Archive for June, 2012
CD Tenerife Caught Short At The Last Hurdle

I could say we were robbed by a joke of a referee, he certainly played his part, but over the two legged final we just were not good enough. It’s another season in Segunda B for CD Tenerife after a cruel 1-2 home defeat to Ponferradina and with the long play off process there is a lot of work to do in a short time.

Even trailing 1-0 from the away leg hopes were high among the 18,714 crowd, the pre match tifo and show of support from the fans spread right around the stadium and was magnificent but the players never scaled the heights of the RM Castilla home demolition. In the stifling heat Tenerife struggled to get into any rythmn, Perona and Aridane didn’t put enough pressure on Orlando in the visiting goal and the ref was giving all the calls to Ponferradina. Kike Lopez was bundled over in the box in the 30th minute and the ref wasn’t interested, it was going to be an uphill struggle.

Ponferradina were fired up for the game, very physical and always ready to attack, Raul Llorente had a running batte with Sanchez, Pablo Sicilia had his work cut out with Yuri and Acoran and at half time 0-0 wasn’t what we needed to see. The second half was barely underway before the ref administered the killer blow, Kitoko was called for a foul on Acoran in the box, it looked well outside, and just for good measure the official showed a red to Kitoko. The Tenerife bench reacted with fury but that just illicited another flurry of bookings and Yuri converted the penalty.

There was worse to come 15 minutes later from a counter attack, Didac seized his chance and plunged the sword further into Tenerife’s hearts, at 2-0 there was no way back with 10 men. Zazo replaced Bravo but it had little effect, Kiko Raton arrived for Aridane who had reverted to his early season form, a well struck goal from Kiko in the last minutee was just a consolation. As Ponferradina celebrated in front of their fans the Tenerife faithful gave a rousing defiant chorus of support for the players and a pledge of continued backing as the battle for promotion starts all over again. As supporters swarmed onto the pitch some idiots, probably not regulars, threw stones at the visiting fans, that along with the plastic bottles thrown at the ref may well have financial repurcussions for the club.

There is hardly time for tears and recriminations, next season is only weeks away, there will be some new faces in the squad and a few old favourites gone but the true fans will return in large numbers and full of renewed hope.

Scorching And Searching Way Up West

Multi tasking isn’t all it’s made out to be, I set out for the west coast of Tenerife with three missions in mind, to rediscover the coastal walk from Playa San Juan to Los Gigantes, grab some photos of the glowing red Flamboyant trees, and to see how much passion for CD Tenerife was being displayed in the form of flags flying high. It turned into a bit of a mixed bag but a very enjoyable and scorching hot day.

Playa San Juan was my start point, i’ve done the walk many times before but not for a while and anyway there are always a few new variations like the building work going on in an old finca ready for the impending Fonsalia port. The little break in the walk is usually a decision to scrmble down and up a small bank or detour but the builders temporary rails suggested the detour was the easist option. Good call that as Fonsalia is a delightful mini village and the church had some of my target flame trees in its small but shady plaza. Coming back out onto the coastal walk I noticed several small tents all zipped up and one more ambitious shack complete with a rock garden. Technically it’s illegal but as this area is being churned up by diggers and the canvas crew aren’t blocking any ones progress I’d say good luck to them.

By the time I reached Alcala a cold drink was in order down at the plaza before pushing on past the quay where I used to swim in my lunch break when The Western Sun office was nearby. I saw a few escapees from the all inclusive Sol Melia hotel, braving the outside world, to be fair the area around the hotel has been improved greatly since the hotel arrived but on this trip work on a revamp of Playa La Jaquita meant another blockage and a detour through the banana plantations.

It turned out to be a fortunate change as I found the Villa Perenquen secreted among the banana groves and as the big notice said welcome I rung the bell. Juan and his two friendly dogs ushered me into the courtyard and gave me the full tour of the six apartments made from farm house conversions. I was impressed, very well laid out with a chill out area, BBQ zone and all mod cons like TV and Wi Fi, a perfect rural retreat with great terraces to enjoy the sunsets.

Back at the coast I sweated my way on to El Varadero as the sun glistened off the rolling waves, the soft thin clouds cleared and I was glad of my water bottle. Heading up to the main road I walked beyond Playa de la Arena and down behind El Patio (another old drinking haunt of mine) to the Playa Santiago where a large bonfire had already been stacked high ready for the Night of San Juan when dancing on the beach leads to jumping small fires. After seeing loads of Spanish flags flying from balconies I finally spotted the first CD Tenerife flag – come on it’s our big week as well as Euro 2012. Part way around the harbour wall I asked some nice female tourists to pose with my CDT flag – one of several forced photo opportunities. The Crab Island rock pool was busy, famous for late night skinny dipping I always had too much respect for the strong currents to risk that one.

