The Sardine

Most places in Spain end Carnival with a funeral for a sardine. It’s like being inside a Monty Python sketch, with the crowd dressed in black (some tarty, some elegant) and screeching with fake grief. “WAUUUGH! She’s dead!” The whole thing’s deliciously bonkers. This bizarre finale to Carnival was traditionally held on Ash Wednesday, but most places on La Palma hold it at the weekend, so people don’t have to…

February 24, 2012
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The Dragon Tree Viewpoint

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 something…

August 10, 2011
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Photos of Puntagorda’s Almond Blossom Fiesta

The bouncy castles were well appreciated by the youngest people there. And the social club for seniors was packed with dancers. I’d have joined in if there’d been a bit more space. And just as I left, the salsa band left the main stage, to be replaced by a rock band. I much prefer rock ‘n’ roll, so I was quite sad that I had such a long drive ahead…

February 7, 2011
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Programme for the Almond Blossom Fiesta, Puntagorda

Friday 4th February Starting at 10pm, a performance of Batuca (serious percussion) followed by a disco in the Comunidad Cuatro Caminos (The community centre at the crossroads) Saturday 5th February Starting at 10pm, public dance in the Comunidad Cuatro Caminos and in the street. (Salsa music). Sunday 6th February From 12 noon: * At the school: bouncy castles * At the Casa de la Cultura (Culture centre, upstairs):Exhibition of crafts…

February 2, 2011
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Almond blossom

The north-west of the island is home to great many almond trees, and at this time of the year, they’re all blossoming. The trees in El Paso and Garafía are beautiful, but the best display of all is at Puntagorda. In fact Puntagorda hosts an annual almond blossom fiesta. The date varies — the Town Hall sets it a couple of weeks in advance, to (hopefully) coincide with the best…

January 28, 2011
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Puntagorda’s Almond Blossom Fiesta

Puntagorda fiesta: almond blossom La Palma isn’t a big island, but it still takes almost 2 hours to drive from Breña Baja to Puntagorda. I found most of the blossom had been spoiled by the bad weather last week, but it was still pretty. (In a good year, the whole hillside turns pink.) Then I got sidetracked into visiting a friend’s barbecue, and very nice, too. I finally got to…

February 8, 2010
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