Alone Like a Rolling Stone

The balconies of Santa Cruz de La Palma

Sitting on a park bench, next to us a shady palm tree, we look at a yellow house wall with a blue-rimmed window. We are on the "Plaza del Tanquito", a small square in the old town of Santa Cruz de La Palma. The sun is shining and the temperature is close to 25°C. The ascent leads over numerous stairs and steeply ascending streets. The square is paved with pebbles, which are laid together to form ornaments. In the middle there is a cross on a pedestal. Around the square colorful houses. Some of them have the typical wooden balcony, which creates additional living space in bright colors of wood and surrounded by windows. From the grooves, the roofs covered with semicircular tiles, grow succulents.

House on La Palma, Canary Islands

It's Sunday lunchtime and the streets are deserted. Every now and then you hear a dog barking or a mother loudly discussing with her youngest which direction they want to take next. Then it is quiet again. Some seagulls cross the already kitschy deep blue sky. We rest a bit more and then continue to find our way through the increasingly narrow streets. At the intersection "Calle Dornajos" and "Calle San Sebastian" we are then in the middle of the old town, surrounded by numerous small colorful houses, and on said balconies a wonderful plant splendor. The alleys here are only two meters wide and we are suddenly in a dead end. On the "Calle Montecristo" we find the way out of the labyrinth and descend a staircase that brings us back to the main street to the stadium. 

Old town Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canary Islands

Passing the market, which is of course closed on Sundays, we reach the city beach with its black sand after a while. A blue and white striped hut with a yellow flag on the roof, signals the potential danger on today, for the few bathers on the beach. We sit down on the wall and watch the kiters, how they hold their kites as far as possible above the water and glide with their board over the water. With some of them it works quite well, with others again, a lot of patience is still needed. In any case, it doesn't seem to be as easy as it sometimes looks.

City beach of Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canary Islands

The harbor is still little frequented by sailing yachts, so there is always enough space. In five minutes you can walk to the beginning of the pedestrian zone, which winds parallel to the beach promenade through the whole city of Santa Cruz. Here, too, there are numerous historic buildings with the aforementioned colorful balconies, some of which are lushly planted. At the "Cruz del Tercero" the pedestrian zone ends and you reach the Naval Museum, in the form of a replica caravel.

Pedestrian zone Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canary Islands 

The traditions of shipping seem to have been forgotten, at least here on the east coast of La Palma, because you won't find a trace of ship chandlers or repair facilities far and wide. Only a store with a manageable assortment is located about one kilometer from the harbor on the hillside. In addition to fishing accessories, you can also find the one or other filter for diesel or oil, and orders can sometimes take more than four weeks, we were told apologetically, with the addition: "We are just a small island". Since our mooring ropes got very damaged in January, we looked around for some new ones, but they were not available either. At least not those with the breaking load we need. So we leave again without having achieved anything, but had more success with another open point on the "to do" list. In our self-built lockers, water always collects after extensive rain showers, which leads to costly drying actions. The idea now was to make a hood out of waterproof fabric. Gaby found what she was looking for at a fabric dealer here in Santa Cruz, and buys two meters of tarpaulin in dark blue. We cut the tarpaulin to size and sewed around the edges, added eyelets and snaps, and two beautiful hoods were ready, which do not fly away even in windy weather, because they have a pocket that engages with the cover. After one and a half years of self-education as a saddler, our work can be seen in the meantime, which of course makes us insanely happy. It is always amazing to me what imagination you can develop when you must, and although our experience in such work is lacking, the result is still quite vivid. 

Protection from rain for our locker

From the health I still drag the Corona virus around in me. I'm feeling much better, but the sense of taste doesn't really want to come back. That's why my consumption of red wine has decreased significantly, which is also not good for my health. Some taste buds have been reactivated, others are dead. For example, I can taste sweet and partly sour, which leads to a blackberry note overhang in red wine and the whole drink no longer tastes like grape juice, but like berry juice. 

Wine tasting on the Katinka

Extremely annoying, you don't want to taste a bitter when you drink a Veuve Clicquot, although the reverse is possibly even worse. Let's hope that this will soon return to normal. In this sense, as always, fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.