La Gomera is the small island between La Palma and Tenerife. We decided to spend 2 nights here as we passed prior to meeting John's mum and Oliver and Frankie and her friend Katey in Tenerife. La Gomera is much smaller than La Palma and has one small main town called San Sebastian where we squeezed ahead of another boat and took the last available berth. The sail over had been largely easy and uneventful. Even though the weather had been cloudy and grey, we had been able to see La Gomera all the way and also the top of Teide, the volcano at the centre of Tenerife, although this is less surprising as it is over 12,000ft tall!
Teide, Tenerife from La Gomera
We left the main town and headed north towards Hermigua, which is famous for the architecture of it's main church, but this was all closed up. From there we went on to Agula which is famous for it's traditional Canarian architecture and local confectionary. It is a tiny town with cobbled streets and largely tasteful multi-coloured houses. To give you an idea of the size of the island, there is another town, Valle Gran Rey, on the opposite side of the island to San Sebastian, which is about 1 1/2 hours away by car, and that is not a direct route.
The 'main' roads go round the island with one cutting almost directly across the middle joining the two sides. The amount of traffic means these roads are still fairly narrow and in a lot of places the surface is not exactly smooth! We had been advised to head towards the highest point of the mountain, again a volcano, where there was a visitor centre explaining the history of the island and it's population. The national park is named Garajonay which is a mixture of the names of two Romeo & Juliet style lovers, one from mainland Spain (I think) and one from the island who fell in love. There love was forbidden and when they were followed into the forest and trapped, they impaled themselves on a sharpened branch together.
Leaving the park we clearly took a wrong turn - I should point out that again I was navigating and it wasn't until about 3pm that I realised why some of the roads which I thought were on the map didn't seem to appear in real life - they were footpaths. I hadn't read the key at the side of the page - oops!! Anyway this particular wrong/missed turn led us up a very narrow road, about car width with a serious drop off of about 500ft at the side, so far not so bad, until we rounded a blind bend and found ourselves face to face with a caterpillar tracked digger filling the entire road - much manoeuvring later we passed very closely, much to our relief and went on our way, to encounter a sign saying narrowing road, by this stage we were getting a bit concerned. We passed a group of road menders who unsurprisingly spoke no English, and had about 3 teeth between them, who were no help at all and eventually managed to find our way back to the main road, and even better we were even going the right way!
That drama over, we had been advised to go to 2 small towns one specialising in local traditional pottery and one an "impressive natural monument, where significant architectural remains have been found" to quote the guide book. Pottery really uninteresting, and totally hopeless on a boat and the monument - well we couldn't find it!!
The rest of the tour was uneventful, and the scenery very beautiful. In the evening we went to a local restaurant for food and tried a few local delicacies, all of which contain significant amounts of garlic! The rabbit stew, and grilled rabbit were very good, but the chickpea stew was a little unusual as it contained large pieces of very fatty meat.
Views of the volcanic landscape.