Cancajos Salt Pans

December 13, 2018

You can visit a working salt factory on the southern tip of La Palma, but if you’re staying in Cancajos, in Breña Baja, it’s worth taking a peak at the ruined salt factory. The sea front promenade runs south from the main beach along the top of a low cliff, and it’s a very pleasant walk. It’s smooth and flat enough for push chairs. A couple of stone towers stand…

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Constitution Day. 40 years of democracy.

December 6, 2018

The dictator Franco died in 1975, and the new constitution was adopted on the 6th December, 1978: The Spanish Nation, wishing to establish justice, liberty and security, and to promote the welfare of all who make part of it, in use of her sovereignty, proclaims its will to: Guarantee democratic life within the Constitution and the laws according to a just economic and social order. Consolidate a State ensuring the…

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Francis Drake on La Palma

Francis Drake tried to enter Santa Cruz harbour on November 3rd, 1585. This was after Drake was knighted and before the defeat of the Spanish armada. The Spanish regarded him as a pirate, with some justification. Drake left Plymouth with 23 ships and over 2,000 men, heading for the Caribbean. The prevailing winds meant that the logical route was via the Canary islands, so he headed for the biggest port…

November 29, 2018
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Pirate’s Day 2018

August 3, 2018

  In 1553 French pirates led by François LeClerc (known as Pata de Palo or wooden leg) attacked Santa Cruz de La Palma and took the whole town over. Then they refused to go until they were paid a huge ransom. Tomorrow (Saturday 4th August) is Pirate’s Day (Dia del Corsario) and there’ll be a reenactment starting at 6pm by the Naval Museum (the copy of Columbus’s ship at one end of…

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Local history: The Tazacorte Martyrs

Tazacorte martyrs: The martyrs go to heaven
March 2, 2018

In 1570, a party of Jesuit missionaries were on their way from Portugal to Brazil. They broke their journey in Puerto de Tazacorte. It was an unplanned stop: they’d been heading for Santa Cruz de la Palma, but the winds were against them. On arrival in Tazacorte, Fr. Acevedo was amazed to find that the owner of the estate was an old friend from Oporto, don Melchor de Monteverde y…

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Water Mines on La Palma

January 19, 2018

Although La Palma has more water than the other Canary Islands, many farmers used to be desperately poor and frequently hungry. The only water for irrigation was rainwater, and obviously they had no control over how much they got. Then somebody suggested digging into the hillside to find water. (If anybody knows who, please tell me.) The idea is that much of the rainwater seeps into the ground, and runs…

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