A small rock in the Atlantic

All about the island of La Palma, in the Canaries.

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Saturday, 1 August 2009

Forest Fire on La Palma

A forest fire is blazing in the south of La Palma, on the boarders of Mazo and Fuencaliente. It started at 11 pm on Friday at Puente Roto. So far, nobody knows for certain what caused it, but the rumour is is that it was fireworks.

We've had hot weather caused by wind coming from the Sahara (calima) for weeks, and the hillsides are dry as a tinder box. It would take a pretty stupid person to let off fireworks at the moment. The only good bit is that the wind is pretty light and the army's been called in.

They've evacuated the villages of Los Canarios and Las Caletas in Fuencaliente, and Tigalate and Montes de la Luna in Mazo, some 4,000 people altogether.

Although the Princess hotel is in Fuencaliente, it's the other side of the ridge from the fire, and doesn't have forest near it anyway. Cancajos is also safe.

You don't need to cancel your holiday. But please, be very, very careful with cigarete butts and barbecues.

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Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Exhibition: The Canary Island's Mountains

From 20th June to 19th July, 2008
Casa Principal de Salazar, O'Daly 22, Santa Cruz de la Palma
Open Mon-Fri, 10 am to 1 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm
Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm.

You know, I think "Mountains" is a mistake in translation, because the exhibition is about forests (and "monte" can mean either forest or mountain side.)

I don't care. It's a fun exhibition. My son enjoyed the hands-on bits, like turning a pump handle to see the water being pumped up. (Did you know an oak tree can pump anything up to 600 litres of water from roots to leaves on a summer day?) I enjoyed the photographs of microscopic pollen. And we were both astonished to find out how long worms live (16 years), and how much they eat.

So I recommend it. If I'd paid 5€ I'd have felt I got my money's worth, but actually, it's free.

Calle O'Daly is the cobbled main street running from near the port to the concrete ship. Casa Principal de Salazar is a rather lovely old building on your left (as you go from the port to the ship) with barley-sugar columns flanking the door.

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