Tenerife to La Gomera on Public Transport – Island Hopping Canaries Style

Posted: March 23, 2010 in Life, Spain, Tenerife, Travel, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It was a friend on La Gomera’s birthday last weekend and we’d promised her we’d hop across from Tenerife to celebrate.

Normally we drive everywhere, but now and again we ditch the car and use the public transport system. I could tell you that doing so helps with our continuing mission to experience all elements of life on Tenerife first hand, which it does, but the real reason is that after a weekend on La Gomera we’re usually too buggered to drive back from Los Cristianos to Puerto de la Cruz.

Stage 1 – Our House to Puerto Bus Station
Calima had rolled in big time on Friday and the temperatures were into the 30s. So tooled out with two rucksacks, a notebook, camera bag and a sheepskin rug (don’t ask) we sweated our way through the banana plantation and up the hill to the main road to catch the bus into Puerto. About fifteen minutes later we pulled into Puerto bus station with about a minute to spare before the ‘sin parada’ (no stops) bus to Santa Cruz left. Cost €1.20 each.

Stage 2 – Puerto de la Cruz to Santa Cruz
Despite there being three buses to Santa Cruz every half hour, the 10am 103 bus was absolutely jam packed full. Whilst we were queuing to get on, I clocked Tenerife’s version of a chav hanging around the entrance to the bus, taking a last swig from a bottle of beer before he got on the bus. We grabbed two of the last available seats and he squeezed into what must have been the last just across the aisle from us. Even though all the seats had gone, people, mostly mature locals, continued to stream on, filling up the aisle. Then the young ‘chav’ did the most unexpected thing – he got up from his seat and offered it to an old lady. It was one of these little moments that completely confounded expectations.

Despite the heat, it was a pleasant 40 minute journey into Santa Cruz, apart from the fact that someone had a fart attack just as we arrived in the capital. In a confined area like that bus it was potentially lethal. Cost €2.75 each (we used a bono).

Stage 3 – Santa Cruz to Los Cristianos Port
Even though we’d booked tickets online for the Fred Olsen Express (€60 for the return trip for the two of us), we still had to pick up boarding cards at the Fred Olsen office in the bus station. This involved photocopying residencia papers and passports. Good to see that online booking has streamlined the process – Tinerfeños still have something of an obsession with paperwork.
One of the great things about travelling from Santa Cruz to catch a ferry in Los Cristianos is that all the ferry companies lay on a free bus to the port. It’s a wonderful service which takes a lot of the pain out of travelling. You pick up your tickets, jump on the free bus and an hour or so later, you’re stepping off the bus and onto the ferry in Los Cristianos. Cost – a big fat zero.

Stage 4 – Los Cristianos to San Sebastian de La Gomera
I like the Fred Olsen ferries; they’re clean, nicely laid out with lots of room and have a bar/café area in each zone. They also have free WiFi. It’s not the greatest signal, but it did mean that we were able to answer a few emails during the forty minute crossing to La Gomera.

Having left our house at 9.30am, we stepped onto the harbour in sunny San Sebastian, La Gomera just over four hours, three buses and a ferry later at 1.40pm. We were relaxed and ready to allow ourselves to be embraced by La Gomera’s charms.

The Harbour at San Sebastian, La Gomera

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