Friday, December 09, 2016

...and the X-mas programme in San Sebastian 2016:

There are plenty of activities in La Gomera's capital San Sebastian de La Gomera, too (click images to enlarge).

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Programme for festive season 2016 in VGR

Above is the programme for the Christmas and New Year season in Valle Gran Rey (click image to enlarge). The New Year's Eve and New Year's Day fiestas take place in the harbour of Vueltas this year.
It all culminates in the main Christmas fiesta on January 6th 2017 at the chapel above El Guro/Casa de la Seda which begins as always with the procession from La Calera at midday.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Wine fiesta

Main square in San Sebastian de La Gomera this Friday, Dec. 9th 2016
from 9:30pm to 11pm: Wine, snacks and music

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Keeping it Timple

The virtuoso timple player Victor Estarico from Fuerteventura will give a concert in Valle Gran Rey's 'Casa de la Cultura' in La Calera under the heading 'An Anthology of the Timple' on Friday, December 9th 2016. The timple is a Canarian five-stringed mini guitar that has a very sweet and pleasant sound and almost any music can be played on it. The concert is free of charge and begins at 8 pm. Don't miss this chance to hear the timple played by this accomplished musician.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Atlantic challenge now annual event

The race headquarters in San Sebastian de La Gomera
The world’s toughest row is back! The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, now an annual race, will start from San Sebastian de La Gomera on the 14th of December 2016, pitting 13 new teams of rowers against one of the most fearsome oceans – in what’s considered the world’s toughest row.
It is an international fleet with seven teams from the UK, three from the United States, one from South Africa, one from Northern Ireland, one from Scotland and one from the Ukraine.  All will be at the mercy of the elements as they undertake one of the most perilous sporting challenges on Earth, rowing the 3,000 nautical miles from La Gomera, Canary Islands, to Antigua in the Caribbean. The short video below gives a taste of how arduous the journey really is:

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Disappointing rain

One of the very few short-lived light showers yesterday

Despite the very vigorous low pressure systems which had developed north of the Canary Islands recently and the high expectations for some more generous rainfalls, once again very little precipitation fell in La Gomera.
The water reservoirs which are used for irrigation in summer contain very little water this December. They had been almost filled by the end of October last year. The drinking water is not affected as it is all won from springs and wells and the mists and fogs in the mountains which condense on the trees keep feeding a steady supply of precious water.
Well, the winter season has only begun and hopes are high for some more decent rain. 
However, for the coming week there's no rain in sight yet as high pressure becomes established.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Her Majesty in Valle Gran Rey once again

Thomson Majesty approaching the harbour of Valle Gran Rey early yesterday morning...
The cruise ship 'Thomson Majesty' paid the first visit of this winter season to Valle Gran Rey's harbour of Vueltas. The passengers enjoyed the fine weather yesterday and many were seen exploring the lower valley while others were discovering the whole island by tour coach and appreciating the exceptionally clear views (see separate post). 'Thomson Majesty' will visit La Gomera seven more times this season and will dock four times in San Sebastian de La Gomera, while she'll visit Valle Gran Rey once each in February, March and April 2017. 
It is always nice to see a ship in the all too often vacant outer harbour which just begs to be properly completed and put to use.
...and berthing in the outer harbour of Vueltas a short time later

Extremely clear vision

Yesterday the air was so clear that La Gomera's neighbouring islands could all be seen very clearly and seemed much closer than they actually are. Even Gran Canaria could be seen distinctly. I took above photograph from Juego de Bolas (near Agulo) with a simple little camera at about 10:30 am yesterday morning. La Palma's capital Santa Cruz can clearly be seen and even one of the observatories (red arrow) on Roque de Los Muchachos is distinctly visible - a distance far in excess of 100 kilometres as the crow flies.
Rarely can La Palma be seen from here with such clarity and in such detail. Extremely clear vision when distant objects seem much closer is generally considered a sign of coming rain and this morning the skies look fairly grey...

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Sunset tonight

Tonight's sunset taken from the bus station in La Calera, Valle Gran Rey, La Gomera

100 years of Spanish national parks

Today a ceremony at the Garajonay national park visitor's centre in Juego de Bolas at 10 am will mark 100 years since a legal foundation for Spain's national parks was laid, the first one in the world. As marcaespania puts it:

''According to history, or to those who write it down, it all began in Yellowstone, back in 1872. The US Government intended to protect this natural area by designating it as a National Park – the first of its kind. The practice was soon adopted in Canada, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia… It took longer for it to come to Spain, but it made its entry in style.
As various countries designated their own National Parks, Spain granted them legal protection by passing the first National Parks Act in the world at the request of Pedro José Pidal y Bernaldo de Quirós, Marquis of Villaviciosa de Asturias. Adopted by the Cortes Generales (the Spanish Congress), the law was sanctioned by King Alfonso XIII, coming into force on 8 December 1916.''

The Canary Islands are the region with the most national parks with four of a total of fifteen and Teide national park on Tenerife is the most visited, accounting for over 30% of all visitors to the 15 parks. 
La Gomera's 'Garajonay' national park is unique with its almost two million years old evergreen forest. The island's government is soon to take over ownership from the Spanish state and the long legal process for this change is well underway.
Location of the four national parks in the Canary Islands. Note: Garajonay is spelled wrong on map

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lord Nelson heading for Vueltas harbour

The 'Lord Nelson' sailing past the beach of La Playa close to shore under engine power, heading for Vueltas.
The STS 'Lord Nelson' is a sail training ship of 368 gross tonnage and was launched in 1986 by Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson for the Jubilee Sailing Trust and is berthing in Valle Gran Rey's port of Vueltas as I write. She'll be dwarfed there tomorrow with the arrival of the huge cruise ship 'Thomson Majesty'. It seems the British are coming - despite 'Brexit'...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The expected rain is taking its time

The rain forecast for today is taking its time arriving here as the cold front associated with a depression to the north of the Canaries is slower than expected in its approach. However, if the front doesn't weaken too much it should rain moderately later tonight and early tomorrow. Rainfall amounts are difficult to predict in the current weather situation, and the front has become so slow-moving that it may dissipate before it gets to us. We'll soon find out... See updated weather information on sidebar top right.
The above webcam image (gomera-info) of the beach from La Puntilla towards La Playa taken just after 5 pm shows the pretty grey sky with brighter areas and some sun which we've had for most of the day.
The outlook is for more sunshine from later tomorrow until Thursday night. 
Current indications for Friday and Saturday are for a further and more vigorous low pressure systems to bring abundant rain and possibly thunderstorms in freshening southerly winds to La Gomera.
The very stable blocking high pressure over Ireland is to blame as this helps to steer low pressure closer to the Canary Islands. See forecast chart for Friday below: