San Antonio del Monte

Dancing at San Antonio del Monte, Garafía
June 14, 2009

  Yesterday was the biggest livestock fair on the island. San Antonio del Monte used to be a village, but the villagers moved away. About the only thing that’s left is the church of St. Anthony and the feast day, with it’s massive fair. Apart from the animals, there’s a craft fair, and of course lots of stalls selling cheap toys, food and drink. It’s a pretty enough little church,…


Be Prepared!

May 14, 2009

 Last night I went to La Punta in Tijarafe, to get some photos of the fiesta. It’s not a big fiesta but I’ve been going cross-eyed with the current translation, and I really, really needed a break in my routine. Besides, in 18 years of living on La Palma, I’d never been to La Punta. Since the procession was going to be quite late, I made sure I had the…


Sahara Dust

After an colder-than-average winter, the temperatures here have shot up. This happens whenever the trade winds give way to calima – a hot, dry wind and dust blowing from the Sahara. We used to get it only in summer, but for the last few years it’s been happening earlier in the year. Actually, it’s really nice at this time of year. Suddenly it’s warm enough to sit on the beach,…

March 20, 2009

Carnival Murgas

What are murgas when they’re at home? Well, they’re not murgas. They have to go out to do that. And they usually go out during Carnival. A murga is a large, costumed choir singing a medley of popular tunes with their own lyrics. The costumes can be quite elaborate, and run from clowns, demons, big, hairy blokes dressed as schoolgirls, Arabian princes, or fairies (usually the big, hairy blokes again.)…

February 14, 2009

Snow at the Roque

  La Palma has a lovely sub-tropical climate. It’s called the land of eternal spring. But today the top of the mountain is covered with snow. Of course, we only ever get snow at high altitude, and these days, we don’t get snow every winter. But when it snows, it can dump several feet in one night. The Roque is one of the three best sites in the world for…

February 6, 2009


Yes busstops. Here in the municipality of Breña Baja, we have the nicest bus stops on the island. The council built them, and the local painters’ association turned them into works of art. busstop34 Jigsaw Puzzle That was two years ago, and they still haven’t been vandalised, which is another thing I like about the place. It’s not that the whole island is grafitti-free, but there isn’t much, and it’s…

January 12, 2009