The Spring Equinox

Comet Pan-STARRS Credit: Science@NASA
March 19, 2013

  The astronomical viewpoint at Fuencaliente has three (modern) standing stones, where the shadow of the setting sun points to another stone at (respectively) the summer solstice, both equinoxes, and the winter solstice. Tomorrow night (Wednesday) there will be a free activity run by Cielos La Palma at the viewpoint, starting at 6:30 pm to watch the sunset, followed by astronomical observations including another chance to see comet PanSTARRS through…

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The Perseid Meteor Shower

The Perseids are usually the best meteor shower of the year. The peak will be on Sunday, with perhaps as many as 100 shooting stars per hour (although any meteor shower is best after midnight). In Spain, this shower is known as las lagrimas de San Lorenzo (the tears of St Lawrence) because it happens near the feast day of St. Lawrence the martyr. Fuencaliente town hall and island’s government…

August 9, 2012
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Ultrabike 2012

On Saturday April 6th, La Palma will host an extreme bike race called Ultrabike. Actually, there are two races, a short one of 34 km and a long one of 110 km. Both routes go through gorgeous scenery in the south of the island, and both involve lots of climbing. For example, the high point of the long ride is 1,575 m above sea-level, but the total climbs add up…

March 29, 2012
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June 21, 2010

On Sunday I continued my walk around the island, from Montes de Luna to Los Canarios. Unlike previous sections, this part of the path doesn’t run through villages, criss-crossing the main road. It goes through the lonely middle of nowhere, and I wasn’t sure whether there’d be mobile coverage. Walking alone seemed like a bad idea. Not that there was any particular reason to expect an accident, just that twenty…

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Fire fiesta on La Palma

Thursday is the feast of St John the Baptist.  On La Palma, they have the very sensible custom of holding the party on the night before the public holiday, so that everyone can sleep late the morning after.  Since fiestas often go on until the early hours, sleeping in next morning is delicious. In Catholic countries, people celebrate the feast of St John with bonfires.  (Any similarity to pagan midsummer…

June 21, 2010
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