La Gomera

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La Gomera

It was an easy pack at La Palma, we did not leave until midday, and then it was an easy ride to the ferry. According to the stoker who is very sensitive about these things the Sunday ferry is the only one which leaves at a civilised time.

John and Liz did not have the advantage of bicycles to carry their luggage so trundled their bag along the malecon type prom to the ferry. Not too bad though with lovely sunshine and a blue sea.

At La Palma we had been staying at Rosa's which is airbnb. Airbnb review their guests and ours was as follows:

“Anne and her friends have spent a few days at home. Athletes with their bicycles have enjoyed a few days on the island. careful and respectful with the rules. Good communication. Recommendable.” “Anne, I hope the experience with bicycles was very pleasant. Pleased to receive you on other vacations. Regards”

Such a nice review and for some of us the first time we have been referred to as “athletes”.

The downside of getting the ferry which suited the stoker was that it went very slowly via Tenerife to La Gomera and did not arrive until 7pm. A more major downside was that Armas the ferry operator had off loaded John and Liz's luggage in Tenerife. Or it could just have been stolen.

Lorenzo, our new host, had arranged to meet us at the ferry to show us the way to our new airbnb. He ended up with another job, helping John and Liz negotiate getting their luggage back. It looked as if this was not the first time this had happened as Armas knew exactly what to do. To cut a long story short John picked up the luggage from the port at 10pm.

Our new modern apartment overlooked the main town of San Sebastian with a great view of the hills and the bay. Overlooked though was the operative word. It was a hard slog up to the apartment but we were lucky to have a supermarket only ten minutes away though even further up.

During our stay, as on La Palma, we usually went our separate ways during the day. John and Liz did some very long hard walks. They all involved getting the bus out and also sometimes back.

Their most amusing story was the meeting with the naturists. They had committed themselves to a long walk back to San Sebastian. It involved major descents and climbs, there was no way back once they had started and they had underestimated how much water they needed.

Desperate for water they came across a couple of naked people who provided them with a drink from some rather dubious looking jam jars. John was disappointed that the female covered up and Liz was amused that the man didn't. There seems to be quite a large hippy and alternative community living on this island.

The stoker and management meanwhile took the bus and ferry to most parts of the island. We enjoyed viewing from the bus the places we had been in 2007 and the huge climbs we did then on the tandem. We did do one long up hill bike ride together. It was easy to get out of town and into the mountains and well worth it. The management devised a really good training ride but was much too lazy to do it often.

La Gomera is yet another very different Canary Island. It is rather like a peeled orange cut in half and segmented. There are deep barrancos coming down from the top towards the sea. To get

anywhere on land these have to be crossed and climbed. It is always a long way up or down and there are huge drops on the sides of the roads and paths.

La Gomera is more arid than La Palma though green compared with Lanzarote. We had excellent weather and the south of the island is probably one of the warmest places in the Canaries. We think it would be far too hot to enjoy walking or cycling here most of the summertime.

Scenery wise it has some stunning rock formations the like of which we have seldom seen outside a ski resort. The top of the island is heavily wooded by a laurel tree forest which it is claimed works like a rain forest.

Before we close the diary today and get on with some cycle touring again we would like to say how nice it is that most tourists here, walkers or otherwise, travel by bus. La Gomera seems to have stemmed the curse of the little hire cars which block the roads and spoil the environment. Many places could learn from this. It would be good if the Channel Islands, perhaps the most cursed hire car place we have seen, followed suit.