During recent geological time vast chunks of the islands have collapsed into the sea, creating features such as El Golfo on El Hierro, the Caldeira de Taburiente on La Palma, and the Orotava valley on Tenerife. With each catastrophic collapse, tsunamis devastated places around the Atlantic Ocean. Geologists predict that similar collapses could occur in the future on the Cumbre Nueva on La Palma or the north face of El Teide on Tenerife.
Plants and flowers
While the northern hemisphere was in the grip of an Ice Age, the Canary Islands were sluiced by rainstorms, with powerful rivers carving deep, steep-sided barrancos into unstable layers of ash and lava. As the landmasses emerged from the Ice Age the Canary Islands dried out and the vegetation had to adapt to survive. Some species are well adapted to semi-desert conditions, while on the highest parts of the islands, laurisilva cloud forests are able to trap moisture from the mists and keep themselves well watered. Laurisilva forests once spread all the way round Mediterranean and tropical regions, and one of the best remnants now crowns La Gomera, where it is protected in a national park.
Clockwise from top left: Prickly pear fruit; Canarian lavender; Canarian tagasaste tree
Canary pines flourish on high, dry mountainsides, sometimes in places where nothing else grows. Almost every pine you see will have a scorched trunk, but they regenerate surprisingly well after forest fires. Beware of the long pine needles on the ground, as they are slippery underfoot. Canary palms also flourish in dry places, and in the past every part of the tree had a use; today they provide delicious miel de palma, or palm honey. Every so often dragon trees occur, the last surviving descendants of the ancient prehistoric forests. They have been decimated in the wild but prove popular in gardens.
Tagasaste trees are often found in dense plantations, always in places where livestock are grazed. They grow with little water, yet have a high nutritional content and are regularly cut for animal fodder. In recent years they have been exported to Australia. Junipers (sabinas) are common; fruit and nut trees have been established, including apples, oranges, lemons, bananas, almonds, figs and vines. The introduced prickly pears are abundant, not so much for their fruit, but for raising cochineal beetles, whose blood provides a vivid red dye.
Bushy scrub is rich and varied, including sticky-leaved cistus and a host of species that walkers should learn to identify. These include bushy, rubbery tabaibal and the tall cardón, or candelabra spurge. Both have milky latex sap, as does tangled cornical, with its distinctive horned seed pods, which creeps over the ground and drystone walls. Aulaga looks like a tangled mass of spines and is often found colonising old cultivation terraces in arid areas. Aromatic, pale green incienso is a bushy plant that, with salado, grows densely on the arid lower slopes of the islands. The fragrant Canarian lavender usually grows in arid, rocky, stony areas among other scrub species. Few of the plants have common English names, but all of them feature so often that they should be learned.
Flowers grow all year round, but visitors in spring and early summer will be amazed at the colour and wealth of flowering plants. Many are Canarian endemics, and even trying to compile a shortlist would be pointless. Anyone with a particular interest in flowers and other plants should carry a specific field guide, in English. Try Native Flora of the Canary Islands by Miguel Ángel Cabrera Pérez, Editorial Everest or Wild Flowers of the Canary Islands by David Bramwell and Zoë Bramwell, Editorial Rueda.
The giant lizards of El Hierro were rescued from the brink of extinction and are now being conserved
As befits remote islands created in relatively recent geological time, the main animal groups to colonise the land were winged creatures, insects and birds. The largest indigenous land mammals were bats. Large and small lizards also arrived, possibly clinging to driftwood. The laurisilva cloud forest is home to the laurel pigeon, while the rock pigeon prefers cliffs. Buzzards and kestrels can be spotted hunting, while ospreys are struggling. Ravens and choughs are common in some places. There are several varieties of pipits, chaffinches, warblers and chiffchaffs. One of the smallest birds is the kinglet, a relative of the goldcrest. There are canaries, which have nothing to do with the name of the islands, and parakeets that add a flash of colour. The islands attract plenty of passage migrants, as well as escapees from aviaries. The coastal fringes are colonised by gulls, but it is best to take a boat trip to spot shearwaters or storm petrels, as they spend most of their time on open water. Boat trips are also the way to spot a variety of dolphins and whales.
