• The Seer’s Stone
  • The Dodo Dragon and other stories
  • About Sheila Crosby
  • A Breathtaking Window on the Universe
Rally car zooming through San Jose, Breña Baja

The annual car rally starts tonight. This is quite a big event in the national rally calendar, because racing along La Palma’s twisty roads is not at all like racing round a track. About 60 cars will drive along the route through the Breñas and Mazo once tonight and three times tomorrow. The road will be shut at 9 pm Friday and 10:26, 13:57 and 17:27. The race itself starts an…

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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. So do the directors of the William Herschel Telescope and telescopio Nazionale Galileo (the Italian). “A Breathtaking Window on the Universe: A…

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Los Sauces Bridge

The bridge over the ravine at Los Sauces is huge. It’s 319 metres long and towers 150 metres above the valley floor. It opened in December 2004. To begin with, it was rather controversial because it crosses the same valley as the Los Tilos National Park. But you can’t see the bridge from the park, and it’s really rather elegant for something so big. It also knocks a full five…

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Lifting the dome shutter motor back onto the WHT, Roque de Los Muchachos observatory, La Palma island, Canaries

The Herschell dome motor

Today I was photographing the MAGIC when I saw a big crane beside the William Herschel Telescope. Of course I went up to look, and found the engineers were winching the dome shutter back into position after repairs. Of course it took some time. As you can see in the last photo, the motor is pretty big and heavy. I don’t know what the shutter weighs, but the rotating part…

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Montaña Quemada, El Paso, La Palma, Canary Islands

The Scenic route over the ridge

The main roads on La Palma form a rough figure 8, with the main east-west road being the LP2 from Santa Cruz to Los Llanos, through the tunnel. But whenever I’ve got time, I like to take the scenic route, the LP203. This winds up through the heather and bayberry forest, then pine forest, past the barbecue and picnic areas at Pared Vieja and El Pilar. Just west of the…

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