Sharp Shooters Nano And Choco Keep CD Tenerife Eyes On The Distant Prize

Perky and thrusting, there were no thoughts of premature capitulation for CD Tenerife as they turned on the style for a 3-1 home win over Real Valladolid. The pressure was off with a promotion play off place disappearing over the horizon but our players are proud and stubborn and two goals from Nano and one from Choco Lozano left the tiniest of chances alive from three remaining games.

This was not a day for sitting back, Tenerife flew at Valladolid, Suso put a shot over the visitors bar after just two minutes. Nano was ready to chase everything up front and the midfield was strong and supportive with Mountinho and Javi Lara on top form. Roger was the main threat up front for Valladolid, he wasted two half chances, one straight at Dani Hernandez, and one comfortably wide. The opening goal on the half hour was a peach, Nano ran onto a deep ball from Aitor Sanz, his finish was perfectly measured and timed.

Javi Moyano got a mixed reception on his return to Santa Cruz, Suso was under his skin all game, the CDT captain used his knowledge of his former team mate to press all the right buttons. Home goals normally arrive in the second half but it was all change as Nano took a pass from Suso and beat two defenders before plundering his 14th strike of the season. There was a let off just before the break, Mojica smacked the post with his free kick and thankfully the rebound was scrambled away.

Aitor Sanz had a muscle pull and departed for Ricardo at the restart, it weakened the midfield but Tenerife were still attack minded. Suso went on one of his determined runs but this time it fizzled out before he could make it tell. Dani kept alert with a two fisted clearance as Valladolid sensed a lull in the home momentum. Launching another attack they caught the Tenerife defence napping and Oscar was able to elude four defenders to score. It brought an attacking substitution, Choco left the bench as Javi Lara went off, the Honduras striker showed no ill effects of a knock picked up the previous week.

Nano looked to have completed his hat trick as he leapt to head the ball down into the bottom corner of the Valladolid net, it was a close off side call that denied him. Soon after he put another shot onto the roof of the net before retiring, with a muscle tweak as Omar replaced him. Cristian Garcia went close with a header at the visiting keeper, the slender lead didn’t reflect the dominance of Tenerife but there was still four minutes injury time to come. Choco showed his speed of thought and feet as he rounded the advancing goalie and split two defenders with a perfect shot to make it a 3-1 victory.

Harsh reality may finally snuff out the promotion dream but this game showed the progress made during the second half of the season and the hope it promises for the next campaign. It’s a shame the crowd dropped to 7,714 but us lucky ones there can now make our leap of faith stretch to at least another 90 minutes.

Song Of Norway Is Music To Tenerife Ears

It was like a flag collectors convention in Los Cristianos as the Norwegian community celebrated their national day, 17 May, with some musical help from their Canarian friends. Stopping for a moment of reflection just in front of the old beach, the Norway flags fluttered in the breeze with those of Spain, Tenerife, the Canary Islands, and Arona municipality.

This year was the 202nd celebration of their release from Danish rule, although it took until 1905 to get full independence . The gathering point of the parade was the Scandinavian church   at El Coronel in Paseo Maritima, it serves as a spiritual and cultural home for visitors from Sweden as well as Norway. I met some long term friends from Norway and their Vice Consul Toril Merett Wulff. The Pastor of the Norwegian church Age Losneslokken was also eagerly awaiting the celebration.

Back home in Norway the parties would have started early morning with children and King Harold leading the procession in Oslo. Smaller regional celebrations would be popping up all day with children very prominent in the fun. There were plenty of proud flag waving youngsters with beaming smiles in Los Cristianos and the Arona Municipal Band led the parade with some well practiced Norwegian tunes. It was a fairly short circuit around the block by the old beach, up to the church plaza, and back down to the church but they got a warm welcome from holiday makers, cafes, and restaurants, everyone loves a party in Tenerife.

