Wednesday, October 26, 2016

First rain after the long dry summer

Image taken around 9am this morning after a heavy shower
This morning Valle Gran Rey had the first good showers of rain after the long dry summer season. During the last couple of days the present weather situation (see 'Weathe News on top left of home page) had only brought a few lighter showers here. Now as I write a band of heavy thunderstorms is approaching from the south, thunder can be heard in the distance and the sky is very grey, promising more badly needed rain. Of course, if you're holidaying in the Canaries you don't want rain, but you can have your morning shower now without feeling guilty.
The outlook is for the weather to improve gradually and by the weekend it should be mostly fine.
A note of caution: As always after rain there is an increased risk of rockfalls and minor landslides, especially after a long dry spell. If you must drive please be very cautious on the roads in mountainous areas. Anyway, walking and hiking is not recommended today.
Even when the sun is shining again after the rain the risk is still there as the sun will heat any wet and unstable rocks and soil which then will expand and could come tumbling down.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Rockfall in Valle Gran Rey

Short video of dust plumes taken at the end of a rockfall in Valle Gran Rey between Lomo del Riego and Borbalan (see images of another nearby: A spectacular landslide and rockfall ). These rockfalls and landslides happen every now and then as a result of loosening material due to temperature changes, erosion and especially after rain. In most cases, as in this one which happened about three weeks ago, no harm is done as houses are usually built well away from areas where rocks may fall, preferably on the top of ridges, called 'lomos'.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Ferry problems

The damaged ramp in the bow of the ferry 'Volcan de Taburiente'  (Image: Felipe San Luis )
The ferry 'Volcan de Taburiente' which is owned and operated by the Canarian ferry company Naviera Armas and presently serves the islands of La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma from Tenererife's Los Cristianos port sustained damage to the bow ramp last night. It had arrived fro the island of El Hierro last night when during the berthing in Los Cristianos one of the hydraulic arms lowering the ramp collapsed leaving the cars and trucks trapped aboard until the roll-on/roll-off ferry was allowed to turn around and to allow the vehicles to disembark through the stern ramp.
If you intend to travel to La Gomera or the other two western Canary islands on this service you should check with the Armas ferry company as there's bound to be disruption until the vessel has been repaired, bearing in mind that another of the company's vessel which serves these islands is currently out of service due to annual maintenance.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

New music festival

A welcome new music festival is being held for the first time in La Gomera's capital San Sebastian this Saturday, September 10th 2015, from 9pm. There will be six bands performing music from from around the world including Reggae, Roots and Rumba (see poster above). The new event called 'Gomera Sound Fest' will be held in the town's main square (Plaza de las Americas) and is free of charge.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Passenger terminal nearing completion

Image taken a couple of weeks ago by H.P.
The new passenger terminal in the port of Vueltas in Valle Gran Rey is nearing completion and the facility should be officially opened just in time for the busy winter season. 
All that's missing now is some solid news regarding the reopening of the sorely missed ferry connection...

Friday, August 26, 2016

Movie shot in La Gomera showing in Playa de Santiago

Filming a beach scene in 2013

The movie 'In the Heart of the Sea' directed by Ron Howard which was partially filmed in La Gomera's south will finally be screened for the first time on the island in the main film location in late 2015, the town of Playa de Santiago. The open-air screening will take place in the town's square on Sunday, August 28th 1015, at 9pm and the event is free of charge. Don't miss to see it exactly where lot's of 'Hollywood action' took place now almost three years ago. However, this screening will be of the Spanish language version called 'En el Corazon del Mar'.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Summer rock festival

A rock festival will take place in 'La Villa', as islanders call La Gomera's capital San Sebastian de La Gomera, this Saturday, August 27th 2016, from 8pm. The annual event will feature six bands headed by local rockers 'Tonelada' and the other bands are 'Doctor Yao' from Tenerife, 'Metalmorfosis' (Lanzarote), 'Leche Frita'  (Fuerteventura), 'The Last Drop' and 'Represion 24 Horas', both from Gran Canaria. The 'Villa Rock' festival is held near the 'Avenida Maritima' this year and entry is free of charge.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Helicopter stationed in La Gomera

The helicopter stationed on La Gomera (Image source:

La Gomera now has a multi-functional helicopter stationed at the airport above Playa de Santiago for the summer months. The chopper is equipped for rescue missions and can carry a load of 1500 litres of water in a special attachment for firefighting purposes when needed.  It arrived last Friday and will remain in La Gomera on stand-by until October. For next year it is planned that the same helicopter will be on the island for six months from May. The funding came from Canarian government.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Lovin' La Gomera

Below is an article which appeared in yesterday's Irish Independent:

