La Gomera: Wandern und Urlaub auf Spaniens Kanarischer Insel | ARD Reisen

La Gomera: Wandern und Urlaub auf Spaniens Kanarischer Insel | ARD Reisen

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Buenos dias on La Gomera. And welcome to Wunderschön. Subtitle: WDR mediagroup GmbH on behalf of WDR What landscapes, mountains, valleys and all around the sea. Visit this wildly romantic volcanic island in the Atlantic with us.

The second smallest of the Canary Islands, which belong to Spain. All ferries arrive in San Sebastián. The Valle Gran Rey in the west is one of the most popular holiday destinations. And you can go hiking in the Garajonay National Park and not only there.

There are some coasts where divers and surfers are drawn. The small island with only 20,000 inhabitants is well developed and has a network of hiking trails. The high-altitude, primeval laurel forest in the north of the island is particularly fascinating . ? Viva la Gomera. ? La Gomera means swimming on the beach and, above all, hiking over the sea.

We start our journey at the Mirador de Abrante viewpoint. Oh. *Music* Whoa. (laughs) (clears throat) Only a pane of glass separates you from the abyss. However, a very thick one.

* Music * You really need sturdy shoes here. 600 km of hiking trails in total. We want to try out a few of the most beautiful ones. This one looks pretty sophisticated.

* Music * These contrasts, this color. The red soil has a high proportion of iron oxide. But it contains hardly any nutrients for plants, so not much grows here. The forests that once existed here have been cut down.

For firewood and farmland. The destination of our first tour in the north of La Gomera is the village of Agulo. From the Mirador de Abrante there is a steep descent of about 1.5 km. Hello. A lot of work up here, right? Yes, quite a lot. Can you give me your hand? (groans) Gracias.

OK. It's not far, yes. - Thank you. If you stop here, you have to help everyone up, nice. * Music * Mirador de Abrante. You can still see him up there.

That's a different perspective from below. And pretty steep too. Above all, you need a certain surefootedness, which is often underestimated. That's why many people prefer to hike up this path. Both possible.

We slowly reach the village of Agulo. By the way, one of the oldest places on La Gomera, over 400 years old. * Music * Today there are a lot of cafes, restaurants and hotels here.

*Music* Ah. Cortado with milk and milk? Yes, regular milk and condensed milk. You can add the condensed milk from the bag to your taste. This is the cortado. The normal one comes with normal milk. But when you say Leche, Leche, you get this condensed milk.

So cortado con leche, leche. If you wanted it with more oomph, with cognac, you would have to say Carajillo, with high speed. * Music * * Music * Bananas were once loaded from ships on these concrete pillars, built in 1908 . Boats cannot dock directly on the shore due to the waves that prevail here on the north coast . The rough sea also swept away this loading station in 1954. *Music* Ah.

This is the wild Atlantic. La Gomera is great. You want to go into the sea on an island, but...

It's really too dangerous to swim here. Don't worry, we'll still get to the beaches. Today we set off to see the island from above. Our tour goes to the Garajonay National Park, the highest mountain on the island. * Music * * Music * * Music * Most of the trees that grow here are laurel species.

This is the spice laurel. - Which we put in the goulash? Laurus nobilis. May I have a piece of paper? - You can do one. Exactly.

But in this case it is not so suitable for seasoning because it is a wild-growing laurel. This is a big plant. It cannot produce as much aromatic substances to make it taste like a cultivated laurel. It is allowed to grow to a height of 1 m. - Smells very spicy. - Yes. Almost like resin, a bit too. - Yes.

We are in the laurel forest, which means we have different types of laurel. The large trees are also laurel. - Absolutely right. Then we have the lichen. They always hang at the top, where the sun is. Lichen is an indicator of clean air. And lichen is an incredible plant because this is a symbiotic life form.

Algae and fungus have united here. This makes a lichen. This beard lichen is also eaten today. In expensive haute cuisine you use a little bit of lichen, just a little bit. You put it in boiling oil, then you keep it briefly on ice, and then it goes on the food.

Can you eat them like that? You can eat them like this and they have lots of nutrients. We have to think about how we eat in the future. If you get lost here, you always have something to eat. That's not so special.

I didn't say it was delicious. This forest has been growing untouched in its primeval form for 2 million years. Here we have an Erika who is older. Erika, heather. - This is Erika.

This is what grows at home in the Lüneburg Heath. - Nope! These are trees that grow very slowly and have real hardwood. And they can easily reach 14, 15 m. You can already feel like an ant in the Lüneburg Heath, the perspective is identical. * Music * This is Erika again. - Exactly. So heather, the one with the little purple flowers.

This one blooms in white and pale pink. This is already happening in the middle and end of January. Why do the plants here get so huge? This has to do with the fact that we don't have winter. There is year-round growth. The trees are always growing.

They never throw off their leaves, like it is in Germany. They are always green. And we have these desert winds, the Scirocco and the Calima. Over 40 million tons of sand come over us every year. In this sand is iron oxide, phosphate and sulfate. This promotes growth.

Here we have our dandelions. - This is huge. This is the El Hierro thistle. This type of dandelion is only found on El Hierro and La Gomera. Similar varieties also include Tenerife, La Palma.

