La Gomera to La Palma

We took an 8 pm ferry Thursday night from the island of La Gomera to the Island of La Palma in the Canaries. With so late a departure we had all day to enjoy La Gomera. It was the clearest day we have had since we arrived. We could easily see Tenerife with the Teide Volcano across the channel.

Tenerife and Teide Volcano from La Gomera

We drove to Playa Santiago, the next town along the coast and had coffee overlooking the beach I tested the water and it seemed relatively warm.

Coffee in Playa Santiago
Playa Santiago

We stopped at a viewpoint on our way back to San Sebastián. We could see how the trade wind clouds coming from the north east get stopped by the mountains. The sign at the viewpoint said that it is estimated that the volume of water provided by these clouds is five times what the area gets from rain.

Trade wind clouds are stopped by the mountains.

We knew we would arrive at the Parador on La Palma after the dining room closed. The person at the front desk in La Gomero called La Palma and they said they would give us dinner in our room. We didn’t get to the Parador in La Palma until about 11pm but then we had a great dinner.

Dinner at the Parador in La Palma

Here is a link to the video I made of our time in La Gomera

La Gomera

As you may know I have a YouTube channel. I post trip videos on the channel every few days. I’m going to try to remember to link to my videos here when I post them. I posted my video of Tenerife yesterday.

We arrived on the island of La Gomera in the Canary Islands yesterday. Today we drove around the island. La Gomera is the second smallest of the Canary Islands. Its area is only about 142 square miles. The terrain is rugged with spectacular ravines.

It was interesting to see how the vegetation changed as we drove around the island. on the south side where we are staying it is very dry and desert like. On the north side of the island the vegetation is much greener and denser because of moisture from the trade wind clouds.

We stopped a couple of times to hike in the Garajonay National Park in the center of the island.

We saw this plant on each hike. I thought it should be called a dandelion tree. But I was wrong. It is a Hawk’s Beard Bush!

Hawk’s Beard Bush

We ate dinner at the Parador again.

Watercress soup
Roast goat

Tenerife to La Gomera

When we walked back to the hotel last night after dinner about ten o’clock things were pretty quiet. There were only a few people on the streets. The party must have started after we went to bed. This morning we left the hotel at about 6:15 and the streets were packed. The crowds were beginning to head to the bus station as were we.

Partiers heading home after being up all night

We took a bus from Santa Cruz to Los Cristianos on the south end of Tenerife where we got on a ferry to La Gomera.

The ferry that took us from Tenerife to La Gomera.

At the ferry terminal in La Gomera we rented a car and drove to the La Gomera Parador overlooking the harbor.

The ferry terminal on La Gomera. Our Parador is on the cliff above it.

We took it easy for the rest of the day enjoying the balcony of our room and exploring the Parador.

Courtyard at La Gomera Parador.
Relaxing on the balcony of our room.

We ate dinner at the Parador.

Squid
Cold melon soup with ham.
Prawns.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

What a difference a day makes. Although it is still a bit hazy today you can see blue sky and the sand is gone from the air. When I woke up briefly at 4am I could still hear the party going on. But when we went out to get coffee around 9:30 it was very quiet and the street were being cleaned. Without the sandy air, pink skies and drunk partiers Santa Cruz is a much nicer place.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Street.

Museums are closed on Mondays and many of the stores are closed for Carnival. This afternoon we went for a long walk along the waterfront.

Offshore subsea construction vessel (OSCV) on the left and semi-submersible accommodation and construction support vessel on the right. On the Santa Cruz de Tenerife waterfront.

We ate dinner at a great restaurant called Etereo by Pedro Nel about half a mile from our hotel.

Crab salad to share
1.1 Kg Steak to share
Apple with cinnamon ice cream crumble to share

Tenerife Day 2 – Parador Cañadas del Teide to Santa Cruz de Tenerife

This morning we left the slopes of the Teida volcano and headed to Santa Cruz on the north east edge of Tenerife.

It was windy as we left and it kept getting more and more windy. The wind blew trees down and created quite an amazing drive. On top of that the wind is blowing massive amount of sand from the Sahara Desert over Tenerife. Visibility is almost zero and the sky is an eerie pink color. If you Google Tenerife dust storm you can see some amazing pictures of the dust storm from space. They call this weather phenomenon a Calima.

