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The ancient rock carving at Lomo Estrecho, El Paso, La Palma

Lomo Estrecho

I went for a walk to Lomo Estrecho. Starting from the Caldera visitor centre, you take the LP 302 towards the better-known Cumbrecita car park, but instead of taking the turning to Cumbrecita you carry on as far as you can go in a normal car, or about 1 km beyond that to the recycling bins if you’re in a 4×4. From there you walk up the track marked “Pista…

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Blood moon

On Friday night the moon will be blood red when it rises. this is because the Sun, Earth and Moon will be in a straight line, and the moon will be in the Earth’s shadow. But the Earth’s atmosphere acts like a prism, sending red sunlight into that shadow. Instead of going completely dark, the moon will be blood red. Lunar eclipses are less common than solar ones, but when…

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Mulberries

  Mulberries were originally introduced to the greener parts of La Palma to feed silkworms for silk production. The fruit is a delicious side-effect. Sadly, you rarely see it on sale, because it’s fragile and doesn’t keep. It’s also a strong, natural dye (and is used as such). If you pick your own, expect stained fingers and watch your clothes. In fact, if you’re staying near a mulberry tree in fruit,…

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The Romeria de San Antonio

A romería is a cross between a religious procession and a party. Typically, they hold a special mass and then take the statue out for several kilometres along a traditional route, followed by floats which hand out free food and wine, and lots of people, some in traditional dress, many of them singing and / or dancing. Since it’s a big event, most of them don’t happen every year, but…

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The Dragon Tree Viewpoint

  There’s a rather nice viewpoint in Puntagorda, on the main road at km 78. Its most obvious attraction is the dragon tree, leaning much further over than the tower at Pisa. > But when I was last there, I was charmed by a tame red-billed chough, Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax barbarus. They’re relatives of rooks and crows, but this particular sub-species only lives on La Palma where they’re called grajas. They’re…

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Cyclanthera pedata, known as kaywa or caigua

How to cook Caigua

The plant Cyclanthera pedata has a lot of names: Caigua, kaywa, caihua, caygua, cayua, achuqcha, achocha, achogcha, achojcha, achokcha, archucha. It’s a herbacious vine which originally comes from the Andes (Bolivia to Columbia). You eat the fruit, but cook it like a vegetable. Slice each fruit opem, remove the seeds, fill with whatever you fancy, and put it in the oven for a bit. The traditional filling is minced beef,…

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