Monday, September 23, 2013
Sunrise and bad ankles.
A remarkable number of the archeological sites on La Palma line up with astronomical calendar events: particularly sunrise or sunset at the solstice or equinox, and the rising and setting of the star Canopus. Since Sunday was the equinox, I went with a group of friends to one of these sites to see the sun rise behind the highest point of the island, the Roque de Los Muchachos. It meant leaving home at 7 am, but it was well worth it. Everyone else went up in a bus, but I was going to be guiding later, so I drove up in my own car. Of course I left a little late. Then I realised that although a bus is slower, they had a shorter journey. So I had to drive quite fast. I caught up with the bus in Los Andennes, which was cutting it pretty fine. And then we yomped along the path towards El Time until we reached Las Cabeceras de Izcagua. I'd have preferred a gentler pace, but the sun wasn't going to wait. We got there in time. There are three stone cairns lined up pointing at the Roque de Los Muchachos. Of course the sun had risen half an hour ago on the east of the island, but we watched the Muchachos (natural stone pillar that look like people if you use a lot of imagination) get too bright to look at as the sun rose right behind them. And then Ignacio, an expert from the university, said a very old prayer in a North African language to greet the sun. The hairs on the back of my neck rose. It sounded old, and totally not European. And then I had to go to work, so I left the group and showed two groups around GTC. And then I went to the Roque and hiked to the espigon - a spur which pokes out into the huge crater. That was probably a bad idea. I got some nice photos (I'll share them another day) but my ankle was a little achy when I started, and worse when I finished. It didn't hurt driving down the mountain, but as soon as I got home and tried walking - yeouch!. So my plans for this week are somewhat derailed.