|The two ton Buddha of La Gomera|
What's a huge marble statue of Buddha weighing two tons doing in the middle of nowhere in a remote part of La Gomera's northwest, you may wonder...
Well, the (true |) story goes that someone who bought a house in the area had befriended the Buddha in South East Asia, bought it and had it shipped in a wooden crate from Singapore to La Gomera. All went well until the transport by road on La Gomera to the new owners home came to the end of the paved part of the road near Arguamul in the parish of Vallehermoso and got stuck, unable to continue along the track to the final destination due to the heavy load. They tried this and they moved that but the truck was stuck.
Finally the Buddha in his wooden crate was offloaded and deposited by the roadside with the transport documentation marked as 'delivered'. There the two tons of marble statue remained for quite some time while a solution to the transport problem was sought. Various options were pondered, even including the carving up of bulky Buddha into manageable chunks for further transport which would then be reassembled at the final destination.
However, eventually it was decided that the scenic location where fate had decided to deposit the statue was just as nice as any other and would have to do. Buddha was freed from his wooden cage and there he remains sitting smilingly as if he had chosen exactly this location himself.
He's finding more and more new buddies and some of them travel long distances to see the rare sight. Locals and visitors even drop offerings, mostly in the form of coins, into his left hand which The Big Buddha of Arguamul then duly passes on to the local church. Who knows, in a few decades' time he may even become another patron saint of Arguamul and get his own dedicated fiesta.
|A visitor tickling the belly of The Buddha of Arguamul for luck (Images courtesy of R.N.)|