They easily grow to 3 to 4 m high. - So, the dandelion? Dandelions grow here all year round. He grows like a palm tree.

The leaves die and form the trunk. Similar to a palm tree. There used to be such laurel forests all over Europe. But most fell victim to the last ice age. It stayed warm on La Gomera and the old forest remained too.

Oh, “I’m sitting here!”, it’s clear. - Exactly. The professional has the seat cushion with him. - That's how it should be. When it's so humid, you have to put something underneath. Picnic now, right? Do you have anything with you? I thought you had everything with you. I have such a beautiful little piece here, we'll share it.

That's nice, thank you. Then I even have a lagomeric sweet dessert, such small pieces, so delicious. Do you know the? Brought from the bakery. - Yes. - Splendid. What is it that excites people here? I would say the calm.

When you arrive on La Gomera, you immediately feel like you have arrived. Such a special atmosphere, many say. There is relatively little tourism. We only have just over 20,000 people here. This is a very cozy island. We have certain hotels downstairs, we have guesthouses, etc.

But there has been a construction freeze for a long time. We have a free coastal strip below where, theoretically, there would be lots of building sites. But there is no construction.

Because on the coast, for example, the Navy has to approve it. It's very difficult to get there. The property prices are also very high. You are also not allowed to build over 2 floors.

Ie you are sure that it is not touristy... Even if the planes could come directly? Then the airport would have to be enlarged. We have no infrastructure for mass tourism.

There is no danger there. * Music * This is the Creces fruit, that's the name of this tree. They are edible and edible.

You can try it. If they are black, they are ripe. Does that mean you don't want to eat it? I know what that tastes like. Creces fruit? - Yes exactly.

Black and... Has a small core inside. But has a lot of vitamins etc. Is very healthy.

What does my tongue look like now? - Crumbly. But not blue? - No. So it tastes manageable. - Correct. Here again this red earth, I really noticed it before. This is iron oxide. - This is a color, iron oxide. Also called the Tosca earth.

It occurs in Tuscany and Uluru is made of the material. This is used in the pottery village of El Cercado. People make pottery just like the native people did. Everything is formed in one piece because it is a loamy soil. We now hike further up to the mountain summit.

Out of the fog into the sun. - Exactly. But later we plunge into the fog again. It's fantastic here. So now we've done it. We are 1,487 m high. A first summit experience. - Exactly.

Here is another ritual cult place for the indigenous people. Here they celebrated something similar to Thanksgiving. We are here on the former central volcano of La Gomera. * Music * The first people settled in La Gomera around 7,000 years ago.

Of course, there are also lots of legends and legends about the island. My companion Chris loves to tell the love story of the beautiful Gara. The Gara was a young native woman from the island, a Gomerita. Jonay came from Tenerife. Then he built a raft out of goat skins and made the crossing.

Halfway there, his raft capsized. The poor man fell into the water, washed up on the beach in La Gomera and lay there unconscious. The legend says that after 3 days, Jonay opened his eyes again for the very first time.

Just then, the beautiful Gara stood over him. They looked into each other's eyes and immediately fell in love. Unfortunately, the story isn't over yet. The family was against it, they saw that something was going on. They were against it because Gara was already promised. That's why they came to the highest mountain on the island.

Here they wanted to ask their highest goddess for assistance. When they got to the top, they realized that they were being followed, that they were surrounded by Gara's family, that there was no way out. Then they tore off a heather branch and made it sharp on both sides. They stood on the wall, held this branch between them and hugged each other really hard and then fell to their death. * Music * * Music * * Music * It's already a little dead, but it's still huge. This is the “bracken fern”.

It's not called that because of the eagle's wings. If you pull the roots out of the ground and cut them with a knife, you will see the silhouette of an eagle. This was the most important staple food for all the natives of the Canary Islands . They harvested the roots, which are brown on the outside and white on the inside. The white was left in the sun to dry.

They roasted it with fire and ground it into flour. This was a staple for them. This is Gofio? - Exactly. Today's gofio is made from corn or grain.

This fern is not used. We are in the national park, we are not allowed to harvest anything there. This fern is probably carcinogenic. That's why native people didn't grow old. Because they constantly consumed this fern. * Music * Because you did so well here on the mountain, you now have a little reward.

This is our retreat today. There is the most delicious water there. The water here? - Exactly. This is the only pissing tree in the world. They simply drilled a hole into the tree to demonstrate how much water each individual tree produces.

Of course that's not true, spring water is fed in here. We'll drink to that. - So drinking water, best quality. Poke. It was nice, Chris, at the World Heritage Site with you.

Now we are rejuvenated. - This is the fountain of youth. Wherever you say it. You can't drink too much, otherwise everything will start all over again. * Music * * Music * Finally bathe, now we're going into the sea. *Music* This is very practical. There is a well-developed public bus network here.

And here, the different lines take you to the different hiking routes. If you don't have a rental car, you can also take the bus and then hike. * Music * * Music * Today we want to trace the indigenous people of the island. After a museum visit in San Sebastián, we go to the west coast for shepherd jumping and to a special mill in Las Rosas.