Whilst in Los Gigantes I looked up a few old friends and caught up on the latest news before grabbing a few more frantic flag shots and catching the bus down south for a few late evening Dorads – lovely.



Mission Difficult But Not Impossible After CD Tenerife Defeat

One more push, one more hurdle, one more game, and CD Tenerife can be back in the Segunda Division. This first leg 1-0 defeat at Ponferradina has left the promotion final finely poised but with a near 23,000 full house in Santa Cruz at noon on Sunday 24 June there can be celebration in the air once more.

Only a harsh hand ball against Pablo Sicilia late in the first half separated the sides when the home top scorer Yuri converted the penalty but they both had enough chances to seize control. After his ridiculous bribery allegations against Tenerife, Orlando was glad to show a safe pair of hands from Zazo’s shot set up by Perona. Mayor risked spoiling his rockabilly quiff by heading wide after five minutes but Tenerife had the best of the first half. Kike Lopez and Chechu (above) were causing plenty of problems down the flanks and a perfectly weighted deep cross from Perona was just beyond Kike with the goal at his mercy.

Chechu put in a cracker of a free kick, Tarantino headed the ball down, sadly noone was there to finish the move. Ponferradina managed an attempt from Isaias that brought a diving save from Sergio, short respite as Chechu flicked a free kick in for Aridane who headed wide. Back at the other end Mayor beat Sergio Rodriguez and was heading for goal, it took a classy intervention from Pablo Sicilia to shield the ball into Sergio Aragoneses arms. With half time looming a waist high ball into the Tenerife penalty area caught Pablo’s hand as he tried to move it out of the way, there was no intent but it changed the flight of the ball and the ref awarded the penalty that Yuri put just out of Sergio’s reach.

The clouds opened for the second half and amid torrential rain Perona lost his footing after Chechu served up a clear chance. Acoran forced a magnificent save from Sergio and just after Loro replaced Kike, Chechu shot wide and Aridane found a Sergio Rodriguez cross a shade too high to reach in front of goal. Mayor was the target man with Yuri feeding off him, Sergio was equal to both of them taking cleanly from Mayor and sliding out to take the ball from Yuri’s feet. Chechu was caught out of his comfort zone trying to defend and had to be rescued by Rodriguez (above) following a poor clearance, Acoran spurned two clear chances putting them both wide as the home team pressed for a bigger cushion to bring to Santa Cruz.

As the puddles grew on the poor quality pitch and the 1,300 blanquiazul fans got soaked Rodriguez showed his worth with a firm tackle to diffuse another home attack. An away goal would have made such a difference for Tenerife but as the final whistle blew the home fans must have wished for more than a slender one goal lead. The Heliodoro furnace awaits, there’s plenty of drama left in this campaign.

Candelaria Blessed With Beaches, Boats, And Beauty

Find a bit of beach and a stretch of water to swim in, that seemed to be most peoples over riding thought as I headed into Candelaria from Las Caletillas. The sea was a bit lively but calmer than the four metre high waves of two day before and it was another scorcher that even the breeze couldn’t totally disguise. Heading down the slip road off the TF 1 motorway brings you straight into the heart of the old town and the main plaza but approaching along the coastal road and weaving in and out of the small port and taking the old steps down to sea level gave me a nice feel for the history of this popular area.

Looking across from little quayside the waves were rolling in lustily just in front of the ornate basilca church and the closer I got the more imposing the tower looked. The tight street leading into the plaza was packed with souvenir shops – some of them rather tacky, it seems you can buy the black madonna as everything from a doll to a bottle opener. The row of Guanche kings with their backs to the sea is always impressive but they stand firm oblivious to the thousands of people posing away in their shadow. The small beach behind them was almost totally eaten away by the tide but there were still a few people sun bathing, later in the day it was closed off as the tide increased in power.

