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A week in La Palma
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Contributed by Chris Barlow-Smith   
Friday, 23 November 2007

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Running your own business is great but when it comes to taking a holiday it’s always difficult. So in the end we picked a week and simply said we are closed no matter what.

The next question was where?  “Don’t care that’s your responsibility!” Said Sarah ….Ok

Speaking to a Spanish friend I asked him where he goes La Palma came the answer it’s like Tenerife used to be 20 years ago. Go and stay in a Casa Rural (rural house) here’s a phone number of a friend of mine that owns one.

 

So on the 27th October we boarded the ferry. Now the ferry from Tenerife to La Palma takes just under two hours but leaves at 8pm it returns at 6.30am but more of that later. Arriving in Santa Cruz we headed in the general direction of where the house was but missed the turning!  So we stopped at a local bar to ask directions only to be told “Oh you mean Charo (The owners name) I’ll give her a call for you” Everybody knows everybody else. Charo turned up and guided back to the house some four kilometers away the last kilometer down what was a donkey track. 

Sun rise next day showed just how far remote we were.

  Click on any of the images to see larger pictures.

No planes, no traffic, no people it was fantastic! The only time we were woken was on the Thursday (public holiday) morning to a guttural cry and me thinking “What the …..!” Two locals were on the surrounding hills with hunting dogs and they were calling them back. In fact a couple of the puppies came to say hello. 



Geographically La Palma and El Hierro are the youngest of the Canary Islands some 1.6M years old so much of the coastline has not eroded and you have spectacular ravines (Barrancos) all along the coastline. It does mean though that to travel 1 kilometer around the coast you may nead to go 4 kilometers down one side of the ravine and up the other.  Where possible they have tunneled the rock


One of these tunnels is called “El Tiempo” The weather, is over 2 km long, it can be sunny at one end and raining at the other! Like Tenerife it has different climates with the West and South of the island being mainly dry and the East coast wetter. Hence the reason, on the east coast, there are banana plantations almost down to the sea’s edge.

 

The wetter conditions mean that the island is green, forest and trees very different to most of Tenerife.

 

The south of the island was host to the last volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands in 1971 and you can walk around the crater edge.



The highest part of La Palma is “Roque de los Muchachos” at some 2400M and home to a number of international observatories and some breath taking views. The pictures really don’t do it justice. It’s also an interesting drive up there through the cloud on roads with sheer drops either side.

 

 

  What this crow was doing at this altitude I have no idea but was more than happy to pose for the camera. 

The capital of La Palma is Santa Cruz, jup another one, with its cobbled streets and numerous shops and coffee bars is a great place to sit with a coffee and people watch.

 

All in all this was a great week’s break a chance to recharge the batteries and get away. We are already planning a visit next year. The ferry back leaves at 6.30am so it’s a 5.45 am check in but it does give you the chance to see sunrise over Tenerife.

 

(pic12)Yes I did take my diving kit with me but it stayed in the back of the van.

Chris & Sarah

www.tenerifescuba.com

 

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Comments

Excellent holiday review - thanks for sharing. We love remote places too, and certainly the scenery of the Canaries (which is why we live here).
Great photographs as well!
Elle xx

Posted by Elle, Whose homepage is http://www.canarynightlife.net on 11/29/2007 at 00:15

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