I love the mix of cultures in Tenerife, the Canarian church also hosts Polish services and German organ recitals. Even as the parade returned to their Scandinavian church for a meal, at the cultural centre just up the road they were gearing up for a Russian comedy night. There was a lot more celebrating to do though for the representatives of the 800 Norwegians in the province of Santa Cruz (Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma, El Hierro) and another gathering was taking place in Gran Canaria.

Injury Time Salvation For CD Marino

Football is a game of emotions, CD Marino thought they had experienced them all this season but their nerves were shredded to the final whistle as they closed the relegation trap door with a 1-0 home win over Union Sur Yaiza. Javi Marchena will have hazy memories of the victory as he was felled by the full force of the ball in the face at close quarters with just 15 minutes to play. Dizzy and in pain he needed treatment on the pitch but in time added for that stoppage Quintana crashed the ball into the Lanzarote team’s net to ensure survival.

With two games to play and a slender two points above the drop zone CD Marino were in attacking mood but they had to on guard for Yaiza breakaways, a goal conceded would have left a mountain to climb. Coly unleashed the first home attempt on goal but it rose over the crossbar. Kevin Castro at right back robbed the ball from Rami when the green shirted forward threatened and pushed the ball upfield. Hammad is one of the later arrivals to the Marino team, he’s made steady improvement and this was to be his best game in the home shirt, he worked tirelessly and tested the Yaiza defence twice in the first ten minutes.

Javi Marchena forced a corner as Marino turned up the pressure, the ball came out to Coly, his sliced shot wasn’t far off target. There was a warning at the other end as Yunes turned smartly to let fly with a shot that lacked direction. Adan was always a handful for the visitors defence, he beat two defenders before they managed to head the ball clear. Full back Javi of Yaiza tried his luck with a run that finished with his shot tickling the home post. It was pretty tense, Marino looked the better side but needed a goal to underline the fact. Coach Constantno shuffled his pack, replaced Alberto with Quintana, and Connor moved to right back to let Kevin Castro return to his former forward role.

The urgency was clear in Marino’s game, a deep free kick saw Marco Cicovic leave his goal area to launch the ball to the eager front runners. Josito closed the first half by floating in a hanging cross but there was no Marino head to meet it. Hammad thought he had made the breakthrough just into the second half, his shot pinged back off the bar with the keeper beaten. Coly nearly made a goal from nothing, his brave low diving header caught the Yaiza defence off guard but went the wrong side of the post. Pablo came on for Josito, his size added a new threat to the Marino attack and Coly tried his luck again with another crisp shot.

 

The injury to Javi Marchena cranked the tension up a few more notches, he was helped off the pitch as Cristo joined the game. Time was ticking away, signals from the bench kept the players aware that the team just below them, San Jose, were drawing 1-1, if both games were tied it would leave Marino sweating on a difficult away game at title hopefuls Las Palmas B. Quintana shrugged off a defender for a near miss, Cristo was causing plenty of problems to Yaiza’s right back but still the goal wouldn’t come. Moving into the extra minutes Kevin Castro was fouled, the free kick sparked a last big push and as the ball flew loose and Quintana struck the blow that finally saw off Yaiza. As the final whistle blew players fell to the pitch, tears flowed, and the celebrations started.

It was a nervous final home game but Marino showed great character and team spirit, survival meant so much to this young squad, many had grown up at the club, earning their way up through the age levels. There’s plenty to build on, the spirit is good and the passion for the badge is strong. Before the game the clubs other teams were presented to the crowd, the senior team is the aim for all of them and next year they will compete again in the Tercera Division of Spanish football.

 

 

Ref Twists The Knife As Dream Slips After CD Tenerife Home Draw

Suso was having another game of fire and energy but he looked a forlorn figure crouched on the pitch not even able to raise a good rant at referee Valdes Aller. It was beyond good, bad, or indifferent, this ref seemed to have a genuine dislike of CD Tenerife. Denying a clear Choco penalty with a 1-0 home lead, it hurt when he then gave one at the other end for a 1-1 home draw with Elche that leaves the play off dream dangling by a thread.

