The Barranco de las Angustias

Angustias Ravine

This is the Barranco de las Angustias the Ravine of Anguish. The name comes from the conquest of the island, back at the end of the fifteenth century. Most of the tribes on the island took one look at the heavily-armed Spanish, and gave up without a fight. Four tribes fought briefly, but soon surrendered. After all, the original inhabitants, the Benhoaristas, had only stick and stones to fight against men with muskets and body armour.

But the tribe in the Caldera fought on, and on, and on. People in Madrid started asking embarrassing questions, like “How come you can’t sort out a stone age tribe?”

The terrain had a lot to do with it. There are only two ways into the Caldera, and both are at the bottom of a valley. It must have been rather easy to organise an ambush: you’d just have to sit higher up with a big pile of rocks. And it would be a nightmare to try to bring a canon into the Caldera.

Eventually the Spanish changed tactics. They arranged a peace conference.
And when the Benhoaristas came out, lead by their king, Tanausú, they were attacked in the Barranco de ls Angustias. It was a bloodbath.

Tanausú was badly injured and captured. He taken on board a ship in chains, and died before he reached Spain.

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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