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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Festival 'Atlantico Sonoro' 2017

The 13th edition of the festival 'Atlantico Sonoro' is taking place in the town of Vallehermoso on La Gomera this Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22nd and 23rd 2017
On Friday the Festival begins in the town square with a dance and acrobatics spectacle at 9 pm, followed by live music. On Saturday  from 11am there will be a wide range of demonstrations and workshops of alternative therapies, massage, yoga, music, percussion, dance and much more. At night there will be a concert from 10 pm  with two live bands. All the events are free of charge. More details here: www.atlanticosonoro.com

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Minor earthquake close to La Gomera

EventoFechaHora GMTHora Local
(*)
LatitudLongitudProfundidad
(km)
MagnitudTipo Mag.
Int. max.
Localizacion
es2017ldmmo17/09/201720:49:0321:49:0328.1755-17.11682.0 mbLg   E AGULO.IGM
A minor earth tremor of 2.0 on the Richter scale occurred at a depth of nine kilometres close to La Gomera's north-eastern coast at around 9 pm on Sunday night, Sept. 17th 2017.
This is nothing to worry about, as La Gomera's former volcanoes are long extinct and the island has not experienced any volcanic activity for far more than a million years, being one of the oldest islands in the Canaries. La Gomera existed long before the volcanically very active neighbouring island of El Hierro was even born.

Generally volcanic activity in the Canaries is of a 'mild nature', but magma movements deep under and around the Canary Islands cause regular tremors. It is however a rare occurrence that such a quake was registered by the seismic station situated in the mountains above the town of Agulo with an epicentre so close to La Gomera.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Another sad anniversary on September 11th

The monument close to Los Roques on La Gomera island with trees burnt in 2012 in the background

The whole world now remembers 9/11, but on La Gomera the date is remembered for another very sad incident which happened in 1984. On the 11th of September 33 years ago 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 enclosing them in fire and intense heat. Among the victims were local volunteer firefighters and some 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 a sad-looking rusty steel monument 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.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Welcome aboard the new ferry

Images from yesterday's presentation of the new Benchi Express ferry  in Valle Gran Rey.(Exclusive images courtesy of VINO TINTO)

The half-open upper deck can accommodate 100 passengers
The lower passenger deck seats 150 passengers. There's food on the counter of the cafeteria on right...
Today, Sunday, September 10th 2017, the vessel can be viewed again by the public as follows:
San Sebastián:          from 09:00 to 11:00
Playa de Santiago:    from 12:00 to 15:00
Valle Gran Rey:         from 16:00 to 19:00
The president of the government of the Canary Islands speaking at the official presentation of the new vessel and the interior ferry line in the new port terminal of Valle Gran Rey in Vueltas yesterday. (This image: gomeranoticias.com)

Saturday, September 09, 2017

New ferry arrives in Valle Gran Rey


The moment of arrival of the new Benchi Express ferry in Valle Gran Rey a short while ago...

...where she has tied-up at her newly-installed floating berth in Vueltas for the first time, ready for the official presentation ceremony to follow. (Exclusive images courtesy of VINO TINTO)

Friday, September 08, 2017

New ferry to begin service next week. Presentation to go ahead in VGR this Saturday. Revised viewing times

The damage to the new Benchi Express vessel reported yesterday has now been repaired in record time with the help of specialists from the Catalan shipyard that built the ferry. The Fred. Olsen ferry line has announced that the vessel will begin scheduled services on the interior ferry line between San Sebastion de La Gomera, Playa de Santiago, and Valle Gran Rey from the middle of next week and tickets are on sale now.
The introduction ceremony for the purpose-built ferry in Valle Gran Rey will now go ahead as planned on Saturday.
The viewing times when the vessel will be open to the public have however been changed again and the vessel will now open its doors (and hatches, I suppose) on Sunday, September 10th 2017 as follows:
San Sebastián:          from 09:00 to 11:00
Playa de Santiago:    from 12:00 to 15:00
Valle Gran Rey:         from 16:00 to 19:00

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Damage to new ferry delays schedule

The new Benchi Express ferry which was to begin regular service from the 10th of September 2017 sustained 'minor damage to the hull' during berthing trials in the port of San Sebastian de La Gomera last night.
The Fred. Olsen ferry company has stated that this will delay the begin of scheduled services, and the presentation of the new vessel in the other two ports it will serve, by 'several days, maximum one week' until repairs have been carried out. 
The new vessel will however be open to the public in the port of San Sebastian over the weekend at the times and dates indicated in the image above.
I will keep you informed on this blog...
+UPDATE:
The damage to the new Benchi Express vessel reported yesterday has now been repaired with the help of specialists from the shipyard that built the ferry. The Fred. Olsen ferry line has announced that the vessel will begin scheduled services on the interior ferry line between San Sebastion de La Gomer, Playa de Santiago, and Valle Gran Rey from the middle of next week and tickets are on sale now.
The introduction ceremony for the purpose-built ferry in Valle Gran Rey will now go ahead as planned on Saturday.
The viewing times when the vessel will be open to the public have however been changed again and the vessel will now open its doors (and hatches, I suppose) on Sunday, September 10th 2017 as follows:
San Sebastián:          from 09:00 to 11:00
Playa de Santiago:    from 12:00 to 15:00
Valle Gran Rey:         from 16:00 to 19:00

NEW FERRY ARRIVED IN LA GOMERA - OPEN TO PUBLIC

The new ferry just off San Sebastian de La Gomera with Tenerife in the background (Image: eltambor.es)
After several stopovers in other Canary Islands ports the brand new Benchi Express ferry joining the fleet of the Fred. Olsen Express ferry company has finally arrived in La Gomera and will begin to service the island's interior ferry route from Sunday, Sept. 10th 2017, connecting La Gomera's ports of San Sebastian, Playa de Santiago, and Valle Gran Rey.

