Archive for March, 2010
CD Tenerife Make Their Point At Malaga

It’s strange what fires us up, I nearly hit the bar ceiling when CD Tenerife made it 1-1 at Malaga, it turned out to be a great point but more than that, it silenced the “sing when your winning” Malaga fans.

Points like this could be vital come the day of reckoning, Malaga were no great shakes but they came back from a 2-0 deficit in Santa Cruz so we had to be wary. Tenerife started well Juanlu sent a ball through for Nino but his little legs just left him a bit short to let off a shot. Malaga, like their fans seemd to lack passion and a half hearted Duda shot gave Sergio little trouble. Nino was again looking hungry, forcing Manua into a good save, Alfaro shot over from a free kick and Sicilia hit the bar, all good stuff. Ayoze forced a corner 5 minutes before the break and Alfaro set up Nino but he fired too high.

Culebras was again looking cool and assured in defence so it was a surprise to see him go off at half time for Luna, maybe an injury? Caidedo let rip a long shot that hit the Tenerife post and that seemed to wake his Malaga team up. The opening goal came from the right, a cross in to the CDT area was nodded down and Apono dived low to head it in the net. Not a true reflection of the game but to hear the Malaga fans discover their voices you would think they were world beaters.

Ayoze pounced on a bad clearance and was unlucky to see his snap shot go over the bar. Nino pushed forward but was blocked out by the home defence, it didn’t deter him and after 84 minutes he was clattered down in the box for a penalty. Wisely Alfaro stepped up after a few misses by Nino, his shot sent the keeper the wrong way and gave Tenerife some just reward, it also seemed to flick the off switch for the Malaga support.

Tenerife could have grabbed all three points late on, Omar curled a shot wide and Nino saw the home keepr nervously fall on his attempt. There was a bizarre ending in injury time, Ayoze was awarded a free kick but as he shaped up to take it the ref blew for the end of the game. Slowly things are looking more hopeful, lets hope that our rivals slip up, and look for more points at Sevilla next Saturday -live on Sky Sports 4.

Playa San Juan, Where Even The Chairs Hold Hands

Like a broody hen I seem to find myself popping in to Playa San Juan on the west coast of Tenerife, to check on the welfare of the beach. Ever since new sand was imported a couple of years ago, each wave of storm damage sparks off a row between local politicians about how good, bad, or indifferent the repairs are. Well it looked mighty fine to me this morning.

As a former west coast dweller I am drawn back at regular intervals and boarding the 10 am 477 direct Titsa bus for Los Gigantes, I nipped out at Playa San Juan (1.90 euros on a bono ticket) and headed for the shore. Walking down through the gap where the barranco gushed rain water a few weeks ago, I was greeted by a gorgeous scene. The promenade has never looked so beautiful, a darker patch was the only evidence of where the sand had been replaced but the beach shimmered in the heat, the sea twinkled, the pergolas and flower beds overflowed with colour, and a sprinkling of people sipped cold drinks at the new kiosks.

Wandering out on the quayside that juts out between the two beaches, I had to do a double take to check the wooden chairs holding hands in an oh so polite and genteel way. Moving further round to the shady area, the old gents of the town were sat leaning over their walking sticks like old Canarians like to do. Stopping off for a coffee and cake I noticed the council workers tending to the grass verges as the sprinklers gently watered the plants. At ease with the world after seeing that all was well, I grabbed the next Titsa for the short jaunt to Alcala (just a euro this time) and a snack down in the plaza.

It’s all go, no sooner had my spicey papas bravas landed in that cavern known as my stomach, I was off into Los Gigantes to see what they were all up to. The main beach is still sealed off after the tragic rock slide, the word is that repair work will start this summer, the marina was drawing a few people in though to enjoy the scorcher of an afternoon. Overall it was pretty quiet in the village, the screaming headlines in the British press about a vomiting bug at two local hotels can’t be helping.

It wasn’t planned but I found myself in Tipsy Terrace by the tennis courts with my former Western Sun colleagues, editor Roger Diss and Richard Dobbins, President of Santiago del Teide Lions. All pretty relaxing, the sun beating down around our shade as we staggered down memory lane – I was in short trousers in those days – oh hang on, I still am. Even Cardiac Hill failed to phase me, well I did get a few breathers stopping to talk to more old friends. I’m a stickler for tradition so headed down into Puerto Santiago’s Bar Plaza for my usual tuna treat as the sun fell low bathing the statue of former mayor Pancracio Socas in a warm rosey glow. Suitably stuffed I took the roundabout route of the 473 Titsa (2.30 euros) back to Los Cristianos, spotting a few changes in Playa Paraiso and Adeje on the way. As lazy days go this was a pretty busy and satisfying one.

