Trip to La Gomera, Canary Islands
We booked this trip through the reception at CLC Paradise and thought it was very good value for money. It was 64 euros each and that included all coach transfers, the ferry crossing and lunch. It was an early start as we were one of the first pick-ups, with the ferry crossing at 9am. The coach was running late, however we got a phone call to tell us that so we did not have to hurry to the collection point at the bottom of the drive of the resort. We were told to take our passports, as they might be checked.
The ferry crossing was on a Fred Olsen Catamaran from Los Christianos to the port of San Sebastian on the island of La Gomera.
Our coach did not cross with us and we were met at the other end with a new coach and a new driver. This was the only downside as the new coach was much smaller than the one that had taken us to the ferry port. The multi-lingual guide came with us.
One of the things that frustrated Greg was that he wanted to be on the side of the coach that was facing the steep cliff drops, in order to take photographs. On both the trip to Masca and this one to La Gomera, we got it wrong and ended up up on the wrong side of the coach. If you want to be taking photographs from the window of the coach, it is worth asking beforehand about the route and the direction the coach will be going in, so you can plan where you want to sit.
La Gomera is one of the youngest islands in the Canary Islands, however it has so much to do and see that we could have spent at least a week here and not seen everything. We headed north from the port, up some very steep, winding roads to the National Park at the top. The landscape here is full of caverns and ravines and much of it quite reminiscent of something you might see in Machu Pichu in Peru.
Parts of the island have a climate that is almost sub-tropical in nature, which can be seen in the enormous variation of plants, flora and fauna to be found here, especially in the National Park. We briefly stopped here and were surprised to see tall ferns that you look up at.
There were also carpets of Pericallis steetzii, which are a purple flower that look similar to bluebells, in the woodland.
This trip included numerous stops for photo opportunities of the stunning scenery, although from one view point we could only see the low, overhanging clouds.
We stopped at a traditional restaurant for lunch. Whilst we were there we had a demonstration of the ancient Gomeran language. This is a phonetic language which is created as a form of whistling. It was fascinating to hear it as I could make out what the words should be, even though there were no words as such. You could imagine this being used as a very effective form of communication between shepherds who were separated by substantial ravines and valleys.
There is an amazing variation of scenery from the mountains, to the stunning coastline, as well as winding mountain roads, passing by the steep terraces that have been used for cultivation for centuries.
We went back to the port of San Sebastian and found a lovely ice-cream cafe by the harbour. In addition to very scrummy ice-creams, they also sold hot chocolate with a choice of different fruit flavours. I tried a mango and papaya one and this made a lovely combination of flavours with the hot chocolate.
On both the ferry crossings, we were accompanied by several schools of dolphins, playing and swimming alongside the boat. We did not see any whales, although these are also quite prevalent around the islands.
On the way out I stayed outside with Greg on the deck, taking photographs and working on my windswept hair look. On the way back, I was hot and tired, so I sat inside whilst Greg stayed outside taking photographs.
The coach company we went with had three trips running that day, so they conveniently split everybody up at the port in order to make the drop-offs more efficient. Ours at CLC Paradise Resort was one of the first drop offs which was lovely.
We only covered a small part of the island of La Gomera and I would have loved to have spent a lot more time here. We will make sure we get on the right side of the coach for photographs next time!