Diary… Thursday, Los Cristianos/La Gomera, Tenerife

There is obviously a zero policy towards polluting emissions here in Tenerife. It is zero concern whatsoever. Stuff the planet.

Car and bus drivers sit in traffic reading newspapers while their engines idle and spew toxic exhaust fumes; ferry boats pump out vast clouds of black smoke that linger menacingly in the air.

◾Notice in the news that Beech Street (aka, the “Tunnel of Death”) near where we live has been made London’s first zero-emissions street.

◾Today is another chance to roam, with a trip to the nearby island of La Gomera: “Finally, after 12 years of coming to Tenerife,” says my wife Jane sarcastically.

◾ Knocked off a quick Picasso in wax crayon during the ferryboat crossing. Our vessel was called Volcan de Taburiente.

◾Leaving Gomera capital San Sebastián aboard the tour bus. Our guide is Guido, our driver is Juán. 

◾As the bus climbs the mountains, Guido tells us about the Canarian pine and aloe vera.

When we get to the aloe vera farm for our obligatory stop-off we we’re told by the farmer that it is an allium, that you can eat it (“good for the immune system”) and that we can take it home through customs if we want to.

Sliced open it looks like a translucent filet of jellyfish.

◾A soft sunny haze hung over the island, but away in the distance the peak of Mount Teide was just visible. It looks so big from over here.

◾After lunch we went to the Parque Nacional de Garajonay and stopped in a place called…

◾The vegetation on Gomera is really quite lush for somewhere so mountainous, and the geology is super fascinating, much of it red.

◾The tree line is remarkably high, though some of the road cuttings show signs of chronic erosion, with tree roots exposed and soily scree sloping at the edges.

Roads generally are well maintained and in good condition: bendy, curvy and with lots of tunnels through mountains.

◾The tour ended with the inevitable shopportunity.

A typical pair of Gomeran shopkeepers

◾And another self portrait…

In wax and ballpoint

…In which I don a jaunty cap to check the football on my phone. Liverpool beat Sheffield Utd 2-0.

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