Friday, March 31, 2006

Die Kultinsel

Valle Gran Rey from Barranca del Agua

evening in Gomera

Valle la Laqa

wooden gargoyle

green fingers

(Garajonay National Park)

I've wanted to go to Gomera for a while, and we finally did it a couple of weeks ago. It's good for walking and it's got some spectacular scenery, that's for sure. I first became aware of the island through The Time Out Book of Country Walks near London. I've been using this book for a while and quickly learnt to respect and admire the people who researched and wrote these walks down. Anyway they've also published a book on Gomera, saying that it is one of the best and most beautiful islands for hiking. I ended up not using their book which i believe details a very strenuous round walk once around the island, but we had a couple of other books. There's no shortage of trails, a lot of them old donkey trails, and a national park in the middle of the island, Garajonay, which is an ancient forest and a World Heritage site. It looks like a Lord of The Rings kinda haunted forest, mossy trees everywhere that look like gargoyles or messengers, in all sorts of wierd shapes (see above). We ended up walking around in there quite a lot. Gomera is easy to reach by ferry from Tenerife which is a lot more developed. The quite extreme mountaineous scenery in Gomera has probably prevented it, it's difficult to drive around, and not a lot to do apart from hanging out and hiking, so there's a lot of outdoorsy (predominantly German) people around, and still a few hippies down in Valle Gran Rey.

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