Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back from La Palma: Part II

Monday morning began with breakfast and the boys playing and exploring the apartment and surrounding area. I think they loved being somewhere new and different. They liked throwing rocks off the patio, chasing the villa's cats, and venturing down our walkway all the way to the end, but not technically "out of bounds." They also liked collecting rocks, leaves, sticks and flowers on the way to Uncle "Tu-to's" (Arturo's) apartment next door as well as "nonnie nu-ie-a's" (tante Nuria's) place one more door down.

When Jaime needed to use the computer, we took them to play on the lawn in front of the reception office where they had other "goodies" guests could borrow. The boys especially liked the pool noodles, a basketball, and several cans of tennis balls. They enjoyed rolling the balls down a hill and then running to retrieve them just to head back up and start all over again. It was a great way to tire them out.

Anyhow, once everyone was ready, we headed out to the Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente for a little hiking and sightseeing. The Caldera is a massive depression 8km wide and surrounded by soaring rock walls. It was once thought to be a huge volcanic crater. Even though volcanic activity was key in its creation, scientists now believe that is was a majestically tall volcanic mountain that collapsed on itself and, through the millennia, erosion excavated this tall-walled amphitheater (as always, the pictures don't do it justice).

Access and parking for the trails is limited so we had to stop at the visitors center first to wait our turn for a parking pass. After about 30 minutes, our numbers were called and we headed up the mountain. Everyone geared up and we off we went. About mid way through our 2 mile hike, the boys decided to take a nap right in our carriers! Jaime and I tried to walk a little more carefully and fell behind the noise of our group to let them sleep as long as possible. They woke up about 10 minutes before we arrived back at our cars.

After hiking, it was lunchtime and then we went back to the apartment for a bath and some relaxing before the boys bedtime while the rest of the group headed to another beach.

On Tuesday we drove to the "big city" of Santa Cruz e La Palma. On the way through the mountains (this island has LOADS of tunnels which, by the way, the boys were VERY excited about) the clouds were literally pouring over the mountains. I've seen clouds like this before, but never where you could actually see them spilling over...

Anyhow, back to Santa Cruz the place where Jaime's mom was born and raised. We stopped to look at his grandma's old house (flat) which on the busiest main road and right across from the city Mercado. After a quick stroll through the tiny market, Jaime and I took the boys and wandered around town a bit while the rest of Jaime's family ran some errands. Afterward, it was time for lunch.

After lunch we went to see the virgin de La Nieves which is the patron saint of La Palma and the namesake of Jaime's mom, Nieves. It's a beautiful little hilltop town with a quaint church that houses the virgin. The children played in the small plaza while the adults took turns admiring the inside of the church.

What did we do after visiting the virgin???? Yep, it was off to yet another beach. We played and swam for a bit and then headed back to get the boys in bed somewhat close to a normal time.

Up Next: A bodega and a cave

1 comment:

Amy said...

Gorgeous scenery! Love the pics of the boys asleep in their carriers...precious!