07/03/2012

A holiday with a hint of danger.

From the local paper this morning -
El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands, has had its red flag replaced by a yellow one.
La Restinga, a tiny fishing village on the south coast, woke up in October to discover a stain on the sea and dead fish floating - a volcano was erupting under the sea only two kilometers beyond their small harbour. (See my earlier posts.)
Since then the inhabitants have been struggling to survive with two of their main sources of income banned - fishing and dive-schools - and the tourists stopped coming.
Last month the Crown Prince of Spain made a well-reported visit, so show solidarity with the beleaguered herrenos and to demonstrate the lack of danger. Ticket and accommodation prices were cut to encourage tourism, and now the local government is publicizing volcanic holidays.
The massive stain over the eruption is fading and the tremors are now too faint to feel. At least for now. The volcano is only sleeping, not dead. A yellow flag is not an "All clear". Fishing and diving are still banned, so you won't be able to eat local-caught fish, but goat stew is delicious, wine is cheap, and you might - just might - experience an earthquake.
But that's the attraction - an island holiday in the sun, with a hint of danger. Maybe I'll go and see for myself.

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