Prior to commencing the service the ferry will be introduced and open all its doors to the public free of charge as follows:

Today, Thursday 7 th of Sept.:
in San Sebastián from 11:30h to 12:30h, in  Playa de Santiago from 14:30h to 16:00h, in Valle Gran Rey from 18:00h to 19:30h
Friday 8th de Sept: Valle Gran Rey 11:00h to 13:15h,  Playa de Santiago 16:00h to 17:30h, and in San Sebastián 18:00h to 19:30h
Sunday 10th of Sept.: San Sebastián 09:00h a 10:00h / Playa de Santiago 12:55h a 14:00, and in Valle Gran Rey 14:40h a 16:30h
On Saturday there will be an official ceremony of presentation and introduction of the vessel with many important Canary dignitaries present, which is open to the public and will take place in the harbour of Vueltas in Valle Gran Rey, the new vessel's home port.
Reduced ticket prices when booking the new service from/to Los Cristianos on Tenerife:
You can now book tickets from Los Cristianos through to Playa de Santiago and Valle Gran Rey and vice versa at a much reduced rate on the Fred. Olsen website. Before selecting the main journey between Tenerife and La Gomera, which will give you times and prices, click on one of the two blue bars below that (one for Playa de Santiago, the other for Valle Gran Rey), and new times and prices for the combination of the two ferry trips will appear. This will give you the combined journey at a bargain price.
+UPDATE:
Damage to new ferry delays schedule
The new Benchi Express ferry which was to begin regular service from the 10th of September 2017 sustained 'minor damage to the hull' during berthing trials in the port of San Sebastian de La Gomera earlier today 'due to strong winds'.
The Fred. Olsen ferry company has stated that this will delay the begin of scheduled services, and the presentation of the new vessel in the other two ports it will serve, by 'several days, maximum one week' until repairs have been carried out. 
The new vessel will however be open to the public in the port of San Sebastian over the weekend
++UPDATE 2:
The damage to the new Benchi Express vessel reported yesterday has now been repaired with the help of specialists from the shipyard that built the ferry. The Fred. Olsen ferry line has announced that the vessel will begin scheduled services on the interior ferry line between San Sebastion de La Gomer, Playa de Santiago, and Valle Gran Rey from the middle of next week and tickets are on sale now.
The introduction ceremony for the purpose-built ferry in Valle Gran Rey will now go ahead as planned on Saturday.
The viewing times when the vessel will be open to the public have however been changed again and the vessel will now open its doors (and hatches, I suppose) on Sunday, September 10th 2017 as follows:
San Sebastián:          from 09:00 to 11:00
Playa de Santiago:    from 12:00 to 15:00
Valle Gran Rey:         from 16:00 to 19:00
The new vessel's wheelhouse with skipper 'Mel' Garcia Bethencourth (Image source: puentedemando.com)

Sunday, September 03, 2017

New Ferry now under way to La Gomera

The new Benchi Express ferry which was built near Barcelona is now underway towards La Gomera and should begin the new scheduled services of the interior line in a week's time on Monday, September 10th 2017.
The ferry has been en route since early Saturday and spent last night in the port of Algeciras in southern Spain close to Gibraltar from where she left this morning heading directly for the Canary Islands (see position at 11:20 UTC above). As I write the purpose-built vessel has just left the Mediterranean at a speed of around 14 knots and should soon sail down the Atlantic off the coast of Morocco. We wish her fair winds and a following sea.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

A very serious discussion...

...can be heard here when you turn on the sound at the bottom right:

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Port terminal to be finished soon

Above plans for the landscaping and finishing of the recently constructed harbour terminal in the port of Vueltas in Valle Gran Rey were published by the government of the Canary Islands. The terminal will be connected to all services and car parking, a taxi rank and bus stop will be provided. Green areas and trees to provide shade and shelter will be planted and public lighting with solar panels will be installed. The estimated cost for these improvements is close to 214.000 Euros and the works will take three months to complete. Let's hope they didn't forget public toilets.
The terminal in its present state

Friday, August 25, 2017

Second Gomera Sound Fest

Rock band 'Ni 1 Pelo de Tonto' aka 'N1P' (Archive image)
The second edition of 'Gomera Sound Fest' will take place tomorrow night, Saturday 26th of August 2017, and will feature three bands plus the Canary Islands' most successful DJ, Quique Serra will play a set to finish the night. The bands are 'Kuarembo' (ska/reggae/world music), 'Trezo' (latin pop/rock) and the well known rock band 'Ni 1 Pelo de Tonto'. The event will take place in San Sebastian de La Gomera's main square Plaza de Las Americas and is free of charge.