Once the Guanche people arrived and colonised the islands over two thousand years ago, the forests suffered as much from clearance as from grazing by voracious sheep and goats. Following the Conquest in the 15th century, the Spaniards brought other domestic animals; of these the cats had a particularly devastating impact on the native wildlife, practically wiping out giant Canarian lizards, which have only recently been rescued from the edge of extinction. The largest of these lizards are on El Hierro, while the other islands have smaller species. Rabbits chew their way through the vegetation and appear regularly on Canarian menus.
The Canary Islands contain a handful of national parks and many other protected areas. The Parque Nacional de Garajonay is in the middle of La Gomera, encompassing the highest parts which are densely covered in laurisilva forest. The whole island of El Hierro has been designated as a World Biosphere Reserve. Other protected areas on both islands include Parque Rural (Rural Park), Parque Natural (Natural Park), Paisaje Protegido (Protected Land), Reserva Natural Especial (Special Nature Reserve), Monumento Natural (Natural Monument), and so on. Prominent notices usually tell walkers when they are entering or leaving these areas. Very little territory lies outside one of these places! There are several visitor centres where more information can be studied, and where interesting literature is on sale.
The Fortunate Isles
Myths and legends speak of ‘The Fortunate Isles’, or ‘Isles of the Blessed’, lying somewhere in the Atlantic, enjoying a wonderful climate and bearing all manner of fruit. The rebel Roman general Sertorius planned to retire there, while Plutarch referred to them many times, although Pliny warned ‘these islands, however, are greatly annoyed by the putrefying bodies of monsters, which are constantly thrown up by the sea’. Maybe these scribes knew of the Canary Islands, or maybe they were drawing on older Phoenician or Carthaginian references. Some would even claim that the islands were the last remnants of Atlantis.
The Gaunches, often described as a ‘stone-age’ civilisation, settled on the Canary Islands well over 2000 years ago, and Cro-Magnon Man was there as early as 3000
. No-one knows where the Guanches came from, but it seems likely that they arrived from North Africa in fleets of canoes. Although technologically primitive, their society was well ordered, and they had a special regard for monumental rock-forms in the mountains.
The Guanches fiercely resisted the well-armed Spaniards during the15th century Conquest of the islands, but one by one each island fell. Tenerife capitulated last of all, with the mighty volcano of El Teide grumbling throughout. Many Guanches were slaughtered or enslaved, but some entered into treaties, converted to Christianity and inter-married. They lost their land and freedom, but their blood flows in the veins of native Canarios.
The Canary Islands were visited by Christopher Columbus on his voyage of discovery in 1492. Subsequently they were used as stepping stones to the Americas, and many Canarios emigrated. The islands were exposed and not always defended with military might; they were subject to pirate raids, endured disputes with the Portuguese, were attacked by the British and suffered wavering economic fortunes.
The original Guanche inhabitants of the Canary Islands fiercely resisted the Conquest
There was constant rivalry between Tenerife and Gran Canaria, with the entire island group being governed from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria from 1808, before Santa Cruz de Tenerife became the capital in 1822. In 1927 the Canary Islands were divided into two provinces – Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
The Torre del Conde in San Sebastián on La Gomera is one of the oldest remaining buildings
In the early 20th century the military governor of the Canary Islands, General Franco, departed for North Africa to launch a military coup. This marked the onset of the infamous Civil War, leading to the creation of the Spanish Republic, and was followed by a long repressive dictatorship. The Canary Islands remained free of the worst strife of the Civil War, but also became something of a backwater. It was largely as a result of Franco’s later policies that the Canary Islands were developed in the 1960s as a major destination for northern Europeans.
Since 1982 the islands have been an autonomous region and there have been calls for complete independence from Spain. The islanders regard themselves as ‘Canarios’ first and ‘Spanish’ second, although they are also fiercely loyal to their own particular islands, towns and villages.
