Fuencaliente means “Hot Spring”. The southernmost municipality takes its name from the hot spring which seeped out into pools on Echentive beach. It was famous for curing all kinds of sickness, including leprosy and syphilis, so Fuencaliente used to attract sick people from all over Europe and even South America. That’s the setting for “A Star in the Water”, one of the stories in “The Seer’s Stone“.
And then Volcan San Antonio erupted in 1677 and buried it under 40 metres of lava.
As soon as the lava cooled, people started searching for the spring, and they went on searching until it was found in 2005. Then there was a long discussion about how to renovate the spring without wrecking it. (La Palma is not Magaluf.) And then the engineering work started.
Of course the engineering work took longer than expected – doesn’t it always? In this case, largely because the spring is heated by a volcano, and the volcano sometimes burps out poisonous gases. It took a while to sort out the ventilation system.
The long term plans still haven’t been decided, but the public can finally get in, on summer Thursdays. You have to sign up for a free guided tour at http://www.lapalmaaguas.es/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=114&Itemid=1. Each tour takes an hour. (The website is in Spanish, but then so’s the tour.) I’m going on Thursday, and I’ll let you know.