Robert’s Wall

Yesterday I had another group to show around the William Herschel Telescope. I had to drop my son off at school at 8:30, and be at the residencia for 10, which didn’t quite leave enough time to make it worth going home. So instead I went straight up the mountain, and had fifteen minutes to take photos at Los Andennes, where you get a specatcular view into the Caldera.

From here you can see a dyke called La Pared de Roberto (Robert’s Wall). It’s about four metres high (13ft).

[Volcanic dykes are formed when moulten lava fills a crack in the rock and solidifies slowly into very hard rock called basalt. Later on the softer, surrounding rock is eroded away, leaving the harder basalt sticking out like a wall.]

The story is that Roberto was madly in love with a girl who lived the other side of the wall, and he couldn’t get through. Eventually the devil appeared to him and promised to carry Roberto’s body through in exchange for Roberto’s soul.

Roberto was daft enough to agree.

With a great flash of light, the devil blasted a hole through the dyke and left Roberto’s dead body on the far side. He’d already taken the soul.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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