Home Point Keeps CD Tenerife Hopes Alive

Painfully close to a home win over a classy Villareal side, CD Tenerife were unlucky to only draw 2-2 after a storming second half display. A defeat for Zaragoza and a draw for Valladolid means that Tenerife are now within 2 points of that fourth from bottom safety spot.

Villareal showed their quality in the first half, fast, well organised and sharp in attack, they were a real handfull. Nino had the forst chance of the game for CDT but Fuster soon tested Segio Aragonoses in the home goal. Nino seemed to be playing too deep at times and it kept Tenerife’s chances down to a minimum. Ibagaza had the clearest chance of the half, his crisp shot was well saved by Sergio, back to his usual top form after last Saturdays wobbles.

As half time approached a goalless stalemate would have been very welcome but Juanlu made a stupid foul and from Ibagaza’s free kick the Braxilian striker headed Villareal into the lead. Tenerife reacted positively and came out for the second hald with all guns blazing. Ayoze, having another productive game, charged down the left and swung a cross in for Nino to level the scores after 60 minutes. From the resulting kick off Villareal broke but were stopped by Sergio making a decisive clean take of the ball.

Nino got into a good position on the right of the box and shot wide as Ayoze came racing in on the other side with a clear sight on goal. Alfaro missed a couple of decent chances, especially when he was through on goal and shot straight at the visiting keeper. Capdevilla nearly scored an own goal but was rescued by keeper Lopez, he made himself even more unpopular when his poor clearance ended up at the feet of Culebras who whacked it in the goal for a Tenerife lead.

Tenerife were the better side in the second half and deserved the victory but Villreal’s Rossi grabbed his chance, picking up the ball some 30 yards out and running for goal, he gave Culebras the slip and curled a fine shot into the net to deny Tenerife as the final minutes ticked away. There was another blow as Ayoze was stretchered off late in the game, hopefully he will be back soon to continue his great form. Â A cruel end to a gutsy display from CD Tenerife but encouraging for the trip to Malaga on Saturday.

An Arona Policeman’s Lot Is Not A Happy One

It had been simmering for weeks, the Policia Local of Arona have not been happy, stating their grievances as work conditions, equipment and lack of staff. Several demonstrations were arranged but each time the two sides reached enough of an agreement to cancel it. Today there was no more avoiding it and at Noon the Policia Local took to the streets of Los Cristianos, gathering at the cultural centre, just around the corner from their headquarters.

Maybe gathered is a strong word, the turnout was poor, maybe 60 or so, but bearing in mind they have to rely on their work colleagues when in a tight or dangerous spot, you could forgive them for being a little shy. The three cars parked next to each other outside hinted at solidarity between the forces, Policia Local, Policia National, and Guardia Civil motors couldn’t have been parked in closer formation.

For their part, the Policia Local had already got local backing, a meeting with the local neighbours association groups on Thursday had won their backing. Arona councillor Manual Reveron weighed in this morning in the local press describing the police grievances as all lies, he claimed their militancy was more to do with trying to get more money.

The “march” if you can call it that was led by the UGT Union and made its short journey to the church plaza where banners, some in English, were unfurled. Slogans were chanted including “more action, less corruption” but passing Guardia officers leant out of their car windows and swapped smiles and good natured banter. So now we wait and see what the next step is in this runing dispute.

Disasterous 2-1 loss for CD Tenerife at bottom placed Xerez

This was always going to be the game that mattered most and CD Tenerife blew it in a nightmare first half. They just weren’t hungry enough, despite last weeks spirit soaring home win over Espanyol and knowing what was at stake. Xerez are not rock bottom by bad luck, they are a poor side but they were more physical and didn’t let Tenerife settle to their game.

Ayoze fired wide in the opening minutes but Calvo was soon tormenting them on the left wing whipping in a tempting high cross that Sergio plucked out of the air. The keeper was at fault soon after due to poor positioning, Bermejo rose for a free header and Sergio caught it just over the goal line. The nippy Calvo had switched to the left and 10 minutes later crossed the ball for Aythami to head the ball in the net after it rebounded down off the crossbar, Sergio again seemed to be off balance.

