31st January, 2022
Santa Cruz de La Palma
It’s very easy in the fast paced world we live in with smartphones, tablets, the ability to summon any piece of information or communicate with anyone we want, to forget how lucky we are that we can travel. Pandemic notwithstanding, the fact that we have the ability to select a destination and within days, be there.
I took a short walk ashore yesterday while Spirit of Adventure was in the port of Santa Cruz de La Palma. I walked past the iconic McDonald’s (a favourite for crew to download podcasts, songs or get a better reception to call home), the bars showing Rafa Nadal playing tennis and did what I call, “the two streets up tour”. This is usually where, in most destinations, if you walk only two streets away from the beaten path, you find the real town. This I did.
I found cobbled, single-laned streets winding their way up a steep hill. Houses built of bricks hewn from volcanic rock slathered in white plaster, older than some countries, flanked them. The lights and bunting from Christmas and New Year were still hanging over a square that I took a few minutes to sit in. While there, a little gang of three year old kids were chasing pigeons as kids of that age will do everywhere. With perfect Spanish and little care for the worries of the world, these children ran around an 18th century square bothering confused birds. I wondered, how many generations of such an act had this square seen, and I have to say I was thankful for my ability to be somewhere foreign, yet witness a scene that plays out universally, and thought to myself, “yeah, we’re not all that different”.
Captain Colm Ryan
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