Oi Se Arma Rock The Beach For Tenth Birthday

Sand castles crumbled, barbecues hissed, and even the chilled out hippies in the rocks and sand dunes leapt to their feet. Oi Se Arma were pounding the tiny stage attached to the Matinal Beach Club in Las Galletas and their hard core mix of punk and ska filled the evening air.


Back in the UK the rain was heading for Glastonbury, it would be mud and wet wellies for them but at the small beach between El Fraile and Las Galletas the rocky coast and surrounding areas were still full of families and the sea was gently lapping at the shore. I had been to the beach bar before to see Pornosurf last year, that was a good gig eventually after much waiting but with Oi Se Arma due on stage in La Laguna they were prompt for their 8 pm start.


It must be at least seven years since I last saw Oi Se Arma live, the Santa Cruz five piece have built a big following since then and play regular gigs on the mainland as well as in Tenerife. With their roots in the CD Tenerife peña Frente Blanquiazul their songs have become rallying anthems for many of us and that passion extends to their music and politics. The crowd was small and select but the reception was warm as they burst into action with power and venom. Songs like Clockwork Oi and Balas Perdidas soon woke up the late sun bathers.


It was interesting to see the reactions of passers by using the paths as a short cut, many stopped and stared in astonishment, some small children were having a bop out on the sand, definitely future rude boys and punks. I was with a few of the Armada Sur, it was nice of lead singer Rocco to give us a name check, well The General has followed them since their first chaotic gig. Vamos Tenerife got one of the best responses, always a big football favourite and full of pride for the island and history of Tenerife.


It was a shortish set of just under an hour with one eye on the later gig up north but a good reminder of the best aspects of live rock. The closing number, Working Class Kids, was a frenzy of power and thrashing guitars, and as prickly as the cactus plants that surrounded the hippie tents, hopefully we will see them in the south again soon. If you want to hear them you can find loads of their work on You Tube. As for the venue, they have regular live music on Fridays and Sundays, look them up on www.matinalbeachclub.com

Sky Park Tenerife To Bounce Back?

 

If you guessed the big metal arch in Torviscas was part of a giant McBurger drive in you would be wrong. The large abandoned area just behind San Eugenio was Sky Park, an ambitious bungee jumping theme park that had a short and patchy history over 10 years ago. There was I flying back to the UK a few weeks ago when I saw a large advert in a Canarian newspaper offering the forgotten leisure area for sale or rent – that untapped quite a few memories.

It was in my early days (2002) with The Western Sun as a cub reporter (I think cub was the word people yelled at me) when I joined a pre opening tour of the park. It was all very high tech and impressive although there is no way you would ever get me to dangle on a length of knicker elastic, even if it was over a vat of beer. Bureaucracy was even worse in those days and there were delays galore in getting the park doors open, then the police closed it just a few days later and so the game went on.

Finally up and running and sometimes using the alternative name of Water World, they hosted a joint live broadcast afternoon in August featuring Power FM with their recently aquired subsidiary Waves FM, and Oasis FM. This was the second part of the inter radio challenges, the first was a paintball face off at a site just south of Playa San Juan. It was a fun event around the many pools and on a range of bungee rides. The daddy of them all was the mega tall jump from a crane platform, it could be adjusted so you dipped gently into the pool or stopped just short.

One remarkable wheelchair bound ex soldier did the jump in his chair ending up just above the pool. I was snapping away at the amazing feat thinking what good pics it would make, unfortunately while it was going on I missed four young female Waves FM presenters flashing their ample charms as they whizzed back and forth on the bungee swing ride. The climax of the afternoon was a head first leap off challenge between Chris Elkington boss of Oasis FM and Gavin Watson his opposite number at Power Fm and Waves FM. What can I say, Chris hurled himself down but Gavin was not available and Charlie Thornley of Waves FM had to uphold the west coast honour with a dive that Ronaldo would have been proud of. Sadly the report of that afternoon is the only Sky Park article I have in my small archive.

There were other visits, FAILTE held their St Patricks Day party there and at one time the lounge bar on the complex was a mini night club that held music and comedy nights with shuttle buses from around the south. Those good times were all too few and the next enforced closure was final leaving the prime site to the elements, there was a newspaper report a few months ago of a small fire in a shed on the site, maybe people living rough?

