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Vicia vulcanorum: A New Species From Lanzarote
Vicia vulcanorum: New Lanzarote species

Botanists have discovered a brand new species of plant in the lava fields of northern Lanzarote. It's only small but produces pretty white flowers and highlights the importance of the Canary Islands as a biodiversity hotspot.

The Canaries are so full of unique plants and animals that they are known as the Galapagos Islands of Europe. Everyone has heard of the canary but there are thousands of unique animals and plants living here. From blue chaffinches to giant dragon trees, albino cave crabs to giant lizards, you are only ever feet away from something special in the Canaries.

The latest find is related to vetch and is known as Vicia vulcanorum. It grows in the Malpais de la Corona and is uncommon but not thought to be endangered.
While botanists have just spotted it local shepherds call it Chinipilla; an old guanche word that may have been passed from them to the Spanish.

Vicia vulcanorum is the latest discovery in the Canary Islands. In Gran Canaria botanists recently found a new species of dragon tree growing just a few minutes from the island's resorts.
The Gran Canaria Dragon Tree
The Canary Islands: The Galapagos Of Europe

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Columbus In Gran Canaria
The Casa de Colón museum in Vegueta, Gran Canaria
Christopher Columbus spent a month in Las Palmas in 1492 on the way to the Americas because his crew had sabotaged the Pinta's rudder. They weren't as convinced as their boss that sailing west was a good idea. 

Columbus' House
While his crew grudgingly mended the Pinta, Columbus spent his time in the rather splendid governor's house in Vegueta. Almost unchanged since the 15th Century this gorgeous example of Canarian architecture is now a free museum crammed with maps, paintings, models ships and a full scale replica of Columbus' cabin.

Have a good look at the ornate stone doors and windowsills, made by South American stonemasons. They carved maize cobs, jaguars and pineapples into the stone before most people in Europe knew what they were.

Columbus In Gran Canaria

Local Tip: Don't get too close to the macaws in the museum patio; they are a bit jaded and inclined to nip. They've eaten the warning sign!
Between Gran Canaria And America

After Gran Canaria Columbus sailed west but stopped again for supplies; maybe even he was a bit scared of tackling the Atlantic. He skipped Tenerife, where the guanches were still holding out against the Spanish, and resupplied at La Gomera.
In fact, Columbus stopped in La Gomera as often as possible on his four journeys west. This had a lot to do with the beautiful Countess Beatriz de Bobadilla y Ossorio.

Exiled by Queen Isabella because King Ferdinand kept looking at her in court, she governed La Gomera after the guanches rebelled and killed her husband in 1488. She may have been easy on the eye but, even by the standards of the time, she was a vicious woman: Most of island's guanches were killed or sold into slavery after their sticks and stones rebellion inevitably failed.

Columbus As Hero
Was Columbus the heroic explorer who set sail despite everyone believing that he would fall off the edge of the flat world? Not at all! It was common knowledge at the time that the Earth was round and everyone knew that you could get to China and India by going west. They also assumed that the journey was too long for the ships of the time. They were right!
What Columbus did was get his figures wrong and underestimate the size of the world. He believed that he could make it to China and come back laden with spices and gold. After touring the courts of Europe with his get rich scheme he ended up in Spain, where the Spanish court was desperate for cash. Having bet the house on expelling the Moors they were desperate enough to gamble on Columbus' flawed maths. The wager paid off epically but not in the way anyone expected.
Columbus was basically a brave and stubborn man who got lost in the right direction. He only discovered America because it was in his way.
Columbus may have been an excellent sailor but he was a hopeless administrator. As governor of Spain's new colonies he kept sailing off to find a passage to China. Eventually he was shipped back to Spain in chains. Columbus was pardoned but never got his hands on much of the gold that flowed from the continent he discovered. He died chasing the Spanish court around the country demanding money and recognition.
But Where Is He Now?

Columbus was buried in Valladolid but his remains were moved to Seville and then to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Then they headed to Cuba and eventually back to Seville. Only they may still be in Santo Domingo. His bones have probably seen more of the world than Columbus did when he was alive.

Columbus The Tourist

Columbus stopped at Maspalomas in 1502 on his fourth and final voyage. After a day taking on water and firewood he sailed away, never to return. The long, straight road from Campo Internacional down to the Maspalomas lighthouse is called the Avenida de Colón in his honour. We wonder what he would make of Maspalomas now!
Where his bones are now hardly matters! Columbus lives on in legend and the Casa de Colón is the perfect place to appreciate the scale of his ambition and achievement. Just keep well back from the parrots! ...

