The Naked Spider Dance of La Gomera

Posted: October 31, 2007 in animals, Life, Spain, Tenerife, Travel
Tags: , , , , , ,

Last weekend we visited our friend Jo who lives on the neighbouring island of La Gomera. Jo’s house lies 1000 metres up a mountain in the remote rural valley of Los Aceviños, inside the Garajonay National Park.

Los Aceviños from Jo's terrace

Nights there tend to involve a lot of shooting the breeze, playing seriously competitive games of scrabble and much quaffing of beer, wine and a rum shot or two before hitting the sack.
The downing of copious amounts of alcohol isn’t simply signs of alcohol abuse, in the past it’s been necessary to blank out what lives amongst the rafters in Jo’s guest bedroom, and every other room for that matter. Huge, tarantula sized spiders stare down at you from the wooden beams. They don’t bother Jo; she’s even given them names-Big Harry, Harry’s wife, and Harry’s family, which in sociological terms is clearly extended. Recently the introduction of a mosquito net helped, but they still had a visible presence.

This visit Jo had completely redecorated her guest bedroom and told us Harry and his tribe had been evicted. On Saturday morning, I dragged myself out of bed, pulled on a dressing gown that Jo had left for guest usage and headed to the kitchen where Andy and Jo were making a pot of life saving coffee. I’d barely lumbered through the door when Andy screamed, “SPIDER!” and pointed to a monster arachnid clinging to the dressing gown just above my left buttock.
“GET IT OUT!” Andy shouted and pushed me back out of the front door to fend the beast off by myself.

In a complete panic I shook the hem of the dressing gown to try to dislodge it, but that only seemed to wake it up and it started scuttling towards the flap in the dressing gown that was the only barrier between the spider and my skin. There was only one thing for it; I whipped off the dressing gown and raced up and down the terrace, shaking it (the dressing gown) over the barranco until the mutant spider relinquished its grasp.
It was only then that the fact that I was jumping up and down, naked, on a spot that was clearly visible across the whole valley, registered. I quickly wrapped the gown round me and retreated back inside where Andy and Jo, who had been no help whatsoever, were shrieking like banshees.

Take my advice; if you ever happen to find yourself staying in a remote valley in Los Aceviños make sure you wear pyjamas in bed unless you want to end up performing the little known island tradition of ‘the naked spider dance of La Gomera’.

  1. Pamela says:


  2. Aeon says:

    omg, poor thing LOL! I can´t decide wether to be amuzed or frightened, or both. I´m terrified of spiders, so this was truly i horror novel for me…but what a sight! hahahah

    I was planning on going to La Gomera soon…but now i´ve got second thoughts…and here I am freaking out because of some roaches, I need to chill 😛

  3. dragojac says:

    LOL – don’t worry. My friend lives right in the forest on the edge of a research zone.

    I’ve never seen her spiders anywhere else : )

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