The island of La Gomera is the ideal destination for those who love nature and hiking. It is said that the natural jewel of this island, which is home to an extensive laurel forest, is located in the Garajonay National Park.
This park is famous for its great variety of flora and fauna, a wide network of trails and spectacular viewpoints.
However, if you’ve never visited the island before or barely know it well, the name of the park might be a bit peculiar. But in this post we will tell you the legend that gives it its name.
The Epina Jets
In the municipality of Vallehermoso, on La Gomera, you can find the Epina jets in the middle of nature, just a few hundred metres from the Epina farmhouse.
The ancient inhabitants of La Gomera, the Gomeros, believed that the water emanating from these jets had healing powers and that they could predict the lovely future.
As the Beñesmén celebration approached, in which the aborigines celebrated the arrival of the new year and venerated their gods, the youngest girls in the village, who were of marriageable age, went to the jets to learn their fate in love.
In order to know this prediction, the girl had to look at herself in the water of the jets. If the water was calm and clear when she looked at herself, it meant that she would soon find love and that it would bring her much happiness. On the other hand, if the water was murky, it meant misfortune and lack of love.
Water and fire are not compatible
When the young couple decided to make their love public between their two families, something awakened the inner fire of the Echeyde volcano (the name given to the current Teide volcano).
After this event, some of the aborigines remembered what had happened to young Gara the day she went to the Epina jets. So, they decided to accuse the couple of being in love, since for them a love between water and fire was impossible, because they considered them as elements that are not compatible.
When they separated the couple in love, what happened seemed to be the work of the gods, because Echeyde stopped his fury.
When the Echeyde volcano was already calm, after the separation of Gara and Jonay, the Mencey de Adeje decided to return to Tenerife with his son and the other Guanches.
But despite being separated into different islands, young Jonay could not stop thinking about beautiful Gara. One night he decided to go in search of her, so he tied animal guts around his waist and swam towards the coast of the island of La Gomera.
When he met his beloved again, her face lit up with happiness at the sight of him, a happiness that would not last long.
They were soon discovered, so they had to flee from a crowd that wanted to separate them. Therefore, they decided to hide in the Cedar, the highest area of the island and the one with the most vegetation.
However, when they thought that all the bad things had happened, they heard the screams in the distance and realized that they were still looking for them.
They did not know what to do, until Jonay glimpsed a small sharp cedar stick on the ground and knew what he should do.
They were not willing to live without each other, so Jonay took the cedar stick and sharpened it a little more at both ends. They placed the stick at the height of their chests, where their hearts were, and a last embrace united these lovers forever in the park we know today as Garajonay Park.