Thursday, August 3, 2017

Día 23- La Palma (el norte)

After a sunrise and a coffee we headed to the north of La Palma.  

Can you see this house, overcome with plants?
It is for sale.  I would love to see the inside.  

Every island in the archipelago is completely different. 
La Palma is the greenest.

Los Tiles is a UNESCO declared biosphere reserve, full of water and biodiversity.  
Unfortunately, part of the biodiversity is Homo sapiens.  
We discovered where everyone on the island spends time.
After walking to the first waterfall we headed back to the car to continue exploring the island.

La Palma is like Hawaii, but without the crowds.

I love this picture.  I think it captures a little of the magic.
The road on the right is the main road around the island that we were on.

The roads are like this the entire way.  It is fun with a manual transmission (I will admit), but it takes much longer than expected to traverse the island.

Roque de los muchachos observatory houses the world's largest single aperture optical telescope, so the island has strict light pollution policies in place, even powering down the entire island for important astronomical events.  We ended up not driving up to it because we had so much driving ahead of us, but I wish we would have.  Oh well, next time!  
The Canary Islands are my new Japan, we are coming back.

We finally got to the other side of the island around 14:30.
There aren't too many brew pubs on the islands, or in Spain at all, but la Cervercerίa Isla Verde in Tijarafe would succeed even if there was competition.

They make four beers, three of which we tried and are tasty and creamy (unfiltered is so good).
At just 1.10 euro a bottle, we took a few home...

Island life- everywhere you go there is water.

It is amazing how long the tunnels are on the island.  
Straight through the mountain we go...

I love the colors in our kitchen.  
It will be hard to leave tomorrow!  
La Palma is spectacular. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Día 22- La Palma (el sur)

It was suggested that we explore the north end of the island one day, and the south the other day, so that is the general plan.  We also want to get a hike in.  Although we often walked over 10 miles a day in mainland Spain we were not walking that much in Morocco (driving too much/too hot), so getting out of the car was a priority.  We had to take advantage of the weather, which is comparable to San Diego weather, always in the 70°s (over 40°s cooler than Andalucia).

From our hotel there is just a glimpse of Santa Cruz de la Palma (to be explored later).

Today we are doing the red route, which looked shorter since the plan was to hike, leaving the yellow route for tomorrow.
With the windy roads everything takes longer than expected.  But in La Palma (population- less than 100,000), there is no traffic.

This is taken from el Parque nacional de la Caldera Taburiente Visitor Center, which, unlike every visitor center I have ever been to in the US, does not sell any merchandise.  
The clouds often spill over the mountains this way, frosting the land. 

We stopped into the Hiperdino in El Paso (one of the largest markets we have seen for a while) to get ingredients for sandwiches.  You just have to love the bread selection.

This is the view from the grocery store parking lot.

We parked at Mirador de la Cancelita and walked from here along the southeast side of Barranco de las Anguistias.

Hiking in La Palma is so interesting, cedars are mixed in with succulents.

We hiked for over thee miles and then turned around when the trail looked a little sketchy.  
The trail was already slippery due to the pine needles and extreme inclines.

We did not see another hiker the entire time we were out.

Spiders are sneaky.

La Palma is so pristine, no wonder the entire island has been declared as a Unesco biosphere reserve.

We then drove to Puerto Naos, past tens of thousands of banana trees, a big part of the economy here.  

After seeing enough tits at the beach to last a life time (they are never the ones you would want to see) we headed to the southern tip of island, Volcán San Antonio.

The first time San Antonia erupted was 1677, the last- 1949.
There are other volcanoes in the area that have had more recent eruptions.  
Here, there is a great little volcano exhibit in the merchandiseless visitor center.

You used to be able to walk all around the mini caldera.  I can see why they closed it but I would have liked to give it a try.

Malvasia grapes grow right on the ground, in the volcanic soil.

Tenerife (at 3,718 meters) island can barely be seen over the clouds.

We are in luck!  There was an apartment with a better view open so we were moved here for the next few days.  
Love, love La Palma.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Día 21- Gran Canaria a La Palma

The quaint town of Agüimes in Gran Canaria is so lovely.  There is art and odes to the city found just about everywhere, and there are hardly any tourists. 
It reminds me of a little town in Italy, seemingly unaware of the fast-paced world we live in. 

The Iglesia de San Sebastián was built less than a hundred years ago.  I guess churches aren't going for a modern look.

We stopped into a small cafe in the Plaza del Rozario, close to the Iglesia de San Sebastián.

After trying this cake I had to stop and give it the glamour shot it deserved.  
It was unbelievable. 

The economy and history of Agüimes is laregly based on agriculture.

We had an afternoon flight to La Palma, through Bintercanarias airlines.  Las Palmas airport is so laid back that you just need to arrive 45 minutes before your flight.
It was such a surprise to us that German is so common on the islands, way more prevalent than English.  Apparently, Germans love the Canary Islands, and are one of just a few countries that offer direct flights to Gran Canaria.

 Apartamentos Cancajos is where we will stay for the next three nights.

From there it is just a short walk to the beach, the first black beach that I have ever been to (as far as I can remember!)  The tide pools were so high above the water, but fish have figured out how to get in and out with the peaks of the waves.

Red crabs are so cool!

Now that we have a kitchen, we can cook at home.
So far, La Palma is an ideal choice to visit in the Canary Island archipelago.