Archive for December 21st, 2009
Watch the birdie, and the penguin, and the Orca…

Phwoar there I was surrounded by birds, I was charming them out of the trees and they were nearly eating out of my hand – ok I’m not fooling anyone, these birds were of the feathered variety and they were in the new Katandra tree tops aviary at Loro Parque.

Todays main mission was to see the Special Orca Show at Christmas (directly from the USA) at Puerto de la Cruz’s famous park, and I was kindly extended a press entry. The 343 Titsa (strike over now) from Los Cristianos whisked me there in just over an hour, giving me time for a stroll in the town and then a walk along the seafront to Loro Parque. The weather may have behaved at football in Santa Cruz last night, but dark clouds were hovering and the sea was wild and lashing the shore.

It’s been just over a year since my last visit to Loro Parque and I was desperate to see the penguins, I have always been fascinated by them. Planet Penguin is a great setting with imitation ice flows and light settings that mimic the seasons, all my favourites were there stood to attention, waddling, grooming and diving into the water. I’m sure they find the constant stream of visitors fascinating, we must look very peculier to them through the glass.

As their little wings waved goodbye, I headed for the Oracarium, eager to see how the whale show had been updated for this special 2 week run. The show was wonderful, but the same wonderful as always, the only concessions to christmas were on the giant screen where the music was overlaid with carols and animated snowflakes decorated the film. Everyone lapped up the majestic jumps and tail splashing from these huge beautiful creatures, but I was left a little let down.

Never mind, I had yet to see the new Katandra treetops aviary that was opened in September and took the chance to plug that gap in my knowledge. Loro Parque seems bigger than it is, due to very clever design that sees it twist and turn on several levels, this skill was also employed on the design of Katandra. A large pool is enveloped by a small jungle of trees and wooden walkways that take you up among the branches where the many colourful birds flit between their feeding bowls and nests. They are all quite tame and are quite willing to preen themselves and chatter away at close quarters. It’s a great addition to the park, a real squawking, screeching, whistling paradise.

The menacing clouds decided to do their worst just as I went to leave the park, thankfully they have a nice “Noddy” train that snakes through the streets of Puerto de la Cruz back to the seafront near the town centre, and with the protective covers strapped down, it proved pretty waterproof. I’m sure I will be back again and again at Loro Parque, the rain and time restrictions meant I didn’t get to see all of my favourites this time but I can sleep easy knowing that my penguins are cosy and cold.

CD Tenerife draw in christmas cracker

It was so close, CD Tenerife matched Athletico Madrid all the way in an exciting clash in Santa Cruz, but they will look back on the 1-1 draw as a great opportunity missed. Nino was buzzing and caused the visitors loads of problems but Asenjo was the star for Madrid, crowning a fine goalkeeping display with a penalty save from Nino.

The north put the south to shame for once, dry and no sign of the heavy rain we left behind  in Las Americas, a near full house only had to wait 2 minutes to rejoice. Juanlu’s free kick found Alfaro and he flicked the ball on to Nino who placed it perfectly for an early lead. That sparked some great creative play from both sides, Mikel Alonso was bag pulling the strings in midfield for Tenerife, and Athletico had 2 sharp forwards in Jurado and former Man Utd player Diego Forlan.

Alfaro hit the post after 10 mins, Forlan flashed a shot past the CDT goal shortly after, and the fabs were lapping up a feast of football. Jurado and Forlan combined after 21 minutes and opened up the Tenerife defence, beating Bellvis down the left, and ending with Jurado hitting the equalizer. Just before half time Tenerife were gifted a penalty when Dominguez handled the ball, Nino hit a weak shot and Asenjo saved it with some ease.

The second half saw both sides chase the game, Ayoze, Nino and Alfaro created plenty of chances but found the visiting keeper a tough barrier to beat. Both sides tried to spaice up their attack, Angel came on for Tenerife and former Liverpool front man Pongolle left the bench for Madrid. Kome, having one of his quiet games, went close on the counter attack after 86 minutes, but the best chance came in injury time. The ball came across to Nino in the area and he tried an overhead kick that just missed the target, what a finish that would have been.

If pre season you had asked offerd Tenerife fans a 12th place for the festive break, they would have gladly settled for that. The transfer window flies open in January and a couple more key players would be very welcome, but we know that money is tight at the club. A strong end though to a mighty year in the history of CD Tenerife.