There are no direct flights from the UK to La Gomera or El Hierro, but both islands are served from Tenerife and Gran Canaria. There are plenty of options for flying to Tenerife, scheduled or charter, from a range of British and European airports. The hardest part is checking all the ‘deals’ to find an airport, operator, schedules and prices that suit. Most international flights land at Tenerife Sur, but inter-island flights operate from Tenerife Norte. Transferring between airports can be expensive and time-consuming, and it may be easier to catch the next ferry.
Frequent, fast and cheap TITSA buses link Tenerife Sur with Los Cristianos, and the taxi fare is reasonable. If a night’s accommodation is needed at Los Cristianos, there are large hotels that often have vacancies outside peak periods, such as the Sol Arona Tenerife. The bus stops, main hotels and ferryport are all within easy walking distance of each other. Two ferry companies operate to La Gomera: Lineas Fred Olsen and Naviera Armas. The only ferry company serving El Hierro is Naviera Armas.
When to go
Most people visit the Canary Islands in summer, but it is usually too hot for walking. Winter weather is often good, but on the small islands of La Gomera and El Hierro there is frequent cloud cover on the highest parts, and occasional rain. Spring weather is sunny and clear; the vegetation is fresh and features an amazing wealth of flowers. Autumn weather is often good, but the vegetation often seems rather scorched after the summer.
Most visitors to the Canary Islands opt for a package deal, so they are tied to a single accommodation base
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Tenerife + La Gomera + La Palma + El Hierro
Day 1: Arrive in Tenerife
Begin your touring holiday by flying into Tenerife South Airport, where you collect a hire car and drive one hour northwards into Teide National Park. The Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide is your hotel for your first two nights. The main attraction of this simple mountain lodge is its spectacular views of Mount Teide Volcano, situated at the centre of the island. We recommend that you begin this touring holiday on a Saturday, due to ferry timetables.
Day 2: Tenerife and Teide National Park
Today you can take in the dramatic surrounding scenery, hike in Teide National Park, visit nearby archaeological sites, wander through charming old towns, take a boat trip, or enjoy the attractions of one of the busy coastal resorts.
A number of historical sites of interest can be found just over an hour from this idyllic secluded hotel. The Pyramids of Güímar on the eastern side of the island stand 4 metres high and have mysterious, elusive origins. The on-site museum aims to shed a little light on their beginnings, via its connections with the maritime explorer, Thor Heyerdahl. It also houses boats believed to have been built by ancient civilisations. The intriguing nearby Poison Garden holds over 70 different kinds of toxic plants. Go from man-made phenomena to the wonders of the natural world, by heading north-east of your hotel to the Cueva del Viento, one of the largest volcanic tubes in the world. It is connected to a vast network of underground tunnels on three levels, that come together in the cave in Icod de los Vinos.
You may also wish to visit the 800 year old Millennial Dragon Tree, which grows beside the ancient burial zones of Tenerife’s aborigines in the Parque del Drago. The Tenerife History Museum at La Laguna is housed in the Casa Lercaro Palace, with a wooden overhanging façade. Inside it holds Canarian art, fascinating artefacts such as restored 18th and 19th century carriages, and archaeological exhibits such as the wells that once fed the houses of Tenerife’s villages.
For a taste of the more touristy side to Tenerife, head down to the Playa de las Américas on the shore of Los Cristianos. Or for a more secluded beach with dark sand, drive and then hike to the Roque Bermejo on the very northern tip of the island. La Caleta, just north of Los Cristianos, is another beautiful beach, but this time with typically Spanish golden sand. Once you have had your fill of the many diverse attractions of Tenerife, have dinner on the open terrace back at the Parador de las Cañadas del Teide, with the green countryside and rugged mountains as your backdrop.
Day 3: Take the ferry from Tenerife to La Gomera
After having exploring Tenerife, drive your hire car to Los Cristianos port in the south-west corner of the island to catch a lunchtime ferry to the island of La Gomera. You will spend your next three nights at the Parador de La Gomera hotel in San Sebastián, a typically Canarian-style property located just above the island’s port.
