Growing Bananas on La Palma

  When I first came to La Palma in 1990, around 40% of the population depended on the banana trade: growing bananas, packing them, or driving them. But even with the EU subsidy, it’s hard to make a living from bananas. If you’re unlucky with the weather, you can work hard all year and still make a loss. So the economy is diversifying, and a good thing too. But bananas…

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Llano del Jable, Pico Birigoyo, LA Palma. Photo: Kai Petersen

Photos of La Palma by Kai Petersen

Kai Petersen has some spectacular photos of La Palma at his website: http://www.lightpaintingfreaks.com/index.php?/albums/la-palma/   My favourites are the night photos with stars, but he also took this lovely photo of my and my friend Nevermore on a tour of the Observatory of the Roque de Los Muchachos. The website is in German, but you don’t need words to enjoy them. I really recommend a visit, because there are 37 more!

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Volcanic Caves

I come from Yorkshire and I’m used to limestone caves, so I was surprised when I found that the volcanic island of La Palma has lots of caves too. Volcanic caves are formed when a river of lava solidifies on the top and sides, but the middle (insulated by the solid-but-still-hot lava around it) stays runny. Sometimes big bubbles of gas force their way to the surface, leaving a hole…

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Hacienda de Abajo

  The poshest hotel on La Palma is both the newest and the oldest. That is, the hotel has been open for only three years, but the main building dates back to the 17th century. Hacienda de Abajo in Tazacorte was a sugar cane plantation and the main family house of the Sotomayor Topete family who owned quite a lot of the island, including an estate higher up (Hacienda de…

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Footpath from Charco-Azul to Puerto Espindola

  La Palma has a nice, new seaside footpath, which runs from Charco-Azul to Puerto Espindola, in the municipality of San Andres and Sauces. It’s been under construction for some time. My friends in Franceses went along to see how it was progressing, and found themselves in the middle of the official opening. Footpath from Charco Azul to Puerto Espindola. Photo: Helen Bennett Charco Azul has salt-water swimming pools, rather…

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The God Save the Queen concert

God Save the Queen concert

  I’ve missed a lot of the Bajada one way and another, but we did get to the “God Save the Queen” concert last night. If you haven’t heard of them, they’re a Queen tribute group. We weren’t sure how good they were, but we bought tickets on the assuption that there’s a huge gap between “As good as the original Queen” and “Worth 15€.” Are they as good as…

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