Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Joys of Travel

Here I am, throroughly enjoying my short break on El Hierro. Meanwhile, my suitcase is enjoying a short break on Tenerife.

No, it's not the airline's fault. By the time I knew I could definitely book a flight, all the planes were booked solid. (I think this is from people going back to Tenerife in time for the new school term which starts on Monday). So I came on the ferry.

There´s no direct ferry on a Friday, but the Benchigua Express goes from La Palma to La Gomera to Tenerife to La Gomera to El Hierro. It´s a very fast boat, but the full trip takes five hours, and I get sea-sick. So I got off the boat in La Gomera and got back on again 90 minutes later, after a walk, and a writing session with the laptop and another travel-sickness pill. I told several crew members I was doing this, and nobody seemed to think I'd have a problem. Although, to be fair, I never mentioned that I was leaving the suitcase on the boat. Same boat, right? What could go wrong?

I got a bit of a bad feeling when I saw the luggage van drive off the ferry at El Hierro. It looked a bit different.

It was different van. Since Tenerife is the main stop, with far more passengers, they have two vans. That way they can fill one with luggage from Tenerife before the boat gets in, and just drive it on. Meanwhile, the van from La Palma drives off the boat, and stays on Tenerife, so that people can still collect their suitcases after the boat's left.

Only mine didn't get collected, because I was happily wandering around San Sebastian de La Gomera.

Well, the free luggage service is "At your own risk", (and I'd have had the exact same problem if I''d paid for a locker) but the staff were very helpful. My suitcase is almost certainly still on Tenerife, but they could put it on the next ferry for me.

The next ferry arrives 70 minutes after my flight leaves.

Yes they can, and will, send the suitcase to La Palma for me. I will get it back. They took my details, although I haven't heard anything because mobile coverage at my friend's house is very poor.

It could have been a whole lot worse. I kept my camera gear and the laptop with me, to use on the way (and I got a fair bit of writing done). My friend is supplying me with toiletries. Really, it was just a question of buying a new toothbrush and some emergency underwear.

But I really hope I do get that suitcase back. It's got some presents for my friend, which I'll post, and a one-of-a-kind jumper which took me ages to knit.

1 comment:

ann said...

Oh no!!!!
Reminds me of when I went from La Palma to Tenerife on the ferry a couple of years back.
I got chatting to a very nice couple who had just had a week's holiday on la Palma and were now going to La Gomera for the week.
We watched the sunrise, chatted some more and as the ferry berthed at La Gomera, we stood waiting for cars to begin to file off.
As it happened no cars got off - nor people as far as we saw - and the next moment, we were leaving!
They were horrified that they had 'missed their stop' and I felt guilty that it was my fault for keeping them chatting.
It wasn't a complete disaster as it just meant they had to stay on the ferry to Tenerife and wait for it to return to La Gomera.
But it certainly sent me a warning that you have got to be pretty much on the ball when it comes to getting off at one of the smaller islands!