Although they're long gone, assimilated completely into the genetic lineage of their Spanish conquerers, the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands have a strong presence in Canarian culture. Before submitting to the Europeans, the Guanches lived on the islands for around two thousand years, and have left a large footprint.
We weren't expecting much from Candelaria, whose main claim to fame is a large Basilica. But the day we spent here was really nice. We learned about the Guanche kings, checked out an ancient cave chapel, and visited the incredible Basilica… and that was just within the first couple hours.
The history of Tenerife is tied closely to that of the entire Canary Islands. This is the largest of the seven islands in the archipelago, and has assumed the cultural and political lead throughout the years. Let's take a quick look at the most important events in Tenerife's history.
We encountered gofio on our very first night in La Gomera, when the proprietress of Imada's lone restaurant set down a bowlful next to our soups. And we've encountered it every day since. Gofio is the most Canarian of foods, used in soups, breakfasts, desserts, main dishes, candies, and drinks. We suspect that some eat it by the spoonful. The people of the Canary Islands just can't seem to get enough. Tito from our local Gofio Mill…
Depending upon your Spanish proficiency, you might know that Juego de Bolas means "Ball Game". And depending upon your interest in games, you'd be either disappointed or indifferent upon learning that the Juego de Bolas complex near Agulo has absolutely nothing to do with a ball game. Instead, this is an interpretive center dedicated to the history and nature of La Gomera.
Our third hike in La Gomera would be a circular route starting in the village of Chipude, taking past the viewpoint of Igualero to the top of Garajonay (the highest point on La Gomera), and then back again through the charred remains of a forest devastated by wildfire.