Days 4 & 5: La Gomera
Explore the charming and interesting old town of San Sebastián on foot, or stroll along the harbour lined with colourful boats. From here, walk along the promenade that takes you through to Plaza de Las Américas. Have lunch or dinner in one of the bars, with the wooden balconies and rustic clock tower of the Town Hall behind you.
Spend Tuesday on one of San Sebastián’s beaches, either the Playa de San Sebastián or the Playa de la Cueva. Alternatively you can pick up a hire car and drive into the mountainous interior of the island, where you can walk through fertile valleys and evergreen forests. Be sure to take the time to explore the atmospheric groves and pathways of the Garajonay National Park. Its gnarled and twisted moss-covered trees and gushing waterways give the place an ethereal feel. Dense ferns and laurel grow on its highest slopes.
To the north sits the beautiful small town of Agulo, with its whitewashed buildings and stepped agricultural coastline. Something of a hidden paradise on La Gomera, this makes an excellent afternoon trip, and has some good restaurants. On the western side of the island, the Valle Gran Rey marks the parting of two vast hills which open on to a delightful beach. A somewhat surreal sight, this area really demonstrates the beauty of this particular Canary Island.
Wednesday in San Sebastián is market day, so an early arrival will allow you to witness the local Gomeras fill the streets with lively noise and colour. Use this opportunity to pick up some palm honey, lace, jewellery and maybe one of the local spicy sauces.
Each evening return to the hotel to relax in the lush gardens, or beside the pool, with views back across the water to Tenerife and Mount Teide. Your traditional room is visibly influenced by the hotel’s maritime location, as well as by Castilian, Isabelline and Canarian styles.
Day 6: Take the ferry from La Gomera to La Palma
You have the majority of today at leisure in San Sebastian before taking an evening ferry, this time bound for the quiet island of La Palma. The Parador de La Palma, your hotel for two nights, is just south of the Santa Cruz de la Palma’s port in Breña Baja, set within vast gardens filled with bright tropical plants and views over the Atlantic Ocean.
Days 7 & 8: La Palma
Known as the ‘Pretty Island’ and officially a Biosphere Reserve, La Palma’s natural environment is fantastically diverse. Visitors can fill their days by following the walking trails through the volcanic Caldere de Taburiente National Park, built around an 8 km wide crater. With the benefit of a car, the whole island becomes easily accessible.
Fuencaliente is La Palma’s southernmost region. Though sparse and fairly undeveloped, it is the perfect place to get to grips with the island’s natural environment. Examine the marine life in rock pools, explore the dramatic volcanic landscape on foot or by car, stop off at the Teneguia and San Antonio volcanos, walk along the black sandy beaches and coves, dine in a restaurant in the charming main town, and investigate the small picturesque villages such as Las Indias and Los Canarios. On the Punta Fuencaliente, the southern point, are two lighthouses and a museum with spectacular coastal views.
To uncover the remarkable underwater world of La Palma with its cliffs, ridges, canyons, caves and volcanic formations, either inquire at the La Palma Diving Centre in Breña Baja, drive 15 minutes south to Los Cancajos, or drive west to Puerto Naos, also home to the longest black sand beach on the island.
The villages of San Andrés and Los Sauces are traditional and small, but their coastlines offer pretty, natural saltwater pools. For something a little different, drive across the island to Puerto Tazacorte to see its technicolour beach promenade and dine in one of the seafood restaurants. With such a rich array of activities, this small island is perhaps the most satisfying on this tour, and the views from your hotel really seem to sum up La Palma’s beauty.
Day 9: Take the ferry from La Palma to El Hierro, via Tenerife
Enjoy lunch on your last day in La Palma and then board a ferry back to Los Cristianos in southern Tenerife. Here you change boats and then continue onwards to the island of El Hierro, where you will arrive around 22.00 hrs.