Richi tried to set up Alfaro but his shot was well saved by Chema in the home goal . The bruising Xerez defenders gave Tenerife few chances but Nino should have done better with a penalty for a hand ball just before the break. Sergio came to the rescue rushing out of his goal to clear an Xerez attack as his defence went missing but it was a pretty miserable half for Tenerife.

At least CDT came back out with a bit more aggression, Ayoze was close after breaking clear and then a great move reduced the arrears. Alfaro charged forward and put in a perfect hanging cross that Nino rose well to head into the home net. Xerez hit straight back with a breakaway, thankfully Michel wasted his chance shooting over the bar. Orellana tried a speculative chip and wasn’t far off target while Juanlu shot wide at the other end.

Dinei came on for the quiet Richi and added some muscle to the attack but Xerez were not about to let a rare victory slip away. Sicilia made a crucial tackle to halt a threatening Xerez attack, Calvo forced Sergio to rush and cover for his defence again, and Viqueira saw his long shot sail over the Tenerife goal. Redondo was sent off for a blatant high hand ball,anything would do to keep the win at this stage, Ricardo had a late chance that he drove into the home keeper but the away curse remained intact.

Valladolid picked up a surprise 2-0 win at Deportivo to pile the pressure back on Tenerife, another huge effort is needed at home to Villareal on Wednesday night, but no team can expect to stay up if they can’t win away at least once in a season.

“Neighbours, everybody needs good bioclimatic neighbours…”

Some mornings, purely by accident, I get caught by those day time Do Up The House programmes, they usually involve some death trap of a place riddled with rot but always “in an up and coming area”. They would say it was an up and coming area even if it was in Baghdad. Well yesterday was my chance to do some house hunting in much better circumstances, it was the official inauguration of 25 bioclimatic houses at ITER, the renewable energy centre in Granadilla.

The calima was at full pelt and the sun magnified through the dusty haze as I arrived with John Beckley from Sorted Sites. The visitors centre was packed with architects, scientists and the media, as well as the usual suits giving speeches there was Princess Alexia of Greece, she lives in Lanzarote most of the time. Thankfully the speeches came to an end and I was let loose to explore the houses, built over 14 years as the result of a world wide competition. So what is bioclimatic? basically it means the houses are designed to make the most of the elements, solar panels, wind turbines, recylcled building materials and desalinated sea water. They are totally self sufficient and produce no CO2 emmisions.

It was a bit of a scramble with hundreds of people touring the houses, most of them battling for good photos, I just dived in and trod on lots of toes. The designs were very ingenious, many of them sunk partly into the ground to maximise insulation and heat. The interiors were pretty stylish with good use of space and natural lighting. The furniture ranged from basic as in the recycled cardboard tables and chairs in Noche Y Dia, to the more elegant and spacious like El Bernegal (both below).

The whole inauguration was handled like a well drilled military operation (but without guns) and the press packs and hand outs must have wiped out the odd forest or two. The houses are spread over a large site with a winding pathway linking them and the weather was scorching, I heeded the pre launch advice not to wear high heels but some of the ladies were struggling in tight designer dresses and crippling stilletos, sometimes I’m glad that I’m a fashion slob. Help was at hand though, golf buggies and electric scooters were freely available to whisk the hot and sweaty around the route as required. I battled it out on foot and later recycled my sweat by bottling it and sending it to the people that make Pot Noodle.

There was a whole flock of smartly suited and very helpful young ladies steering the lost and bewildered from house to house and people were heading back to the visitors centre at their own pace as many others continued to swarm over the dwelllings. I rushed back and did a quick interview with an American architect, Madelaine Fava, and realised I hadn’t seen or photgraphed her creation, El Alisio. thankfully the golf buggies enabled me to quickly put that right even though her building wasn’t open and furnished yet.