''The Secret Canary Island: A holiday paradise beyond the brochures

La Gomera3
La Gomera is the Canary Island that time forgot. And that's exactly why you should visit, says Thomas Breathnach.
  • GO TO
Bienvenido to bliss!  
The lush, avocado-hued mountain terraces that surround me could be in Goa. The echoes of merengue from the sleepy hamlet in the valley could be the sound of Hispaniola. 
I've never experienced such exotica so close to home - and I didn't even change my watch to do it. I'm on La Gomera, second-smallest of the seven Canary Islands, delighting in the go-slow harmony of local time.
I was cast away on the island the previous night, via a crossing from its gateway neighbour, Tenerife. The larger Canary Island commands a sort of mainland status over La Gomera (900,000 residents live on Tenerife, versus just 20,000 for the latter). Ferries are the typical way to get here, so I caught the morning sailing from the bustling port of Los Cristianos. I was joined by passengers ranging from Germanic hikers and native weekenders to an on-board entertainment troupe, fresh off a red-button performance of España's Got Talent. 
With so few tourists reaching La Gomera's shores, however, there's still an air of pioneering travel to the place. Once at sea, memories of Tenerife's high-rises and karaoke bars quickly faded to end.
Just shy of an hour later, the charcoal cliff-faces of La Gomera finally parted for the verdant harbour of her capital. Home to half the island, San Sebastian feels positively downtown compared to what would follow. There's a lively indoor mercado, small financial centres and charming cobbled alleyways which buttress its punchy history: Columbus set sail from La Gomera to the New World in 1492, and its ties to the Americas have been buoyant ever since. In fact, locals will tell you the cultural gusto on the island is more like Venezuela than mainland Spain.Depositphotos_70347747_l-2015.jpg  
From San Sebastian, I spring-boarded to Playa de Santiago, the pocket-sized coastal resort some 34km (translation: 90 minutes) away. The scenery en route is gasp-eliciting spectacular: from La Gomera's curb-kissing ravines and palm tree oases to the sight of Mount Teide, Tenerife's landmark volcano, looming across the sounds like a sun-scorched Mount Fuji. By the time I've traversed the island, I've met just two cars and a farmer's pick-up truck (a relief, given some of those hairpin bends).
The largest hotel on the island, my base of Jardin Tecina, is a cool and calm hermitage of white-washed villas clustered around a bougainvillea-brushed cliff-face. Beneath it, an abandoned beach cove is reachable by private elevator (only fitting that such a deserted paradise should have its James Bond touches). Beach-lovers, however, should not expect white sands on La Gomera: due to its volcanic nature, you'll be leaving footprints in the black, sole-scorching variety here.
Given the island's landscape - not to mention the dominance of Berghaus over bikinis, it's clear that La Gomera's main draw is hiking. The island is a Garden of Eden for all-level trails and I joined three-decades-a-local Gordo Wenk for a guided trek. Gordo, a silver-haired Stuttgarter with a thick accent, dovetails perfectly with the local demographic. La Gomera developed as a hippy commune for Americans and Continentals in the 1960s and today is said be Europe's last outpost of true boho living. "We still have a few folks who actually live in beach caves here," he says, as we wander through the flora-flecked surrounds of Garajonay National Park. Flower power,indeed.Depositphotos_52913051_l-2015.jpg  
My hiking efforts are later rewarded with a local lunch at the panoramic Mirador de Abrante restaurant (+34 638 661490; above). El menú? Potaje de berros, a moreish watercress soup heartened with pork belly, fresh sea perch with buttery asparagus and an ice-cream dessert gilded with local palm honey. Delicious! 
Almost more impressive were the waiters and chefs who chat in El Silbo, the Gomeran, UNESCO-hailed whistling language (once used to communicate across valleys, now used to place my side order of patatas bravas). There are hidden nuggets of culture in La Gomera and this one is written in the wind.
 La Gomera is a switch-off destination with a refreshing lack of choice when it comes to activities: everybody is simply here for nature. For another taste of the wilds, I take a whale-watching trip with a local operator (; €45 including lunch). True to Gordo's word, we've barely lifted anchor when the sights of nudist hippies inhabiting the caved coastline dominate our binoculars. But they're soon overshadowed by the sight of bottle-nosed dolphins followed by a hammer-head shark and a pod of pilot whales! That evening, I retire to the lounge at Jardin Tecina, where resident pianist Anne-Tina is reciting Ludovico Einaudi to an audience of one. This is high season on the island. As we banter, I learn that she is Danish, loves Dublin, and has voluntarily stranded herself on La Gomera for the past seven years.  "Why would I want to be anywhere else?" she asks. All but alone on what must be Europe's most beautiful island, I could only say Salud! to that.''

Monday, May 23, 2016

Air-to-air missile found on La Gomera

Image source:

The explosives and bomb disposal unit of the Spanish police Guardia Civil had to be dispatched from Tenerife South airport to La Gomera after a viable air-to-air missile was found on La Gomera near the main road in the sleepy banana-growing village of La Dama on the south coast yesterday.

The damaged missile with the words 'cabeza de guerra', meaning warhead, measured three metres long and weighed 80 kilos and was successfully defused in what was said to be a 'difficult and very complex operation'. Its origin is most likely the squadron of jet fighters of the Spanish airforce which is based at Gando airport on Gran Canaria and probably 'lost' the missile during exercises when flying over La Gomera.
Thank God it didn't explode.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

No news is good news

It's spring time on La Gomera island and off-season. Spring and early summer are La Gomera's most quiet times and there isn't much to report.
However I can reassure my readers that I'm regularly in contact with my winter exile and I follow the local media. Should anything worth reporting happen there I will of course bring it to you on this blog...