Drive from the port to the Parador de El Hierro, a peaceful and secluded hotel tightly nestled between volcanic slopes and a black sand beach. Stay here for three nights.
Days 10 & 11: El Hierro
Spend time relaxing in the hotel’s gardens, by the pool or on your private balcony – all of which overlook the magnificently blue Atlantic Ocean. As another UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, the natural landforms on El Hierro are as spectacular as can be expected. Thanks to a new hydroelectric plant, El Hierro is now 100% self-sustainable, a fact that is conveyed by the enthusiastic and welcoming locals.
Drive out to the cape at Punta de la Orchilla, which marked the zero meridian line until 1885, and which still gives El Hierro its nickname of ‘the Meridian Isle’. A 2011 underwater volcanic eruption has reformed the submarine landscape, adding caves, lava arches and cliffs. Combined with the plethora of beautiful tropical marine life, this new landscape makes for excellent diving. The La Restinga Marine Reserve in particular has an abundance of vibrant tropical fish.
Inland, explore on foot the ancient forests and seek out the Garoé Tree, which once supplied the local residents with water from its leaves. At La Peña viewpoint, you can look out across what are reputedly the best views of the ocean and the El Golfo Valley. While here, sample some of the delicious Canarian food in a local seafront restaurant. The Frontera Rural Park is also worth a short visit. One of only three places in the world where this particular type of forest can grow, the park is laced with twisted junipers whose treetops rise only eight metres off the ground.
On the north side of the island is the serene Charco Azul. This warm seawater pool is heated by its volcanic bed and is encased in a seafront cave. A wonderfully tranquil spot at which to spend a few hours one morning or afternoon, this is perhaps El Hierro’s most enchanting feature.
Day 12: Take the ferry from El Hierro to Tenerife
On the penultimate day of your holiday, you board an afternoon ferry back to Los Cristianos port. Drive a little way northwards to the Costa Adeje and check in to La Plantacion del Sur for your final night. Just ten minutes’ walk from a golden sandy beach, Vincci Seleccion La Plantacion del Sur is a five-star hotel focusing on relaxation and indulgence. This is the perfect place to round off your holiday in style. Your holiday can be extended by adding further time here for extra relaxation before returning home.
Day 13: Tenerife to UK by ai
Your hotel in Tenerife is located just a 15 minute drive from Tenerife South Airport. Spend the rest of the day enjoying a leisurely breakfast, visiting the Playa del Duque beach or enjoying the spa and pools at your hotel, before returning to the airport. Drop off your car at the airport and fly home.
Price is based on two adults sharing en-suite accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis. Local car hire and flights from London are included, with regional departures on request.
We offer a choice of hotels at different prices, so please discuss your requirements with us. All hotels are subject to availability.
Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including recommended routes and suggestions on places to visit, to help you get the most from your holiday.
It is essential that you have personal holiday insurance, vehicle breakdown cover and an appropriate driving licence. The AA and the FCO should also be consulted.
El Hierro – La Gomera – ATLAS cruising yachts
At 8:30 we leave El Hierro for La Gomera. While El Hierro, we will definitely return and look from your shores not only to the island of St. Brandon, but also to Brazilian beaches.
Weak north wind, small wave, sailing towards the wind shadow from La Gomera. We mostly swim, in the afternoon the clouds cover the sky, the island of La Gomera in the shadow of the clouds looks mysterious and unknown.
Enters the wind shadow from La Gomera, descends onto the island
low cloud cover. The peaks melt in the clouds like in a fog, the contours of the distant mountains
vague. The port of the city of San Sebastian appeared. In the port there is a huge
liner. A ferry is spinning in front of the port, waiting for the liner to leave. revival,
the pilot boat jumps out to escort the liner, the liner leaves the port
behind the pilot. We and the ferry rush to the port, butt heads with the ferry. Him
the stem is stronger, we are inferior to the ferry. At 18:30 we moor in the marina of La Gomera.
