A line on the sea

Roque Teneguía and a line on the sea
November 18, 2017

La Palma sits in the trade winds. Most days of the year we have a stiff breeze from the northwest. That creates most of the island’s climate: the wind hits the island at Barlovento (which means “windward”) and gets flows uphill. As it rises, it cools down and forms clouds. Sometimes it rains, and Barlovento is the wettest part of the island with a metre of rain per year. By…

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Where’s the village gone?

November 14, 2017

Tourists sometimes go nuts trying to find the village of Breña Baja, or Fuencaliente. There’s a really simple reason why they can’t find them. They don’t exist. Breña Baja and Fuencaliente are municipalities, and their town halls are in the villages of San Jose and Los Canarios, respectively. It like driving all over the south east of England, looking for the town of Sussex. The map shows the 14 municipalities…

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Blessing the Animals

January 17th is the fiesta of San Antonio Abad (St. Anthony the Abbot) in Fuencaliente, and at midday the priest holds a special, traditional service to bless the animals in the church square. I was curious, so a few years ago, I went. I didn’t know whether to expect pets or farm animals, but there were both. At twelve promptly, the priest came out, gave a short sermon on looking…

January 15, 2017
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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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Happy Birthday, Teneguia!

The eruption of Teneguía, Fuencaliente, 1971
October 8, 2016

  The oldest rocks on La Palma are 3,000,000 years old, which is very young for geology. But the youngest rocks are just 45 years old, and it’s their birthday this month. The Teneguía volcano erupted during October and November of 1971. My husband was a teenager at the time, and he remembers going to see it from the San Antonio volcano, and he remembers hearing the deep rumbles at…

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Summer Solstice at El Verde

This evening will be the solstice, when the sun appears at its farthest north in the sky. For the northern hemisphere, it’s the longest day of the year. (And for the southern hemisphere, it’s the longest night of the year.) La Palma has several archaeological sites which mark the solstice. One of the easiest to get to is El Verde in El Paso. Park beside the cemetery and follow the…

June 20, 2016
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