A win was always the required result, maybe CD Tenerife could have been more adventurous in the first half but the players and the coach showed the right spirit after the break. Cristo Gonzalez got the nod over Choco for a starting place but showed that he still has some way to go before reaching the level of strike partner Nano. All eyes were on 20 goal Elche forward Sergio Leon (no 9), he may be gracing the shirt of Middlesborough or Everton next season but Carlos Ruiz had him in his pocket for most of the game.

Aitor Sanz was having a strong game in midfield, he stopped full back Noblejas with a crunching tackle as he tried to round the defence. Leon managed to get a shot at Dani Hernandez, it was high and testing but not clever enough to evade his welcoming gloves. A goal line clearance was needed to on the half hour to prevent Elche from going behind as Tenerife finished the half strongly. Second half, attacking the Grada Popular goal always brings out the best in our players, I think they like to see the bloodshot whites of our bleary eyes before shooting. Nano had an early opening on the left, Pelayo made a meal of his attempt to get past him and defused that one.

Cristo should have done better when the ball came to him in a good position but he hesitated and the moment had passed. With an hour gone it was time for change and Pep Marti made a bold double swap, Choco for Cristo, and Omar for Moutinho. It added a bit of fizz and the opening goal followed. Suso squared a lovely cross for Nano, his finish was cool and clinical. It should have been 2-0 within minutes, Nano was the target man again, it looked even easier but somehow he managed to loop the ball over the goal with the keeper stranded. It was Choco’s big chance next, he got into a clear scoring position in the box before Armando came at him to floor him directly in the refs line of vision. Valdes Aller didn’t blink, he just ignored it, not even a booking for Choco, if it wasn’t a foul it had to be a dive.

There was insult to be added to this error a few minutes later, Elche broke and Raul Camara clipped an Elche player in the box, he milked it for all it was worth and a penalty was given. Dani got his body to Sergio Leon’s shot only to see the ball agonizingly fall to Noblejas to tap in for 1-1. With 7 minutes left Javi Lara replaced Raul Camara in an effort to push for the winner, Nano was again close but the keeper reacted well. Into injury time, Saul couldn’t quite curl his attempt past the keeper, Suso had a strong penalty call, and at the death Javi set up Nano but the pass just eluded him. What a cruel outcome for the 10,337 crowd, just five games left, away wins are going to be needed now to salvage the dream.

 

Many Milestones Of History In Santa Cruz

Working the celebrity line up I bowed slightly upon meeting Charles Darwin, George Bernard Shaw, Winston Churchill, Jules Verne, and King George V. They had nothing to say for themselves but that was hardly surprising as they were plaques on 60 new tombstone shaped monuments at Santa Cruz marina.

The great and the good have all popped into Tenerife over the years, I knew of some like Agatha Christie who is honoured with a bust at La Paz in Puerto de la Cruz to recognize her stay when writing a short story. Leslie Charteris is another famous crime writer who called in, he penned a tale about Simon Templar chasing jewel smugglers through the Canary Islands, maybe with the upcoming TV revival of The Saint that yarn may yet be filmed. There were many surprises among the 24 Brits and 3 Irish figures from history immortalized in stone just a ferry hooter away from the shopping heart of Santa Cruz, each features a small biography in Spanish and English including the dates they passed through Tenerife.

There’s a lot going on at the portside and it looks smarter with every visit I make. The new cruise ship reception centre on the inland side is growing quickly and will be a classy addition. As it stands now cruise ships moor over the far side and disembarking passengers have a long wait for shuttle buses to the city centre and beyond to tourist attractions. The new centre will fast track visitors through and a new green covered ramp nearer the marina gives a short cut to Plaza de España for walking shoppers. Some of the older, rusty ships that have been hanging around since the dawn of time have been moved to the far flung corners of the port near the oil platforms awaiting a spruce up, and others removed to give a less cluttered look to the place.