* Music * In the 15th century, the Spanish conquered La Gomera and founded the settlement of San Sebastián. * Music * When the Spanish appeared 600 years ago, several tribes of ancient Canarians lived on the island. Today's archaeologists have found objects that suggest a relationship with the Berber tribes of North Africa. They lived completely isolated on the island for almost 1,000 years and developed their own rituals and language. The Spaniards probably found this all very strange when they visited the island at the beginning of the 15th century. revenue. * Music * The natives of La Gomera were quickly eliminated by the Spanish conquerors.

The Gomeros were executed or sold as slaves. In the same century their culture no longer existed. But archaeologists are still finding their traces today. In the old caves you can discover sensitive research objects that you can retrieve with gloves. To protect the archaeological material.

Any cell in our skin, saliva, or anything else could contaminate the remains with modern DNA. (man) There, under the stones. So that animals can't eat it. Which often happened because of the calcium. * Music * Some indigenous traditions and craft techniques are still maintained today. E.g. in the small town of El Cercado.

There they still use the loamy, red earth of La Gomera to make pottery, especially cookware. * Music * Maria works with the clay, like her ancestors 2,000 years ago, without a potter's wheel. The walls of the vessel are pulled up from the lump of clay and shaped with your fingers.

This work has been done by women on the island for ages because all men used to go to the fields. The women took care of the house. And when they had a little time, they made ceramics. * Music * In Maria's family, all women made pottery. She learned it from them. This work has always involved bringing the clay from the area's rocky ravines and firing it in the kiln after it has been shaped.

* Music * Our husbands and sons also know how to make pottery. Sometimes my son brings me the clay or sand. But girls today also prefer to go to college because then they of course have many more opportunities. I'm glad they can do pottery. But if they want to do something different in their life, I can't stop them.

In order to sell her pottery well, Maria makes it smaller than the traditional vessels of the past. So that they fit in the tourists' hand luggage on the plane. Modern, glazed, colored vessels have also been added. Maybe Maria's daughter will take over the small business one day. The idyllic mountain village of El Cercado has become the center for pottery on La Gomera and offers visitors a small exhibition on the subject.

* Music * The Canarian bananas, the Plátanos, are smaller and are considered sweeter and juicier than those from South America. In order to grow the bananas, there are a lot of water reservoirs on the island. It takes up to 1,000 liters to harvest one kilo of bananas. It takes around 7 months for the fruits on the perennial to ripen. * Music * Because water is scarce on La Gomera, each farmer only has a certain amount flowing into the plantation through his pipes every few weeks. * Music * (complaining) * Music * It's not just the goats, which are the most important farm animals on La Gomera, that have to be able to climb well here.

Because the goatherds had to keep up with the animals' pace, an unusual form of locomotion emerged a long time ago. The "Shepherd's Leap", the Salto del Pastor. *Music* It's big. 3.20 m long.

Oh God. To carry him, we take him on our shoulders. It is important that the metal tip always points downwards. Just to be safe, never hold it up, okay? Otherwise you could hurt someone walking in front of us. OK. - Let's go. Let's go.

David is a member of a club that maintains the tradition of the shepherd's jump. * Music * This is my colleague Idaira. Hello Idaira. Idaira? - Sí, buenos dias. Hello. Hello, how are you? Very good thank you. Do you speak English? Yes, and German too.

Hello, Tamina. - Hello. Que es? This is goat fat. Oh. May I? - Mmm. Is that fat? - Yes. For what? - That's fat that the stick slips.

It's not nice to hear, but it's goat fat. - You can smell it. This is what you do here so that you can slide along it. You can use this or gloves. But the gloves are not that good for grip. - Ahh. That's nice, it slips, but you can hold on well.

Yes, grease it well. And now I grease the whole bar? - Also further down. - Oh right. How can you do that? My dad has shown me this since I was little. You grew up here, on La Gomera? - Yes, by the mountains here. Why do you speak German so well? My mother speaks German. I'm actually Austrian. But I grew up here, so I can jump well.

Here you need the staff to jump around the mountains. Then we can now make a small introduction. I'm very excited to see how this can be used. First practice how to slide. Against the chest, like that. And let yourself fall down. That you can brake with both hands and your chest.

Well, you're doing very well. You've probably done this before. - No. You're doing really well for that.

Ah, she could do it before. Now I want to jump. This is the best place because there is a small stone here. The stick. - Plug in. And one foot forward. And with the tips falling. - Ah, fall with the tips.

Just fall like that and right down. - Okay. So there you go. - Mmm. So? - Yes. One foot forward. - One foot forward. And let yourself fall forward. - Incidents and... Yes, good. Excellent.

Very good. (whistles) The Gomeros' whistling language, El Silbo, is also used. This is buenos dias. Hey, yo, jijai, that's how you would write it. (whistles) The natives once communicated with El Silbo over long distances, from mountain to mountain.

Similar to the Alpine inhabitants with their yodeling calls. (whistle) The young people on the island learn the whistling language at school. (whistles) The syllabus includes the technique and meanings of whistles. (Man) Finger more outwards. With the tip of your tongue against your lips. (whistles) Vale, muy bién.

Sabes cuando te ríes, que te llegue la boca hasta aquí. Fuerte desde el pulmón. (boy whistles) Eso it, eso it. (man) Exactly. You're all red.