I believe the area can only be used for leisure rather than building apartments and the advert stressed for sale or rent, quite a lot of the infrastructure is still standing. It’s return would make an interesting addition to the Tenerife leisure scene so if you have a big wad of cash contact skiparktenerife@gmail.com (yes that spelling). I promise that given another chance I wont miss any sky high female flashing.

 

 

History Lessons At Oxford Town Hall

Had he popped out for a sandwich with Oxford marmalade or fancied a cheeky pint of locally brewed Morrells beer across the road? The rain coat of city engineer William White was still hanging on its peg and blueprints for city works were strewn across his desk at Oxford Museum, frozen in time a century after their creation.

Outside in St Aldates the rain pelted down and I had chosen this easier, dryer option for the final day of my home city visit. As a true Oxonian I thought I had a decent knowledge of Oxford but I was about to add some historical cement to the crumbling bricks of my memory. The original museum building is closed and awaiting an expensive upgrade so the large, sprawling city engineers office inside the town hall now houses the main exhibits. It was nice to see that the town got equal billing with the gown (University), I grew up in the shadow of the car factory and found the references to founder William Morris very interesting and also the features on the leisure and culture of Oxford. Adding a modern touch, an interactive video consul took me on a high speed tour out from the city centre in the basket of a delivery bike with comments from cartoon quarter boys, they are the famous figures that hammer the chimes on the carfax tower clock.

A brief poke around the ground floor of the town hall dispelled thoughts of a dull, uninviting public edifice, they now have a café, art gallery, and a souvenir shop. I wanted to see more and snapped up the chance to take a guided tour for just five pounds, the museum is free but they ask for a minimum donation of one pound. My guide Jane whisked me into the private corridors where the day to day admin offices are and unlocked the stairs down to the old crypt, now the plate room where many of the valuable dinner services and ceremonial gifts are stored. A sealed door marked the entrance to a small section of the labyrinth of tunnels that extend underneath Oxford, they provided handy exit routes from persecutors.

Back up in the main body of the building it was clear to see the love and respect that had been lavished on the current town hall, a young designer Henry Hare completed the building in 1897 with scant regard to financial restraints, the elaborate copper air vents were just one indulgence. Moving up through the city council chambers I could feel the weight of history and civic pride. Jane’s knowledge was deep and impressive with plenty of light touches to ensure it wasn’t all dry textbook stuff. The Assembly rooms were stunning with high vaulted ceilings, paintings and portraits rich in history and value, and intricate plaster work. They were preparing the main room for a wedding and the sound system was belting out some classic Stranglers tracks – did they know I was coming?

A balcony leads out from the assembly hall, I remember cheering Oxford Cheetahs all conquering mid 80’s riders when they were given a civic reception. My brain was starting to recall other visits to the town hall for beer festivals and the Unison union Christmas party – the majestic stairway from the hall to the street was a bit of a tester on those occasions. The town hall also stages concerts, exhibitions, and wrestling. My access all areas tour was taking me through corridors lined with artistic memories of Oxford and into the city council chamber, scene of many a heated debate. The old crown court, replaced some 30 years ago, was still a stern and foreboding place, I stood in the dock and as I noticed the cold tiled stairs leading directly down to the cells I hoped my library books were not overdue. The separate rooms for the judge and jury were quite a contrast, one large and relaxing, the other cramped and with minimum facilities.

The tour concluded well over an hour later down the main stairway via more impressive stained glass features. It was a fascinating insight into a building that goes way beyond the functional needs it was intended to cover. A wooden model pointed out the extra challenges that had to be overcome due to the slightly tilted setting of St Aldates and Blue Boar Street that border the town hall. Hopefully the full scope of the museum will soon be realized if it’s original annex home can be restored but the town hall looks set to serve the good people of Oxford for many more decades.

Sun Rain Flowers And Road Works In Oxford

Spin that roulette wheel of weather, Colin is back in Oxford. Well that’s how it seemed for my latest home visit, glorious June sunshine heralded my arrival and by late Sunday afternoon I was sprawled out in Bury Knowle Park with cod and chips from Posh Fish. I actually felt overdressed in my jeans and was looking forward to a few evening ales.

Organised devastation seems to sum up the huge building projects underway in my home city, the Westgate car park has been flattened ready for a new enlarged shopping centre and the bottle neck near Oxford rail station was even more jammed due to a grand redesign underway. More pubs had been wiped off the map or converted into cocktail bars or accommodation but I still dug out some interesting brews in favourite watering holes. My friend Christine took me up to the Varsity Club, a series of bars on several floors entered from the Covered Market, we were going to enjoy the roof garden but with Monday cloud making the temperature plunge we were both under dressed and retreated to the lounge below.

