Where did the benahorita come from?

Benahoara ceramic in the museum in Los Llanos, La Palma
April 22, 2016

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 BC,…

Read More >>

Palmeran Sow Thistles (Sonchus palmensis)

 Sow thistles look rather like a dandelion gone balistic. That is, the individual flowers look much like dandelions, but they’re growing on a shrub anything up to 2 m (6 ft) tall. And now they’re flowing all over the island, especially on the east, up to about 1,000 ft. Like so many other plants here, La Palma has a different species from everywhere else – Sonchus palmensis. Actually they are…

March 16, 2016
Read More >>

Tazacorte Church

March 12, 2016

The outside of the church of St Michael the Archangel, Tazacorte I popped into Tazacorte church. 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. In this case, I’d recently translated a text that said the church “was built at the end of the 15th century,…

Read More >>

Breña Baja: The Old Butcher’s Shop

The 19th century butcher's shop, Breña Baja, La Palma
February 3, 2016

The old butcher’s shop stands on the outskirts of the village of San Jose, in Breña Baja, near the Paradorof La Palma. The building dates from the late 19th century, and it was a butcher’s shop until the 1960s. But now it’s been renovated as a craft exhibition and shop. Although the place is small, they’ve packed a lot in. They’ve got lots of traditional embroidery and basketwork. They’ve also…

Read More >>

Piscinas La Fajana, Barlovento

August 29, 2015

Fancy swimming in sea-water without the waves? These are some rather nice salt-water swimming pools at Fajana, five km outside the village of Barlovento, on the main road to Santa Cruz. At one time they were only the natural pools, but they’ve been improved rather nicely. There’s a pool near the top for senior citizens and the disabled, but the best places are reached down two flights of steps. They…

Read More >>

The Church of San Juan, Puntallana

July 29, 2015

The exterior of the church of San Juan, Puntallana   As Palmeran churches go, the church of St. John the Baptist in Puntallana isn’t all that old. The presbytery and the side chapels date from the 16th century, and the nave from the 1719. It was officially declared an Asset of Cultural Interest (rather like a listed building) in 1994. The main altar in the church of San Juan, Puntallana…

Read More >>