To add to the excitement Carnival is going on right now. Our plan was to check into our hotel, leave our bags, and then return the car to the airport. The plan basically worked out but we couldn’t drive all the way to the hotel. A lot of streets are closed for Carnival so we eventually found a place to park (probably illegally). I stayed with the car and Duke took the bags to the hotel and checked in. Then we found our way to the airport. No flights are flying in or out of Tenerife because of the dust storm. We turned in the car, took a bus into town and walked to our hotel.

We rested a bit then went out into the giant Carnival party, walked around and people watched.

Dinner

London to Tenerife in the Canary Islands

This morning we flew from London Gatwick to Tenerife in the Canary Islands. The Canaries are a part of Spain. They are located off the northwest coast of Africa. The latitude is similar to the latitude of Florida.

Gatwick Airport
Gomera Island in the Canary Islands

The airport in Tenerife is right next to the ocean. We rented a car and drove to the Parador Cañadas del Teide. The Parador is at an altitude of about 7000 feet on the side of the the Volcano Teide in the middle of Las Cañadas Del Teide National Park. We explored a bit and then relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. We can see the volcano Teide from the window of our room.

Viewpoint on the road to Teide National Park
Teide Volcano
Enjoying our welcome drinks in the Parador bar.

The road from the airport to our Parador was very good but also very narrow and winding. We saw a lot of bicycles both going up and coming down the road.

Parador Cañadas del Teide.

The height of the Teide Volcano is more than 12,000 feet. It is the highest point in Spain. There is a cable car (teleferico) that would take us to within 500 meters of the top of Teide but it is very windy here today so the cable car is closed. I don’t think we’ll hike up!

Our room price includes dinner and breakfast. We celebrated our first dinner in Spain and first Parador of this trip with an excellent meal

Tuna and a salad
Steak
Date ice cream with raspberry sauce

London – Day 2

Neither of us slept very well last night but we still managed to get to the 20 Frenchchurch Street building by just after ten so that we could go up to the Skygarden without a reservation. What fantastic views!

The Tower of London and Tower Bridge.
The Skygarden

We had a great lunch at a pub near our hotel.

Steak and blue cheese pie.
Sausage Roll

Then we visited the Museum of London. They had exhibits from before the Romans, through the Angles and Saxons to the present day.

A model of an old London Theater

This evening we are staying in a micro room at a hotel In Gatwick Airport. Early tomorrow we head to the Canary Islands.

For those of you who are interested I have a YouTube channel where I post trip videos every few days. If you subscribe to the channel it will help me get my own domain name eventually. In the meantime this link will take you to the channel. I just posted my first video of this trip.

London

We are staying At The Rookery Hotel in the Smithfield area of the City of London. The Smithfield market, a giant meat market, is just around the corner. The signs say that it is open from 2am to 10 am. We walked through this morning just before they closed.

We ate breakfast at a shop near our hotel. Here is Duke’s full English breakfast.

We walked a lot today. We were going to go up to the Sky Garden at the top of a new building that is called The Walkie-Talkie. Unfortunately it turns out you need to book in advance so we were turned away. The information guy outside told us that we could probably get in if we were there when they open at ten in the morning so we will give it a try tomorrow.

A few weeks ago I booked a class about online parish records at the Society of Genealogists. I really enjoyed attending the class this afternoon. Genealogy is a passion of mine.

For dinner tonight we ate at a nearby pub, The Fox and Anchor. We shared a chicken and leek pie and a pork chop with potatoes and a duck egg.

On the Road again – Europe 2020 – San Francisco to London

Duke and I are on the road again. We just arrived in London from San Francisco. We will be in London for three nights as we adjust to the jet lag and then we fly to the Canary Islands. If you would like to see our full itinerary you can see it here.

We arrived at London Gatwick on an overnight flight then took the train into London. We had to wait a few minutes for our room to be ready the receptionist offered us a cup of tea while we waited.

After a nap we went for a walk. We are staying near St Paul’s Cathedral.

Before we went back to the hotel we had dinner at a at nearby pub. Bangers and mash for me and fish and chips for Duke.