Our Beautiful World


Wandering And Wondering I - To The Waterfall

Two waterfalls are shown on our map of La Gomera. The wandering to one of them,
was described in an old German wander-book we had recently borrowed,
and that gave us courage to one of our first wanderings down here.

We followed the "barranca",
bottom of the canyon,
up from La Calera.
The path was very dry, and so wasthe river that once made this path. New to us to see all the bamboo along
the riverside.
At the end of the path at
Casa de la Seda, where our
trip was to start, this path was
totally covered by bamboo.
To find a stick for wandering
was absolutely no problem
at all here.

Just before we arrived at Casa de la Seda, we had to stop to
watch 6-7 colourful birds, jumping from here to there
on the path.

A first sight just told us that all the red and yellow colours
at least did not belong to any bird we had seen before..

Later we looked them up in a referencebook on birds (english)
when back home, and identified the birds as GOLDFINCH,
in Norway called Stillits (carduelis carduelis),
which is not so rare after all.....
Onward (read:UPWARD) from Casa de la Ceda on our way up to La Cascada - or
"Wasserfall" (german) as you could read all the way up.
And why was everything in german all over the valley? We talked to a lady in a small
souvenir-boutique later. She told us that there were none but German tourists on the island. "Indeed,
there are TOO many Germans", she said. Now, we were already speaking
a mixture of German and English to eachother, so I asked which language she personally preferred -
English or German - when we talked to her. "German, of course", she replied.
"I am german, myself!"
She had lived on the island for several years.
Back to the "Wasserfall"-trip again. We were to look for a
white house in the village of Casa de la Seda, that had a yellow
mailbox on the wall. There were the stairs upward, we had been
told. But that was only the stairs up to the stairs that led up to
the stairs leading to the path downstairs to the stairs
upwards....in between small pictoresque cottages and orange
trees, hibiscus (Roses of China), and bougainvillas.

Here and there also a goat or some chickens.
Also some (expelled?) Europeans living here, making
handicrafts, stony idols and offering services in Yoga etc, but
obviously they did not help making it more pretty there.

Soon after we managed to climb higher, and the settlement had to give it up. Here everything is buildt on terraces and sooner or later it just has to be too steep. Further up the
valley we counted even 60 terraces upward from the bottom
up the hill.

Wondering how they get their building-equipment etc all
the way up the hillside? By their old traditional transport methods, of course. How long it takes to carry it all upstairs, we have no idea at all. But surely someone needs a lot of
fuel during the day..

Another small path led us further, to a new sign with the text "Wasserfall". And here the
fun was to begin! Instead of playing goat all the time, and climbing up and down the
hillslopes (read: the steep mountain slopes) it was much easier (?)- and more fun - to walk
on the bottom of the canyon, along the small brook of what was left of the original river.

No, not much water there and as in a normal small brook in the woods back in Norway.
The difference here was rather that the spruces and pines we are used to at home,
were not here. Instead the bamboo and quite a many (too many?) thorn-bushes were
trying to pack it all together, and not let us through. But no, we were not the first ones
t o walk here, so it could have been worse. However, if we ever had a feeling of
cutting us through the Amazon jungle, it must have been here.

After a while, the canyon widened out and let the sun come through, and the 'river' formed
a few small lovely waterfalls, including a small pond that was ideal for placing one's sore
and sweaty feet.

So it was "jungle" once more, and as the handbook said: "If you don't find the path,
just choose the easiest way further on, and sooner or later you will find the path again."
And we did. Of course, there were no other ways but to go straight on, unless you
flew up the mountainside, as the falcons and eagles did.

Finally we reached what had to be the end of the trip, as it looked impossible to walk
(read: climb) further.. Now the mountains were closing in on all sides. We found
ourselves standing in a 10-12 metre wide opening (or closure?) with the wall on our
left side hanging out over our heads, a steep mountainwall on our right and with a long
and tall
waterfall right ahead.

No exactly like "Niagara", just enough water to call it a waterfall, and not enough to
fill the pond to let us have a bath, as the handbook encouraged us to do when reaching
the goal. What ever there might have been of water before, it was not there that day.

As far into the canyon as you could get, not easily to look at here, but that was because there was not much water.

Earlier there had been a pond about 5 x 5 metres in the wide opening, totalling no
more than 8 x 8 m.

The view from here was not the best, as the tall walls were hiding what there might be to see...

At right : The steep wall side just
disappeared somewhere up there....

The waterfall of Arure when there is more water in the river -
bottom of the canyon somewhere
down at right...
From the book "La Gomera - Isla Colombina"
Photo: Copyright Thomas K. Müller

A cosy and exotic 'siesta', and juicy Canary-oranges, before we turned our noses around,
and began heading back again. Just about 5 minutes further down, we met another couple sitting down relaxing, before they also turned. They had had enough. May be they had not chosen "the easiest way"? Later we saw several others, sitting with their feet in the ponds
all the way down the canyon. They also looked satisfied with what they had managed.

A difficult or hard trip? That depends. But children ought to have experience with
wanderings like this - and indeed they have to be fond of it, too. Your shoes must be
in order, even if we used our ordinary trainers.
One litre of water is a must - for each wanderer, as even if the 'jungle' is thick, so the sun
is still there. Don't be up too early in the morning - even if the heat is not so bad yet -
as the goal deserves some sunbeams while you're there!

Time used from Casa de la Seda is no more than 1/2 to 1 hour, plus siesta
on the way, but lots of fun, anyway.


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