Saturday, August 16, 2008

Island Hopping & First Words

Several weeks ago, Jaime's sister (Nuria) and brother-in-law (Luis) asked if we wanted to join them for a weekend trip to La Gomera another one of the Seven Canary Islands. Of course we said we'd love to go and the trip was planned for the second weekend in August... which also happened to coincide with our 6th wedding anniversary, talk about a bonus!

So, bright and early on Friday Aug. 8th, Nuria & Luis and their two children (Nicholas and Sophia) met us at our place and the four of us followed the four of them to the port in Los Cristianos (in the South of Tenerife) to board the fast ferry.

Approximately 30 minutes later we arrived San Sebastián de La Gomera a small town renowned for being the last port of call for Christopher Columbus on his journey to the New World. We hopped back into our cars and headed onto the island. We stopped for a coffee and a small bite to eat before driving over the mountains to our hotel, The Jardin Tecina.

Here's the balcony of the breakfast and dinner restaurant.

A view from the hotel towards the beach in Playa de Santiago

The walk to our room

The view from our room...that's a field of banana trees

The sunrise from our room. You can usually see Tenerife from here, but there were too many clouds.

We checked in, put our belongings in our rooms, and headed to the pools. The boys got to experience their first "kids" pool where they could touch the floor. They thought it was great.

After swimming, as we were changing the boys, Connor said his first word...which was "hot." He enunciated every letter and said it after stepping on a very warm metal drain cover. Back at our apartment, there is a section of the patio that gets really hot under the sun. So, we are always telling the boys "hot, hot" before they get to it so they will turn around. I guess Connor got the message. Of course, we have been trying to get him to say it on tape, but he is more interested in the camera than talking.

We had lunch (fresh fish) in the fishing village of Playa de Santiago, took a nap, had dinner at the hotel and called it a night.

The next morning we enjoyed the hotel's breakfast buffet and then headed out to the Garajonay National Park. The park is primarily a mixture of laurels and heathers dating back to the tertiary age, that combine with the low clouds and fog to form forests with a bewitched, even spooky feel. A large percentage of the animal and plant species that make up this ecosystem are unique to the islands: they are not found anywhere else on Earth. These rare laurisilva forests are so unique that they even form part of the UNESCO's World Heritage List.

We drove around the National Park, stopped at some vista points, took a of couple mini-hikes, and then stopped for a late lunch at a place in the mountains.

Roque Agando

Its rugged terrain and sheer gorges make what at first sight appear to be short distances, much longer. The inhabitants of La Gomera created a unique way of communicating across these deep ravines by means of an amazing whistled speech called Silbo Gonero. This language is indigenous to the island, and its existence has been documented since Roman times. When this unique means of communication was threatened with extinction at the dawn of the 21st century, the local government required all children to learn it in school.

Our view from the restaurant

Potaje (pronounced po-TAH-hay) is a delicious thick pureed type soup very typical of the Canary Islands served here in a traditional handmade bowl - Yum!

After lunch, we headed down the mountain. Back at the hotel, we went for a swim, took a nap, walked down to the beach, and then hung out a bit before having dinner at the hotel.

On Sunday morning, we all met again for the breakfast buffet and then lounged around the hotel until it was time to check out. We tried to have lunch at the restaurant in the fishing village, but the wait was too long. So, we headed back into the mountains to dine where we had the day before. On the way up, Nuria's clutch started going out so we turned around at drove back to San Sebastián. We got tickets for an earlier ferry and then ate at a pizzeria in town before our departure. We were back "home" by 6:30 Sunday evening where we rested from our little vacation.


janieO said...

Wow!! It is soooooo very beautiful there. Sounds like you had a great time. Look forward to more.

Amy said...

I'm glad you had a nice little vacation! It is SO gorgeous there! I love seeing all the scenic shots so I can live vicariously through you! ;)

Anonymous said...

It's soooooo tempting to come visit you! What a beautiful island. We are getting back to the routine of school and sorts soon.

cassey said...

happy 6th year anniversary!!!