I always like the musicians and buskers in Cornmarket Street, they were even more bizarre this time. On Bonn Square I saw a man juggling balls and a woman behind him in a black negligee playing a violin – I couldn’t work out if they were separate acts or a bizarre mash up. I managed to do a little Tommy the Tourist time and visited the Oxford Prison and it’s redeveloped grounds full of posh restaurants, I had already done the tour of the few remaining cells before so gave the grisly history lesson a miss this time.

The sun managed one scorcher of a day so I visited the Botanic Garden off the High Street, a wonderful collection of plants, flowers, and greenhouses with exotic specimens. I was wowed by the wall plants and herbaceous border, the cannabis plants in the medicinal plant collection blew my mind, and I crumbled at the sight of the giant rhubarb. The vast layout must is a real labour of love with surprise highlights like the rock garden, and water garden. Inside the greenhouses I encountered tropical blooms, familiar looking palm trees, and the giant water lily collection.

It’s just 4.95 pounds to get in the Botanic Garden and a restful stroll also gives access to the River Thames and the big punting station. During the year they hold special family picnic days and courses in botany and nature. As a nipper it was always one of my favourite days out and added a splash of colour between some gray weather days during my weeks visit.

Granadilla Tenerife Sur On Verge Of Primera Dream

Guess which glorious island isn’t top of the Real Betis brochure list? The female footballers of Granadilla Tenerife Sur inflicted a 3-1 play off first leg defeat on the Sevilla visitors just a week after their men were humbled 2-0 at CD Tenerife.

A tougher challenge was expected in the final two games that separate GTS from a place in the Primera and Betis were quick out off the gate with a left break  created goal from top scorer Paula after just three minutes. I was worried that the local ladies might get swamped but they showed fantastic character to turn the tie around. There was a bumper crowd of 2,000 to 3,000, depending on what estimate you read, and where I was prowling the sidelines by the team benches there was a liberal sprinkling of non payers on the rocky hills above. Was that the smell of BBQs drifting across or was that a hint of rock and roll cigarettes?

Back at the game the inspirational orange booted Maria Jose Perez (cousin of Ayoze) was starting to make her prescence felt out on the left flank. Getting in a good position Maria sliced a shot over the bar. Home pressure was building and a teasing cross from Marilen found the head of Maria to level the scores just before the 10 minute mark. Silvia found herself free with just the Betis goalie to beat but the stopper raced out to snuff out the danger. Betis had their chances, a speedy raid brought out the best in home goalie Noelia who showed a safe pair of hands. Reichel was always a threat in the centre for GTS she worked hard to shake off her markers in the box and wasn’t far away from the target with her hooked shot.

Betis were on the back foot, Granadilla spotted their opening and charged at their rivals, Reichel was waiting in the goal mouth to add her header to the scoreline, 2-1 up and looking good after 30 minutes. It was vital to take advantage of a reticent Betis side and during another attack the visiting keeper could only parry a shot from Miriam leaving Maria to bury the loose ball in the net. The Sevilla team had their best spell at the start of the second half, now was the time for the Granadilla defence to show their worth, they didn’t disappoint.

Sub Ana caused lots of problems for the Betis defence, a delicate touch to the side of the goalie nearly brought a fourth goal. That was followed up with another good chance as Ana turned swiftly and fired a shot that Marilen couldn’t quite finish off.  There was still plenty of danger from Betis but the home defence, particularly Laura, were on top form. It was good to see the whole squad get involved, Tibi came off the bench for Maria Jose who departed to a huge ovation after a virtuoso performance.

A sloppy back pass nearly offered Betis a way back but Pizco covered well and took the ball away from harm and a great save from Noelia underlined the home win. It sets things up well for the away leg, coach Toni Ayala insists they will go for another win rather than sit back on thee two goal cushion. Come on ladies, one last push.

Safety At Last For CD Tenerife In Thrilling Home Finish

When we needed them most Diego Ifran and Suso came through in style with the goals that banished lingering thoughts of relegation for CD Tenerife. Real Betis as the last home game had looked ominous for weeks but even allowing for them having already wrapped up the Segunda title this 2-0 victory was well deserved and so sweet after a sour season.

