A “wasp” in the Caldera

Look what I found on a walk in the Caldera. It’s huge for an insect – that body is about as big as my thumb. It was fluttering along as though it had only just come out of its chrysalis and its wings weren’t quite working yet, so I managed to get several photos. I thought it was a moth because of the fluttering movements and the thick body, but…

May 13, 2013
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The highest point of La Palma

June 26, 2012

Looking east towards Tenerife. The highest point of the island is the Roque de Los Muchachos, at 2,426m (8,000 ft) above sea level. Most days of the year, the view is spectacular. Even when it’s raining at sea-level, the summit is nearly always above the clouds. In fact, you can often look down on a sea of clouds surrounding the island. Of course that’s one reason why the observatory is…

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Tour guiding in the clouds

A rainbow from Las Chozas viewpoint, Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma
October 27, 2011

I got home from El Hierro on Sunday afternoon, and I had a tour guiding job on Monday morning. I was a little nervous, because it was a new route for me. What I should have worried about was that most of my passengers weren’t native English speakers (I use very colloquial English on tour buses) and that, everywhere we went, my group would tend to get mixed up with…

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Into the Caldera

May 2, 2011

No writing, but I did survive the Caldera trip. It didn’t help that it was raining when we set off on Saturday morning. We held a discussion in Los Llanos bus station, and decided to go anyway, even though obviously we wouldn’t be stargazing or leaving via the river bed as planned. The mini buses had no trouble driving over the ford, and dropping us off at Los Brecitos. Then…

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The Caldera de Taburiente

The heart of La Palma is the Caldera de Taburiente. Caldera is a technical geological term for the crater at the top of a volcano. In fact the term comes from La Palma: all the volcanic calderas in the world were named after ours. So it’s really a pity that, since then, the scientists have found out that the Caldera de Taburiete isn’t a caldera. It was actually formed by…

February 14, 2011
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Who lived on La Palma before the Spanish?

The people who lived on La Palma before the Spanish arrived in 1493 called the island Benahoare, and themselves Benahorita. (Or according to some people, Benawara and Benawaritas. They insist their spelling is correct. I find this odd, because to me the correct spelling would be the one the people themselves used, only they didn’t write.) The Benahorita probably arrived on La Palma somewhere between 1000 BC and 100 BC,…

May 7, 2010
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