Saturday, April 27, 2013

Funny guide on bus trip to La Gomera

Here's a funny tour guide on a day trip by bus to La Gomera, and a good reason to explore the island for more than just a few hours - unless you want to be entertained like this:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fancy jumping through these fires ?

Jumping the bonfires in Agulo, La Gomera 
Well, if you really fancy jumping over or through the bonfires seen in the image on the left, then make sure you'll be be in the picturesque town of Agulo on La Gomera on Wednesday, 24th of April 2013. Following an old custom the fires are lit in honour of the town's patron saint San Marcos every year, and many of the town's population are rising to the challenge and jump over the bonfires. Visitors are welcome to join in and there's even a version with smaller fires for the children. If you're a bit older or just not as daring, you can wait until the fires have burnt down a bit and try the 'light' version. The organisers recommend to cover your hair and avoid wearing flammable synthetics.
After the spectacular fire-jumping, there'll be dancing all night and and plenty of cold drinks to quench the resulting thirst.. For full festival programme and more about Agulo (in Spanish) click THIS.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Concert with wine tasting

Two renowned Spanish musicians will perform live improvisations on electric guitar and electronic drums in the newly opened 'Ars Septem' art gallery at the 'Casa Creativa' bar in Hermigua, La Gomera this Saturday, April 20th 2013. They will improvise on five themes related to the island's landscape. The event called 'Freeling' will also include a guided tasting of La Gomera's wines and starts early at 6.30pm. There's a cover charge of only 5 Euros.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Permanent helicopter base needed on La Gomera

With the dry season beginning now and last year's disastrous fires still fresh in our memories the need for a helicopter to be permanently stationed on La Gomera is obvious. The island's government has called once again for the granting of same, as new figures released show that over the past 30 years nearly 1000 fires were fought on La Gomera of which just ONE was due to natural causes, the remainder was caused by humans acting irresponsibly or by arsonists. Given the orographical conditions on La Gomera which leave many areas very difficult to access, a permanent helicopter is essential not only for the rapid intervention in case of fire but also as an air ambulance. La Gomera is the only Canary Island that does not have a helicopter based on the island, and precious time is lost when aircraft have to be sent from neighbouring islands. La Gomera is home to one of the most unique and precious forests in the world which deserves all the protection it could get. During the period from 1995 to 2000 a helicopter was based on La Gomera and as result the extent of fires was greatly reduced.
Meanwhile local pressure group 'La Gomera Se Mueve' ('L.G. on the move') are criticising the local governments' measures to restore the areas affected by last year's fires as haphazard and insufficient and are asking if the officials that allowed the fires to get out of control by their lack of action or their incompetence should now be left in charge of the remedial works ?
A helicopter permanently based on La Gomera is needed now.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Festival of short film in VGR this weekend

A festival of short films will be held in the cultural centre in near the town hall in Valle Gran Rey, La Gomera at 8pm on Friday, April 12th, and Saturday, April 13th. There's no cover charge and viewers can vote for the best of the 20  films that will be shown. Poster and programme below:

Monday, April 08, 2013

NASA Earth Observatory image of the year is...

...the image of the El Hierro eruption ! Congratulations.
The winner has just been announced a few minutes ago, and this should bring much needed publicity for El Hierro and puts the harbour and town of La Restinga on a world stage. Here's my enhanced version of the stunning view from space again:
El Hierro eruption: NASA Earth Observatory image of the year winner! (The white 'freckles' are wave crests)
Nasa commented the win as follows:
''In a true Cinderella story, the underwater volcano proceeded to knock off four higher seeds before meeting another #7 seed—the crack in the Pine Island Glacier—in the final. The matchup was not even close, as El Hierro romped with 91 percent of the votes.
Perhaps sensing its impending victory, El Hierro began stirring in late March 2013. According to Erik Klemetti’s “Eruptions” volcanology, earthquake swarms beneath the island suggested that magma was on the move. Perhaps a volcano will soon be popping some lava champagne to celebrate the win.''

