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A Breathtaking Window on the Universe

I think this is a really good guide book to the observatory on La Palma, but you probably shouldn’t take too much notice of my opinion because I wrote it. On the other hand, the director of the biggest telescope in the world, Pedro Alvarez, likes it too. “A Breathtaking Window on the Universe: A guide to the observatory at the Roque de los Muchachos SECOND EDITION” By Sheila M. Crosby…

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Mulberries

Mulberries were originally introduced to the greener parts of La Palma to feed silkworms for silk production. The fruit is a delicious side-effect. Sadly, you rarely see it on sale, because it’s fragile and doesn’t keep. It’s also a strong, natural dye (and is used as such). If you pick your own, expect stained fingers and watch your clothes. In fact, if you’re staying near a mulberry tree in fruit, don’t…

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Ravens on La Palma

Common Ravens live all over Europe, Asia and North America, but we have a different sub-species here. Some biologists group our raven in with the North African sub-species (Corvus corax tingitanus) and others think the Canaries have their own sub-species (Corvus corax canariensis). Like other members of the rook-and-crow family, they’ll eat whatever’s available: carrion, insects, cereal grains, berries, fruit, small animals, and food waste. And they’re pretty intelligent about…

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The Romeria de San Antonio

A romería is a cross between a religious procession and a party. Typically, they hold a special mass and then take the statue out for several kilometres along a traditional route, followed by floats which hand out free food and wine, and lots of people, some in traditional dress, many of them singing and / or dancing. Since it’s a big event, most of them don’t happen every year. Saturday…

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Los Cancajos beach, Bre;a Baja pon a windy day

Stormy waves at Los Cancajos

Visits to the Roque were cancelled for the last two days due to high winds. It hasn’t been particularly windy at sea level, but looking at the weather stations at the Roque, the telescopes have had gale force winds. It was only gusty when I went for a walk along the cliff top in Los Cancajos, but the sea was wild, I think from winds further away. The red flag…

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The Old Church of San Juan, Puntallana

The exterior of the church of San Juan, Puntallana As Palmeran churches go, the church of St. John the Baptist in Puntallana isn’t all that old. The presbytery and the side chapels date from the 16th century, and the nave from the 1719. It was officially declared an Asset of Cultural Interest (rather like a listed building) in 1994. The main altar in the church of San Juan, Puntallana The…

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