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Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Keep the fingers crossed !

Lower Valle Gran Rey with the port of Vueltas (top)

Yesterday the parliament of La Gomera approved a government motion calling for the reopening of the ferry service between Los Cristianos in Tenerife and Valle Gran Rey in La Gomera which had recently been suspended indefinitely by shipping company Naviera Armas (see previous post). The motion also calls for the port of Vueltas in Valle Gran Rey to be included in the list of Canary Islands ports with an 'obligatory public service' (Obligaci├│n de Servicio P├║blico, OSP) by the Canarian ministry for transport, which would mean that a ferry connection will have to be provided.
Further, the approved motion also calls on the port authority to further improve the harbour of Vueltas and integrating it better into the town.
In an interview La Gomera's president Casimiro Curbelo also said that ferry company Armas was already actively looking 'in all of Europe' for a suitable ship to charter with which the ferry connection can be reopened viably.
In 2018 the service transported more than 170.000 passengers and 30.000 vehicles, most of which would have passed through the national park in the mountains had the ferry not been there.
Just after the announcement of the suspension of the service about 1.200 signatures for a petition in support of the ferry line were collected in Valle Gran Rey in a very short time and presented to the local mayor.
Keep the fingers crossed...

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Bad News

It has recently been announced by the ferry company Naviera Armas that the ferry service between Los Cristianos in Tenerife and Valle Gran Rey in La Gomera has now been suspended indefinitely. The direct service between the two ports by high speed catamaran was introduced two years ago, but since this summer only sailed at weekends. The company has also stated that it will study the viability of a similar ferry service to be reinstated in the future, possibly with a smaller vessel. 
This is sad news for Valle Gran Rey and bad news for the forest in the national park which is experiencing higher volumes of traffic since the ferry stopped operating as all goods and traffic have to go across the mountain through the park on that road now.
Read more with an update ...

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Major Reggae Festival in Valle Gran Rey

A major Reggae event is coming to the port of Vueltas in Valle Gran Rey this Saturday, Sept. 28th 2019 from 8 pm. Several bands will perform during the night. The fifth edition of the 'Reggae Can' festival is touring the Canary Islands and is the largest event of its kind here. This year the theme is 'Reggae Against Plastic' and no single use plastics will be allowed at the event. No cover charge and all are welcome.
A previous 'Reggae Can' event.  Image: eldia.es (click for more info)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

September 11 tragedy 35 years ago in La Gomera

The whole world now remembers 9/11, but in La Gomera the date is remembered for another very sad incident which happened in 1984. On the 11th of September 35 years ago today twenty people died in a forest fire near Roque Agando, a landmark rock formation in La Gomera's mountains above the village of La Laja where a forest fire had broken out. The spot is on an exposed ridge and the victims were trapped there when the wind suddenly changed direction trapping them in fire and intense heat. Among the victims were local volunteer firefighters and several people from Tenerife, including a former mayor of Puerto de la Cruz. The tragedy is one of the worst fire-related disasters in all of Spain ever and the sad-looking rusty steel monument (see my archive image above, the monument has since been repainted) near the spot lists all 20 names of the victims. The area around Roque Agando, which stands at the eastern end of the national park, was ablaze again  during the devastating fire of 2012, but thankfully there were no casualties in that major fire.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Spectacular rescue in Argaga yet again



Above images were taken by the Spanish police early in the morning on Saturday, August 3rd 2019, during a spectacular rescue of a mountain hiker who had become trapped in a cliff of the notorious  Barranco de Argaga area near Valle Gran Rey, which is however part of the municipality of Vallehermoso. The trapped hiker had to spend the previous night in the precipitous location to await daylight and rescue by the Guardia Civil mountain unit police helicopter. In the first image (and the close-up of same below it) a rescuer had already been set down near the trapped man to assess the victim's state of health. Luckily he was unharmed and was then brought down to the heliport of Valle Gran Rey.
Please stay away from Argaga, as numerous accidents and even deaths have occurred there. Read more...

Friday, July 26, 2019

Canaries in the Canaries

A wild canary taking the evening sun on a tree in La Gomera, Canary Islands. (Picture: Damien Enright/Irish Examiner
I overheard the following conversation in a pub in rural Ireland yesterday:

''I'm just back from a holiday in La Gomera''
"Where is that ?''
''Oh, it's one of the Canary Islands - but strangely I didn't spot any canaries there.''
''That's peculiar. I am just back from a holiday in the Virgin Islands...
- and I didn't find any canaries there either.''

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Fiesta del Carmen 2019 programme

Above the programme for the 2019 Fiesta del Carmen in ValleGran Rey.
Vallehermoso and Playa de Santiago also hold fiestas in honour of Carmen (see below) so there's no shortage of entertainment in La Gomera this week...

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Explore La Gomera's north

The town and valley of Hermigua in La Gomera's north
The much quieter and greener north of La Gomera island, which includes the municipal areas of Agulo and Hermigua, is well worth exploring and the following link has loads of information in English: northgomera.com

Monday, June 24, 2019

Gomera banana in action during bonfire night


Once again there were many bonfires and parties all over La Gomera last night during 'la noche de San Juan' (St. John's Eve) to celebrate midsummer. Here in Ireland the same tradition is still alive, but the music is a bit different. The 'Gomera Banana' was in action here briefly during the Jim Dowling Uilleann Pipe and Traditional Music Festival in beautiful Glengarriff, West Cork as you can see (and hear if you click the sound on) in the above video taken at about midnight last night when the Gomera banana was shaking up fiddle player extraordinare Ross Couper. The video below was taken earlier during the festival on the pub sessions trail called 'piping for a pint'. Well more than a dozen musicians (some out of shot) got together and played until the cows came home...

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

New mayor in Valle Gran Rey

The new mayor of Valle Gran Rey, Cristopher Marrero (image: gomeranoticias.com)

Valle Gran Rey's new local administration has now been formed and Cristopher Marrero of the PSOE is the new mayor, even though his party holds only two of the eleven seats on the council. His election was facilitated with the help of the two councillors of the Si Se Puede grouping and the two of the Nueva Canarias party, leaving La Gomera's strongest party ASG in opposition with five seats. See all La Gomera local election 2019 results...