(US) / verhaal (NL) of our
made in november 1994.
makes sea kayaking look like white water kayaking. My friend Jaap paddled the two seater as close to the rocks as his nerves could stand.
|There isn’t much to tell about our flight from Amsterdam, the luggage depot at Schiphol Airport (that is not a suitcase sir, is it?) and the surprised faces from the passengers when they look at the 6 meter long passing kayak with a nose wheel. There isn’t even much to tell about the endless walk from the airport to El Abrigo using the emergency lane of the freeway.|
After dinner we found a sleeping
accommodation along the
public road between a one meter high wall and our kayak. That caused
when late bar visitors wanted to empty their bladders against that same
wall only a few yards away from our accommodation. It is amazing that
this kind of situation it is no problem what so ever that you
the Spanish language.
|The next morning, well rested and refreshed, we paddled away in the direction of Cristianos, stared after by bewildered local people and tourists.|
After arriving at La Gomera in the city of
we park the kayak with full packing in front of the local police
and saunter into the little city. Back at the central square we alight
between the very beautiful young mothers with their playing children
love the offered Dutch cheese and crackers.
|After breakfast consisting of coffee, orange juice (fresh) and sausage in lemon-marmalade (!) which we enjoy at a kind of a kiosk, we leave the next morning from the beach in the direction of the west coast of La Gomera. The first village is La Rajita. It is completely deserted and feels spooky.|
|The coast is a chunk of rock with incredible beautiful holes of approximately 1 meter diameter just at the surface. They slurp the moving water and spit it out again with an almost alarming subterranean noise. 15 meter high chapel shaped holes catch the enormous water mass again and propel it high up in white foam. The flared up water mist causes beautiful rainbows.|
|Looking backwards we see new water masses approach the coast which increase our efforts in a fraction of a second. In the mean time the sun is going down, it will be completely dark at 7 o’clock. There is hardly a possibility to land to enjoy a night rest, that means that we have to hurry to reach the next village.|
|The foam on the waves tells us in good weather where the rocks are underneath the surface. So it is bad paddling in the rising dusk what we will experience a little bit later. Surely 30 meter out of the coast, opposite a cape, just after the desolate village La Dama and a little bit before Fueltas, arises a 20 meter high rock point. We decide that it is not necessary to turn aside to open sea. Getting closer we think we can take another arriving wave.|
The filled up boat is a danger on the
pebble beach. Bruises
and grazes are the results but after soup and (strong) alcohol the
brightens up again. All luggage remained dry beneath the hatches. Our
rest is accompanied by the sound of the rolling pebbles, the sound of
is resonating in the rocks behind us.
The next morning, after skinny dipping, we discuss a new problem. The breakers are strong and the (pebble) coast is steep. We decide to cover the tubs and to bring the boat to the sea by swimming. That turns out to be no good at all. The boat goes 45 degrees with regards to the beach and turns upside down. A new try, one person paddles and the other one pushes the boat through the breakers, is more successful. The second person however, has to lift himself into a filled up tub. As the back tub has no pump, which is a lack, we have to sponge.
The next morning a loud tooting bus within a distance of 10 yards wakes us. A lot of passengers all stare at us when we stretch out and take a refreshing bath in the high breakers. Unsolicited terrible stories are told by long term tourists about the north coast of this island. However, we decide to paddle on to Taguluche. Leaving the beach my friend is alone this time and is loud screaming encouraged by me. Behind the breakers I clamber groaning on board. Alas, I forgot to bring the helm down so I have to do it all again Then a beautiful trip follows along steep high cliffs on which we spot a village surrounded by terraces with banana trees and palm trees. The village, however, does not exist on our map.
Willing corpulent German seaside visitors
push us through
the breakers and in rather calm water we paddle back to Valle Gran Rey.
But the next morning it is different. The wind and breakers are worse
the day before. Again with the assistance of a corpulent German we
the beach but behind the breakers I have to leave the boat anyway as I
forgot to bring the helm down again. We have the wind due south east
us but time is running out. The front man gets all the waves over him
the back man gets all the spatters from the paddles in his face. The
penetrates the eyes and we can only avert that a little bit by pulling
the sun peak far over our eyes. It is gorgeous to see how the kayak
with the arriving rollers.
Although the rectangular expedition hatches are closed and tied with belts we find out that it is not enough in this force so wet sleeping bags are the result.
After 4½ hours paddling without any rest we arrive in La Rajita in the evening and the salt hangs in little crusts in my too long neck hair.
After a good night sleep on the pebbles we face quiet water. In front of the harbor we spot at least 20 dolphins who play and swim in circles for a very long time. After this group left we see again another group passing the harbor mouth. On our way to San Sebastian we look around but we only see the fascinating rocks and caves.
|The next day the sea is
extremely calm when
we leave San Sebastian. According to the pictures from excursion boats
it should swarm with dolphins here but we see nothing.
We have to be at the airport at 6 o’clock but we believe time is ours with such a calm sea. All of a sudden, however, the wind starts to blow and pushes the waves up to approximately 1½ meter. There is no possibility to hide and some waves get curled edges already. For a moment there is doubt whether we should go on or go back. But not aware of each others fear it is easier to decide to continue. The airplanes, which start their landing, fly over our heads in the same direction
|When we arrive in El Abrigo we have paddled for 2½ hours without any rest in rather rough circumstances. We shall not speak about the broken nose wheel, tooting busses on the curved roads walking on the emergency lane. Tanned and dead tired we arrive home after an exciting week.|
Sun Meat : Those creatures of the summer, usually female, who spend their days browning and turning, turning and browning on the beach until they are "well done"
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