(Teacher) Intenta echar el aire fuerte. Vale, muy bién. The easiest situations to understand are everyday situations in which it is predictable what is to be communicated. For example, when a man comes from the field and whistles to his wife because he wants to know what time it is and whether the food is ready. Such everyday situations. (whistles different sounds) Get up and bring the bag to Domingo.

Seguro? (Children) Sí. Vale, eso it. Lo repetimos. How, so tell me, is that how you take it? You leave a hole in your mouth. - Yes. And where does the tongue go? - On your finger. So. Mhm. - Mmm. And then there is a sound.

Yes, and there shouldn't be a hole here, a small one here. And the tongue doesn't have to close the hole. Ah, God's will. The tongue doesn't have to go through the hole...

The air has to come out really strong. (whistles) (tries to whistle) You're not allowed to close the hole, that's practice. I could do this... - I can't do that. Wait, how does that work? What was there? So? - So. Wow, that's loud.

I can do that. Then you fold your tongue back like this. But I can only say hi, you can wow, wup, wow. Because the tongue moves on the finger. Then you can say things. - Do it again. (whistles) - Great. And did people really communicate like that in the past? Mmm, it can be very loud.

You can whistle to someone, which might be up there, and you can talk. Before, when there were no cell phones. - Naturally. Come back home. - Exactly, come on. Great. - But it's important to keep it here. Why do you think it's important? This way you don't lose the culture that once existed here. Don't forget who we used to be.

This is always important, everywhere. - A piece of identity. Exactly. Otherwise, who are we if we don't preserve some things? Now it's about the flour that the indigenous people made from the farm plant. Our next stop is in the northeast of the island, at Las Rosas.

La Molina Vieja, that's where we want to go. La Molina Vieja means “old mill”, and it is now a museum. * Music * Today Gofio flour is made primarily from corn kernels. This is also done here, with historical equipment.

Hola. - Hola. Alcibiades? Tamina. - Hello Tamina, I'm glad. How are you? The fire is already burning. - What is it for? - For the Gofio. Do you already know anything about it? - A little bit. This is a typical food for us.

Come with me, I'll show you how it's made. La Molina Vieja. Oh, is that yours? - Yes.

This threshing machine is from 1930 and was imported from England at the time. Alcibiades found it on the scrap heap and restored it himself. It is the only one of its kind on the island. And it separates the components of the corn cob into grain, cob and straw. At the top it's... awesome, clever. Super technology.

Grazed at the top, the corn comes at the bottom. Perfect. Ah okay. sea ​​sand. From the beach? And that's what's coming in now.

That's... black sand. Ah, and now? The sand is important because it ensures that the corn does not burn while roasting. - Mmm. And so that all the corn kernels get the same heat, you have to stir the entire time. Now the corn here is mixed with the black sand... ...from the beach and roasted in here. Incredible heat here.

Roasting gives the corn flavor and preserves it. Ah, cool, like popcorn. The corn is roasted, it must crack and jump. Now they're all jumping in the heat.

Tastes delicious. Let's see how things continue now. Wow. The sand must be sieved out again before grinding. Of course, the burnt grains don't go into the gofio either. Not this one. - The black ones come out.

The mill. - Exactly, that's the mill. Salt is now added to the roasted grains. Gracias. Esta fuerte? - Sí, fuerte.

This is the grinder, the drive engine is over there. How old is she? - The machine dates from 1914. So it is well over 100 years old. So much older than both of us combined. A very old treasure, well cared for.

Let's see. Now the oil is here, olio... olio? Aceite. Aqui. - God, now we have to inject oil. Cool. That's enough. (scared) I'm scared now, Mamma mia.

The burner is used to preheat the engine, otherwise it will not start. That's how it should be. The ancient Gomeros once ground their gofio on such lava stone mortars . They roasted the raw material in hot volcanic ash. Eso it. Asi. Mas? - No. Déjalo ahí.

Ven. This is now the advanced grinding technique used centuries later. Here is the Gofio. -Gofio. -Gofio. Gofio. Uh. It smells great. It smells salty and just roasted.

It also tastes salty. Great, that's how it used to be done, my God. Now let's start the grinder. Be careful, we only have one try. If the flywheel doesn't spark immediately, the whole machine has to cool down again.

This is a steam engine. Okay, okay. In this device the corn kernels go through the funnel to the grinder, which are 2 lava stones. And it comes out below. Gofio. -Gofio.

So fine. Now let's make a dough from the gofio flour in the traditional way. In a goat skin sack. The honey goes to the gofio. That's enough.

* Music * The result is a firm, slightly sticky mass. Now this is a sweet version of gofio, as prepared on La Gomera. Y eso da fuerza. - That gives strength. This is an energy bar, the La Gomera energy bar. New day.

Today we're going to Vallehermoso. We take a walk around the local reservoir. Afterwards we visit the springs of Epina. * Music * Our companion came to La Gomera in the 1980s to vacation in an old van. Petra has lived and worked here ever since. For some the palm trees are the epitome of vacation, and for you? My home. - Really? - Yes.

The way I see it is that I have a lot of luxury here without living in luxury. Because the air, the nature, the food, I am grateful for it. But it's not just easy to gain a foothold here. Although when you come on vacation you think... Of course not. But you have that all over the world.