All this rushing around meant I didn’t have time to sample the posh nosh and wine being handed around, mind you I’m more of a chocolate doughnut and bottle of Dorada sort of chap. Loaded up with goodie packs we headed back to Los Cristianos leaving most of the others to enjoy an afternoon environmental film show. The bioclimatic village was very impressive and will now provide loads of data as scientists and enthusiasts live in them as they are monitored closely. If you want to read more detailed and technical accounts of the site, you can find more of my reports at or and the official ITER site has all the background and specifications in several languages. Tours of the bioclimatic village run from Tuesday 23 March for a week, at other times you can go and see the rest of the fascinating ITER developments including those giant wind turbines at close quarters, all FREE. Call 922391000 and ask for Elsa.

Caught in Tenerife’s Sporting Web

Shaking off my CD Tenerife hangover, the last few days have been a pleasant whirl of activity. Yesterday morning walking down Cardiac Hill to Los Cristianos, I ran into the GB Indoor Volleyball squad, over for a weeks training camp. Accosting the coach, I arranged to pop down in the evening to the local sports hall to do a piece on them. They were over a year ago, they get little funding and have to train hard, if you want to see what secrets the coach served up, check out .

These things always come in little groups and today I was off to La Laguna to interview New York born basketball player Randall Hanke, a recent signing for Socas Canarias in the Second Division of the Spanish League. The day started with a scrum down for the 111 Titsa bus from Los Cristianos to Santa Cruz, why do people tut tut and moan when waiting for a bus and then when it arrives suddenly discover they haven’t got change, a bus ticket, a brain, or all three. Anyway, even though this was not the direct 110, even the detour to Reina Sofia airport barely dented the hours journey, not bad for 4.70 on my bono ticket.

Arriving in a hot, sunny capital, I changed to the tram, free as my bono was still warm, and glided the 30 minutes up to La Laguna. There are not often ticket inspectors around but a few got on today and yanked one dodgy customer off at a halfway station for an interrogation, it could end in a 400 euro fine, so beware.  A sweet young lady sat opposite me rummaged through her wallet to find her ticket and in the process revealed a CD Tenerife season ticket – sadly she got off before I could propose marriage.

I was a bit behind schedule but a frantic scamper across La Laguna and I pitched up at the Juan Rios Tejera sports hall a very acceptable 10 minutes late. Marcos the press officer was waiting with the towering 6 foot 11 Randall, who rescued his number 12 vest from the laundry and we went through, Randall stooping slightly, onto the court so I could snap some pics. Randall has dual nationality due to a English father and has played for Great Britain and moved recently from Glasgow Rocks. If you want to delve further into the sport, see the full article at .

With a notebook full of scribble that a doctor would struggle to read, I headed down into central La Laguna stopping for a snack. Most of the centre was pretty quiet, the nearby University pupils would be studying and many more were wisely shading from the heat. I managed to load up with some brochures for the upcoming Easter week (semana santa) a big event on the calender that will see La Laguna re-enacting the Passion and a host of other big religious events. I was upset not to see the new super dooper pooper scooper around the streets. I read in the morning paper that the council had bought this state of the art moped with suction pipes attached to swallow up the walnut whips that our four legged friends leave behind, maybe next time.

Tramming back down to Santa Cruz, had to pay a euro this time, I grabbed some food and headed for El Tanque Cultural Space where they have a new exhibition called Scanner. If you scroll back a few posts you will see the gong show I saw there recently, this new work by Madrid born Daniel Canogar proved to be equally bizarre. The huge dark interior of the old oil tank was strewn with a spiders web of electriacl cables and two video projectors. The result was a pulsating light show which seemed like thoughts sparking inside a giant brain, too many to be mine. In the dark I heard a scraping sound and saw a shape looming. Not sure if it was part of the show my guts did a few somersaults before I realised it was a caretaker with a trolley of rubbish-phew.

Scanner is on until 9 May before moving to the New York Science Museum, it opens from noon to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 2pm Sunday and is FREE. It’s just 5 minutes walk from the bus station and El Corte Ingles and worth a detour for a good helping of weirdness. Leaving the cool eerie charged air behind I headed for my 110 direct Titsa bus back to the south.

Goals bring hope as CD Tenerife thump Espanyol 4-1

We hoped and prayed that CD Tenerife would win this vital game, but noone quite expected such a clear and convincing victory. Espanyol didn’t know what hit them and Tenerife could have scored twice as many goals. It was obvious from the start the CDT were fired up and Ayoze nearly opened the scoring barely ten minutes into the game, his rasping shot stung the hands of visiting keeper Kameni.

