LA Palma, Isla Bonita the beautiful island they call it and over the last few days ” Mine eyes have seen the glories”
With 35% of the island a protected area and having just been voted 3rd most beautiful in the world, I’d say it has justification for the name.
I haven’t seen half of it but what I have has been impressive.
They have a fertile abundance and seem connected to the natural and cultural world around them.
They offer up their riches with pride to the visitors with lots of artisan producers selling their honey, from the wealth of wild flowers, jewellery made from the various stones,straw and leather and textile crafts, cigars, and all manner of sauces and pickles, fruit and veg and the world renown wine and liqueurs.
It’s the worlds steepest, as I well know, with its summits seemingly hidden in a shroud of most and cloud a lot of the time. I felt better about not being able to complete my circuit of the highest peaks after talking to an English hiker and ultra marathon runner when he told me he had attempted it 4 times in the last 10 days and given up every time. Mind you I didn’t feel so good when he pointed out the chef in the bar we were in, a man I’m guessing was around my age, had completed the LA Palma ultra which consists of my proposed 3 day route in 7 HOURS! !
The people have been very friendly and helpful especially when I left my wallet on the bus last night and it was organised to be returned to me on a returning bus a couple of hours later. Praise the people.
My Spanish is too bad to have conversations with those who don’t hablar ingles but I’ve met a good few travellers from Holland Germany France and England who all think there is something special about the place and the people I thought I’d come across on Gomera looking for the “good life ” seem to be here.
There were no ferries today so I spent the day in the capital, Santa Cruz, soaking up the culture and buildings.
I went to a fine old town house Casa Salazar” that was housing an exhibition about the “disappeared” and mass graves of the Franco era and civil war on the island with artwork and text I struggled to understand.
I discovered that Fyffes had allowed their huge packing and processing complex to be turned into a concentration camp in existence for a decade.
Then more back street wanderings.
Next up was the museo insular another fine old colonial building containing natural history, ethnographical museum and art gallery. It was also displaying an exhibition of astophotography from the island.
The natural history collection had a room stuffed full of marvellous taxidermy including some oddities.
The ethnographical section had all the usual collection of stuff the rural population used through the ages and I discovered that El Paso, where I had been a couple of days ago is the last place in Spain still doing silk production.
Back to the streets to admire the old buildings.
Finally ending up on Av Maritima where the balcones, much admired by travellers over the centuries, still had,in some cases, boarded up ends that used to contain toilets that dropped their load onto the ground below to be washed out to sea.
So not much walking today but my mind has been worked hard, particularly because I’ve had more hi tec malfunctions ( no wifi connectivity and a host of other problems brought on by me trying to fix it )
My ferry for Tenerife leaves at the convenient time of 4 am so I’m off to the ferry port to make myself at home.