Was I being stalked? The Spanish Navy ship Cazadora was in port, the day before it had been moored off Los Cristianos. I tried to blag my way onboard but was met with stony indifference, hardly surprising as it turns out, they were on a drug busting mission and had seized 800 kilos of synthetic drugs from a yacht. One of my main missions was to check out the new monuments, and I was mightily impressed. Well researched and informative they help to evoke the sense of history surrounding this important stop over on old trading routes. Who would have thought Robert Baden Powell, founder of the Scout movement would be rubbing cement shoulders with author Graham Greene, and William Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty.

Some of the revolutionary figures were reminders of violent struggles from the past, I was going to check out another testament to civil unrest. Yes I was about to be detained by the Spanish National Police, or at least their exhibition, The Victory Of Freedom, showing at the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Calle Castillo, the main shopping street. This looked back almost 50 years to the police fight against terrorism, in particular ETA, the Basque movement. The AUNAV bomb disposal robot in the entrance hall drew some strange glances from passers by, but many curious people were lured inside to the free exhibition to see more.

The first Policia Nacional terrorist death was in 1968 when a chief inspector was killed. Just inside one of the early brown uniformed dummies held a Astra 960 revolver but further inside there were also video and written news reports plus victim testimonies, much of it in English as well as Spanish. One of the most infamous displays was the GEO sniper rifle that was used in the aborted assassination attempt on King Juan Carlos by ETA in 1977, this was in a glass case. A Russian grenade launcher made another menacing sight, also encased,, complete with remote control explosive devices. All this may sound a bit gruesome but it is an important part of history, maybe the recent nature of the exhibits are what make some people squeamish but a few yards down towards the port the famous Tigre canon that helped to repel Nelson, is on display, an equally deadly weapon as its modern ancestors. It was certainly a different exhibition and well put together, history has lots of lessons to teach us in Santa Cruz.

Prevention And Flexibility Guide The British Consul For South Europe

Being an advisor, instructor, and pathfinder for ex pats abroad must be a right royal pain at times but William Middleton takes it in his stride, even with 17 countries to oversee. The British Consul Regional Director for South Europe is quite a title to carry but fitting in a stop off at Adeje Cultural Centre (below) , William was relaxed and informal as he met some of the bloggers, journalists, and community leaders of Tenerife South.

With less than two weeks until the online voting deadline for Brits abroad in the In or Out EU referendum, life after 23 June was a hot topic. So why have no clear plans been announced for a possible life outside. “The truth is no one knows what will happen if Britain chooses to leave, its uncharted waters, there is no provision for a country leaving in the treaty. So much would depend on the attitude of the other 27 states, but one thing is sure, nothing will change overnight.”

Good news for those fearing a Millennium Bug type meltdown (you know, the one that never happened). In the meantime the British Consul is relying on the priorities that underline the consulate service on all other issues. “ Prevention is a great thing and we like to remind people that registering on the local council pardon brings so many advantages financially, as well as building safeguards against any future health and age problems that may arise. Helping the most vulnerable is our aim, sadly many people only think of us in times of dire need but we have so much easily available information that can smooth people’s everyday lives.”

Reaching out to communities is a big aim of the British Consul, in this computer literate age, accessing information and filling in forms can be done at the touch of a screen. This answered one of the concerns about the British Consul in Tenerife being based in Santa Cruz (Mary Suarez and Helen Keating made the short trip down to Adeje) with no part time southern office these days. William’s kingdom covers 37 posts and 130 staff so he has plenty of experience of spreading himself thinly. Based in Madrid, he clocked up 130 flights in three years, and managed calls at three different Balkan countries in one day. The South Europe region stretches from Portugal to Turkey.

William, originally from Oxfordshire, started out as a business journalist with The Times but has now 14 years under his belt in the British Consul service. When he left for further meetings in Tenerife I had a browse through the wealth of information on courses and events in the Adeje Cultural Centre, with an inexpensive café and auditorium on site it’s a great example of a wide ranging resource for all nationalities. On a beautiful clear day the flower cross on the church was still impressive a few days on from Dia de la Cruz and the view over Adeje down to the coast was inspiring. The cockerel on the weather vane could see for miles, but the British Consul Regional Director for South Europe has even further horizons to keep an eye on.