You have to get a foothold all over the world. Anywhere in the world you have to do your thing. You grow into it, you grow into your life, just like everywhere else.

Nothing comes from nothing, even on La Gomera? No, definitely not. I can swear to you, I always worked here. * Chattering * But look, I haven't seen so little water in a long time. The last time I was here the water, you see that line, went almost to the top. That's very, very little water.

I just hope that it still rains heavily this winter. Otherwise we will have a water problem here. Do you look forward to La Gomera even when it rains? - Clear. Of course there are scientific efforts to deal with the water problem on La Gomera, says Petra.

Biologist Volker Boehlke is traveling with a colleague in the Del Huerto Gorge in the south of the island . The two map rare animal and plant species. A fairly new branch of research on La Gomera. * Music * In addition to the studies commissioned by the Canary Islands Environment Agency, the two researchers are also observing the effects that climate change has on the landscape and cultivated areas. La Gomera has the second highest water consumption in the Canary Islands. 90% goes into agriculture. The island's water situation is continually deteriorating.

It rained again in September and there was water in here too. Sometimes you can still see the traces. It is a fast-growing vegetation. But you can see that not much water has passed through in a while. Accordingly, the question arises as to whether the water management that is carried out here will not lower the groundwater level at some point.

Whether the quantities that are removed do not exceed what would theoretically be possible to preserve the vegetation. * Music * The effects of the lack of rain are documented by biologists for the environmental agency. This is a well, 130 m deep, which goes down to approximately sea level and then takes water from one of the richest gorges. That's definitely 20 l/s that comes out of there. This would otherwise moisten the valley floor or ensure that groundwater would be available at a higher level. In such a dry environment as in the south of La Gomera, this is quite noticeable.

But it's also worth a lot to the people who do farming. Especially here the big ones, up here on the mountain ridge, for example, in La Dama, this big banana plantation. This is a very water-intensive economy.

Each banana plant needs 20 liters of water per day. I wonder, how can you make people understand this? In fact, it would be nice if there was a movement to keep La Gomera more or less as it is. In contrast to the development that is taking place in Tenerife or Gran Canaria, for example. Where people were betting on mass tourism and a lot of money quickly. While you drive the contrast program here, nature is preserved.

And with it also economic potential. That would be great if that could happen. Mass tourism has not yet arrived on La Gomera. Some fear him, others don't believe he's coming. The industrially organized cultivation of fruit is already a problem today. Because that's where the little water that the farmers in traditional agriculture need on the terraced fields flows.

When plants suffer, animals suffer too. La Gomera has a rich birdlife. Many also come here to spend the winter before flying on again. There are many different species of birds here, including endemic species. That only exists here? - Which only exists here. That's why you shouldn't leave the paths to avoid stepping on any bird's nests.

There should be little canaries here too. Yes, they are available here too. - From the Canary Islands. - Yes of course. But you can't see them so easily. You don't see them much. They're already shy. I don't see many.

But you know they are there. On the other side you can see the large dam wall. Very... - ...massive. - Massive. Look, “camino natural”. It's all well signposted here. Yes, if you want we can go to San Sebastián, 40 km.

40 km, no problem. *Music* Look how this grows out of here. This is also a type of agave, but a giant agave. This is 5 m high. Man, that's it...

You can do it all the time... Look, here again. What you buy dearly from us blooms and thrives. That's a nice thing too. I think her name is Malephora, I'm not sure. A type of succulent. It is also endemic here.

How do you say these crazy things...? Buganvilla. - Buganvilla, exactly. Look, these...

They come in white, in this color, in red. They come in several colors. We try hard to nurture them. And here it is like weeds.

It is very decorative and looks beautiful. *Music* You don't have any big building blocks here. - No. I don't think you're allowed to do that. - Not until now.

I hope that never comes. How has La Gomera changed in the last 20 or 30 years? You have a good overview. The people who live here have become... ...older. Well, I have a daughter myself who is even younger. The younger people are just...

Most of them leave because they don't have any job opportunities here. There's just not much. You have supermarkets here. You have bars and restaurants here. A few shops.

But like everywhere in a village, logical. If you go to a village somewhere on the mainland or in Germany, it will be similar. The young people went to Tenerife, to the mainland, to Gran Canaria. But of course this means that more and more older people are living on this island. Only the visitors are mixed, right? Those who come to hike. - The visitors are very mixed.

It's seasonal, but mass tourism, no. That's why it's the way it is here. That's why it looks like this here. - That's nice. We approach the third largest city of La Gomera on foot.

You can also get there easily by bus. *Music* There are many farms around the city. * Music * * Music * * Music * Next to the beach bar, Carmen weaves baskets and other decorations out of banana leaves.

*Music* This is an old tradition. I make the flower decorations and baskets based on old patterns, but also modern ones. The traditional shapes are more popular. I learned this at school, in handicraft classes.

We had a teacher who taught us all the old techniques. For example, she showed us how to make such baskets out of jute thread and rolled banana leaves with a sewing needle. The tourism business has only recently arrived in the north of the island, i.e. in Vallehermoso. It is now the main source of income here too. But the place is not overcrowded yet.

