Sunday, December 30, 2018

Get ready for New Year's Eve 2018

There'll be plenty of entertainment to welcome the new year in La Gomera during 'Noche Vieja' (literally 'old night', i.e. New Year's Eve). The main fiestas will be in the larger towns' squares and in Valle Gran Rey it is the turn of the Plaza San Pedro in La Playa with three bands playing from about 10 pm until 6am. In the capital the town's main square will fill up for the music before midnight. Usually people ring in the new year with 12 grapes, one for every month of the coming year and a glass of cava (Spanish champagne) at midnight, often after a meal in a restaurant. Most restaurants will have special set menus which often include the grapes and a glass of bubbly. But do book your table early as many will fill to capacity. There will be many open private and public parties and live music gigs in Valle Gran Rey, e.g. the Cacatua will have oldies in the beer garden and in its upper bar DJs. It's situated in the harbour village of Vueltas, generally the most lively area at night. There's several more options all over Valle Gran Rey and I'm sure you'll be able to find them as you will hear them. Some parties only get really going after midnight and continue into the early hours of the 1st of January, so make sure to have a good siesta-nap during the day before you go out...

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Snowy Christmas 2018 in the capital

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas 2018. The 'snow' in the island's capital San Sebastian de La Gomera can only be found in an optician's shop window near the town's main square and the polar bears would suffer if they were to be sent out into the warm weather. Well, the one in the back has donned sunglasses anyway...

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Weather warnings for Christmas Eve 2018

The Spanish meteorological sevice has issued weather warnings for La Gomera and the rest of the Canary Islands for tomorrow, Christmas Eve 2018. Easterly winds are expected to gust to 80 km/h and will bring dust from the Sahara which could reduce visibility to just 3000 metres. Rough seas are to be expected. 
This weather, called Calima here in the Canary Islands, is expected to gradually improve from Christmas day. There won't be much heat with this Calima episode as we're in mid-winter when the Sahara is fairly cold.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Harbour village 'Noche en Blanco' 2018

Above the programme for the 2018 Noche en Blanco (night in white) Christmas  promotion in the harbour area of Valle Gran Rey which offers entertainment for young and old, live music in the streets and special offers in the shops - all happening in several spots around the area this Friday Dec. 21st 2018 from 5pm. Don't miss Fran Baraja and band, who drew a large crowd last year with their lively set. They'll be playing twice on the corner where the 'Bistro' cafe is in the harbour village of Vueltas. 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

New vessel to connect Valle Gran Rey with Tenerife

HSC Champion Jet 1 arriving in La Gomera yesterday. (Images:
The rapidly expanding ferry company Naviera Armas will be introducing yet another vessel on the route between Los Cristianos on Tenerife and Valle Gran Rey on La Gomera island from today. The high speed catamaran (HSC) Champion Jet 1 has been chartered by the Canarian ferry company Armas from the Greek/Cypriot shipping company Seajets to replace the Trasmediteranea Alcantara 2 which sailed on this route up to last night (see my recent post).
Champion Jet 1 was built in Tasmania by Incat as hull number 044 in 1997 and has just  undergone a complete refurbishment (see image below). This latest vessel on the LC-VGR route can accommodate about 750 passengers and 200 cars and offers all the usual facilities such a bar cafeteria, shop, etc. while achieving a top speed of 36 knots, which makes her faster than the previous vessel on this route and should ensure more realistic arrival times (ETAs). The 285ft long vessel with a beam of 85ft once operated in the Channel islands and later connected Poole with Cherbourg for Brittany Ferries as 'Condor Vitesse' before being sold to Seajets in Greece in 2015, where she was renamed Champion Jet 1 and operated from Piraeus and Heraklion.
Now the chartered HSC is expected to also connect Los Cristianos with Santa Cruz de La Palma once trials there have been completed and hopefully the fast ferry will connect La Palma with La Gomera as well.
Tickets for sailings between Los Cristianos and Valle Gran Rey can now be booked well in advance on the Naviera Armas website. Presently two return trips are offered on most days until the 10th of February 2019 and further schedules are expected to be published soon.
Update: This morning's first Champion Jet 1 scheduled sailing from Valle Gran Rey arrived in Los Cristianos on time, covering the distance in just 90 minutes. The previous ferry was always very late arriving at its destination. The new vessel seems to achieve the ETAs, making the service more reliable which is crucial when you have to catch a flight from Tenerife.