 

Glory Of The Crosses And Beauty Of The Petals In Santa Cruz

Hardly a shop was open in the centre of Santa Cruz and the streets were strangely quiet even for a Tuesday morning. On the outskirts of the Tenerife capital I stepped off the tram at La Paz into a buzzing throng of people in Las Ramblas, Dia de la Cruz (Day of the Cross) was in full swing as music and laughter filled the air.

Every year is special so why not for the 522nd aniversary of the official founding of Santa Cruz, to the left the wide walkway in the centre of the busy road was full of stalls selling traditional food, games, and crafts. A troupe of musicians wandered, spreading good cheer, and children made the most of this extra May 3 holiday. From the bridge over the barranco I looked down to my Heliodoro home in the knowledge that I would be back for another CD Tenerife game on Saturday – all was well with the world.

Retracing my steps past the dancing fountain I found myself among the first batch of crosses made specially for the day, these were put together by schools, youth groups, and clubs and showed plenty of fertile imagination. Cartoon characters, animals, fruit, sweets, and even a homage to Cervantes were woven around the crosses. It was very busy so I had to drift with the flow, again on this side of Las Ramblas the wide central area was a car free zone as traffic worked its way past on outside lanes. The old bull ring still looked unloved as posters curled and paint peeled, was it really ten years ago a competition produced plans to revamp the old arena. Henry Moore’s statue reclined under a shady tree as people took turns to snap pics of the youngsters creations.

Approaching Parque Garcia Sanabria the crosses changed to the larger, adult, flower versions, and what a beautiful sight they were. The clear blue sky fought for attention with the bursts of coloured petals, framed against the overhanging trees from the park. The air was sweet and scented, gardeners were swooning in admiration, and I was suitably impressed as this was my first trip to the celebrations. Beyond the end of the crosses, there was a childrens play area but in the park below more temptations awaited.

Several days of Fiestas de Mayo had been taking place in Parque Garcia Sanabria, it’s always a special place but had an increased vibrancy with the walkways lined with flower and plant stalls. The flower clock near the main entrance had been given another change of colours and positively pulsated with pride. I was a little upset to have missed the children’s puppet show but after a sulk and a stamp of my feet I recovered my composure. In the centre of the park by the fountain a stage was brimming with singers and musicians in traditional dress. The paths that radiate out from the fountain had plenty of food and drink stalls including a Dorada van selling exotic bocadillos (rolls) with black pig, salsa, and yoghurt.

You can never have enough flowers, Santa Cruz Ayuntamiento (council) have just had 55,000 flowers added to beds and borders around the city, I don’t know how much that cost but it’s worth every cent. It wasn’t just the park that looked lovelier than ever, the roadsides and junctions looked wonderful all across the city. Down by the port there are a lot of concreted areas but creative use of flowers took the hard edge off them, it helps to shout a huge welcome to visitors from elsewhere in Tenerife and on the many cruise ships. I wasn’t the only one snapping away at the councils range of choice that included kalanchoes, tagetes, begonias, geraniums, petunias, surfinas, and marguerita daisies.

Santa Cruz is always moving forward, if you pop back to this blog I will share the rest of that days activities – including meeting 60 of the world’s most famous people and being detained by the national police. Dia de la Cruz was an outstanding success and the regular weekend shopping promotions will ensure a steady flow of retail raiders. Concerts, sporting events, and fiestas will keep the pot boiling but it seems every time I pop up from Los Cristianos it’s for a very different reason – I feel another tick list coming on.

 

 

 

 

Polished Cup And Polished Image With Nandu Rugby Youth

Lifting the trophy for the Canarian League with a 36-19 win over Las Palmas was the latest milestone for Nandu Under 18’s but their journey started two seasons ago with grueling two game weekends in the Catalan League.

