|The former 'Garajonay Expres' ferry in Valle Gran Rey|
After years of rumours and fruitless waiting for the re-opening of the ferry service between the ports of Valle Gran Rey, Playa de Santiago and San Sebastian on La Gomera and Los Cristianos on Tenerife have passed and there has been silence since the local elections this spring...
This week politicians of the Coalicion Canaria party in the Canarian parliament have been vociferous once again, demanding the reopening of the connection. Further, the mayor of Valle Gran Rey ,who is of the same party, with the unanimous support of the rest of the local council has made the issue a priority and has invited all the other local councils of La Gomera as well as the island's government to join forces and develop a strategy which would lead to a new ferry connection.
Let's hope these renewed efforts are not just electioneering in view of the Spanish general elections on December 20th, 2015. Meanwhile the building of the new terminal building in the port of Valle Gran Rey is progressing as planned and it is hoped that this may further entice one of the commercial ferry companies to delivery a connection. After all they do get plenty of subsidies anyway.
The 'interior ferry line' ceased operations early 2012 despite having been declared an 'obligatory public service' by the Canarian government some years previously and the decision to subsidise resident's tickets.
The ferry route had been operated by three different companies over the years and attracted 150.000 passengers per year on average before it ceased operating.It is worth remembering that by taking the now sorely missed ferry it took just about 30 minutes to travel from Valle Gran Rey to the capital San Sebastian, while the public bus needs about 110 minutes to get there. The route by sea would also reduce the amount of traffic that currently has to squeeze through the centre of the national park, and that Valle Gran Rey only has one access road which is very narrow in places and prone to rockfalls.
Let's hope that 'mañana' something more tangible will emerge and not just politicians stating the obvious. Keep praying !