Easter Processions in Santa Cruz de La Palma and Los Llanos

April 9, 2017

It’s Holy Week, and in this Catholic country, a lot of people take it very seriously. The bigger churches hold processions, which look very exotic to my English eyes. Do try to see at least one.   It’s not so much that they take the obviously-heavy statues along the street – most churches do that on the respective saint’s days. It’s the costumes. They remind me of the Klu Klux…

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San Nicolas to Jedey

The GR130 footpath from Jedey to San Nicolas, Los Llanos de Aridane
April 6, 2017

The GR 130 footpath goes right around the island between sea level and about 3,000 ft. Since the whole path is 150 km long, I’m walking along it in small, infrequent installments. Recently I hiked the part from San Nicolas to Jedey (and back, because I wasn’t organised enough to catch a bus). The beginning of the walk wasn’t too great because I had to walk through roadworks, but the…

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Los Llanos Day Carnival

Make up retouch
March 5, 2017

One of my favourite things about carnival is the costumes. It’s like street theatre – performance art by almost everybody for everybody. Some costumes are off the peg, with or without personal touches. Others are home made. Often a group of friends or family will be themed, like these pirates: Some costumes are quite elaborate. Others are sheer creative genius, like the Canarian Unsynchronised Swimming Team, who brought along their…

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Los Llanos’s Ethnographic museum(MAB) – permenent exhibition

The people who lived on La Palma before the Spanish arrived in 1493 called the island Benahoare, and themselves Benahorita, and they’re the subject of the permanent exhibition upstairs at the ethnographic museum in Los Llanos. The Benahorita lived in caves and wore animal skins, but they weren’t stupid. They farmed, and they had quite a bit of technology considering there’s no metal ores on the island. Their ceramics are…

January 24, 2017
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Another forest fire

Last night a 27-year-old man of no known address went a little way into the forest near Jedey to relieve himself. When he’d finished, he set fire to the toilet paper. In a very dry forest, during a heatwave, with signs everywhere saying “Hire fire risk”. Words fail me. He’s been arrested. The police caught him almost immediately when they went to investigate the fire. Unfortunately the fire raced away….

August 4, 2016
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The Art of Fire

April 20, 2016

Artefuego glassblowing studio is at the back of Plaza Sotomayor, where they hold the Argual flea market every Sunday. It’s a good idea to combine the two, because they hold public demonstrations on Sundays between 10 am and 2 pm. They combine fragments of lava into their creations, and to the best of their knowledge, they’re the only people in the world to do so. This makes every piece unique….

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