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La Palma

Actually it were my parents-in-law, both deceased now, who were responsible for my Canary addiction: they wanted to celebrate their anniversary 'somewhere' on the Canary Islands in the Xmas period, together with their children and next-of-kin. For my wife and me it became a tradition to go Canarian in winter.

Puerto Naos

Sol Elite the hotel was called at the time. It's at the end of the boulevard. Walking around in your shorts at the end of December was a new experience for me. I loved it. La Palma is the most western island of the Canaries, so either the sun's out or you're getting wet all through.

--- 19 Dec 2009, Puerto Naos (E) ---

Beach Puerto Naos La Palma

Observation platform

This climate ensures the island is green all year round. It's also one of the steepest islands on our planet with ridges up to 2,400 meters. Drive up there and within an hour 21 degrees at the beach becomes wind and snow at the top.

--- 21 Dec 2010, Llano de Las Brujas (E) ---

Llano de Las Brujas La Palma

Pine woods and ridges

The heart of La Palma is all woods and hiking trails that are the only way to get to know the area. These paths are not exactly for the infirm.

--- 30 Dec 2010, Llano de Las Brujas (E) ---

Llano de Las Brujas La Palma

Stunning vista

As the crow flies it is really close to the image above, but it takes you more than three quarters of an hour on narrow and winding roads to get to this view over Los Llanos.

--- 28 Dec 2007, Mirador de El Time (E) ---

Pine trees at Loonse en Drunense Duinen

Pleasant

On 28th of December people hire stalls to sell what they have baked or cooked at home. There is a lot of (local) culture in this village. We often visited Los Llanos for its restaurants and shops. That's how we came to appreciate it.

--- 30 Dec 2010, Los Llanos (E) ---

Birch trees at Loonse en Drunense Duinen

Sunny side is west

Especially in the winter months weather can be a bit unpredictable. Once our plane had to break off landing only seconds before touchdown because of strongs gusts of wind. The airfield is in the east and the wind and rain clouds have the tendency to be blocked by a high ridge. Anyway, the sunny west is drier and warmer and it has lots of basic holiday homes that give you peace and quiet.

--- 1 Jan 2009, Todoque (E) ---

Holiday homes at Todoque

Banana tree

Growing bananas is still important for La Palma's economy. Below 300 metres above sea level nearly every spot is used to make a growery, mostly covered by plastic (which is not a very attractive sight). This specimen was in the garden of a holiday home.

--- 19 Dec 2009, Puerto Naos (E) ---

Loonse en Drunense Duinen

La Bombilla

In English, the small bulb. This lighthouse was straight across the roof terrace of a house we once rented there. Fabulous sunsets nearly every night.

--- 30 Dec 2008, nr Puerto Naos (E) ---

Sunset at La Bombilla lighthouse near Puerto Naos La Palma

Tazacorte

That day a power outage ended that had lasted two days. It was a mess on the island. Normally Tazacorte is a great place for some local atmosphere and fresh fish on a terrace overlooking the lava beach. It's shielded from the wind, safe to swim, and shreds of hippie culture to be enjoyed.

--- 18 Dec 2009, Puerto Naos (E) ---

Tazacorte

Silk museum

Old handicrafts are stilled practised at la Palma, such as making cigars, sugar and silk. The latter is coloured with techniques from the past.

--- 23 Dec 2008, El Paso (E) ---

Silk museum at El Paso La Palma

Puntagorda

The area north of El Time and Tazacorte is of an amazing beauty. This is the part that didn't slide into the sea after an eruption, so it is higher and therefore in winter a bit colder. But it's green, pure and there's hardly any tourist around. Roads are narrow and winding so you have to be patient when you're landed behind a 40-year old Toyota filled to the roof with bananas. You can hike in the forest and across the ridges.

--- 23 Dec 2008, El Paso (E) ---

Silk museum at El Paso La Palma

La Galga

In Dutch this sounds slightly ominous, but La Galga in the east has nothing to do with a gallows: it means something like a gauge you can estimate distances with. Anyway, it is green and has a unique laurel forest.

--- 23 Dec 2008, La Galga (E) ---

Forest at La Galga at La Palma