La Isla Bonita
La Palma Dec. 2017
Hope you had a lovely Christmas and didn’t steal too many baubles off the Christmas tree. We know how much you like shiny rolly things. You’re just not that keen on rolly boats, and who can blame you.
La Palma was a really lovely place reputed to be the “Isla Bonita”, the beauty of the canary Islands and it certainly lived up to its name. There was a lot to see and do but the marina was the rolliest we’ve been to yet. They are supposed to be fitting a lock gate to keep out the swell which they told us would arrive any day. We have since heard that it is still not in place.
It was so nice to spend a few days in Santa Cruz. There are so many interesting buildings and artworks and things to see only a short walk from the Marina. The town hall, the oldest shipping Company, Salazar’s Palace and many other grand buildings all had enormous carved wooden staircases; beautiful, intricately carved, wooden ceilings and carved huge doorways and doors all from a time when the island was a very wealthy place. In colonial times it was a strategic trading post for ships going from Europe to the Americas. In the 1600’s it was the third largest port in Europe.
On the outside many of the buildings in the town had lovely carved wooden balconies all filled with brightly blooming flower pots to give the place a splash of colour. It was such a contrast to the bleak and dusty hillsides of Lanzarote.
We hired a car for a few days and did a tour of the Island. It’s a pretty steep island and anywhere you want to go, the roads go straight up into and above the clouds. Some of the roads are practically vertical with lots of hairpin bends. A couple of times we had to take a turning down a hill but it was so steep you couldn’t see the road. It was like driving over the edge of a cliff. I had white knuckles and brown trousers!
We went to the Banana museum to see if we could get a few tips about how to grow our bananas back home a little better. None of ours seem to be doing as well as the Bananas here. Some of them are planted on such steep terraces on practically vertical hillsides and every scrap of land is used, obviously the pickers don’t suffer from vertigo.
The first day we took the mountain road over the top of the island to where all the observatories are. La Palma is famous for its stargazing. It was such a winding road it took us nearly all day to cross over. Fortunately they have carved a huge tunnel that seems to go on forever that took us right through the centre of the island to get back again.
The Next day we went to Villa de Mazo where they celebrate the Corpus Christy Festival in style with ornaments and banners made out of Grasses and natural materials such as moss and lichen and they make carpets on the cobbled streets with leaves, seeds, stones and moss all laid out in pretty designs. We saw all the memorabilia from that festival in the Red House Museum but it would be really nice to come back in June one year and see it all happening.
We really enjoyed the days out but back on the boat there was still work to do. The engine and the generator got a service. We fixed the electric lead that burned out in the last marina. The Spinnaker is back on its furler and ready to go.The Spray hood got new windows so we can finally see where we are going. Steve had to fix the loo, not his favourite job and the Christmas cake finally got made. Not a moment too soon.
I’ve still got to catch you up on a lot more of our adventures but that’s for another letter which I’ll send you when we reach the next new place. We are heading for La Gomera and El Hierro next . I hope the weather will be a bit kinder to us this leg of the trip.
Catch up soon, take care
P.S. when I went to the Hardware Store, to see if they had any Cinta de dos caras, double sided tape. this little guy was waiting for his owner outside. I thought I know someone who would like to travel in style like that. Oh Squeak it was such a lovely hardware store too, one of the really old-fashioned type with shelves up to the ceiling and loads of little drawers full of all sorts of bits and bobs. And there was a little old man who knows where everything is.