I’ve been asked numerous times about La Gomera, but despite being able to see its impressive silhouette from my patio, I have only ever been once. I can´t give any specific information other than what I gleaned on a day trip, but for those who wonder what that involved below is a trip report of my whistle stop away day.
I had forgotten there were two 6.30s in a day, so when the alarm went off it was quite a shock. After bumbling around for an hour, we drove down to the taxi rank by the Sunday Market in Los Cristianos where the coach was picking us up at 7.50am.
It arrived five minutes late and was almost full then continued round the town, finally arriving at the port in time to leave on the 8.45am Armas ferry. It was very well organised, we were given our return ferry tickets and told which coach to get on at the other side. The guide came with us on the ferry that took around 50 minute and halfway through the crossing we saw both whales and dolphins, which was an unexpected treat. The boat was lovely, far nicer than I remember those on the Dover-Calais routes, but I was told on good authority, Fred Olsen’s boats are better. She must be right because she actually said “not as good as Freddie’s” so I guess she knows him personally!
Our coach in La Gomera was waiting for us, right next to the ship and we headed off within a couple of minutes of disembarking.
For those who don’t know La Gomera it is the second smallest of the Canary Islands after El Hierro and the closest to Tenerife.
I don´t think I am particularly hard to please but I was a little disappointed. Don´t get me wrong, it was a nice day, but after the scenery of Masca and the Mercedes Forest there wasn’t as much to see as I had anticipated.
We did a complete circular tour of the island following winding mountain roads and although we went to the National Forest, once you have seen a tree, you have seen them all. Maybe there was more, but checking a map afterwards, I don’t think so. It was interesting seeing where at one time different fruits and vegetables grew and where now there are just curious combinations of gnarled cactus, grasses, and palms. Many of these terraces have been abandoned because of the migration of local people to either Tenerife or South America, particularly Venezuela.
We had a filling lunch in Agulo, which consisted of bread and mojo, homemade soup from a special type of potato grown on the island. This was followed by meat stew, vegetables, and rice and for pudding, naturally, Canarian bananas and ice cream. All washed down with red wine and water. The restaurant was very traditional and while we were eating, we were entertained with a demonstration of the whistling language used by the locals. The people that did this, teenagers learn Silbo at school to ensure the tradition continues. It was fascinating, one young man went out of the room while another took someone’s sunglasses, and someone else’s cardigan and moved them to different parts of the room. A young girl then whistled to the man and purely by whistling, instructed him to what was placed where, and who to return it to. Very impressive.
We ended our journey back in San Sebastian, the capital where Christopher Columbus stayed before his journey to America. We saw the well where he collected the water for his ship, the house he stayed in and the church built in the 1600s which was built on top of the chapel he prayed in before he left. We also saw the Torre del Conde a good spot for the photo opportunity. I found it interesting because I had previously stayed in a parador in Guadalupe where Columbus stayed prior to collecting the money for his voyage from Queen Isabella. Otherwise, there was little to see in town as at the time we arrived all the shops were closed.
We finally arrived back in Los Cristianos harbour at 6.00pm where we were directed to various coaches for different drop offs. It had been a long day, not what I had anticipated, although I couldn´t really tell you what that was but enjoyable.