Monday, September 29, 2014

Old road into Valle Gran Rey to be opened again

The present road leading down to the tunnel of Yorima and on to Valle Gran Rey
Entrance to tunnel near Arure
There is only one road leading in and out of Valle Gran Rey on La Gomera. This road is more like a twisted, winding mountain pass as it starts a height of about 3000 feet and then winds down to sea level along a rockface in the steep ravine that is upper Valle Gran Rey. In the nineties two long tunnels were driven through the rock to shorten the journey and make it much safer. The old road was skirting this rocky outcrop, hanging precariously over the abyss below. While this narrow, twisted strech offered spectacular views it was also prone to rockfalls and accidents and the tunnels made it much safer and shortened the road by half. However, the tunnels are a nightmare for pedestrians and cyclists as they are not illuminated and the footpath is very narrow.
The island's government recently decided to reopen the abandoned old road around the lower tunnel (625 metres) for cyclists, pedestrians and tourists who want to enjoy the breathtaking views. It will also provide an alternative route in case of an accident in the tunnel as this road is the vital artery that feeds Valle Gran Rey. Work on the old road of 1,3 kms around the tunnel of Yorima has already begun and the whole project will cost an estimated 120.000 Euros.
Work in progess on the old road (This image:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

La Gomera's wines receive boost

The 'Tenerife News' recently reported the following:

A toast to La Gomera wine

La Gomera wants to become better known for its wine.
The island’s Cabildo has signed an agreement with the local Wine Board which will cover special promotions, incentives, events, training and job creation. The aim is to increase demand, both on the island and throughout the Canaries, for La Gomera wine.
It is also hoped to encourage more farmers to take up wine cultivation, both for their own livelihoods and to protect and enhance La Gomera’s agricultural land-scape.
The bodega managed by the Cabildo has also launched a “Vintage 2014″ campaign. Grapes are said to be in good condition and a bigger than expected yield is expected of at least 40,000 kilos.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Stephen Hawking to open Tenerife festival

The 'NEWS IN THE SUN' reported a few days ago:

Stephen Hawking Arrives In Tenerife

September 15, 2014
Stephen Hawking arrived in Tenerife on Saturday aboard the luxury cruise liner  Oceana and will stay on the island for nearly a month as a guest of honour at the Starmus Festival.

Mr Hawking  will deliver the opening speech of the conference during this second edition of the Starmus Festival, which has the theme “Beginnings: The Making of the Modern Cosmos”.
The event will take place at The Ritz-Carlton, Abama in Tenerife from the 22 to 27 September 2014 .
Hawking will be accompanied by a variety of internationally renowned speakers, including astronauts, cosmonauts, astronomers, cosmologists, chemists, biologists and Nobel Prize winners. The theoretical physicist will also join the round table discussion to be held in the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), at the Observatory of the Roque de los Muchachos on the island of La Palma. More details here

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New video of large stingray being fed and fondled

Here's a recently produced video of the amazingly tame stingray that regularly comes to the steps into the water in the harbour of Vueltas in La Gomera's Valle Gran Rey. The large ray always gets fed and petted by the children of the harbour town and local fishermen supply the fish for the stingray's breakfast.
Filmed by: © Henner Riemenschneider (Gekko Vision)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Passenger terminal planned for port

The planned terminal building  (Image source:
The director responsible for infrastructure of the Ports Authority of the Canaries (Puertos de Canarias) has unveiled the design for a planned passenger terminal building for the port of Valle Gran Rey in the outer harbour of Vueltas. The large 392 sqm terminal is to be built and finished next year at a projected cost of 444.000 Euros. 
The modern concrete building will house a cafe/cafeteria, public toilets, offices, waiting areas and more. It will serve the travellers on the expectedly reopening ferry connection between V.G.R., P. Santiago, San Sebastian and Tenerife and will also provide facilities for the anticipated increase in visitors from cruise ships visiting the port as well a the general public visiting the popular harbour area.

It is expected that the contracts for building the terminal will go to tender soon and will be adjudicated before the end of this year.
Approximate location of planned facility (red arrow)

Friday, September 05, 2014

News update summer 2014

So now the kids have gone back to school and with the arrival of September the summer is slowly ending. I'm still in Ireland and enjoying an unusually excellent summer. Yesterday I  enjoyed myself on a huge golden beach and the temperature was a balmy 23 degrees in perfect weather conditions. 
While away I was in constant contact with La Gomera and followed all the news from there. So what has happened on La Gomera during my absence ?
Not all that much, really, and this summer was as quiet if not more quiet than previous years and I didn't miss much, I think.
News summary:
The good news is that there were no major fires during the past two months. There were a few minor fires that were put out by the emergency services very quickly. The latest and largest fire was fought successfully in Alajero last Sunday, but 18 hectares of scrub and some palms fell victim to the flames. The Air Tractor hydro-plane which was stationed on La Gomera's small airport in early July helped to extinguish the fires and it will remain on stand-by until the end of October.
The annual highest tides of August coupled with a strong Atlantic swell brought some very big waves which forced the closure of the promenade along the beach of Playa de Santiago for a time.
Vueltas, the harbour village of Valle Gran Grey is yet another step closer to the beginning of the eight month of works that will pedestrianise and improve the shopping streets there as the tenders for the work have been adjudicated now. Vueltas is well-known for its quirky little shops and boutiques and also boasts many restaurants that offer fresh fish from its harbour and much more.
Two councillors in Valle Gran Rey have resigned their posts in the local government due to 'differences with the mayor'.
Mobile phones in most parts of Valle Gran Rey seem to be working again after the main mast was sabotaged during bonfire night. A provisional mast was erected near the bus station by the Movistar phone operator until a permanent solution can be found.
The one-night rock festival in San Sebastian was a great success.
The access road to Valle Gran Rey's black-sand beach Playa del Ingles is to get street lights powered by photovoltaics.
Finally the improvement works in the harbour of San Sebastian are making good progress and the extension of the pier will be ready to welcome even larger cruise ships when the season begins in late autumn.

IF anything exciting or important happens on La Gomera, I promise to report it here on this blog immediately... but, as they say: NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS !
Teneriffe's Mount Teide seen from La Gomera (Photo taken in June 2014)