The MAGIC telescope webcam, Roque de Los Muchachos, 20/03/2015
..after you made other plans.
Here’s what was supposed to happen today:
I had a group of students to show around two telescopes. Since they were going up in a bus from Los Cancajos and the weather forecast was poor, I arranged to drive to Los Cancajos, leave my car there, and go up with them in the bus. This would avoid the usual confusion created by bad weather days, and save me 8€ of petrol. Then I’d come down with them and drive home.
The first part worked. The direct road was blocked, so we set off on the longer route to the observatory. I phoned the first telescope to say we’d be late. They said, “No don’t come up. The weather’s very bad indeed, and it won’t get better. We’re in the cloud.”
This was an awful pity, because this group had come to La Palma especially for the telescopes and they had to fly out this afternoon.
Since we couldn’t control the wather, they decided to play tourists for a day.
At that point the penny dropped. Since the visit was cancelled, I wouldn’t be paid. And my car was back at Los Cancajos. I’d effectively been kidnapped by my lack of foresight. Obviously I should have driven behind the bus.
I did considered catching the public buses back to Los Cancajos, but I estimated it would take two hours. Meanwhile, this group was going nice places and I was heartily sick of sitting at a computer all day.
So I played truant, and stayed with them.
The first stop was the visitor centre for the Cumbrecita National Park. We were in luck – there was a space for the bus in the car park. So we went for a lovely hike to Las Chozas viewpoint. It was rather chilly up at 1,200 m (4,000 ft) but the view was fantastic (as usual) everyone seemed to enjoy it.
Panorama looking north from the crater of San Antonio volcano, Fuencaliente
Then we went to San Antonio volcano. It was pretty breezy out on the crater, but again, the views were fantastic as usual.
Then we had a nice lunch, and went to the airport so everyone else could get their flight, and the bus driver kindly dropped me off in Los Cancajos.
So my day wasn’t lucrative or productive, but my goodness it was fun.
Panorama looking south from the crater of San Antonio volcano, Fuencaliente