Los Sauces Bridge

September 16, 2017

The bridge over the ravine at Los Sauces is huge. It’s 319 metres long and towers 150 metres above the valley floor. It opened in December 2004. To begin with, it was rather controversial because it crosses the same valley as the Los Tilos National Park. But you can’t see the bridge from the park, and it’s really rather elegant for something so big. It also knocks a full five…

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Robert’s Wall (la pared de Roberto)

Robert's Wall (Pared de Roberto), La Palma
May 28, 2017

This photo was taken from the viewpoint at Los Andennes, where you get a spectacular view into the Caldera. From here you can see a dyke called La Pared de Roberto (Robert’s Wall). It’s about four metres high (13ft). [Volcanic dykes are formed when moulten lava fills a crack in the rock and solidifies slowly into very hard rock called basalt. Later on the softer, surrounding rock is eroded away,…

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Strange Caterpillars

April 26, 2017

Yponomenta gigas caterpillars and web. I’d never heard of caterpillars that make cobwebs before, but these do. Like many others caterpilars in the family of ermine moths, they form communal webs. I suppose it discourages birds from sticking their beaks in. My book on Canarian insects doesn’t mention them at all, but then they aren’t easy to find unless you know where to look. They live on the Canarian Willow,…

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Bus stops

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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The Tsunami Risk

You may remember the fuss in 2001 when two geologists, Steven Ward and Simon Day, announced their theory that the west side of the island of La Palma would collapse one day, creating a mega-tsunami that would cross the entire Atlantic and still be anything up to 25 metres high when it hit New York, and indeed everything from Newfoundland in Canada to Recife in Brazil. These days, almost all…

December 2, 2016
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Starlit Skies

Galaxy M51 taken with the Isaac Newton Telescope and Wide Field Camera by Simon Driver
September 24, 2016

  There’s a really simple reason why the Royal Greenwich Observatory moved their telescopes here. It’s one of the three best places in the world for astronomy. The observatory was founded in 1675 by Charles II of England – hence the “royal” for £520 (£20 over budget!). It was the first purpose-built scientific research facility in Britain. At the time, Greenwich was a great place to build it – away…

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