Road closures between the observatory and Santa Cruz

March 12, 2018

They’re working on the LP4 road at Los Andennes, near the spectacular view into the Caldera. So the road between the observatory and Santa Cruz will be closed every day in both directions from 09:00 – 13:00 and 16:00 – 19:00.  The road from the Observatory down to Llano Negro in Garafia is not affected. From Santa Cruz this takes about two hours, whether you go through Tijarafe or Barlovento. Allow…


Snow at the Roque

February 14, 2018

On Sunday I had a tour group at the Roque. The direct route from Santa Cruz was closed due to ice, and I had to go up and down the long way around, through Garafía. It made for a long, tiring day, but the scenery was spectacular. The sun had melted much of the snow, except for anything facing north, and the rest had turned to ice (or was ice…


The windmill at Buracas

January 28, 2018

The windmill at Buracas was designed by Isidoro Ortega Sánchez (1843-1913), an engineer from Mazo. Isidoro was self taught, but he clearly thought it through very thoroughly.   The windmill’s largely made of tea, the heart wood of a Canarian pine. It’s much cheaper than stone, easily available in most of the island, and it lasts really well, and the construction’s rather simple.   There’s a mechanism to turn the sails…


The gofio museum at Buracas

A wooden windmill
January 24, 2018

Gofio is the traditional staple food in the Canaries, like potatoes in Ireland or rice in Japan. It’s made by toasting cereal grains and then grinding them. You can use almost any cereal: wheat, barley, rye, maize, oats. You can also use lentils, chick peas or lupin seeds. My personal favourite is the 7-grain wholemeal variety. It’s such an important part of Canarian culture that I wasn’t surprised to find…


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…


Ravens on La Palma

October 4, 2017

Common Ravens live all over Europe, Asia and North America, but we have a different sub-species here. Some biologists group our raven in with the North African sub-species (Corvus corax tingitanus) and others think the Canaries have their own sub-species (Corvus corax canariensis). Like other members of the rook-and-crow family, they’ll eat whatever’s available: carrion, insects, cereal grains, berries, fruit, small animals, and food waste. And they’re pretty intelligent about…