The club did the right thing and slashed ticket prices to fill the ground, there were plenty of retro shirts on show as 19,193 packed in and made the atmosphere truly special. So many factors were in the mix, Betis managed by former CDT boss Pepe Mel had Las Galletas defender Bruno in their side after a move from the Heliodoro last summer. Just before the game we learned that Maxi was out injured but Omar Perdomo started again and showed what a prospect he is.

Diego Ifran’s fitness level has been a constant worry but he looked well up for the challenge, his early low shot had the keeper scrambling to the far post to make a save. Betis looked to have dropped down a gear with their prize in the bag, they still showed flashes of class but found the home defence on top form, especially Javi Moyano who didn’t put a foot wrong. The ref threatened to wreck our day, he turned down a strong penalty shout when a head down in the box from Diego was deflected by the arm of Piccini.

Vitolo and Suso were an inspiration for their team mates with their passion and hunger for the game and their efforts always fire up the crowd. Moyano pushed up to support another attack and his strike from the edge of the box nearly caught the goalie out. At half time it was looking good, a draw would have sufficed for safety but a win was what we desperately wanted. Cristo Martin could have opened the scoring ten minutes after the break, that was his final action as Juan Carlos replaced him. The new arrival had one of his better games and added a new zest to the attacking options.

A Diego strike was ruled a offside but he kept pressing and slipped a neat pass to Suso to hit the goal that made the stadium erupt. All the frustrations of recent months melted away as thee crowd noise levels hit a peak, suddenly we were greedy for more goals. Suso was on fire, he unlocked Betis again and fed the ball into Diego, it flicked off his boot and his head before it was cleared. The clincher after 80 minutes was worth the wait, Vitolo raced down the right and with a little help from Suso picked out Diego who slotted the ball past the keeper to ensure no return to Sunday noon kick offs.

It’s been quite a while since the Heliodoro witnessed Mexican waves and all sections up and cheering but that’s how it was for the final ten minutes of celebration. Calls for President Concepcion to go were a reminder that the hole we got out of was due in no small part to poor decision management last summer – and January. It was a win to savour, although my head wasn’t so enthusiastic next day, big decisions will have to be made in the next few months if we are to build on the few positives that came through this season. Raul Agne has agreed a new one year contract so we have continuity and the indications are that the young rising stars like Cristo Gonzalez will be given their chance to stake acclaim for a first team shirt in the pre season friendlies.

Anthem Of The Seas Hits The High Notes On Tenerife Visit

Talk about making a grand entrance, the newest quantum class cruise liner from Royal Caribbean glided majestically into Santa Cruz dwarfing a Fred Olsen ferry and almost causing the mountains of Anaga to wolf whistle. The Anthem Of The Seas is something special, and it knows it, the Tenerife capital is used to naval giants but at 168,367 tons, and 16 decks high this ship is the second biggest in the world and boasts state of the art technology that puts everything at the 5,000 passengers finger tips.

As it moored at the far dockside I raced round to joint the press pack just as passengers began to stream down the walkways. Traditional Canarian musicians and dancers were on hand to add a little flavour and coaches were lining up for pre booked excursions. As well as shuttle buses to take passengers into Santa Cruz I counted 20 pre booked  excursion coaches, about a third were off to Loro Parque but there was a nice diversity about the others, volcanoes, Teide, Puerto de la Cruz, cultural Tenerife, and Tenerife city sights.

Most of the those on board were Brits, this maiden cruise set sail from Southampton. It was amusing to see a couple of Union Jacks draped over high balcony rails and quite a few familiar football shirts on the crowds leaving the 10 day voyage. Cruise holidays are much more informal these days and this trip had attracted lots of families, I chatted to a few people and they were full of praise for the ship and its facilities. With the dignitaries gathered it was time for our on board tour to start, checked in and taken to the second deck esplanade our group assembled in the plush Boceros bar where champers and nibbles were served.

The Captain, Claus Andersen of Norway, made a speech about his joy at being in charge of such a ground breaking vessel and the President of the Tenerife port authority, Pedro Rodriguez Zaragoza offered his welcome with a book and a bottle of Malvasia wine. My feet were itching to explore and one of the crew led our party out into the esplanade where several of the bars and restaurants were. Upstairs I was eager to see the Bionic Bar with its robot cocktail waiters, just send an Ipad request for any drink and they mix and serve it, when the DJ is playing some hot tunes they join in the dancing – and are probably more graceful than I am.

