Santa Cruz, La Palma, Canary Islands, Dec 7, 2008

     We decided to sleep a little later today because it is Sunday and we didn’t know if shops would be open.  La Palma is a small island whose shape is often compared to that of a stone-age axe.  The island rises dramatically up out of the sea.  In fact La Palma has the greatest altitude to surface ratio on the entire planet.  Santa Cruz is the capital and main port where 18,000 people live nestled on the edge of a volcanic crater named Caldereta.  The city provided a shuttle from the ship to the end of the pier.  There was a flea market at the end of the pier.  There were many locals shopping, so I don’t think it was set up just for the ships.  Of course Ray had to try the local version of funnel cake.  Look at the grin on his face!

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  We headed towards the town and asked someone if the shops were open, they were.  We walked up a little bit and found a nice little pedestrian street lined with many little shops.  It was misting now, but felt good because the shops were warm inside.

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     It was raining a little harder, but not too bad, but we decided to head back to the ship.  Locals were still eating outside.  The wreath was being sold in one of the shops.  Too bad it was too large to get home.  I didn’t go in and ask the price.  There is a black sand beach opposite where we docked.  I don’t know if I would want to swim so close to the piers.  We made our way back down to the dock for the shuttle to the ship.    Before we boarded Ray stopped and filled out a questionnaire and received a little bottle of Licor de Canela, La Vieja Licoreria.  We don’t know what it is, it is written in Spanish.  It is over 3 oz. so we will have to put it in checked luggage to get it home.  We had lunch and I came down to the cabin to write this blog and Ray went to see a movie, Juno.  He didn’t like it.   This panoramic view was taken from deck 11.  The beach is in the center.

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     I was a little late for dinner because I was watching the sail away and was hoping to see the sunset.  The island is amazing because of all the mountains and craters.  Near the coast, it looked like someone just chopped the edges off.

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     We sailed at 5 for Miami.  We have a distance of 3,362 nautical miles to go and seven sea days to get there.   There isn’t any show tonight and Ray is going to enter a Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament at 8 which is $12 for 30 minutes.  I watched a little and then headed for the slots.  Ray came in second in the tournament.  I lost at slots.  They showed a movie at 9 in the celebrity theater for our entertainment.  I can’t remember the name of it, but it took place in India in the early 1930’s.  It was a little hard to get into because there were sub-titles that you had to read.  I didn’t like the ending.  Tomorrow we begin our sea days.

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