Walking through the evening San Sebastian. From here
Columbus went on his first voyage to America, baptized with water from La Gomera
America. A statue of Columbus appeared on the square near the marina. Located side by side
the famous well from which they drew
water to the ships of Columbus, now inland
courtyard with a well is not available.
We are planning to visit the bay of the Maska gorge. In the morning we pay off the marina and try to book a marina in Los Gigantos. Unfortunately Los Gigantos is full and we are denied booking. We extend the stay at Homer for one more day.
La Gomera, second day
Marina’s office has moved to a new location, and Marina’s cat, who
lived in the old office refused to move. Really in the area of the old office
met the cat marina. It’s more comfortable here, perhaps, the cat is right, they moved in vain.
Some fermentation in the minds – since they paid for two days,
then why go somewhere. But we have a sailing yacht and plans for the graying of the gorge
Mask. Let’s start.
At 11:30 we leave the marina. They reached the Maska gorge alone
tack, anchored in the bay. A small excursion to the gorge, we indulge in nothing
not doing, we swim, we try to get sea and sun for the whole winter. Fits
a catamaran also coming from Mallorca to Tenerife. We welcome old friends.
It’s time to go to the marina, let’s weigh anchor. 30 minutes later
clouds are approaching and the cliffs of Los Gigantes are hidden behind a veil of rain, in some places even visible
We arrive in San Sebastian at 19:30. A small misunderstanding with the Marinero, who calls us again in the morning
pay for the marina, and we moor to the pier. From good memory, we look into
bar “Blue Marlin”, but there everything is no longer the same. There is no former fun.
We drink a cocktail and go to the boat.
Souvenirs, stroking the cat Marina. We give mooring lines, we go out, follow us
the pilot boat starts, again someone came out to accompany. Bye, La Gomera!
La Gomera Island, October 2013, part 1
On our last year’s trip to Tenerife, we finally decided to visit the island of La Gomera. In October 2011, this could not be done due to diseases of the expedition members. And this time we pre-booked a hotel for two nights in Playa de Santiago in the south of the island and ferry tickets.
La Gomera is the least touristy of the Canary Islands we’ve been to before. Although for sure El Hierro is even less touristy. La Gomera is the only island that does not have a large international airport. If not for the proximity to Tenerife, then there would be even fewer people here. Most of the tourists come here for one day. Every morning, a dozen large buses leave from Los Cristianos, bringing tourists here to gawk at the “greenest island of the Canaries”.
We spent less than three full days here, and it wasn’t enough. I would stay here for a week. There are no beach holidays, no surfing, no nightclubs on La Gomera, but here you can go hiking through strange forests and mountains. Everything here is small and provincial. And the local people are therefore different from the people of Tenerife. But, probably, I would not want to live here permanently. Still, life in the countryside is not for me. Even in such a beautiful village on a beautiful tropical island lost in the middle of the endless ocean.
Road to La Gomera
At 8:45 our ferry left the pier for Los Cristianos. There are two ferries here. One by Fred Olsen, it is a little more expensive and faster. We did not show off and sat on a slightly shabby ferry from Armas. For 4.5 years before, we sailed on the “twin brother” of such a ferry between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Sailing to the capital of La Gomera, the city of San Sebastian de La Gomera, is just over an hour. Pleasure for two adults and a round-trip car costs 118 euros.
Some photos from the sea trip. The Spanish flag on the Armas ferry is just as battered by life as everything else here:
Behind is Tenerife, a huge island that looks like a “big land”:
On the way, Armas catches up with the more respectable and faster Fred Olsen:
San Sebastian – Playa da Santiago
Arriving at the port of San Sebastian, we first went to the beach. He is alone here, is actually in the port. In general, we did not examine the capital of the island at all. It so happened that they left it for “next time”.
Another Fred Olsen ferry, it is amazingly beautifully shaped, as if it escaped from a movie about the future shot in the 70s:
San Sebastian is a small town. Multi-colored houses “hanging” over the port:
And if you move the camera a little to the left, then that’s it … The city ends, high “bald” mountains begin:
The beach was deserted in the morning. Only a few elderly Germans went in for sports and took air baths, when we were already leaving, a large and noisy Spanish family appeared. The ocean is clear, but the fact that there is a large port right in front of you is annoying.
