La Gomera — La GoWherea?
When we arrived in La Gomera on January 5, it was about 10pm and we’d been up since 3:45am. We’d caught a cab in London to take us to the train station. Then the express train took us to Gatwick Airport where we caught a 4-hour non-stop BA flight to Tenerife, the most popular of the Canary Islands. We took a bus from the airport into Tenerife’s main town where we had a fabulous lunch. Then we caught the ferry, which took about an hour to get from Tenerife to little La Gomera, the second smallest Canary Island. Then we caught our second cab for the day for the 40-minute drive from La Gomera’s main town called San Sebastian to the small village of Valleheroso (beautiful valley), our final destination. Incredibly all of our connections connected.
This was the view that greeted us the next morning when we woke up. Our “street,” La Palmar doesn’t accommodate cars so we have to walk up from the village for about 3 minutes. All would be silent except for the chorus of dogs that echoes across the valley. Not that I’m complaining given the troops of motorcycles that blunder at home through little Belfountain.
We booked our apartment through Airbnb and it’s been absolutely wonderful. Not very expensive (about 25 euros/night), it’s really well laid out with two-bedrooms, a bathroom, well-equipped kitchen, dining and living room. Nonetheless, on a sunny day, the front step is my favourite spot. Our upstairs neighbour Ellia left half a dozen avocados on our front step one afternoon. They grow everywhere and in all different sizes.
Roque El Cano is that big spaceship-like rock behind Alex. It dominates the view from Vallehermoso and is the result of erosion in these volcanic islands. It’s enormous. The gash running below it is one of the many roads that crisscross the island.
The highway below, all built with European Union money, is part of an incredible network that goes all the way around the island. Since La Gomera is only about 25 kilometres wide, about half the width of Caledon, you’d think that wouldn’t require much highway. But radiating out from the high point in the centre of La Gomera, there are 50 slices that open into narrow valleys, many of which go all the way down to the Atlantic Ocean. As a result, the highways turn and turn and double back before turning and doubling back again and again. There are few guardrails and the drop off from the edge of the road is precipitous.
The hiking is beyond good. There are trails everywhere. Mind you the trails go straight up and straight down. There is no flat land anywhere around Vallehermoso. My legs get stronger by the day. We think nothing now of heading out for a two-hour walk in the afternoon that involves climbing up a 400m or 500m “hill.”
This is the view from one of our favourite walks.
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