Twin Dragon Trees in Breña Alta

Twin dragon trees (Dracaena draco), Breña Alta These trees stand in Breña Alta, just off the minor road which winds over the central ridge to El Paso. They grow so close together that it’s hard to tell where on trunk ends and the other begins. Of course there’s a legend associated with the trees. Two brothers lived nearby, and were very close, but they fell in love with the same…

March 28, 2018
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Training vines

March 25, 2018

  Spring is here, and the vines are sprouting all over the island. In the south of the island, particularly in Fuencaliente, it’s dry. In a hot summer day, the wind sometmies feels almost like a hairdryer. This could turn the grapes to raisins before you harvest them, so the vines are trained low to the ground to keep them out of the wind. They’re usually planeted in hollows, or…

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Painting the volcanic gravel red

The volcanic gravel turnin red at Llano de los Jables above El Paso, La Palma island
March 22, 2018

Llano del Jable is a flattish area above El Paso, dotted with pine trees. There’s a viewpoint just above it with a spectacular view. Normally the ground is black. It’s almost all gravel, formed from a series of erupions of Montaña Quemada (Burnt Mountain) between 1470 and 1492. The volcano sprayed out lava which solidified in midair and landed as hot gravel. It looks extremely exotic if you’re English. At…

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The Seer’s Stone

March 10, 2018

Twelve adventures for children under La Palma’s amazing starry sky. by Sheila Crosby (Children’s fiction, paperback, 148 pages, A5) Take a journey through La Palma’s turbulent past, into its present and out into the exciting future. Chedey will tell you how his world collapsed when the Spanish conquered the Island in 1493, Althay will explain what happened when the volcano erupted, Daida shares her visit from an extraterrestrial and Leyre…

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Napeloen Bonepart in the Caldera de Taburiente

At the top of the Caldera there’s a rock formation that from one angle looks distinctly like Napoleon Bonepart, or an native American. So it’s called Boniface or El Indio. This photo is taken from below the Roque de las Viñas, beside the vineyard. The best viewpoint has a lethal drop and no guard rail. It’s totally unsuitable for small children, people with vertigo, and idiots. I’m assuming readers of…

March 8, 2018
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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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