Almond blossom

Almond blossom around an old barn with a dragon tree. Garafia, La Palma island
January 31, 2017

The north-west of the island is home to great many almond trees, and at this time of the year, they’re all blossoming. The trees in El Paso and Garafía are beautiful, but the best display of all is at Puntagorda. In places, the whole hillside turns pale pink. In fact Puntagorda hosts an annual almond blossom fiesta. The date varies — the Town Hall sets it a couple of weeks…

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Wildlife in the Caldera

Little Perez's frog in the Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma
October 2, 2016

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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The Coloured Waterfall (Cascada de colores)

colouredwaterfall
September 28, 2016

On Monday 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 km) The…

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The Scenic route over the ridge

quemada.jpg
September 18, 2016

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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Mulberries

mulberries
July 22, 2016

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, don’t…

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Summer Solstice at El Verde

This evening will be the solstice, when the sun appears at its farthest north in the sky. For the northern hemisphere, it’s the longest day of the year. (And for the southern hemisphere, it’s the longest night of the year.) La Palma has several archaeological sites which mark the solstice. One of the easiest to get to is El Verde in El Paso. Park beside the cemetery and follow the…

June 20, 2016
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