Archive for August 21st, 2008
Pinolere, nature by the basket load

You can tell the year has sped by, when the annual Pinolere craft show gears up for three days of tasty history, high up above Puerto de la Cruz, in the foothills of the La Orotava valley. This year will be the 23rd annual show and it runs from Friday September 5 to Sunday September 7.


So what’s the big attraction, I have been to 4 of the last 5, basically its a combination of the setting and the large concentration of every food, craft and ancient art that the Canary Islands can muster. The village has about 700 inhabitants and all year they keep alive the old skills and trade the cereals and products they make, but the annual show is a chance to throw open the doors to around 40,000 people over the 3 days.

One of the big regular events of the show, is the International Cestoria competition, thats basket weaving to you and me. Last year this and the other stalls attracted entrants from 30 countries among the 128 exhibitors. I always find it a challenge to see how much home made cheese, biscuits, cake, wine and sweets I can get through, well it’s all cheap and cheerful. Follow that up with some beer and traditional meat and potatoes or sweetcorn, and the day flows nicely. My only dissapointment was finding that the making of the famous La Palma cigars didn’t involve rolling them on the thighs of young Canarian women.


The showground covers 10,000 square metres in several layers of terraced hillside below the majestic pine forest, topped with low cloud. If the sun breaks through, it can be gorgeous, but otherwise a spare layer of clothing is a good idea. Good news this year, Titsa, the green national bus company, are running shuttle buses from La Orotava bus station. As is the way out here, timings are a bit flaky, sort of every hour, but be a bit flexible, at least there are some nice cafes at the bus station. As for driving, it is sign posted up from Puerto de la Cruz, and you can’t argue at 2.50 euros to get in.