Footpaths on La Palma

November 29, 2016

La Palma has a network of well-marked footpaths, most of which are centuries old.  As late as the 1960s, walking was still a major form of transport for the islanders, The whole network of hiking trails on the island comes to over 1,000 km, and between them they pass through just about every kind of scenery on the island: lava fields, pine forests, lush laurel forests, farmland and village centres….

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The Coloured Waterfall (Cascada de colores)

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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Los Tilos Waterfall

June 4, 2016

Canarian waterfalls aren’t common. There are lots of temporary waterfalls after heavy rain, but they tend to be very short-lived. But La Palma has two, pretty much year round. This one is in the Los Tilos biosphere reserve. From the visitor centre, you follow either the ravine or the water channel upstream. (If you follow the ravine, be prepared for some scrambling. If you follow the channel, bring a torch…

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Cubo de la Galga

May 22, 2016

Cubo de la Galga is a very pretty walk along the bottom of the Galga ravine, between Puntallana and Los Sauces. By Palmeran standards, it’s an easy walk. There is now a car park at the beginning of the walk, on the road at km 16. You’re unlikely to get lost for the first kilometre or so, because the path’s actually asphalted, never mind signposted. It’s a matter of taste,…

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Almond Blossom in Garaf??a and Puntagorda

Almond blossom around an old barn with a dragon tree. Garafia, La Palma island
January 19, 2016

The almond trees have blossomed early this year. Most of the almond trees are in Puntagorda and Garafía, although there’s a good number in El Paso too. They produce small, rather bitter almonds which are out of fashion and don’t fetch a good price, (although I enjoy a saucer of toasted almonds with a glass of wine) so that most people don’t harvest the almonds, or only harvest for their…

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Water Mines on La Palma

January 11, 2016

Although La Palma has more water than the other Canary Islands, many farmers used to be desperately poor and frequently hungry. The only water for irrigation was rainwater, and obviously they had no control over how much they got. Then somebody suggested digging into the hillside to find water. (If anybody knows who, please tell me.) The idea is that much of the rainwater seeps into the ground, and runs…

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