The skill, dedication, and spirit of the squad shone through at T3 in La Caleta but even in their finest hour they showed enormous respect to their beaten opponents, forming a guard of honour and clapping them off the field. It’s not just about winning for Nandu, they like to uphold the spirit of sport and set high personal standards. It was a pleasure for me not to endure the theatricals and moaning that blights much of the football I watch – and these youngsters certainly play tough.

My knowledge of Rugby Union is sketchy at best, this was only the second live game I have seen, The strong Welsh accent of coach Jamie Whelan was constantly encouraging his multi national players, one described them as a “Tutti Frutti” team. Las Palmas were a bigger side, they had some very big built players and Nandu included several 14 year old players on their roster. Despite that the home side tore into their opponents and pinned them down for much of the first half while racking up the tries and conversions. Captain Jacob Oakenfold led from the front, the fly half was always on hand to win and convert tries made by Nandu’s fast breaking game. The whole squad looked well drilled at line outs and rucks and everyone played their part in a very entertaining game.

The under 18’s have grown together into a winning unit despite the lack of money at this grass roots level, seeking testing opponents they joined the 10 tem Catalan League last year which meant tight schedules to get two games in on the mainland without cutting into school and college time. The costs for that season were 44,000 euros, only partly offset by sponsorship and advertising the club committee had to work hard to find. This season they had to give up the Catalan League for the more affordable 4 team Canarian League, the sport is building a stronghold in the islands with Las Palmas joined by El Medano, and CR Mahoh of Fuerteventura.

Around 100 spectators shared the feeling of pride when a late Las Palmas rally was cut short to ensure the trophy. Monster Travel, keen supporters of the club, supplied the winners cup and a trophy for the gallant losers. The champagne flowed, and gave the coach and his staff a refreshing splash, progress is always on the players minds, they now have to train hard for new challenges. On 7 and 8 May they travel to near Alicante (Villasoyosa) to play in a tournament featuring the best under 18’s from across Spain. All this takes money, the club are keen to welcome more sponsors and advertisers, volunteers to help on match days and with admin are always welcome. It’s like a big family at Nandu, the players are a real credit to the club and the sense of pride and sportsmanship instilled into players speaks volumes for the values of the club. If you want to get involved call Paul Oakenfold on 664361058, if you want to catch a game you can keep in touch at Nandu on Facebook. Games are free to watch, they have a quality 2 euro match programme,  and they will make yyou feel very welcome.

Nano Roars In As Dani Limps Off But CD Tenerife Win Again

Not a half wit referee, an injury to our goalkeeping goliath Dani Hernandez, or a soaring sense of expectancy could derail CD Tenerife as they saw of Albacte 1-0 in Santa Cruz. It was another confident, all round display, this isn’t the best set of players we have ever seen in the blue and white but the old saying about the whole being greater than the sum of the parts seems pretty appropriate this season.

The crowds are steadily growing, 11, 769 fans in fine voice got an early boost when Choco set up Nano with a delicate pass, Juan Carlos in the away goal slid out to block. A first half goal is a rarity these days, we are used to a patient approach, it can bring its nervous moments, Suso had to back track to intercept Paredes, and German robbed Samu when danger threatened. Dani has the March player of the month award safely stashed in his cabinet at home but has carried his sharpness into April, Fede Vico floated in a free kick that was heading for the far corner of the home net, Dani flung himself across the goal and flicked it aside.

Suso had the best chance of the half, he was forced wide by the keeper and tried to head it past him from the post but Carlos stood tall and diverted the ball away from danger. There was a worrying end to the opening half, Dani went up for a high ball and Pulido flattened him, Dani’s fall was partly responsible for his lower back injury but the foul was worth a yellow and Pulido had already been booked. The ref bottled it and gave a free kick but no booking. Dani emerged for the second half but looked in considerable discomfort, Roberto started warming up and our worst fears were confirmed. Dani took his time to trudge off, daring the ref to take his name, the ref was reeled in like a prize trout and waved the card, that ensures a points suspension next week, handy when you know you wont be fit.

