Another Birthday

Well, another one has just rolled up. It seems like only a year since the last one.

I don't feel old, and 63 is probably not considered particularly old these days when many people enjoy a healthy and fulfilling life  into their nineties. 

However,  I realised this morning that I am now older than all my grandparents were when  they died. Both my maternal grandparents died in their fifties and my paternal grandmother was only just 60. I never really knew my paternal grandfather but he could not have been very old when he died.

Coming from a tough, working class background they all had hard lives, living through two world wars, the Depression years and struggling to feed and clothe a large brood of children.

I count myself lucky to have been born at a time when I  had access to a decent education, leading to reasonably well paid employment for over 40 years, enabling me to save enough to retire at 60 on a small pension.

I am not, and would not aspire to be, rich. I am just thankful that I have been able to enjoy a comfortable life but wish that I could have said the same for my grandparents generation. 

Last Day

We are spending a quiet day today, making the most of our last opportunity for some sunshine.

A short walk and coffee stop this morning then packing after lunch.

Up at silly o'clock tomorrow for the 7:30 ferry across to Tenerife then the afternoon flight to Gatwick.

We saw this tiny gecko on our way to the bar last night. He was so small we nearly missed him

The Long Haul

..... up to the mirador (lookout point) this morning.

We were late setting off for our walk as there had been a problem overnight with a burst water pipe and our apartment was without water. The owner turned up promptly with some 5 litre containers of water to keep us going until it was fixed.

We left around 9:30 and by the time we had slogged all the way up to the top the sun was well and truly up and scorching. 

Thankfully it was downhill all the way back to the bar where we recovered with a coffee and cake.

The monster was still in port so the town was pretty busy. Not many of the passengers had ventured up the hill so our walk had been very peaceful.

Another One

This morning another cruise ship had arrived in port, even bigger than the one on Christmas Day.  This one was from a German cruise company.

We had planned on taking the bus up to Vallehermoso as today's weather forecast was for clear skies up there but as soon as we saw the huge crowd of hikers at the bus station with their rucksacks  boots and poles we realised we would never get there. 

These cruise ship passengers are becoming a bit of a nuisance!

Instead,  we took a short walk up the hill leading out of town then walked back, stopping off to buy some bread and beers at the market on the way back.

Looks like we are destined never to make it up to Vallehermoso!

Back to Normal

Here in La Gomera all is back to normal again. Most places closed up on Christmas Eve afternoon and all day yesterday,  apart from the cafe bars around the main square which were crammed full with cruise ship passengers yesterday.  Thankfully the cruise ship left port at 5 pm so we were able to go out for a beer.

Today was a little misty up on the peaks so we stayed in town.  Coffee and cake was involved.

We bought more food and wine then visited the little museum around the corner.  It is housed in a 15th century merchant's house. Tiny but very interesting.  The chap on the desk was very friendly and we chatted about his island and ours.

An afternoon spent lounging around in the apartment away from the heat of the sun.

We shall pop out later when it is cooler and enjoy a little drink in the bar in the square.

Christmas Day

I hope everyone is having the Christmas they wished for, or at least having a good time!

We awoke this morning to see this Tui cruise ship pulling into the port.

Our plans for a lunchtime beer and a snack in our favourite bar were scuppered by hordes of cruise ship passengers.

No room at the inn!

A walk around town instead. Much healthier.

My Christmas card from P...

Have a lovely day everyone.

Christmas Eve

A 2 hour walk along the barranco -  a dried river bed.

A visit to the local shop for a bottle of fizz to go with our Christmas fish.

Everyone here is preparing for their big family feasts this evening followed by Mass.

We shall have a quiet evening drinking our wine and watching the sun set.

Elfie is all packed and is leaving us tonight to go back to Father Christmas.  Bye Elfie!

A Change of Plan

Monday morning. We had planned to take the local bus for the hour's ride up to Vallehermoso in the north of the island. However,  as we sat on a bench waiting for the bus to arrive we could see the clouds gathering up above us on the peaks.

Realising that this would mean it would be misty and cool where we were headed we decided to give it a miss until a clearer day.

Coffee in the market bar and a wander around town (and a 1 euro beer) before heading back to our apartment for a snooze.

Elfie had fun sliding down the banister at the 14th century tower in the park.

Quiet Sunday

The morning started off cloudy and a little cooler so we went for a walk along the road that winds up above the Parador and parallel to the coastline.

We were soon in a very rural area and doing fine until we encountered a rather large, powerful looking dog who ran towards us barking frantically.  I nearly had a heart attack and was relieved when his owner,  a well worn local finca worker,  whistled to him to leave us alone...which he finally did, reluctantly it seemed. 

I was not keen to go any further into the *wilds* in case of more canine terrorists so we turned off and followed the path out to the lighthouse. 

We retraced our steps,  stopping off at the Parador for a quick comfort break, then down into town where we had a cafe cortado in the market and bought some provisions. 

A late lunch out on the balcony until the sun came out and forced us back indoors. 

Elfie must have been swimming as he was hanging up to dry.

Sporty Saturday

Saturday morning and according to the list of local festive activities there was a swimming competition across the bay, starting at 10 a.m.

We arrived at 9:45 and found a good viewing spot on a bench overlooking the beach. We waited, and  waited.  P strolled over to one of the officials to ask when they would be starting.  11a.m. apparently.   So we went to our favourite cafe in the square and whiled away some time with a cafe cortado.

Back to the beach and it was all happening. 

There were about 16 competitors.  At the signal they dived in and swam right across to a marker buoy up against the cliffs, then back towards the marina, around the orange buoy,  back to the cliffs then a straight-ish route back to the beach.

The winner made it in just over 20 minutes.

This guy was not in the competition,  he was just swimming around getting in the way

Later that afternoon P signed on for a Christmas Road Race,  a 5km fun run around the town. It was scheduled to start at 5 pm but actually got underway around 6:20 pm. At least the temperature had cooled down by then. He did well considering he has been suffering from a hacking cough and sore throat since we arrived here.

Elfie found a good spot for sunbathing