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Strawberry tree, or Arbutus canariensis

Golden Apples

The Canary Islands Strawberry Tree, Arbutus canariensis, known in Spanish as madroño canario is a tree native to the Canary Islands. Surprisingly, it’s in the same family as heather. Well I was surprised. Heather leaves are tiny little needles, while strawberry trees have broad leaves. Tehre aer several growing outside the Caldera visitor centre. As you can see, the fruits are bright orange, and they look a lot like kumquats,…

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Little Perez's frog in the Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma

Wildlife in the Caldera

La Palma popped up out of the ocean only 3 million years ago, so the wildlife either flew here by itself, floated here by itself, or hitched a lift with humans. Consequently there are no bears or wolves or deer. For all that, there are some interesting insects in the Caldera. For example, there are the blue dragonflies, pictured above. They’re really quite common, although they zip around so fast…

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Montaña Quemada, El Paso, La Palma, Canary Islands

The Scenic route over the ridge

Los Llanos del Jable, with El Paso behind 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…

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La Glorieta square: Looking south, from the stage.

La Glorieta Square, El Paso

There’s a lovely little square at La Glorieta. The whole floor is covered in mosaics, as are the benches. The plants are all local ones. Most of the vertical walls are made from the local volcanic stone, as is the back of the little fountain of a mosaic chameleon. The whole lot was designed and made by a local artists, Luis Morerea . To get there take the road from…

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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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Fugeddaboutit!

I love La Palma, and I believe that most British tourists who come here love it too. But you know, you can’t please everybody all the time, and I occasionally hear of people who were very disappointed. That’s a shame when you’ve saved all year for a holiday. So who shouldn’t come? Well, the weather isn’t quite as hot as the bigger Canarian resorts. You don’t get much in the…

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