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La Palma harbour

Today we’ve been at La Palma. We decided not to do an excursion here but to go ashore and have a look round the town. We read up on it and it sounded very attractive so we were looking forward to it. Unfortunately we don’t think it quite lived up to the promise.

We walked up one of the quaint streets, and back down another, and while they did indeed have aspects of quaintness about them, to us they just seemed to be generic Spanish ‘old town’ streets. We had a mid-morning cup of coffee at an out-doors cafe-bar and went back there for lunch, and that was probably the best part of the day. Between those two we found our way to the local museum which was probably the most memorable aspect, though not necessarily in a good way. The museum is terribly traditional – rooms with lots of glass cases each one full of objects such as stuffed birds and animals, mineral samples, old agricultural implements, and so on. There was very little labelling, and no explanation, and just too much of everything. There was several dozen stuffed/preserved shark’s heads stuck onto the walls, for example, with just the barest description of the species and no explanation as to why it was up there. Similarly with the other stuffed animals and birds; they were just there as objects, and there literally hundred of little mineral samples each one in a little box. Some were so small they were in tiny glass bottles, and we’re actually to small to see. In the case of some of the animals there were some seriously weird examples – lambs with six or eight legs and two tails, for example, or another animal with one head but two bodies. Again, no explanation as to where these had been found or when. The whole thing was very bizarre; very ‘nineteenth century antiquarian’, so to speak. I found it all quite seriously disturbing.

The weather has been a bit disappointing again. Sunny this morning, the cloud quickly came up and it’s been alternately cloudy and drizzling for most of the central part of the day. Maybe this is normal for these islands in the autumn? Rather disappointingly the sliding roof over the Neptune pool has been closed this afternoon – yesterday and last night it was open. To be fair it’s been warm – the air temperature has been 25 degrees this afternoon – but also quite humid.

We were back on the ship by about half-past two and since then we’ve been having cups of tea and enjoying the afternoon tea cakes & scones in the Belvedere. This evening is a ‘smart casual’. Tomorrow we’re at Gran Canaria where we’re doing an excursion.

Finally, Val has been sniffling for a couple of days or so. She says it doesn’t feel like a cold, and the sniffles seem to come and go. But I’m beginning to do it now. Let’s hope it’s the air-conditioning.

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