Road to Puntallana

In the absence of any worthwhile images taken during the past week, here are some images I reviewed and considered for the book on La Gomera that I am currently writing.

The majority of these images were taken on the precipious road that forms the final stretch of the journey along the winding coastal road from San Sebastian to Puntallana which lies on the North-East corner of La Gomera, about 6 km as the crow flies to the North of San Sebastian.

The geology of this area is absolutely mesmerising with it’s vibrant colours, rock formations and steep cliffs tumbling down to a cobalt blue sea. These images do not do this area justice, and the intention has always been to return to this road in more recent visits to spend more time exploring and taking photos. However, the road has been closed during our visits in the past year as it is deemed too dangerous to traverse.

The Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Guadaloupe at Puntallana has an important place in the history, religion and traditions on La Gomera. The ermita is the hermitage of the Virgin de Guadaloupe, the patron Saint of San Sebastian. Every five years on the first Sunday in october, the citizens of San Sebastian take a pilgrimage to Puntallana, and take the Virgin de Guadaloupe on a procession from her hermitage to San Sebastian where she arrives rising from the water. Thereafter she travels the island before returning to her hermitage.

I am unsure if this is still accurate, as I believe the statue is now permanently present in the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción in San Sebastian. On the first Sunday in October she is taken on a procession through San Sebstian, and moved to Puntallana for the full procession every five years. The two photos of the Virgin de Guadaloupe below show the procession and her return to the iglesia at the end of this.

Information in travel guides and, especially, on the internet appear to be confusing and conlicting. Some claim a statue of the Virgin Mary is taken on the annual tour through San Sebastian, but others claim this is the Virgin de Guadaloupe. I hope my good friends in San Sebastian can enlighten me with the correct history and tradition.