On the other hand, behind the haze covering the ocean, you can see the peak of the Teide volcano in Tenerife.
The picture is a bit surrealistic. Tenerife is invisible. It can be seen that above the clouds, out of nowhere, a huge pointed mountain appears. The view of the Teide volcano from here is unkind and even threatening.
La Gomera looks like the top of a huge mountain sticking out of the waters of the Atlantic. The highest point of the island is located almost exactly in its geographical center. And from the entire eastern half of the island, the Teide volcano is constantly visible. He “looks after” you all the time, it is not surprising that the local natives of the Guanches considered Teide to be a deity.
From San Sebastian, our path lay in Playa de Santiago In general, the Spaniards were terribly bad at inventing names for newly discovered territories – no imagination, only the names of saints. There are no roads along the coast on La Gomera. The path is always the same – first you need to go up to the center of the island, and then go down from the center in the direction you need. The road from the capital of the island winds up the bald hollow of the mountain. The area is very similar to southern Tenerife, a little greener. We stopped to take some photos of the city, the ocean and Tenerife.
The higher you go, the more unearthly the landscapes become:
In all the Canary Islands I have seen landscapes that are completely uncharacteristic of planet Earth as I know it. But on different islands these landscapes are from different planets. La Gomera is a mountainous planet, there is practically no even place, and besides, it is quite green. But how green it is, we found out only the next day.
The road from San Sebatian climbs up to a lookout called Degollada de Peraza. This is an important place in terms of the history of the Guanches. The rather mysterious people of the Canaries, who were exterminated, and the remnants were assimilated by the Spaniards back in the 16th century.
Guanches La Gomera
Little is known about the Guanches. The main mystery is not even who they are by origin (here scientists have a unity that they are relatives of the Berbers from North Africa), but how they got here. It is surprising that the Guanches in the state in which the Europeans met them were not navigators. At all. That is, they did not travel between the islands. An independent tribe lived on each island, and even the languages on different islands diverged from each other, although the origin of those languages \u200b\u200bis the same. It would seem Tenerife and La Gomera. They saw each other every day, but no, they did not swim to visit each other. How did it happen that they sailed from Africa, and then forgot what ships are. To the island of Lanzarote closest to the mainland, swim about 120 kilometers. And they did not just sail, but brought goats, pigs and dogs with them. And then they also settled on all 7 islands. It seems that some other more enlightened people brought the Guanches here. And then these carriers sailed somewhere further, taking with them all the ships and the knowledge of how to build them and how to manage them. There is, however, an explanation that at least looks reasonable. The prevailing currents in this region of the Atlantic were from east to west. People settled on the islands, but then could not go back. The ships could not resist the currents. But then those settlers who went to look for the next island beyond the westernmost of the Canaries (El Hierro) had to eventually sail with their goats directly to Cuba.
Let’s go back to the place called Degollada de Peraza. La Gomera, unlike most other islands, was peacefully subordinated to Castile. An alliance was made between a conquistador named Hernán Peraza “the Elder” and the rulers of two of the four regions of La Gomera (Ipalán and Mulagua). They gathered at the site of today’s San Sebastian and drank milk from one cup. The Castilians erected a cross. What the Europeans perceived as the recognition of the Spanish authorities by the islanders, the locals perceived as twinning. However, the aliens did not behave at all like sworn brothers. They took away the property of the locals and captured them as slaves. In 1488, the grandson of the “Senior” Peraza, Hernan Peraza “the Younger”, was killed by the rebellious islanders. His wife, Beatriz de Bobadilla, called on the help of the governor of Gran Canaria, Pedro de Vera. Arriving de Vera with soldiers destroyed the rebels, all the men over 15 years old from the provinces of Ipalán and Mulagua were killed, and the women and children were sold into slavery.