White sands beach

The not-vey-white sand at Salemera beach, Mazo, La Palma Island
September 17, 2019

La Palma has lots of little beaches tucked away here and there, like Salemera. You take the main road from Santa Cruz or the airport to Fuencaliente, and just south of Mazo, follow the marked turning off. After four twisty kilometres, you wind up at the little village. It’s easy to park. The beach itself is tiny, but very sheltered. You don’t have to worry that a big wave will…

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The Partridge Family on La Palma

Barbary Partridges, Alectoris barbara koenigi
September 11, 2019

I’ve seen lots more partridges near the Roque de Los Muchachos than last year. They mostly seem to live in the higher reaches of the pine forest, where they wander out onto the road sometimes. Earlier in the summer, I often saw families which all disappeared into the bushes before I could get my camera out. That makes it all the nicer to have caught this family before they flew…

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The Devil in Tijarafe

September 7, 2019

Saturday night (or rather, early Sunday morning) will be the fiesta del diabolo in Tijarafe. Every year, right in the middle of the annual village fiesta, the devil turns up at Tijarafe in the early hours of September 8th. It starts off like most fiestas. The village centre is off the main road, and on the way in, you pass the usual mobile bars, blasting out music at full volume….

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The Coloured Waterfall (Cascada de colores)

September 5, 2019

A few years ago I hiked up into the Caldera de Taburiente to finally see the famous Coloured Waterfall. By my standards it was a long hike since it’s 5.5 km each way, although it’s pretty level. (That is, A Dutchman wouldn’t consider it flat, but you only climb about 200 m in 4.5 km. If you carry on to the camp site, that’s another 350 m climb in 3.2…

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Canary Pine Trees

September 3, 2019

Today I visited Cumbrecita, and I fell in love with Canary pine trees all over again. So many of them look as though they’ve been carefully trained into artistic shapes, like gigantic bonsai trees. So here are a few of my favourites.

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Starlit Skies

Galaxy M51 taken with the Isaac Newton Telescope and Wide Field Camera by Simon Driver
August 29, 2019

  There’s a really simple reason why the Royal Greenwich Observatory moved their telescopes here. It’s one of the three best places in the world for astronomy. The observatory was founded in 1675 by Charles II of England – hence the “royal” for £520 (£20 over budget!). It was the first purpose-built scientific research facility in Britain. At the time, Greenwich was a great place to build it – away…

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