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The Anfi Group will continue as Saxo-Tinkoff’s sponsor of this year following an agreement confirming that the cycling team led by Alberto Contador will return to train in Gran Canaria.

In a statement, the director general of the tourism company, Jose Luis Trujillo, said that Anfi are ”very excited about this agreement”  and that ”we are confident that this year will be a year full of success”.

With this agreement, the Anfi logo – a white rose – will feature on Contador’s jersey and will be worn in more than 250 races worldwide.

“SaxoTinkoff be an excellent travel companion and will enhance Anfi Group’s promotion in Europe. The goal isto be the training center for the assault on the Tour de France,” he continued.

Anfi, backed by Vemotor, will be starring in the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and the Tour of Spain. The first contact with the Canary Saxo takes place this month, when Bjarne Riis’s squad will be staying at Anfi Group resorts in Gran Canaria and start an intense training period that will last for two weeks.

The team will return in November, according to the agreement signed by the parties. ”Anfi is booming with the construction of a marina and hotels and this agreement will strengthen our brand internationally,” said Trujillo.


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Guardia Civil officers of Las Palmas have arrested two people, a man and a woman, for an alleged sex crime in Gran Canaria.

Those arrested are Spanish and residents of Gran Canaria. The arrest was carried out as part of Operation ’Falcon’, carried out by the Judicial Police of the Guardia Civil de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as reported in a press release.

The investigation began after learning of the existence of a man, a resident of Arucas, who supposedly offered different amounts of money to third parties in return for paedophile material, specifically photographs of naked children.

Once grounds were established for suspecting that sex crimes were being committed, agents were able to discover the modus operandi of the man, who would contact women engaged in prostitution to offer money in exchange for pictures of girls aged between 9 and 12 years.

It was also found that he offered more money if they could provide him with young girls for him to photograph for himself.

After verifying the facts, on October 31, 2012, Guardia Civil officers were able to intervene in a meeting between the accused man and a woman engaged in prostitution in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, who in exchange for a large sum of money, was going to introduce him to a minor so he could photograph her.

The two detainees were brought before the First Magistrate’s Court of Arucas, which decreed the imprisonment of both.


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The 2013 Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, whose theme is the Grand Masquerade Ball, will be broadcast to more than 200 countries through the international channel Spanish Radio and Television (RTVE).

The public broadcaster will bring the capital’s carnival to the Canary Islands, Spain and the world, says the City Council following the initialling of the agreement between both parties.

The agreement signed on Tuesday morning includes live national and regional broadcast of the Gala Queen and the Drag Queen Gala, as well as recorded coverage of these events and the Grand Parade, by the international channel.  The three stages and final of the murgas contest and the Grand Parade will be broadcast live regionally.

In addition, TVE’s website will feature a link for watching the galas live, and a second link with highlights that will be available for a month after the event.  Viewers will also be able to follow both shows on their smartphone via the free Carnival Las Palmas de Gran Canaria App.

The government councillor for Education, Culture and Sports, Maria Isabel Garcia Bolta, and the director of RTVE in Canary, Carlos Taboada, have signed this agreement that ends the live national broadcast on TVE 2 with the Carnival Queen Contest and the Drag Queen Gala. In the Canary Islands viewers can watch both live broadcasts on TVE 1.

The Murgas contest will hit screens on TVE 2 in The Canaries.  The agreement allows the television network to broadcast live, regionally, the three stages and the final of the competition.


TVE has committed to broadcasting three national programs from the stage of the Carnival: TVE 1’s La Mañana, Corazón + Gente, and coverage of the carnival acts, which includes providing updates to the information services group RTVE, direct connections from the stage of the Carnival for the network’s varous channels, and a promotional campaign for all acts of Carnival before and during the celebration.

Radio Nacional de España will broadcast the main events of the Grand Carnival Masquerade Ball live to the entire archipelago, whilst Radio 5-Todo Noticias will be broadcasting, on the Gala Queen, Drag Queen Gala and Murgas Contest Final.


RNE will keep its Canarian listeners up to date with all Carnival happenings through both Radio 1 and Radio 5-Todo Noticias, Canarias Mediodia and the special program Carnival Vivo, which will be broadcast live on Radio 5 daily from 21.00 to 22.00 hours.

The carnival atmosphere will be broadcast  to every corner of the world via shortwave radio by Radio Exterior de España.


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