The ship was packed with focal points, light, colourful, and amusing works of art are scattered around the decks to encourage a relaxed mood, thee Wonderland Cuisine restaurant had a large hand pointing the way in, and a shiny trombone sculpture was a real eye catcher in a communal area. I couldn’t resist the Pulse Spiral chandelier, by placing my palms on a pad it recorded my heart beat and used that as a rhythm for the individual lights to sparkle to. Even the background music was to my taste, I caught whiffs of Peter Gabriel, and OMD from the 1980’s. Taking the glass elevators we visited the beautifully laid out Teatro Royal with its views out to the port and the city beyond.  Bristling with hi tech and with seating for 1,300 on split levels, it cost a cool 36 million dollars, the standard currency choice on the ship.

Skirting around the bumping cars and thee full size basketball court we popped out on the top deck for the viewing platform and the Rip Cord para diving simulator. Sport is big on the Anthem, a running track laps around the 16th deck circling the clutch of pools below a giant screen tv and more bars. The other big attraction up top is the North Star pod, a clear glass booth like the ones on the London Eye, attached to a crane arm it swings out to be suspended 300 feet over the sea.

There were so many other notable features to please passengers, of the 2,090 rooms, 1,571 have balconies, and 148 of them have outside views, another 375 have virtual views, think of the back projection behind news readers and apply that to views from the top deck projected onto a blank wall. Disabled passengers are well looked after, I noticed that all the bars had some lower serving sections and there are 34 wheelchair friendly rooms on board. Access to all services is simple and quick, passengers can wear an interactive Wow band to order and record food and drink sales and pervasive Wi Fi is streamed on board at 115 megabytes a second, even with so many users it outstrips most peoples home coverage.

Our final call was lunch at the self service buffet in the Windjammer Marketplace, the choice was incredible and there were lots of little touches to make the Brits feel at home, like Tetley tea on tap. On the way out I had a further nose around and found the Music Hall with stylish décor for a good old fashioned sing along night out. Anthem Of The Seas is an amazing ship and it was fitting that its first big voyage brought it to Tenerife as the Seatrade Cruise Med has chosen Santa Cruz for its September 2016 trade convention. The Canary Islands were historically an important hub for sea trade and exploration, it’s good to see that it’s shaping up nicely as a must stop off point for holiday cruisers.

 

 

 

Promotion Dream Crumbles For CD Marino

It will take all the saints and lots of divine intervention for CD Marino to progress in the Tercera division promotion play offs after a 0-2 home defeat to UD San Pedro. The Marbella side lethally exploited two home errors in the first half and Marino wasted too many chances in front of goal.

After dominating their Canarian group in the first half of the season Marino have suffered from internal conflict and the loss of some of their more experienced players. It all started to go wrong in the 6th minute when left back Javi Marchena was tripped and limped off, a lengthy delay in replacing him allowed San Pedro to exploit the lack of cover down that flank to set up Juanfri for the vital first goal. Eslava eventually came on and had a great game in the centre of defence as Aridani moved to left back.

Balduino was leading the line up front but Nacho and Jose Carlos couldn’t give him the support he needed. When Marino did break through they found goalie Munoz in top form. San Pedro had switched their attention to their left wing with defender Mauri supporting and overlapping well with the speedy Pedro. Eslava tried to support the attack and sent a strong header over the bar but Pedro was always ready to test the Marino rearguard. On the half hour Pedro robbed Jose Carlos just inside the home half and sliced open the defence before releasing Juanfri to slot the ball past Sergio in goal.

Eloi got into the action setting up Pedro who floated in a high cross that Sergio took well at the top corner of his goal. Jose Carlos closed the half with a soft shot that cleared the bar, there was little half time cheer for the crowd of 250, it looked comfortable higher than that official figure. Changes had to be made after the break, Lamine was brought on for Jose Carlos, Marino had their most creative spell as the visitors looked to settle for the two goal lead, Balduino screwed a side on shot over the bar and there was always hope that a home goal could at least offer some encouragement for the away leg.

Juanfri couldn’t quite get his foot to a clear chance in front of the Marino goal, the let off spurred Marino on and first half sub Kevin Castro combined well with Airam Garcia to force Munoz to make a low save. Javi Jerez found himself through for the blues, Munoz reacted well and made another neat stop. The game was slipping away as Marino ran out of ideas, it could have been worse if Sergio hadn’t denied Eloi late in the game. San Pedro were well organized and took their chances but were only third in their group, an early Marino goal in Marbella could still extend the season but it will be tough going.

