The marina at La Gomera is backed by dramatic cliffs on one side and the laid back town of San Sebastian on the other. There was a cruise ship in town so the town was buzzing with street markets and German tourists.
We wandered around with Anya, checking out a few of the cutesy shops and impressive churches as well as the old fort dating back to just before Columbus visited in 1492. We found the house that Columbus stayed at – well a later version built in the 1700’s that was supposedly in the same spot. The well he took water from was closed for renovations, which was a bummer. The town has a couple of nice black sand beaches, which we checked out as well.
Then it was time to drop Anya at her ferry as she needed to get back to Tenerife. It was a petty that she couldn’t come to Cape Verdes as we had a fantastic time with her.
Goodbyes said, it was time for a bit of exploring. We climbed up to the top of the cliffs where there was a nice hotel built from an old Parador with fantastic views down to the town and along the coast. We walked down to another look out and got some more great pictures of the marina and the town.
Next day we were up early for the tour that the rally organized. It too was included in our rally fees – the rally is such good value for money.
The tour guide was a pommy lady who had gone to La Gomera on a gap year in the seventies and had just stayed. She was a wealth of information. We drove up through the mountains, over steep ravines and through mountain tunnels to the NE. We passed through Aloe Vera and banana plantations, small towns and back down along the coast, before heading up to the top of a cliff where we stopped at a beautiful restaurant. We ordered coffee and cake and then checked out the glass lookout inside the restaurant, where you walked out over the cliff and looked down through the glass floor at the sea far below.
After the restaurant staff had finished making us all the coffees, we were treated to a real highlight of our whole year. In La Gamera they have a whistling language, which goes back to the days of the shepherds on either side of the steep ravines, where they used whistling to communicate in Spanish. Nowadays it is talk in schools and you hear the locals “talking” in it around the island.
Whistling Language from Steve Tull on Vimeo.
The waiters started by showing us a few phases and them for a bit of a party trick, a few of us hid items around the room whilst one of them went out the back. Then he came back in the room and the other waiter whistled directions of where each item was hidden and which one of us to return it to. We were very impressed.
After this impressive party trick, we continued our journey into the mountains and up into the ancient rain forest, the last remnants of a gigantic rain forest that covered Europe a long, long time ago. We donned our jackets and had a nice hike around the visitors centre. Then it was back in the bus for another interesting drive back down to the coast to San Sebastian, where we spent the afternoon shopping and swimming at the town beach.
Next morning it was up early for a sail to La Palma for a brief rendezvous with Fleet 1.