Happy Birthday, Teneguia!

The eruption of Teneguía, Fuencaliente, 1971
October 28, 2011

  The oldest rocks on La Palma are 2,000,000 years old, which is very young for geology. But the youngest rocks are just 40 years old, and it’s their birthday this month. The Teneguía volcano erupted during October and November of 1971. My husband was a teenager at the time, and he remembers going to see it from the San Antonio volcano, and he remembers hearing the deep rumbles at…


Tour guiding in the clouds

A rainbow from Las Chozas viewpoint, Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma
October 27, 2011

I got home from El Hierro on Sunday afternoon, and I had a tour guiding job on Monday morning. I was a little nervous, because it was a new route for me. What I should have worried about was that most of my passengers weren’t native English speakers (I use very colloquial English on tour buses) and that, everywhere we went, my group would tend to get mixed up with…


A rainbow in La Cumbrecita

One of the best places to admire the Caldera de Taburiente is La Cumbrecita, a notch in the south-east wall of the crater. You get there by taking the main road between Santa Cruz and Los Llanos to the Caldera Visitors’ Centre (above El Paso). Because the car park at La Cumbrecita is small, you have to go into the visitors’ centre and book a place in the queue (tip,…

October 25, 2011

Manolo Blahnik

Whitney Port wearing Manolo Blahnik's 2009 design 'Tribeca'. Photo: David Shankbone
October 22, 2011

Manolo Blahnik’s Czech father met his mother on a stopover in Santa Cruz de la Palma. He continued his journey, but promised to come back. The unusual bit is that he did indeed come back and marry her, and they set up home just south of Santa Cruz on a banana plantation. “Our property had no neighbours apart from my grandfather’s house. It was just bananas, the sea and us……



I’m on holiday in El Hierro again.  OK, so I’m now sitting on the flank of an active volcano, but there’s not much to notice where I’m staying, except that the sea has gone green.  I suspect that this is stuff coming out of the undersea eruption, brought here by the ocean currents.  Anyway, I’ve gone off the idea of swimming in it. All the same, I’m having a great…

October 20, 2011

Buses on La Palma

La Palma has rather good public transport. For example, there’s a bus from Santa Cruz (the capital) to the airport via Los Cancajos every half hour. The buses across the centre of the island between the two main town are half-hourly too, and one goes past the Princess hotel into Los Canarios every two hours. If you want to see glorious scenery, I recommend the bus around the north, from…

October 19, 2011