San Sebastian de la Gomera
28:05.352N 17:06.482W Fri 8th Feb 2019
We had a pleasant 3 night stay in Las Galletas; we would have stayed longer but it is now a busy charter base and we were told we’d be fined €200 for taking up a charter boat’s space on Friday night. We used the time to do a bit of walking and running through more volcanic landscapes and, crucially, cleaning the hull. In over 10 years of cruising I don’t think I’ve ever seen our hull more fouled. We’ve only been stationary a few months, but the warm (20°C or so) waters allowed a thick coating of white worm-like deposits over pretty much the entire hull (not on all of the newly copper-coated areas, but on some). It took several hours work using the hookah diving equipment to just scrape the hard stuff off (it still needs a scrub as well), but we got a welcome ½ knot speed improvement as we set off last Friday.
Exercising near Las Galletas, Mt Teide in the far distance:
We set off to sail to La Gomera expecting a 25nm motor in the wind shadow of Mt Teide (which is over 3700m high, despite its appearance in the above photo). In fact we sailed for half the time in lovely conditions. The air was still hazy with red dust (Saharan?) but it had finally thinned enough to be able to see one island from the next and to get a good appreciation of quite how dominating Mt Teide really is.
We’ve been on La Gomera for nearly a week as we write this, tucked into the busy little marina in the main harbour of San Sebastian. This spot is famous for being Columbus’ final landfall before he set off into the unknown on his search for a new route to the Indies. We spent the first few days exploring the area on foot (some great running and walking along coastal tracks) and then hired a car to cover the rest of the island and give us access to some of its many walking trails. The scenery here is quite stunning with deep ravines, thick forests, verdant valleys, jaw dropping terraced slopes, dramatic ridges, rocky pinnacles and everywhere superb views out to sea and over to the neighbouring islands. We have been very lucky with the weather too as this week’s expeditions have all been in glorious sunshine with perfect walking temperatures. The higher parts of the island are often shrouded in mist (known as horizontal rain!) caused by cool Atlantic winds meeting warmer breezes, but when we hiked to the tallest peak (1487m) in the beautiful Garajonay national park we were rewarded with magnificent 360° views. Some photos below:
Canarian architecture in San Sebastian:
Looking down on the town, Tenerife in the background:
Typical dramatic scenery:
Steep terracing up the valleys:
View from a bar with ridge we walked in the distance:
Looking towards Mt Teide again:
At the end of a 12 mile, 800m ascent hike: