Tuesday, 10 February 2015

La Palma - the 'world's steepest island'!

I haven't measured the height of any islands so you'll have to believe (or otherwise) the quote from a guide book!

Like the other Canary Islands, La Palma is volcanic and had its last eruption in 1971 so some of the lava fields are quite 'fresh'. (Sorry my pictures aren't that clear - I had to take them from the coach.) Right in the centre of the island is the Caldera de Taburiente, one of the largest craters in the world.

As with La Gomera I took the easy option - a coach ride. We drove through the highest point of the island - the upper part of the Aridane Valley. There was a stop at El Paso (don't expect to see John Wayne mosey into town!) to take photos of the spectacular scenery. This is the centre of the silk and cigar industries but there isn't a lot of silk these days. Most of the trees that you can see in this area are pines, myrtle and laurel.

From there we drove past the brown lava fields of Los Manches to go and see the pretty La Glorieta Square. It was created by a local artist, Luis Morera, who had been a pupil of the late Cesar Manrique of Lanzarote. Morera has created a haven with mosaic floors, a pool, mosaic seats and flower beds.

Our last stop was for coffee (yes, really) at a winery near Fuencaliente at the southern tip of the island. The town was named for a hot thermal spring which disappeared after a 17th century volcanic eruption.

This was a restful and lovely tour and one of those I took during my P&O Canary Islands cruise last December.

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