Ferrets on La Palma

April 6, 2019

Ferrets are a common pet here. They’re mostly used for hunting wild rabbits, which are plentiful. The trouble is that occasionally they escape. Since there are plenty of wild rabbits, they do rather well, so we also have a population of wild ferrets. In fact, in 2010 scientists found that La Palma was the island with the highest number of wild ferrets in the Canaries. The scientists say that, “the…

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The Cistercian Convent

March 20, 2019

The Cistercian convent of the Holy Trinity at Buenavista in Breña Alta is surprisingly new. It was founded in 1946, and it’s the only closed order on the island. I was surprised to find out that there are only ten nuns who live there. The convent has a small shop. I first went there about ten years ago, in search of a rosary made of dragon-tree seeds, for a Catholic…

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Tazacorte Church

March 13, 2019

The outside of the church of St Michael the Archangel, Tazacorte I’m not religious, but most of the churches on La Palma are beautiful, and worth at least a quick look. Even if the building itself isn’t special, there’s often a beautiful renaissance statue. I translated a text about Tazacorete chuurch which said that it “was built at the end of the 15th century, making it the oldest religious building…

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Wig Fiesta 2017

February 28, 2019

Carnival in Santa Cruz kicks off with the wig fiesta on Friday night. It’s a brilliant idea, because bought wigs start from about 2.50€, so almost anyone can afford it, and creative people can (and do) make their own. Click for a the full size version of the panorama.

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Where on Earth is La Palma anyway?

Map of the Canary Islands, showing La Palma at top left
February 20, 2019

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

February 15, 2019

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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