For our last two nights we moved to a second AirBnB in Hermigua, over on the east coast of the island. Again the drive involved many wiggly roads winding down the steep side of a long valley, down to the sea. Video here.
For a change from our previous modern apartment we stayed in a 400-year-old house called Casa Bayoll (£120 for two nights for four people).
Although not much to look at from outside, inside it was like staying in a museum.
There are artefacts and antiques at every turn.
Our kindly host Hector gave us a little tour first.
He explained the house had been given to his great-grandfather as part of his salary for his work as an engineer.
The view down the valley from the roof was pretty special.
Again stone terraces cut into the valley contours are a distinctive feature.
Originally the basis of the local economy was palm syrup production but this was later replaced by bananas until that industry also fell into decline. You get the feeling you’re in a backwater that’s seen better days, but a quite pleasant, peaceful one.
Hermigua is a very elongated town, following the sides of the road down to the sea. It ends rather abruptly at a rocky beach with ugly buildings and rough waves pounding the grey shore.
A few old, pastel coloured buildings remain though, set back from the sea.
It’s inadvisable to swim here, although at low tide it’s possible to access a saltwater swimming pool at one end of the beach.
The post office and town hall are nice examples of Spanish colonial architecture.
The local church, La Encarnación, is quite pretty too.
Classic cars are everywhere. We saw several old Mercs and a couple of Morris Minors. The Club de Coches Clásicos must have a lot of members.
And there are lots of unusual plants to be admired.
Can anyone name this bizarre cactus?
Although it’s just a plain, ordinary place we quite liked the vibe Cafetería Don Juan at 161D Carretera General.
It’s a good spot for quaffing cold jarras of beer on the street and making new friends…
We ate at a couple of decent restaurants…
Tasca Telémaco (Intermediate B), 2 Plaza de la Encarnación, www.tascatelemaco.com
This is a good restaurant with a pleasant terrace. The waiter was a bit of a joker but he didn’t know much about wine and twice served us the wrong ones. However the food was good, especially the starters.
The Croquetas with Allioli were great as was the acorn-fed Jamon Iberico de Bellota (both B+). The Berenjenas con Miel de Palma; deep-fried aubergine chips alongside sliced bananas doused in the local palm syrup were very sweet but quite delicious (B).
The Solomillo de Cerdo con Datiles y Bacon, pork tenderloin with dates and bacon, was okay (C) but wasn’t keen on the creamy sauce it was smothered in.
On another night we walked a short way uphill from our lodgings to this place…
Las Chácaras (Intermediate B), 2 Calle el Cabo, Las Poyatas, www.laschacaras.com
This is undoubtedly a good restaurant but we only came from drinks and snacks as we’d eaten a big lunch in Agulo earlier in the day (see next post).
However I can recommend the Queso Blanco, Jamon Serrano and grilled cheese with palm syrup (all B).
A Carlos Primera brandy (seemingly the only quality brandy available on the whole island) was a nice finish and a bargain at only €3.50 a glass.
If you need a taxi driver to get you home we recommend Inma Plasencia (0034) 630 793 7901, a lovely lady who grew up in London, so she speaks English like a native.
On our second day we went for our last and most strenuous walk…