Archive for February 24th, 2009
Santa Cruz flaunts it big time for Carnaval

So there’s a cow, a bear and a clown at a bar, no it’s not the start of a joke, just the early morning scene at the bus station in Santa Cruz. It was the strange twilight zone where last nights Carnaval revellers were either on their last legs before going home or having a very hairy dog breakfast before diving into another round of partying on the day of the Coso parade.


Even catching the bus in Los Cristianos at 8am, I was met by a sea of empty bottles and cans and human debris, with monks that had merryed themselves, “women” in skimpy dresses with morning stubble, and all manner of ghosts and ghouls with a touch of the Zombie about them. Arriving in Santa Cruz, the scene was multiplied as 24 hour party people tried to scrape themselves onto buses to take them home. You have to feel sorry for the drivers, coping with that on a public holiday, but they didn’t even flinch, this is Tenerife, and the Carnaval drunks are placid and friendly.

With a few hours to kill before the 4pm Coso, I decided to take a 30 minute bus trip (No 101) to Tacaronte, along the north coast, in the heart of wine country. It was pretty quiet, many places were closed for the holiday and the town had headed in bulk to Santa Cruz. Still I enjoyed a couple of hours sipping coffee and snacking during a brief tour. I will have to pop back for a longer exploration to try one of the 2 historic routes suggested by the council outside the information centre. On the bus back to the capital, I noticed 2 strangely named places just before Los Rodeos, the north airport, could they be an English joke? Dolce Vita Swingers Club was a fairly big building on a street corner by the Guamasa turn, and a little further was the Bar Piss-Pass (don’t order lemonade) hmmm something to check out I think.

Cat Family

Back in Santa Cruz, crowds were growing as i wandered along the port front Avenida Maritima, passing numerous food and souvenir stalls. Families and friends had banded together to produce some wonderful costumes, with this years Horror Film theme used as a vague guide. Many had taken the few rows of pavement seating early and were camped out for good vantage points but the gathering black clouds spilled their contents at short intervals to be greeted by a sea of colourful umbrellas.

Bad Babies

With the promised storm heading for the islands, everyone was glad to see the parade get underway, headed by the newly elected Carnaval Queen, Ana Maria Tavarez (below) at the centre of her pink extravaganza, Embrujada (Enchanted). Musical floats, giant stilt walkers, marching bands and wacky interlopers followed as the parade headed along the front, past the government buildings and on to the fair before dispersing into smaller parties and tonights big dance in the Plaza Candelaria.

Carnaval Queen

Green music

The show goes on till Sunday, and many will stay the course, through the nights and with little sleep. Then the rest of Tenerife follows on as regional Carnavals burst into life well into March. And in case you wondered about all that mess and rubbish, it was all cleared and both bus stations were spick and span by early evening when I headed south. The next few mornings will bring another deluge of party leftovers, but it will all be cleaned and tidied away before you can say fortnightly bin collection.