Our fourth day on La Gomera was supposed to be for recovery, when we would pause all physical activity and simply relax on a beach. But for whatever reason, when the day rolled around, we felt more like hiking in an ancient forest than chilling on the black sand. I'm starting to think that something might be wrong with us… But even though our hearts were willing, our bones were still sore, so we picked out an…
Our third hike in La Gomera would be a circular route starting in the village of Chipude, taking past the viewpoint of Igualero to the top of Garajonay (the highest point on La Gomera), and then back again through the charred remains of a forest devastated by wildfire.
The most unique cultural trademark of the people of La Gomera is the silbo gomero, a whistled language which has been named a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. We had the chance to hear it in action, while at the Mirador Abrante.
Our initial hike on La Gomera had been more difficult than expected and we scaled back our ambitions big time for Day Two. If a three hour hike actually took us six, how long would we need for an eight hour hike?! Best not to even find out. Luckily, on this island criss-crossed with paths, there's always an alternative. And we found a way to explore the Valle Gran Rey which wouldn't involve (too many) hours of agony.
We arrived in Tenerife early Sunday afternoon, disembarked the ferry on La Gomera later that same day, and checked into our guest house in they tiny village Imada well after nightfall. After a quick meal at the town's single restaurant, the Arcilia, we went straight to bed. On Monday morning, we'd be confronting our first big hike of the week, and we wanted to be rested.
With a population of just 20,000, and a diameter of approximately twenty kilometers, the circular island of La Gomera is the sixth-biggest of the seven Canary Islands. Far less known than its siblings Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria, what La Gomera lacks in fame, it makes up for with its spectacular hiking … which is precisely the reason Jürgen and I decided to spend our first week here.
The island of Tenerife was to be our home for three months, and we couldn't wait to arrive. How excited were we about this new adventure? Well, the first thing we did upon touching down was drive immediately to the ferry station, hop a boat and put Tenerife in our rearview mirror. Two hours after arriving, we were gone…