Dr. Katinka's practice

Black sand

 The beach not far from the Marina La Palma de Santa Cruz is black. The beach of Tazacorte on the west side of the island is also black. This is a bit unusual if you have only seen white beaches in your life, but you quickly get used to it and except for the color no other difference can be discovered. 

Volcanic landscape La Palma, Canary Islands

However, this changes when you hike the volcanic landscape in the south. The black volcanic sand offers an extreme contrast to everything that grows here. Besides the black, it is mainly green. Along the coast you can find banana plantations with their green foliage for kilometers. We take the bus from Santa Cruz to Los Canarios Fuencaliente, get off at the back to get back on at the front, and continue under a different line to the southernmost tip of La Palma, where there are two lighthouses.

Faro de Fuencaliente La Palma, Canary Islands

Besides the banana plantations, viticulture is practiced here, but what characterizes the area above all is the volcanic landscape, with its brown-black to deep-black grounds. As we get off the bus, a fierce wind blows around our ears and fine raindrops prick our faces. In front of us are the Salinas de Fuencaliente. On an area of 35000 square meters salt is won here, since 1967, in third family generation. 1971 would have been with it already nearly again end, as the volcano Teneguia, broke out and a lava flow came only 200m before the Salinas to stop. We are curious and make our way back to Los Canarios, passing the volcanoes Teneguia and San Antonio. Admittedly, it would have been better to walk from Los Canarios towards Faro de Fuencaliente, since the path is mostly downhill, but walking downhill is something everyone can do. In fact, we were on the way the only ones who run from the bottom to the top, I do as if I do not notice it, but of course, with each oncoming hiker Gaby pointed out that we are traveling in the wrong direction. Only when towards the end of the hike, the snap breathing sets in, the comments fall silent.

Hiking trail Vulcano Fuencaliente, Canary Islands

The landscape is gigantic, the climbs, except for one in the lower area and the last 1.9km, not too steep. We walk on a well-maintained trail, right through the lava flow on black sand. Succulents cover the black ground. Like green gems they flash in the sun. Where the lava flowed along and finally solidified, bizarre formations were created and it looks like on the moon. Next to Teneguia there is another small crater and the cone wall of San Antonio rises mightily in front of us. All in all the hike is 6.7km long, whereby the last 1.9km up to Los Canarios are quite demanding. At this point, the already tried and tested method and in Corona times again very modern, namely "social distance", to simply avoid the verbal attacks, proves itself. Despite relatively cool weather - just 16 ° C - we come on the last piece, quite sweaty, so that the liquid balance in the Bar Parada, urgently needs to be balanced. From here it is still five minutes to the bus stop. The bus leaves every hour and we deliberately skip the first one. Back in the marina, a shower is first announced, which again awakens new spirits in us.

Vulcano Fuencaliente, Canary Islands

The Avenida del Puente leads from the promenade Santa Cruz, up to the stadium. Shortly before the stadium it goes up a staircase that leads to the hiking trail "Ruta de los Molinos". Along the rock face the path goes through dense cactus groves. The view to the sea and the city of Santa Cruz is fantastic and the way is not too far. But you can extend the hike as you like and walk to the small church "Real Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Las Nieves" (I love these long names). We'll save that for next year. 

Cactus grove Santa Cruz, Canary Islands

Now it goes  back to Germany, because Gaby needs a new passport. You can also try the Consul General here on La Palma, but costs until the passport is then there, as much as a flight home and because just Christmas is, we look at how Lockdown works in Germany. So that I don't get bored, I will continue to provide you with our weekly blog and hope that you all stay healthy in the meantime. We would like to thank all our readers for their loyalty, comments and likes and hope that you will visit us again in the next year. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the sailing yacht Katinka. In this sense, as always, fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.