Travel Journal

La Gomera 2010 and snow

(Friday 8 January 2010) by Brennan-adventures
Well hello folks,
Thought we would give you a quick resume of our Christmas holiday and the weather when we returned home.

We left the house on the 22nd December in the wee small hours of the morning to travel to La Gomera in the Canary Islands.
The worry was we didn’t know if we would get there; on the evening of the 21st Dec the motorway was closed because of snow and drivers had been stuck in their cars and the airport closed!!!
Well our taxi driver did well and the motorway was clear but icy, he took his time and we arrived safely.

Our flight left 1 hour late not because of weather but because someone counted the tonnage of the freight incorrectly it was too heavy and some had to be unloaded.
4 hours later we landed in Tenerife to windy, wet and stormy weather…BUT warm!! The transfer took us to the ferry, a huge boat that bobbed around quite a bit for an hour :-x:-x until we docked in La Gomera. We then had another 1 hour drive to the complex, the mountainous roads were torturous very windy and wet, the sides of the mountains are shale like and there were lots of small rock-falls over the road surface. There were also waterfalls draining water from the mountains. We eventually arrived at the complex and into the apartment. For the next 2 days it drizzled and was overcast although warm. Then suddenly the weather changed and blue skies and sunshine appeared the temp rose to around 24c, LOVELY…B-)B-)
From the complex to the village it was a 15-20min walk down a winding steep path, it had been resurfaced since last year so was a little easier, but lots of steps so the knees creaked and the thighs grumbled !!
The village has 3 small supermarkets and about 6 small restaurant/bars. There is a golf/ hotel complex and some apartments over some of the shops, it attracts people who enjoy walking and an awful lot of German voices can be heard. The atmosphere is SLEEEEPY and Very laid back.
If we had no shopping we walked back up the cliff, I have to be honest and think in 14 days this happened twice!! Mike however went out running every morning and then finished off with a swim in the pool… far too cold for me. The road he ran on was very steep, and people are amazed he was running at all !! 8-O

Christmas day was quiet and we went to the restaurant for dinner, the day was spent lolling in the sun and reading books…
Mike and I had been alone, a little strange as every other year Emma had been with us.
Well on the 29thDec Em and Tim her partner arrived, thankfully the weather was still warm and sunny …whew!!

New Year eve… or Hogmanay as I know it, was a strange affair. We had decided to eat our meal in the apartment as the meal at the restaurant was £70.00 each and far to many courses for comfort of the waistband!!
We arrived at the restaurant/ bar about 11pm the music was supplied by a man playing a keyboard, he also had a trumpet; the most amazing thing was he only had one arm. What an amazing musician he was. His singing in English was a little strange but had everyone on the dance floor.

Em had decided it may be better going to the village, so we left to walk down the hill path. Em and Tim appear back saying the village is deserted so back to the bar. After midnight it is decided we will let off a hot air lantern. The night was still with no wind the cloud level high, with lots of stars.
Em and Tim took out the lantern…. It was huge----a red heart shaped waxed lantern about 2m by 1m. The fuel was a small square shaped paraffin block that attached to the bottom of the lantern by wire. Once the fuel block was lit it took a few moments for the lantern to fill with hot air and want to take off. The moment came and all made a wish and off it flew, up and up and up it was really beautiful. It rose so high it looked like a star then it hit the high clouds and the fuel block went out. It really was magical.

The next night it was decided to let off the next one…. What a disaster, the night was windy and instead of taking off upward it took off horizontally and not gaining any height infact heading straight for the trees…. Help what now??? :-?
Well luckily it hit a high wall and the fuel cell was dislodged onto the top of the wall, now all we had to hope was it wasn’t blown off into the bushes. I headed down to the wall and found a container filled with water but couldn’t reach the fuel cell. At that time a hero arrived… one of the kitchen guys from the restaurant/bar who was leaving to go home, saw my predicament and took a running jump onto the wall and doused the flames… Thank goodness no bush fire started by the Brennans!!! :-,:-,

The 3rd and Last lantern was kept until the last evening, which again was still and clear, I however was still jumpy and concerned, infact quite mother hen like. The fuel cell lit and suddenly up it went, floating up and up into the atmosphere, the lantern managed to rise between a gap in the clouds higher than before it went on and on until I am sure the height of aeroplanes !! It was very impressive in the right conditions, but I am not sure I could deal with the stress again.

Well we got the news from the U.K. every day, Scottish news for some bizarre reason, but certainly sobering watching the weather… hell for everyone especially in Scotland -20c I cannot imagine being that cold!! x-|
I did however learn all about the origins of Auld Lang Syne and watched a piping competition… I tell you the thrill was all mine, and brought a tear to the eye!!

Well we saw the snow was due for when we were due to land, was that going to mean delays???
We did the transfer, ferry and bus to the airport. The plane took off on time and happily we landed with no problem. Travelling home the snow started to fall causing some problems the closer we got to home. Bizarrely enough we got stuck in traffic 5 mins from the entrance to our road. The traffic in front couldn’t get up the hill, luckily some cars started to turn around which meant we could get to the road end….whew.
The next day we both had an extra day off working from home, just impossible to get out and about… I know we are just softy southerners. :o)

Well next time you hear from me will be our blog from China, which we are off to next week….

Love to you all
Laur xx


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