The Whistle Language of La Gomera

Silbo Gomero is a language made out of whistles. This type of language was useful on the Canary Island La Gomera way back in the day so neighbors could communicate with each other over long distances with the mountain terrain and valleys in between them. Silbo can be heard from over 2 miles away! It was much easier to whistle “have you seen my goat?” than to cross the valley to ask the neighbor. Of course, Silbo is modified to Spanish. It is blown through the fingers in the mouth, with consonants barely peaking in before the whistle. The vowels are detected by a change in pitch.  Unfortunately, this cool language is no longer used on La Gomera, but an act to revive it has begun so children are now learning it in school.

a different day hiking the otherside of La Gomera near San Sebastion valley
Los Roques, absolutely amazing when you drive up the mountain, easy to miss when the clouds are out!!
Los Roques, absolutely amazing when you drive up the mountain, easy to miss when the clouds are out!!
Another fantastic view
Another fantastic view

On our way to the beach we came upon the most touristic thing on La Gomera (exaggeration, but really built for tourists and for an amazing view!) Mirador Cesar Manrique. The cliffs nearby are red from minerals and the floor and walls of this restaurant are glass. The waiters did their tourist demonstration of the Silbo language, one asked for my name while the other worker was behind the bar. The one at our table whistled ‘venga’ (come here) and whistled a sentence to his coworker. His coworker then had to figure out what my name was through Silbo. He was a little rusty, since he thought my name was Maria and not Monica, but after several tries, he guessed right.

The view through the window and floor

The view through the window and floor

a view of the restaurant
a view of the restaurant
Red ground from the rain washing the minerals!
Red ground from the rain washing the minerals!
Stop the car and take a picture on this beautiful island
Stop the car and take a picture on this beautiful island

After that cute little culture immersion, we headed to the beach and played cards.

It was a nice surprise seeing a note from my old flatmate on a special card we had an inside joke to. I really wasn’t expecting it since she gave me her cards as a goodbye gift (I always asked her to bring them when we hung out!)

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a god

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Holiday water

A great little island to explore, enjoy the beaches, hiking, microclimates, and warmth of the Gomerans who were so kind to give us rides hitchhiking throught their island!

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