Chances came and went for the home side and it seemed the old problem of poor finishing might crop up again. Alfaro had a great chance but couldn’t beat the keeper, it was down to Richi to make the breakthrough after 20 minutes. The midfielder unmeashed his shot and it deflected off defender Hartado and deceived the goalie as it went in the net. Kameni was kept busy as Tenerife swept forward, Richi nearly doubled the score on the half hour but Espanyol could only manage one decent shot during the half.

We are always nervous with a slender lead so it was reassuring to make it 2-0 a few minutes after the break. Verdu made a loose pass and Nino nipped in and robbed the ball before beating the keeper. That was enough to crank the noise levels up even higher as the 18,680 crowd celebrated. Espanyol threatened briefly as Verdu pulled a goal back after 70 minutes, but thius was Tenerife’s day and they rammed home their advantage. Roman flicked the ball on to Alfaro and he slipped it in the net to restore the two goal lead. Nino was looking much sharper and pounced on another chance, beating the keeper in a one on one challenge he placed the ball and it trickled over the line to make it 4-1.

The Heliodoro was rocking, the Mexican wave swept around the terraces and the fans belted out Chicharrero with full force. The new red and white charity ball was cerainly to Tenerife’s liking. The T90 Ascente is part of the Nike and La Liga campaign Lace Up -Save Lives to raise money to fight malaria around the globe. It was a great day for the fans after the peñas had a midweek clear the air meeting with the club. The Armada Sur increased it’s international following with two seperate groups of Swedish fans, including this delightful trio of fitness instructors – Ding Dong. We even had three Oxford United fans, I of course am an Oxford City fan.

Next week it’s bottom placed Xerez away, a chance to break the away duck and get this season rolling towards safety. Vamos Tenerife.

Win a week in El Marques, Los Gigantes

Los Gigantes was my first home after moving to Tenerife some eight years ago, it’s a very beautiful and sedate part of the island, so I have particular pleasure in alerting you to the latest  competition. Thanks to our friends at WimPen Leisure Management we are offering the chance to win a weeks holiday at El Marques Resort, to go into the draw on 2nd April, you just have to be a Facebook fan of Tenerife Magazine.

Ooh hang on I’m getting flashbacks to the 4 years I spent living in Puerto Santiago, at the top of the road out of Los Gigantes, and just opposite El Marques. If I was still living there I would have invited the winner round for a cup of coffee, they might have to bring some coffee err and a cup, well I was never that domesticated. I still pop up the west coast on a regular basis to visit old friends and favourite bars, I worked in “the village” as the locals call Los Gigantes, for the first 3 years, The Western Sun office in Paseo Jacaranda is now a restaurant, see if you can find my old Mr Blobby pencil sharpener if you pop in there – I really miss it.

El Marques is up on the brow of the hill and gives you great views over the village and out to the towering cliffs that lend Los Gigantes its name. The marina is a bustling mix of commerce and leisure craft, the church plaza is a lovely place for a shady cafe stop as you people watch, and you are in easy reach of some great walks such as Masca. I shall end my stagger down memory lane there before I start digressing with detailed accounts of my old haunts.

Anyway, the prize is one week self catering in a one bedroom apartment, valid for a year, subject to availability, and there is no cash alternative. As I mentioned, the draw takes place on Friday 2 April so make sure you are a Tenerife Magazine Facebook fan, and keep popping in to the magazine site as we update regularly. Good luck.

New Doctor, New Tardis – but in Tenerife?

I thought I was being stalked, I saw it the first time at the main junction in central Los Cristianos, then the next time, there it was on the corner of Avenida Sueccia near the port road. Could it be the new Dr Who, come to wind back time to the start of the football season to save CD Tenerife? Or maybe it was some sort of phallic symbol for the Carnaval season?

It seems there are many of them scattered around Arona, no one else seemed to be bothered by them, but I’m a right botherer. I tried to find a door or at least a slot to insert some money, just in case it was a Superloo, but no joy.

At last though things are becoming clearer, the heading “Columna de Libre Expresion” would seem to confirm my more mundane thoughts. The “Columns of Free Expression” are there for people to stick bits of paper on. All those tatty fly postings about apartment rentals, get rich quick schemes and lost dogs can now be posted on these official columns saving the lamp posts and bus shelters as they were meant to look. Mind you I could be wrong, if they start making a grating sound and start to vanish, get well out of the way.