* Music * A specialty from Vallehermoso is palm honey, the “Guarapo”. It is used for many typical Canarian recipes. Petra would like to show us something that has to do with palm honey in this bar. Hello, can we order a Gomerón? - Gladly. Would you like it too? - Also a Gomerón? (Man) Let's drink a Gomerón. Does he have a drink with you? - Yes.

That's nice. - So then 3. 3 small schnapps? - Chupitos, sí. Oh, that's so tight.

This is miel de palma, palm honey. - Oh right. Palm honey. It's so dark, it's made from palm fruits. No, from the sap of the palm tree, yes? From the sap of the palm tree. Now palm honey goes into the liquor? Now the palm honey goes into the schnapps, exactly. - Oh right.

Cool. Look, look. Wow. Now it's being shaken? - That's powerful. Egg, egg, egg. You take a little schnapps and put palm honey in it. (Man) My grandmother already did that.

In ice-cold glasses. (Petra) It is drunk cold. To make palm honey, the resin of the date palm is boiled down for so long until this syrup is created. Hello. - Hello. - Hello. On La Gomera. - On La Gomera.

Huh, ah. (man) Strong? - Fuerte. (man) Very strong.

So, very strong. So, hello, that's now... gone? - Venga, gone. Oh. Oh, oh, oh, look here. This one is less strong. What does that mean? - This is Mistela.

Mistela? - Yes. It is made from red wine with orange peel and cinnamon and a little rum or cognac. (Petra) With juniper and red wine? These include Bizcochillas, which are the typical Gomera cookies. You order one thing and immediately get the next one. It's really great here. Then you stagger on.

But that's just a bit of a thing, isn't it? - Mmm. Ah, so fruity. Nice and cold, sweet too. The women on La Gomera have it all. * Music * * Music * Where exactly do we want to go now? - We're almost there. - Okay.

Look, we already have it. These are the legendary springs of Epina. That's now 7 sources. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Do you want to get pregnant? - No, I already have 2 great children. Otherwise you would only be allowed to drink from the seventh. - Ahh. You can now drink from the second, fourth and sixth.

The women. And the men from the first, third and fifth. I'm working my way through it now.

So men 1, 3, 5. This is for health. - Health. But you have better luck in love because it stands for love. OK.

Tastes good. And for the rest of your happiness. Why are you drinking from the pregnancy spring? Maybe next year. - Next year you'll let me know. This is really...

...a place on La Gomera that is important. Yes, this is a very cultural, important place here. The Chorros of Epina, the springs of Epina. This is a legend that has lasted for centuries... ... The Terratenientes, the large-owning families, sent their employees here specifically to fetch water. They had to bring leaves that only exist here to prove that the water was from Epina.

Do you come here often? - Every now and then, not that often. People are working here too. - That's correct. You also have... How was your health, love, happiness? Health, love, happiness. - It works for you. Exactly. Everything works. * Music * Here in the north of La Gomera it is wetter and cooler than in the south of the island.

This is due to the cool ocean currents that flow past here. La Gomera is located on the “Canary Stream”, an offshoot of the Gulf Stream. * Music * The Canary Current transports nutrients and minerals here from the ocean depths on its way from North Africa. Many fish and especially the whales, which pass here in large numbers, like this.

We drive to the west of the island, to Valle Gran Rey, translated as “Valley of the Great King”. There are many small villages here that now merge seamlessly into one another. This is Puntilla, for example. * Music * Puntilla is very popular with holidaymakers, says Petra. Also because there is a beach right next to the city.

Now you're a real islander. I have been here longer than I have lived in Germany. So this is my home, I can't say anything else. I lived in Germany for 24 years and have now been here for 33 years.

* Music * * Music * In La Calera, the hippie era that reigned here in the 1970s is revived with this nightly drumming ritual. To this day, some people still call La Gomera a hippie island, which continues to attract young dropouts here. Up here? - Mmm. There you have a beautiful view. You can see that the sun is still shining around the corner. La Calera is one of the main towns in Valle Gran Rey.

*Music* This is a dream view. Do we want to sit at the front of the wall? Gladly, with a view of the sea. - Beautiful. Look, the sun.

Petra, you chose that great. I'm really glad you like it. Look at that. You can hardly stand it. No, so beautiful. Gofio is served with many dishes here.

Do you want to try? - I definitely want to try them. I heard it's so typical. With liquid soups you usually take this polvo and stir it in yourself. To taste, mix a little around the edges. That then gives strength and power.

(Woman) Then I hope you enjoy your meal. Thank you very much. Bon provecho. Mm. - Mm. Fine, good.

But I have to try this flour again, separately. - Delicious. It's nice to get to know the different variants. The sweetness, which is also great, with the honey. And now the salty thing with the soup, which is also great.

And after our walk, that's particularly good now. Perfect. Sea air makes you hungry. - Yes. That's right, and thirsty. For the benefit.

* Music * Waking up in the Valley of the Great King. The entire Valle Gran Rey with its many towns has fewer than 5,000 inhabitants and 11,000 overnight accommodations. * Music * We meet Petra again because she knows her way around here particularly well. Then I'll show you one of our properties. This is where my husband goes in the morning before work.

In here? - Yes. Because we grow a lot. Ie not me, him. It's amazing what's growing here. We have avocados, bananas. - Bananas. They're a little green now. - Great.

