After leaving CapeTown in September we sailed almost 6,000 miles in just three months and it looked like a full time job. We enjoyed learning the new boat, spending time with our new friends onboard and our stops in Namibia, St. Helena and Ascension Island, however most of the time was dedicated to fix something onboard, plan the next passage or on a long passage.
Over the last almost two months in the Canary Islands we finally slowed down, we did not move much, we spent very little time working on the boat, and we have not been always obsessed by the weather forecast.
We could finally spend our time with other cruisers or travellers or just to swim, kayak, hike, run, read or explore new places without the strict deadline of the next passage. We spent most of our time in the Canary Islands In La Gomera, staying in San Sebastian, Valle Gran Rey and Playa de Santiago.
La Gomera is a beautiful island with an amazing green park in the middle and small villages both in-land and sea side.
It does not have the wild coastal development of the south of Tenerife and it does not attract mass tourism. All people we met are people from north Europe spending the winter away from the cold, hikers or other type of “nomads” that enjoy a relaxed and laid back lifestyle.
After almost a month in La Gomera it is very difficult to decide to leave. If we move north to visit Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote we will not be back for quite some time.
In all our cruising guides Playa de Santiago is not a special place and we only stopped here to quickly visit the “Art Studio” before going to San Sebastian and instead it became our favourite place so far in the Canary Islands.
We found a very enjoyable routine that included outdoor pilate inspired classes, amazing runs on the coast, relaxing walks, long hours reading on the beach or in the cockpit, and most of all chatting with other travellers. It is incredible how a place can select the type of people that decide to stay there, both locals and visitors we met were worth spending time with either because of their kindness or because of their interesting stories.
Among others we met a young Swedish couple that is doing their university studies in Philosophy and Religion while travelling and spending their free time hiking, meditating and meeting other people; a 72 years old Swiss guy that every day plays his trumpet on a cliff above the cave where he used to live with his last wife;
a couple of german hikers that were just walking with their tend from place to place among the islands; a street singer playing only Fabrizio De Andre songs, etc. and all carried with them amazing stories and somehow shared a view of the world quite uncommon in different environments.
We could decide to stay in Santiago for much longer and still enjoy it, however we just looked at the weather forecast and we found two good days to move to Gran Canaria with a night stop south of Tenerife. If we miss this weather window we have to wait at least a week. The NE wind have been much more stable than few weeks ago and we fear it could take even longer to have favourable conditions again.
… and we still feel some deadlines. Marcella has to fly again to the Netherlands, we are waiting for a parcel arriving in Gran Canaria the 1st of February and we still have a long list of work to do on the boat that needs a week or two in Las Palmas.
It is very difficult and sad but tomorrow to leave this anchorage to sail north, the bay of Playa de Santiago will not look like this for some time, but we want to be back here.