La Gomera Island Life
Those who prefer to cook will be pleased to learn that Santiagos supermarkets are well-stocked and realistically priced.
In addition, the villages many cafs, bars and restaurants, several of which are situated next to the small, picturesque port, offer a choice of anglicised, and more local, fare – enabling you to select from a light snack or a multi-course tapas meal. (Be warned: many Gomerans think of the latter, as the former.)
For a special treat, you may also wish to enjoy one of the five restaurants at the luxurious Tecina Hotel and Golf Complex, which is owned and managed by the islands first family.
That family, the Olsens, is inextricably linked with Gomeran history, dating back more than a century. No one knows what prompted Norwegian Thomas Olsen, and later, his son Fred (father of the companys current President) to begin buying land in the area, in 1904. One assumes that he simply fell in love – with the island, and its inhabitants.
Despite turning a considerable profit – by securing control of the islands freshwater springs, and purchasing huge tracts of land at rock-bottom rates – the Olsens brought (and indeed, continue to bring) if not wealth, then at least prosperity, to the island: in those early days by, amongst other good works, establishing a functional irrigation system and opening the islands first school. And, more recently, as Gomeras biggest employer.
Today, the island survives and thrives almost entirely on tourism. Which is hardly surprising. For, in stark counterpoint to the more exotic pursuits mentioned earlier, its a place where you can also enjoy the familiar comforts of home not least: BBC TV and Radio 4; water direct from the tap; and a high standard of accommodation.
You dont even have to adjust your watch when you arrive.
In fact, tucked away in your exceptionally well-appointed apartment, thered be little to remind you that youre actually holidaying on an extinct volcano.
Save, of course, for that sublime climate.