Most of such gardens have been in the family for generations and are primarily used for self-sufficiency. *Music* Now let's just walk along the water channel here. This is the old irrigation system.

Shafts are opened and closed there. But now they have laid these new channels. The water runs through there. But that's new, Juan can explain it to you better. Hello Juan. (man) Hola, qué tal? - Hola. What are you doing here today? (Petra) I'll show Tamina...

...your property here. Hola. - Hola. Que tal? Que tal? Muy bien. This is a garden paradise. The water no longer comes from old canals, but now from the hose? Here we are currently working with the new system, to do with the tips. So, here it is 2, 3 m. If you fill it up, then it will come this way.

When there's enough here, we close again. (Juan) We open and go to the next one. With that old canal system, entire areas were irrigated at once , wasting a lot of water.

That's why people today tend to work with more economical, selective irrigation from hoses. You have to save water too, right? - Yes. There is not enough water on the island? - No.

Ie you have to collect water? Previously, we had rain in the winter, maybe 5, 6 times heavy rain. And now? - Now once we're happy. So people are happy about the rain here? Yes, for us rain is like a holiday. But here, the avocados grow into your mouth. The whole tree is full, look. Unbelievable, but they're not ripe? (Juan) They're almost ripe.

We're starting to take the now. Until now we have had summer avocado. We have avocado almost all year round. You take this. - Should I? There they are. This is for harvesting avocados, the long thing.

Turn this one there and then, or what? - To you. - To me. Pull? - Yes. My first harvested avocado. - It's a beautiful one.

A magnificent specimen. Now it's the papayas' turn. - Wow. - Perfect. But it's good. It comes to you. Those too. (Juan) They're all good. That's great.

There you go, man. Harvesting on La Gomera. That's great. Everything in your garden. (Juan) Everything for breakfast. - I'm excited. Now we have breakfast at the waterfall. What do you think of it? We take provisions with us and hike to the waterfall.

But Juan has to open a papaya straight away. Isn't she too ripe already? - Yes, it's ripe. Oh. Oh, look what it looks like. It's all organic.

Is this all for your own use? Or are you selling it? We only sell a little of the... - ...mangoes. We also pay for avocado. These are also avocados.

And the rest is for you and friends? - Yes, for family. For television. We are lucky that we are in the right place at the right time. So much? And now? (Juan) Food. Just eat. Petra, eat. - I still have the bowl on. True. - Petra.

Delicious. Fresh from the tree is unbeatable. This is the best location for eating. We empty another wheelbarrow and then we'll see if we can make it to the waterfall. * Music * These stairs did n't exist before... the end of the 80s, yes? It's not that old yet. How did you get up here? There is a way from the other side. You come up down there and up here.

They both lead to this village. I used to live here. - Here? Yes, here, right behind this house. But that was about 30 years ago now. * Music * Domingo is actually an electrical engineer. But he has been making shoes for 30 years.

Its range includes around 100 different models. He also does custom-made items. And many other leather goods that vacationers like to take with them as souvenirs. His son Daniel works alongside him.

He also once had another job in the tourism sector. But you can tell that that wasn't his thing. Making shoes is something tangible.

Yes, of course, in tourism, in a hotel. There's always a lot of work, of course, but that means work, city, something like that. The minimum money you get and stuff like that. And after working in tourism for a while and stuff like that, I had the opportunity to decide and do something.

He chose the fashionable leather. You also have contact with holidaymakers here. And at the end of the day you have something tangible in your hand. Something you created yourself, he says. Yes, nice.

In El Guro, Petra says, almost all of the old farmhouses have changed hands. It has become hip to live in the mountains. The village is firmly in the hands of dropouts, artists and other people seeking meaning.

* Music * Now we start our hike from El Guro to the Arure waterfall. Now we're getting our feet a little wet. But it's nice and refreshing, the air is good. These are such thick reeds here, horsetail. Adventures on La Gomera, help.

You have to make sure you don't slip away. But it's great. * Music * Petra, now we have to climb. But it works. - Clear.

Through the stream. - Now it's getting wetter. And now? - Now we have to get up here. On the rope? - Take the rope, you have to pull yourself up. But beware. - I see, it's okay. * Music * Petra, is that possible? - It works, yes.

Hola, hello. (woman) Hello. Is it worth going to the waterfall? - It's worth it. - Is very nice. To put underneath? - Only if you go to the wall. We're excited, ciao. Water flows all year round in the Arure Gorge. It was created during a volcanic eruption 2 million years ago.

* Music * See you all the way up there. Depending on how much rain falls, there is a lot or less water here. 40, 50 years ago there was more water. It was definitely more. But it's still beautiful. Homemade mango jam. -Oh.

What you can conjure up out of your backpack is amazing. Guacamole. - Look here. Oh oh oh. - Guacamole, I love that. So. What's in the guacamole? - Avocado.

It really depends on the quality of the avocado and what flavor you get. Very finely chopped onion. Then we have a very fine pepper, which is orange and elongated. It's so semi-spicy that you can chop it very small. And peeled tomatoes too.

A bit of lemon? And lemon juice to keep the whole thing from oxidizing. And a little salt and pepper. *Music* We stay on the west coast of La Gomera.