Latest (summer 2019): This service temporarily only operates Saturday/Sunday due to fleet restructuring. A new service is likely to begin at the end of summer and is expected to connect Los Cristianos with Valle Gran Rey and  the island of El Hierro. Update to follow...
UPDATE OCT. 2019: 
This service has now been suspended indefinitely.

Free gospel music concert tonight

As part of the 2018 edition of the Gospel Canarias Festival there will be a gospel music show with The Believers Gospel Singers including drums, bass and keyboards from the US (above) in San Sebastian de La Gomera this Saturday, Nov. 15th 2018. This year's concert will be open-air on the capital's main square at 9 pm. The same group will perform the following day in Los Cristianos on Tenerife where the cover charge will be € 15, but the event is free of charge here in La Gomera. Aren't we lucky here on this little island, where so many events are free...

Friday, December 14, 2018

Art exhibition with live music

Due to the huge success last week artist Pero is repeating his art exhibition with live music in Tanya's shop in La Playa, Valle Gran Rey this Saturday from 6pm as part of the Noche en Blanco (see previous post).

Thursday, December 13, 2018

'White night' 2018 in La Playa

Above the programme for the 2018 Noche en Blanco (night in white) Christmas  promotion in the La Playa area of Valle Gran Rey which offers entertainment for young and old, live music in the streets and special offers in the shops - all this Saturday Dec. 15th 2018 from 5pm.  Another, larger Noche en Blanco will take place on Friday 21st of Dec. in the area near the harbour of Valle Gran Rey.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Roque Cano

Vallehermoso's emblematic Roque Cano, one of many such 'roques' scattered throughout La Gomera

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Flamenco Sunday lunchtime

The Sunday lunchtime music sessions continue a Ramiro's bus station bar and cafeteria in La Calera with Ulises (on left above) and friends playing their flamenco and fusion music on the 9th of Dec 2018 from around 1 pm. After that an open music session should follow as usual...

Friday, December 07, 2018

Interesting cARTon exhibition

There's an interesting art exhibition in Valle Gran Rey tomorrow night from 6 pm. Pero, especially known for his art works fashioned from discarded cardboard packaging which he calls cARTon will exhibit his latest works in Tanya's shop (Taller de Tanya) in one of the backstreets of La Playa, near the main tourist office. There will also be live music by Jelila. Pero used to be seen regularly at sunset in front of 'Bar Maria' (see image below taken on a cold January evening in 2015) with his small mobile art stall. All are invited to tomorrow's free event.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Wine Fiesta 2018

This year's wine fiesta will take place in the main square in San Sebastian de La Gomera this
Friday, Dec. 7th 2018,  from 8pm to 11pm with tastings of local wines, live music and snacks

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

New night-time taxi service

Up to now it was almost impossible to get a taxi after 10 pm in all of La Gomera and early morning departures had to be pre-booked with the taxi drivers. Thankfully now there's an all-night taxi service operating in Valle Gran Rey (see above), so getting home for up to seven passengers after a night out enjoying Valle Gran Rey's nightlife is made much easier. Don't forget to add the prefix 0034 (Spain) to the number when roaming.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Light Calima this week

Forecast of dust concentration for Thursday, Dec. 6th 2018, a bank holiday in Spain

A very stable and blocking high pressure system over the Iberian peninsula and North Africa is steering an easterly airflow over the Canary Islands and this is not expected to change for the remainder of the week. It is bringing very dry and warm air from the Sahara, and from later today some dust is expected resulting in mostly sunny weather with a light Calima (click for more information).

Thankfully the Sahara is not too hot at this time of the year and recent rains over North Africa have kept the dust down, so the effects on the Canaries should be minor, but warmer than usual temperatures, dry air with mainly fresh easterly winds, strong and gusty at times, will be felt here. Make sure to drink enough water.
The weather should return to normal over the weekend, when the winds are expected to turn back to the usual NE trade winds bringing clearer air, according to most forecasting models.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Temporary road closure (Updated)

The visitors centre will remain accessible from the northern main road through Las Rosas (above right)

The scenic road connecting the visitors centre in Juego de Bolas with the main road through the national park close to La Laguna Grande will be closed to all traffic in both directions from tomorrow Monday December 3rd 2018 until Friday from 8 am until 6 pm each day. The closure is due to resurfacing work and it is hoped that some restricted opening is possible from Wednesday 4 pm if work progresses well. Access to the visitors centre and the glass viewing platform Mirador de Abrante from the northern main road between Hermigua and Vallehermoso will not be affected.
UPDATE: The road closures have been extended until 6 pm Wednesday Dec. 12th 2018. However, this road will be open this Saturday and Sunday.