On the 12th December 2019 we were in La Gomera in the Canary Islands to wave our friend and his son and two further team mates off on an epic row across the Atlantic to Antigua, billed as the world's toughest row, I thought they were mad! But off they went, and they have just completed it! Exhausted and looking pretty tired but they rowed 3,000 miles across the Atlantic in all weathers, with no proper rest, a lot of technical problems but also having seen some wonderful sights like whales, dolphins, sharks and stunning skies. It took them 45 days, 4 hours and 13 minutes. Amazing achievement - you can read more here and make a donation to their chosen charities.
I have never been too keen on the Canary Islands but when my husband suggested we go and see Kev, Rhys, Frankie and Nic off, I couldn't resist a bit of winter sun. We arrived on the Tuesday and departed Saturday. The journey takes all day as you fly into Tenerife then have a few hours to wait for the ferry over the La Gomera, we had lunch on the seafront and a little walk but it's not the nicest of towns to wait in.
We attended the family and friends briefing on the Wednesday which was very worthwhile and reassuring. The race was due to start on the Thursday so we knew that was a morning of excitement to wave the 'Bucks Buoys' off and watch the other teams get ready and depart, the rest of the time we were just able to relax.
We stayed at the Parador de La Gomera which is a 4-star hotel on the cliff above the harbour, it commands amazing views and we had a deluxe double room with a wonderful balcony, perfect for enjoying the scenery with a cup of tea first thing in the morning. It did mean we were slightly out of the town and needed to get a taxi, although it is walkable, and obviously easier going down than going back up, but a taxi was only a few euros. It is the only real luxury hotel in the immediate area and I felt it was worth the extra cost. The pool overlooks the sea and the harbour and although a bit chilly (for me) for swimming I was still able to sunbathe and relax by the pool.
I took two bikinis from Fantasie (kindly gifted to me), I love their swimwear as they do lots of mix n match styles, swimsuits and offer cup sizes. I opted for bandeau style with tie-side bottoms - but they have so much choice for every shape and size. And the tops stayed up!
The December temperatures were about 20-23 degrees, it was quite windy and I know they do get cooler days but we had a good week. I struggled with my packing and predictably took too much, I was assuming I'd be wearing dresses in the evening with a scarf or cardigan but the town and vibe was much more casual and it did turn quite chilly in the evenings so I was better of in jeans and a jacket. My dresses came back with me and got packed away again.
I would absolutely go back again though, it was prettier than I expected, there isn't much going on, obviously there were a lot of people there to see the start of the race and wave their friends and family off but otherwise it would be very quiet in December. I understand the island is popular with nature lovers and walkers and I can imagine off-season is perfect for that kind of exploring holiday. For me though, having been unwell with a nasty cold and feeling very tired, I was happy to just relax by the pool.
So now they are back safely on dry land and vowing never to go on the sea again! We watched their live arrival on FaceBook yesterday. But it did get me thinking that I'd consider winter sun again - not long haul - but La Gomera or possibly Turkey off season. My husband doesn't do full summer heat so does really struggle in July and August, although I am quite happy with a book and a sun lounger. You don't get the evenings 'off season', I really missed the early evening by the pool and it felt cold when going out to dinner, it wasn't possible to dine outside. But for a week to just feel the sun it is so rejuvenating!
Now I'm dreaming of summer days again, this grey has gone on so long, and that is even with me getting sun in December! That is one of the reasons I love skiing, for the blue skies and sun (if we're lucky).
Disclaimer: my two bikinis were gifted to me from Fantasie, however, I was under no obligation to write about them, the opinions are all my own. May contain affiliate links.
Other blogs you may have missed and find useful:
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Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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