Where did the benahorita come from?

May 5, 2019

  The people who lived on La Palma before the Spanish arrived in 1493 called the island Benahoare, and themselves Benahorita. (Or according to some people Benawara and Benawaritas. They insist their spelling is correct. I find this odd, because to me the correct spelling would be the one the people themselves used, only they didn’t write.) The Benahorita probably arrived on La Palma somewhere between 1000 BC and 100…

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Tazacorte Church

March 13, 2019

The outside of the church of St Michael the Archangel, Tazacorte I’m not religious, but most of the churches on La Palma are beautiful, and worth at least a quick look. Even if the building itself isn’t special, there’s often a beautiful renaissance statue. I translated a text about Tazacorete chuurch which said that it “was built at the end of the 15th century, making it the oldest religious building…

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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 16, 2019
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Fugeddaboutit!

I love La Palma, and I believe that most British tourists who come here love it too. But you know, you can’t please everybody all the time, and I occasionally hear of people who were very disappointed. That’s a shame when you’ve saved all year for a holiday. So who shouldn’t come? Well, the weather isn’t quite as hot as the bigger Canarian resorts. You don’t get much in the…

September 15, 2018
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The Romeria de San Antonio

July 21, 2018

A romería is a cross between a religious procession and a party. Typically, they hold a special mass and then take the statue out for several kilometres along a traditional route, followed by floats which hand out free food and wine, and lots of people, some in traditional dress, many of them singing and / or dancing. Since it’s a big event, most of them don’t happen every year, but…

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The Dragon Tree Viewpoint

July 15, 2018

  There’s a rather nice viewpoint in Puntagorda, on the main road at km 78. Its most obvious attraction is the dragon tree, leaning much further over than the tower at Pisa. > But when I was last there, I was charmed by a tame red-billed chough, Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax barbarus. They’re relatives of rooks and crows, but this particular sub-species only lives on La Palma where they’re called grajas. They’re…

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