Friday, April 05, 2013

Giant wasps nest found on La Gomera

Giant wasps-nest on La Gomera ©
In an old house in the centre of San Sebastian de La Gomera a huge wasps-nest was discoverd. The nest extends to more than seven metres (about 21 feet !) in the hall of the house. The house, which is just a few steps away from the post office, has been uninhabited for quite some time and has now been sealed-off by police until further measures can be taken to deal with the millions of wasps inside. What exact type of wasp it is remains to be established, but it appears to be a sub-species of large wasps that build this type of nest. They probably originated in Africa and have only in recent years begun to settle on La Gomera. They were previously reported from the eastern Canary Islands but are now spreading to the whole archipelago.
Update: The wasps were later killed with insecticide during Friday night when the insects were resting and when the road was devoid of traffic . 
The huge structure could prove to be the largest wasps nest ever found worldwide !

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Vote for El Hierro eruption image

The tournament for NASA Earth Observatory image of the year has reached the final and the image of the submarine eruption at El Hierro is guaranteed the second place. Please vote for it HERE to make it the winner and give El Hierro some much needed publicity.
The benign eruption scared away many tourists and El Hierro is struggling to recover from the economic damage. You can vote several times, but voting closes on Friday.
The winner will be announced on Monday, April 8th.
Meanwhile seismic activity at El Hierro continues - read the full story HERE
El Hierro eruption seen from space 2012. This image has now made it into
 the final of the NASA Earth Observatory tournament for image of the year
and you too can vote for it! Click:

Monday, April 01, 2013

Elephants for forest on La Gomera

Reliable sources have confirmed today (it is NOT a bank holiday here), that elephants will be gradually introduced - initially on a trial basis - in La Gomera's national park this year, and that the first of the huge mammals will arrive very soon. The administration will be acquiring orphaned young animals who lost their mothers - some due to poaching as a consequence of the illegal ivory trade, and some orphaned due to natural causes - from countries in Africa and Asia.
It is planned to get them accustomed to climate and terrain until they become independent. Then they will be released in the national park and the abundance of greenery there should keep them well-fed and healthy to ensure their rapid growth. Biologists who were consulted have confirmed that La Gomera's flora and laurisilva forest is most suitable for elephants.
On maturity select African elephants will be auctioned-off to interested big-game hunters to generate a new source of income in these times of crisis and dwindling public funding. A single animal is expected to fetch at least 50.000 Euros for our administration. Noble members of the European aristocracy as well as many  'nouveau riche' are said to be ''delighted and excited at the prospect of getting this opportunity much closer to home and in such pleasant surroundings ''.  The hunt itself will obviously attract animal rights activists, ecologists  and republicans - but it is envisaged that protesters from all over the world will positively help to fill vacant tourist accommodation.  Each local town hall on La Gomera will be be authorised to grant 'licences to protest'  (permisos de protesta) to the activists - fees will vary according to numbers. The average tourist will be accommodated to view the spectacle from the already existent 'miradores' (viewing points) for a small fee.
The Asian (aka Indian) elephants however will be kept domesticated and trained by the forestry department to perform tasks such as removing and transporting trees which were burnt during last year's fires. It is hoped that they will generally replace all the machinery that is rusting idly now, because the national park can't afford the fuel to run it on account of the cutbacks.
According to tourism interests the imported Asian/Indian species will also be available for rides and excursions throughout the national park 'Garajonay' and this will be serious competition to the camel rides on offer on other Canary Islands.The initiative will bring extra tourism revenue - and a new meaning to 'a Gomeran wedding' when a hired elephant is added.
There is an ecological aspect to all of the above, as the potent dung generated by the elephants will be freely available to organic farmers, and generally the accumulated savings on precious, noxious fossil fuels will be considerable.
One of the most mammoth and innovative ideas in years, I think.

African elephant helping Euro, and eh... (y)our ohhh  economy.

Mammoth ideas for La Gomera
Above: Tourism generating €lephants
Below: Asian elephant saving
Euro...and diesel.