Honestly, this island is not made for me. It is rather circular and consists of one big ex-volcano , basically. This steep mountain features several gores or valleys, on the bottom of which nest human conglomerations in sheltered bays by the sea. Its highest point is 1.487 m and going anywhere forces you from sealevel (zero meters) to almost always minimum 1.000 plus meters up in serpentines, to go down to the next valley or village, again in twisting serpentines. There is no circular road along the coast.
Now I am of the getting sick in cars or on boats kind of person. From earliest childhood on I got sick in cars. Still do, if sitting in the back or riding on a bus. Even on rather straight roads. Maybe this is the true reason behind leaving the Alps and moving to flat Berlin, where nothing forces road constructors to build in bends until the shore or the Ural mountains are in reach.
To get to La Gomera, we had to ferry in a big boat. Now, give me five minutes in a boat, and I am sick to my stomack. Guess where I spent the fifty minute ride from Teneriffe to La Gomera. Right, fastened to the rail, the strong wind notwithstanding. Then we picked up our rental car, and 33 km of winding road up from San Sebastian to the top of the world and back down again to our little village of Santiago. In a straight line, the two places are about 20 km apart, but one can’t get there (unless in a boat). I was not a happy girl on arrival, trust me.
However, one can’t sit in one place all the time, so we decided to venture out yesterday. To cross the national park at the top of Garajonay (the highest peak at 1.487), to go to Valle Gran Rey (the valley of the big king) in the west of the island. Which used to be a hippie enclave during the seventies. Of course, sweetheart was there around that time, too. He was surprised to see the place having changed to a perfect tourist destination full of hotels, appartment complexes, restaurants, bars and souvenir shops along the coastline, where once only wilderness reigned. The young and wild at heart staying in caves, crossing banana fields to get to the sea.
Actually, our little village is much nicer, there was no reason to stay at Valle Gran Rey for longer than it takes to have a cup of tea and take a few pics of the harbour with its fish and boats.
But the top of Garajonay is something else. You come from sea level through dry rock and slopes full of agaves, cactus and candelabra trees to an eerie kind of wilderness: cloud forest. It is cold up there, in comparison. We went from 22° Celcius to 9° within a 20 minute drive. This primeval forest is the last one of its kind on the entire globe: a bay tree forest. Lacking an ice age, it could survive on this island, only. A huge forest fire destroyed parts of it in 2012, but still wide areas are intact.
I was taken by this weird wood full of dripping moss and lechen. Next time, sweetheart is at the golf course, I’ll be up, strolling further around.