Off to the Canary Islands

One of the smaller Canary Islands is La Palma. They say that it is always spring on the island – never too hot and with no particular rainy season. So it seemed like a good place to visit for a burst of sunshine in early summer, especially as the summer was a little reluctant to return to Kendal (what’s new?).

We did three walks during the week we were there, two short ones and one a little longer. I have got to say that you would not be disappointed by a trip to this island. It is largely unspoilt by tourist development and it has a pace that is in direct contrast to its near neighbours such as Tenerife. It has spectacular scenery, amazing flowers which seem to bloom all year round and wild life that seems to live in total harmony with the human population of the island.

It is one of Europe’s most volcanically unstable areas sitting slap bang on top of a junction of two major tectonic plates. The last volcanic eruption on the island was in the 1970s and we were able to walk through the lava fields and actually walk across the crater of one of the island’s volcanoes. They say that the ground is still warmer than it should be because the lava is not far below the surface. In the thirty-ish years since the last eruption, there has been little recolonisation by vegetation, but where it does occur the contrast between the vivid colours of the flowers and the grey-blackness of the volcanic dust and rock is quite remarkable.

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The lava fields below the volcano Teneguia

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The island is also blessed with some remarkable coastal scenery, the best of which is created where the lava flows entered the sea and cooled rapidly.

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And if that’s not enough for such a small island, it also boasts the world’s largest volcanic crater. We did a couple of short walks in and around the caldera. The first had us walking down a precipitous path just far enough to remember that we had to climb back up it in the baking sun!

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Yes! That is the path, but …

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… that’s the view!

Our last walk was the shortest but what do you make of views such as these?

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Add to all of this the amazing wild life and quite astonishing sunsets and I think you’ll agree that La Palma was quite a find.

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