Suso tested the Albacete stopper, Moutinho replaced Javi Lara and Tenerife pushed for the goal. Choco was having a fairly quiet game, he was alert though and threaded a telling ball through to Nano who timed his run perfectly to bury the ball for his 11th goal of the season. Tenerife were purring again, Roberto had little to do except two routine takes and Cristo came on for the last 18 minutes as Nano departed to a deserved ovation. Eager to stake his claim, Cristo peppered the Albacete goal, a wide shot from a Moutinho pass and another close thing from a link up with Choco were not far off. Once again the cries of “Si Se Puede” (yes we can) blasted out around the stadium as the whistle blew.

A first half booking for Raul Camara means he will miss the game at Cordoba, and Roberto will wear the gloves nest week. Two consecutive away games will put the pressure on but confidence is high and the play off spot is still beckoning. It’s a great time to be a CD Tenerife fan.

 

 

Feeling At Home In El Puertito

Here’s a confession, I’ve never been to El Puertito before, I’ve been in the sea from a boat in the cove of this Adeje beauty spot but not ashore. It was high time to put that right so I caught the Titsa bus to La Caleta to walk along the coast.

The track at the western end of the fish restaurants is clear, fairly steep, and with shifting sand that can be a bit tricky but the view back to Fañabe and Torviscas is a fitting reward. The land beyond is a protected natural space with several paths ready to tempt you astray, basically keep the cliff tops close and press on. Advance information will make you expect hordes of hippies and nudists, well there are a few of both but they value their solitude and have got more sense than to exert themselves on such a baking hot afternoon as the one I chose.

There are a lot of people living in and around the two main coves, the first with rock slabs and dark shingle, and the next a glorious sandy beach. The term living doesn’t do justice to the elaborate and carefully weaved dwellings that blend in with nature. Another misconception is that these wild spirits live in an untidy splurge of leftovers. I’ve seen lots of domestic and industrial rubbish strewn on many of the bigger walking trails and I saw very little here. There are home made signs reminding of the protected status and asking visitors not to use the route as a tip.

 

I did spot a few collecting tins along the path, at a discreet distance from the homes and several had amusing ornaments nearby. The two bays are reached by craggy dips down and up but there are plenty of well used paths to choose from. Quite a few other people were taking the coastal stroll in both directions, it was a rather wonderful April afternoon and I was still just on the supporting act. It took me an hour before I rounded the crumbling plantation walls to see El Puertito spread out below with a selection of pleasure boats bobbing in the water. It’s like an identikit for everything you need to make a top tucked away treat, a small strip of sandy beach, a little corner of shingle, a ramp into the sea for fishing boats, and a dainty church nestling just inland.

Taking the sturdy, stone steps down into the small settlement the bar restaurant had a busy terrace and the tiny parking area behind was being tested with some creative shuffling to try and squeeze another eager visitor in. It wasn’t as packed as I expected for a Saturday but I’m told that Sundays and holidays are when it’s mobbed. The crystal clear water of the bay attracts pleasure boats for the ideal snorkel and scuba conditions, it was nice to see beach notices alerting visitors to the conservation needs of the large, placid, green turtles that are so plentiful.

After a suitable rest and wallow in the surroundings I took the single road up the other side of the bay, I was going to follow the coast to nearby Playa Paraiso but curious to see how far it was to the Armeñime roundabout. The leads straight up past the Bahia Principe Hotel and with a rare bit of geographical success I found the Centro Socio Cultural Asturiano. The metalwork Tower of Pizza and Eiffel Tower had always fascinated me, close up it looked even better, inside a few of the Asturias exiles were at the bar so I had a look around, football flags of Sporting Gijon, and Real Oviedo adorned the walls, and a statue of the Virgen was surrounded by a arch of suspended green wine bottles. Apparently the social club has over 1,000 members.

Yomping on up the hill in the heat it took me another 20 minutes to pass the Camel Park and reach the main road. Los Cristianos was a short bus ride home, Adeje had just added some more new favourites to my collection and El Puertito is definitely worth making a detour by car, or better still take the long route and work up a thirst.