Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Exploring La Gomera

Yesterday was the only bright and sunny day on the forecast for this week so we hired a VW Polo from the most laidback rental company ever encountered and headed for the hills. The geography of the place is stunning - the island was described in one guidebook as being a bit like an orange squeezer, amost perfectly round with sharp ridges and valleys radiating from the centre. The flaura and fauna change dramatically - in the centre of the island the hills scrape moisture out of passing clouds and there is dense Laurel rainforest, to the north there are huge areas of cultivation (bananas mostly) on terraces painstakingly built over the centuries whilst to the south the land is dry and rocky.

The roads are a testament to the road-builders' art as they cling to the sides of ravines and climb in many hundreds of hairpin bends. The poor little Polo was in 3rd gear for most of the day, with quite a few 1st gear hairpins. Anyway we drove all over the island and absolutely fell in love with the place!

Here are some photos of our motor tour:

San Sebastian and our marina in the foreground, with Tenerife behind

Heading up towards the rainforest

A climber's paradise

The contrast of forest and barren rock below

Graham makes a new friend at the forest visitors' centre

Farming, the hard way!

Banana plantations at Hermigua on the north coast

The Valle Gran Rey - an incredible view but quite a touristy place

The clouds swirl in

Today, by contrast, has been wet and the hills above us are shrouded in mist so we've done food shopping and general boat jobs. The local forecast said Force 4-5 with gusts up to 57mph and they were spot on! We've just recorded over 50 knots on our windspeed instruments and the marina is a hive of activity as people try to tame flapping awnings and yawing boats. Glad we're snug in the harbour and not at anchor!

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