Giant Lizards of La Gomera

If you are really lucky you might just see one of these fine fellows which grow up to 1/2 meter in length!! They are the Giant Lizards of La Gomera (Gallotia Bravoana). They used to be common throughout La Gomera but were practically wiped out by domestic cats introduced by the Spanish and now on the highly endangered species list with only about 90 specimens thought still to exist in the wild and found only on two virtually inaccessible cliffs overlooking Valle Gran Rey in the west of the Island. Efforts have begun to re-establish these giant lizards with help from the Spanish & EU authorities and several pairs have been bred in captivity for release into the wild. You can read the full report here:-

{edocs}Giant-Lizard.pdf,600,400{/edocs}

 

Why we like walking in La Gomera!

camera 2011 019Peter, Tanya, Paddy, Andy, Joe & Marie at the top (Damian & Gavin didn't wait for the photo!!)Gomera Walking first ever walking holiday took place in November 2010. These were our "guinea pigs" and happily they all survived to get back together again last Wednesday to climb County Donegal's highest peak...Errigal 731 meters (just under half the height of Alta de Garajonay in La Gomera)

Regrettably the Gods were not kind to us and our climb became an endurance test in lashing rain with zero visibility. Gavin & Damian (optimistically attired in T-shirt and shorts!) took less than a hour to reach the summit with the rest of us following at a more relaxed pace took an hour and a half plus 45 mins back to base. Everybody gritted their teeth and completed the course. Fair play to Peter, Tanya,Joe, Marie and Paddy for their determination.

Photographs courtesy of Donegal Mountain Rescuer Garett Wilson who also acted as our guide mostly pointing out what we could have seen if the weather hadn't been so miserable

Gomera Walking holidaysThe Best Part!! Pints and feet up in the bar in front of a log fire...in July!!Then came the best part...a hot shower & change into dry clothes in nearby Danny Minnie's hotel/restaurant followed by a few pints, an excellent dinner and plenty of reminiscing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 La Gomera Walking HolidaysVery wet Marie & Joe completing the climb for charity. Well done the pair of you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 La Gomera Walking holidaysNearly there..no point in turning back now!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 La Gomera Walking HolidaysPeter Tanya Paddy Andy Joe & Marie 731 meters up on top of Errigal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 La Gomera Walking HolidaysWhat it should have looked like!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Gomera Walking holidaysPeter, Gavin & Tanya recovering

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Gomera Walking Ventures forth in Urris Hills of Donegal

Sunday 3rd July 2011. Garret Wilson very kindly drove us to the Gap of Mamore in the Inishowen the extreme NW tip of Ireland where we proceeded to climb into the Urris Hills and walk in a westerly direction along the ridge to the site where a Wellington Bomber crashed in 1944 having lost its way in fog while returning to Limavady from U-Boat patrol in the North Atlantic. Six young men died that morning and today rusty wreakage and a cross marks the spot. (You can read more about this tragedy here)

This ridge walk has to be one of the best in Ireland with fabulous views out over Lough Swilly as far as Mulroy and Sheephaven Bay as well as Slieve Snacht, Inch island and Grainan na Aileach with Fahan & Rathmullan in the foreground. Unfortunately for us we only had a few brief glimpses when the low clouds lifted momentarily but nevertheless a most enjoyable & interesting day.

Good summer training for our return to La Gomera walking in October!

 

Man climbs Croagh Patrick 365 times in a year!!

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

A Mayo man achieved a life time's ambition this week when he climbed Ireland's Holy Mountain for 365 consecutive days and in so doing raised thousands of euros for charity.

Over 500 people, including local parish priest Fr John Kenny who said a special mass at the summit, accompanied Matt Loughrey last weekend as the thirty two year old climbed Croagh Patrick for the 365th consecutive day and in the process he raised over €30,000 for the Saint Vincent De Paul Society.  

Speaking after the record climb Matt claimed that while the physical exertions of the past twelve months had been exhausting he is still motivated to continue his fundraising initiative for at least another two years. He claimed "I'm relieved to be rid of the physicality side of the challenge. It has had a tremendous effect on my body. Mentally I'm still very fit and I'm more than able for it but there is no doubt that the physical side of it does catch up on you. I'll be sad to see the social side of it go and that is the area that I will miss the most."

 He says he will now take a few weeks off before beginning his next 365 day challenge which will see him kayaking to each of the islands in Clew Bay. He will announce his chosen charity for the project in the coming weeks. His challenge has generated huge interest with his Croagh Patrick 365 Facebook page getting up to 70,000 hits per day.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0604/croaghpatrick.html#video

 

8th June 2011 Hiking Poles Recommended

INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAINEERING AND CLIMBING FEDERATION recommendation as follows:-

Use of adjustable sticks as a hiking aid, especially for downhill walking, is advantageous and recommended in the following situations:

• advanced age, excess body weight
• when suffering from diseases of the joints or the spine
• when carrying heavy backpacks
 

 

 

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Alajeró, Islas Canarias - La Gomera
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