 

Point Leaves Relegation Threat Pending For CD Tenerife

Plodding and predictable CD Tenerife failed to cash in their get out of jail card with a 1-1 home draw against Alcorcon who were down to ten men just before half time. Once again pre match talk of attack, attack, attack wasn’t matched by the squad selection, and I was dismayed at the lack of striking options on the bench.

Alcorcon hadn’t read the script and crashed in a second minute goal thanks to some weak defending, a cross in from near the right corner took out three defenders leaving Nagore to head the ball into the goal. That left a huge mountain to climb with Diego Ifran out injured and Abdon Prats taking his place alongside the industrious Maxi. In defence Hugo Alvarez covered for suspended Carlos Ruiz but the visitors, with faint hopes of a promotion play off place, decided to employ spoiling tactics to try to sit on their lead for 88 minutes. It was the most cynical display of diving, rolling, and time wasting that the Heliodoro has witnessed.

Having said that, it was down to Tenerife to grab the game by the danglies and make things happen, the 8,771 crowd did their bit with a constant wall of noise. Juan Carlos had another poor game, he lost the ball in a threatening position early on and just faded away. Suso was fired up but the Alcorcon defence, especially Nagore were crudely effective. Maxi made some good breaks, the goalie came out well to deny his best chance, and Vitolo looked through on goal when a harsh offside call hauled him back.

The first half was draining away when Abdon lobbed a lovely ball into the box, Maxi tried to chest it under control but was clattered by Verdes, he went off for his second card and Vitolo converted the spot kick to add hope to the half time break. That’s when a look at our subs told a sorry tale, Aridane was the only other forward, Cristo Gonzalez had scored again for the B team the day before and would have been an obvious choice in our perilous position.

 

So 45 minutes against ten men, surely CDT could take this. The chances came but the finishing was not up to scratch, Suso skinned two defenders but couldn’t get the ball to the waiting Maxi. Abdon Prats poked a chance wide before making way for Aridane, the other predictable change of Cristo Martin for Juan Carlos didn’t offer the key either. Aridane missed out on a rebound, Suso missed from outside the area, and Cristo put a shot into the side netting. Aitor Sanz should have been subbed, in added time he tried to trade up his earlier yellow card by diving into a melee of players. Dani Hernandez raced up the pitch and bear hugged his hot headed team mate away before it could get out of hand. We might be grateful for the point in the final reckoning but if we go down this is the game that many will point to as our downfall.

 

Cheers For Local Brews In Tenerife

Much as I enjoy my Dorada, I do miss British style ales but a visit to the new Mercado Parque La Reina tweaked my taste buds with a stall full of bottled craft beers brewed mainly in Tenerife. It would have been rude not to try them so I took two samples home (2.50 euros each) for a mini tasting session.

I had heard about Tierra de Perros pale ale from a Los Realejos team, the name “land of dogs” refers to the Canary Islands name, it was based on the wild canines that roamed the islands rather than those chirpy yellow birds that Delia Smith likes. What a nice taste this one had, the dark amber 4.8 % went down a treat, a good session beer. I could see a crate of these launching me gently down a slippery slope until waking up in a skip with a traffic cone on my head – well we’ve all been there – haven’t we?

Even more impressive was a co-ordinated range from Chutney in La Laguna. They had three bottles all named after criminals, Albert Spagliarri chocolate stout was inspired by a famous French burglar, and Willie Sutton American Pale Ale was a tip of the glass to a light fingered American thief. I took home the Ronnie Biggs Brown Ale a 5.5 % bottle based on a classic London Brown ale an jolly nice it was too. Toasted caramel and chocolate made an appearance and even the head shared the pleasing colour.

There were other craft brews from further a field at the market stall. La Socarrada at 6% will draw me back to Parque La Reina at a later date. Brewed in Valencia it’s flavoured with rosemary, and rosemary honey, sounds good. Another reason to return is the 4.8 % El Boqueron, also from Valencia but made using sea water which apparently increases the purity and makes it pretty much hangover free. Mind you if you really wanted a hangover there was always the wine, Cava, and rice liquor on offer.

All this reminds me I must have another trip up to El Sauzal and the Tacoa German micro brewery and restaurant, that’s a real treat for the home sick beer fan but quite a way to wobble back home.