*Music* Hola. Where can you snorkel here? Snorkeling? There are a few places there. Vuelta beach is well protected. Look here.

Here is the beach and here we are. This area is good for snorkeling because the harbor offers protection. If you're lucky, you'll even see a ray.

A manta ray. Yes, with a bit of luck. Excellent. Muchas gracias. - De nada. Goodbye. - Bueno, goodbye. So.

* Music * * Music * And now comes the hit. If you know the right people in the port of Vueltas, you can see how to feed a ray by hand. Yes come here. Yes, nice. The mouth sits directly under the eyes. You have to push the fish into them. But it's dangerous because they can snap.

I think I gave it to him. What's coming? Yes come here. Yes, nice. Now he wants something to eat.

A tame ray that always comes to the stairs here. In the evening we went with a group and the biologist Volker Boehlke, who we know from his scientific plant and water expeditions. Here he explains to us at low tide which sea creatures live in the coastal strip.

* Music * We have a sea hare up here that is almost fully grown. It will probably be twice as big as this one. The longest one I found was from fingertip to elbow. You can touch them, they are thickly coated with slime. And embedded in the back part.

If I open the flap of skin that covers the body from the foot a little , then I can see the housing at the back. What he's putting up there is his backside. This allows it to really eject clouds of ink. That's his defense. During the 2-hour tour, Volker finds so many animals that you feel like you've gotten to know all of the residents. Sea cucumbers are the vacuum cleaners of the sea.

They have several tentacles at the front of their mouths with which they feel the ground. Anything lying around gets pulled in, so to speak. The organic is digested. Sand sausages come out of the back. There's one sitting under the edge here.

The sea cucumber is there, but has not defended itself. Normally it releases sticky threads. This slightly raised part is the rump. What drops down is the mouth. Lucky. Coming into contact with the slimy and poisonous threads of the sea cucumber is not a pleasant experience.

A buddy had dragged the mouthpiece of his diving device along the ground. Tentacles were stuck there. Then he put it in his mouth. He didn't look out of his eyes 10 minutes later. After 2 hours the game was over again.

But you don't do it. *Music* Wow. Did you pull the sea urchins out with your bare hand? Like you. - Ah. Goes. * Music * By the way, starfish also eat sea urchins. How does that work? Now comes an experimental part.

Volker examines the soil quality on the beach with us. We'll dig it up. 5 cm deep, but it is the surface that would have to be excavated. Then put it through the sieve. - Can it come out, the pumice stone?

That's something important you found there. This isn't a pumice stone, it's a pellet. This is plastic that has never been pressed into shape. This is raw material, so to speak. Where could this pellet come from? This is from burst containers.

We sometimes have entire beaches full of them. So plastic never used. Those little crumbs that would be running under microplastics that are in the bottom sieve? (Volker) Exactly. There, look.

It's fascinating, when you walk across the beach you can't see anything. If you filter it out, you can see that the microplastic is there. Have you experienced a beach where they filter out more microplastics? There is one on the southeast coast of Tenerife, in Punta Brava.

I've experienced it with such thick plastic. Then there are other beaches where the oil residue, some of which comes from the refinery and the power plants, washes up. The tar is so thick there. * Music * When you look at these boats, the first impression is that they are very small.

Who the hell wants to drive out in that? But what is to be fetched is worth a lot of money. Do you know how much a tuna like that can bring in? Especially the bluefin tuna. (Man) A few thousand euros, a big one? There's definitely a few thousand euros in it. The average price here is now around 10 euros per kilo.

If they weigh 600 kg, you've already figured things out. When they start to go into the slightly higher top quality, into the better quality areas, the price really goes up. This goes up to, one fish, 2 million euros. - What? There are all these auctions that are held in Japan.

80% of this fish in particular is transported from Europe to Japan because only there are people willing to pay enough money for it to be worth it. How is he caught? Because catching tuna is a red flag. The methodology here is different than elsewhere. Very large nets are used for this on the African coast.

In the past, trawl nets were sometimes used. None of that is used here. Here the fight is man against fish. The big one has to be pulled at great speed with a trolling line that is towed at a great depth, 40 or 50 m, and loaded with a large mackerel. Then he bites, but that's a real power plant. Always this story, a fishing rod, a fish.

Is it still okay to order tuna here? It couldn't be more sustainable. You can only get one type of fish using this method. With the hook size you determine the size of the fish you catch. You have no small fish and no bycatch. * Music * Our trip to La Gomera is coming to an end. We take our last walk at Playa Inglés in Valle Gran Rey . ? Viva Gomera, viva La Gomera. Viva Gomera, come sing with me.

Viva Gomera, viva La Gomera. ? Hiking and much more in both senses. We experienced that. By the way, this is the place that Petra is always drawn to. I can understand, Petra, that this is your favorite place.

My absolute favorite place. Especially when the sun goes down. - Exactly. Black sand. Powerful sea. Red mountains. It's a great island, La Gomera.

And you can communicate well because many people speak German. Now we say goodbye and see you next time. - Goodbye. And we watch the sunset together. ? Viva Gomera, come sing with me. ?

Copyright WDR 2023

2023-11-21 06:26

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