It starts really early in the morning, and the tour was pretty much just Germans, I was the only American haha, but it was fantastic, got to practice my German a lot, and the lunch was amazing. I really enjoyed seeing the Silbo Gomero and seeing the remains of ancient Canarian Amazigh culture, the wine was simply delicious! I would so go on this tour again!
We were picked up outside our hotel at 0715. A pleasant young lady dealt with the administration. After about an hour of pick ups she got off the coach without a word to be replaced by a rather scruffy man who simply said hello and sat down.
In total it took an hour and a quarter to get to the port. At the port I asked the guide if he was coming over to La Gomera with us. This was not such a stupid question as it may at first appear bearing in mind :
He was the second representative we had had
It was entirely conceivable that the arrangement was to be met on the island by a third person and
He hadn't actually said who he was and what his role was.
His sneering response made it clear that he thought I was some sort of idiot.
The island was fascinating and the guide his name was Olivar knowledgeable and highly skilled linguistically. We had no problem with him repeating everything in 4 languages. It would have been nice if the Germans on board had kept quiet when we were trying to listen to the English version but such is life.
The big problem we had with the excursion was the attitude of Olivar. He gave the distinct impression of wanting to be anywhere else rather than having to be on a coach with a load of tourists. Every time we stopped he would stand around looking bored having a cigarette and making no effort to make himself available to answer questions. If you did ask him a question his response was invariably brusque and on occasion, downright rude. Others on the excursion also commented on this
The excursion brought us back to San Sebastian to catch the ferry. Olivar made it quite clear that we were to meet at precisely 4 p.m. in the main square and that he wouldn't be waiting for late arrivals. The only person who didn't comply was Olivar who we saw coming out of a bar some minutes later.
When we disembarked on Tenerife he was nowhere to be seen so we made our way independently to the coach park where we found him. Some people had travelled from Los Gigantes for this excursion and there was a rumour going round that there was to be more than one coach available so that those travelling furthest would be in a separate coach thus avoiding the delay of drop offs in town. I asked Olivar if that was the case and duly got the are you a complete idiot? routine.
On the coach he completely changed and went out of his way to be charming to everybody, no doubt with gratuities in mind. I'm afraid it didn't wash with me and as a consequence he clearly picked up that I wasn't happy. He came down the coach and lent over me to say that, in hindsight, he might have come across as rude and that he was sorry if I had taken offence. He was so close I could smell his breath and he had clearly been drinking. Perhaps he should have apologised to the others he had been rude to.
Ten minutes after boarding the coach, and to general astonishment, he stood up, said cheerio, and got off leaving the driver to sort out who to drop off where !
Perhaps Olivar thinks being a tour guide is beneath someone with his language skills. If so, perhaps he should look for work elsewhere rather than spoiling what would otherwise have been a very enjoyable excursion.
Oliver was our excellent tour guide and our visit to La Gomera was well worth the very early start.
This was a fantastic tour!! We were a group of four and we all agree that our guide Ildefonso made the whole day so interesting.His knowledge was endless and his delivery of the information was so professional...no notes whatsoever.Very impressive!!
The demonstration of the Silbo language at the lunch stop was incredible and so pleased to hear that this language is being to taught to schoolchildren so that it will not disappear...what a unique and wonderful heritage.
A seamless tour and well worth the early start from the hotel in Tenerife.
Awesome trip. Stunning scenery. Saw dolphins and turtles on the ferry over, added bonus! Whistling demo was fantastic. Would recommend to anyone!