Where on Earth is La Palma anyway?

Map of the Canary Islands, showing La Palma at top left
February 13, 2017

I originally came to La Palma to work at the astronomical observatory here. Almost as soon as I heard I’d got the job, my parents went to a travel agent to find out how much it would cost to visit. The young man at the desk said, “Las Palmas de Gran Canaris? Certainly Sir. I’ll just look it up for you.” “No,” explained my father. “The island of La Palma….

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Water filters

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February 6, 2017

Some of the older houses still use these water filters and coolers in summer. You put the water into the bowl at the top, made of a porous stone (I think it’s volcanic tuff). The water filters through, and drips into the bottom bowl, which isn’t porous. Obviously this filters out any impurities, and because some of the water evaporates, the rest cools down. The stand for the wooden bowls…

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“Goodbye Street”, Tijarafe

Goodbye Street, Tijarafe, La Palma island
February 3, 2017

This is the street in Tijarafe which leads from the church to the Town Hall, where the cemetery used to be. Consequently it has the eloquent and poignant name, “Goodbye Street” (Calle Adios) This stuck in the mind of a local girl who emigrated to Cuba and became a poet: “If you come to visit my island, La Palma, do not forget Tijarafe where there is a street called Adios……

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Bus stops

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January 18, 2017

Yes bus stops. Here in the municipality of Breña Baja, we have the nicest bus stops on the island. The council built them, and the local painters’ association turned them into works of art. Puntagorda also has artistic bus stops, but I prefer ours. My husband and I watched this one being painted and said, “Gosh that’s really nice. I wonder how long it’ll be before it gets covered in…

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Salt Pans

Sea salt being made in Fuencaliente, La Palma island
January 9, 2017

Almost all salt on La Palma is sea salt, made at the southernmost tip of the island. You can visit the salt pans by taking a number 203 bus from the centre of Los Canarios to the lighthouse (Faro in Spanish). There’s a bus every two hours for most of the day. It’s a simple process. The salt water is pumped into shallow ponds and left to dry in the…

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The Three Kings on La Palma

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January 5, 2017

Gaspar visiting Santa Cruz de la Palma Although Father Christmas does visit Spanish children, he’s a new arrival. Traditionally the presents arrive on the morning of January 6th, when the three kings visit baby Jesus. This is why the sales haven’t really started yet – Christmas isn’t over here. And on the evening of the 5th, they ride in procession through most of the major towns and villages in Spain….

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