The island of La Gomera with an unparalleled natural environment and practically wild, has a very interesting active tourism offer: canyoning, paragliding, climbing, canyoning, mountain biking, hiking ...
Your stay on the island can be a unique opportunity to know and enjoy the landscape and the traditions. What if you start practicing the shepherd's jump?
The shepherd's jump or canary jumping, is part of the cultural heritage of the Canary Islands, with numerous historical references to its use by the aboriginal Canaries in the time of the Castilian and later conquest.
It is a traditional practice of the shepherds of the islands born to solve the problems of displacement caused by the abrupt orography of the land. The shepherds, and especially the goatherds, used a wooden pole (astia or spear in La Gomera), to move with their cattle and to overcome rises and descents of ravines, cliffs or cliffs. This tool, although very popular in the Canarian countryside, being also used by artisans, merchants, muleteers, postmen and even priests, is still alive thanks to the goatherds who have maintained their use over time.
How should the stick be?
The stick has a wood that does not make chips like beech, sabina or white stick, that is straight and smooth. The best wood, is the beech because it is light and also heats the hand little. In La Gomera, the measurements range between 2 and 3 meters. Formerly, the wooden rod had the tip semi-sharpened and hardened to fire. Nowadays, a piece of steel called regatón has been added to it and in some parts of the island a ring of skin that covers 20 centimeters upwards to protect the wood of the blows of the stones. The stick has to be cut in waning and curing in the shade for a year.
How do you jump?
The jumper takes the stick by the thinnest part and places the tip on the ground, sliding smoothly to it, in some cases, if the jump distance is considerable and the club does not reach the desired point, the shepherd throws himself and supports him. Stick from the air, doing what is known as vacuum jump.
Currently, the pastor's leap is practiced as a sport and courses are given to practice it. If you want to know all the tricks of how to jump, courses and some routes that can be realized with a native monitor, we recommend the following websites www.saltodelpastorcanario.org and www.gomeraactiva.com
For our part, we can only wish you a good jump in La Gomera!