Heading back in the shade of a side street it became obvious that big efforts had been made to make sure that Candelaria doesn’t just dwell in the past, a large new cultural centre led onto the main Avenida de Los Menceyes where a large modern sports centre sits opposite the Punta Larga commercial centre. After a quick inspection of the sculptures of the Guanches, a modern twist on the plaza theme, I took a long cool drink in the Punta Larga. I sat outside the Forum Cafe under their large awning and was surprised to find it had three sets of piping inlaid in the roof that sspurted out clouds of perfumed mist every 20 seconds. I know I was a bit sweaty at this stage but ater 20 minutes snacking I left smelling like an air stewardess.

The plan was to catch the Titsa bus down to El Medano for some more fun but after a fruitless wait at the bus stop it became clear that the bus wasn’t coming – cancelled, an old timetable, or maybe it only goes down the motorway and stops at the Candelaria turn off – despite what the timetable says. Never mind, a scramble up the bank and I was overlooking the TF1 motorway and could see the bridge I needed to cross and catch a bus southward. Closer inspection showed this was a discarded bridge, the central part still standing and isolated with no walkway leading on or off. A few dead end paths and back street detours later I found the new connected bridge and got over the flowing traffic

Oh well just another adventure and at least I got to see one of the amazing artily decorated bus stops up close – that’s another story to chase but by now my thoughts were on a cold Dorada back in Los Cristianos.





Bright And Breezy In Las Caletillas

Often overlooked in favour of its more historically famous neighbour, Las Caletillas was the first stop on my long overdue return to Candelaria. I couldn’t have asked for a better day, clear blue skies, 31 degrees on the digital readouts, and a strong refreshing breeze blowing in off the sea. It’s probably close to four years since my last call, I was impresssed then as work had started to install two small sandy beach areas along the rocky coastline, that impression was boosted by what I saw this time.

The whole stretch has bright modern feel with new apartments and a nice variety of bars and restaurants on the seafront road. The promenade encourages strolling, the concrete path and wooden slatted lane conjure up thoughts of El Medano, some council workers were busy swabbing the decking and polishing the metal barriers that guard the short drop to the beach. Protective breakwaters curl out into the sea and embrace the new beaches, showers and more decking make sure swimmers and sun worshippers are spoilt for choice.

The beaches are either side of a small headland giving them different views and contrasting conditions. The near side was much calmer but the far side had a red flag to warn of rampant waves crashing in – although that didn’t seem to deter the sun bathers. Looking up the east coast the TF 1 motorway rises on its way to Santa Cruz and below the thermal power plant is a stark reminder of how close the capital city is.

Las Caletillas wasn’t very busy but where is at the moment, at weekends it must be quite a magnet for the big city dwellers to come down and relax by the sea. It’s gotta be a popular place to live for anyone needing to work in Santa Cruz, just a 20 minute drive, judging by the tidal wave of school kids sweeping down the banks from the motorway later on, there are a lot of young families settled here. From my selfish perspective I just like the layout and the combination of great unspoilt views down the coast along with the new bathing spots.

Red Card Frenzy As CD Tenerife March On To Blue Heaven

Goals galore, a flurry of red cards, missed chances, and a determined attitude from CD Tenerife made this a thriller of a match as our heroes beat RB Linense 3-2 at home to go with the 1-0 away win last week. Four red cards, it must have been a blood bath? No but there was a clot for a referee. This was never a dirty game but the ref was weak with his calls early in the game and tried to make up for it by acting tough with anyone who challenged his laughable authority.

It was the 25 th anniversary game for the Frente Blanquiazul peña and their amazing banners draped over the Grada Popular end had an inspiring effect on CD Tenerife. In the first minute Perona broke on the right and skimmed a measured cross over the grass to Kike Lopez who placed it perfectly in the visitors net. Just what we needed to settle the nerves, Chechu could have doubled the advantage but shot into the arms of Pagola in the Linense net. At the over end Sergio Aragoneses punched clear from a free kick and Victor Bravo came back to force a low save from Pagola.

Linense players were falling theatrically at every turn and from one of the many generous free kicks Chico ran onto the ball as Tarantino and Sergio Rodriguez got in a muddle leaving Sergio Aragoneses unsighted as Linense drew level. Tenerife pushed forward, Pablo headed wide and Perona blasted over the bar but there wasn’t enough pressure on the frail keeper who had looked so poor the week before. With 5 minutes to the break the keeper showed his weakness flapping and missing the ball which broke to Bravo to unleash a well placed shot past the helpless stopper. Tenerife let their guard down and Linense replied within a minute as Copi headed the ball down and into the goal. Half time arrived with that dreaded second away goal raising concern among the home fans – another goal and Linense would be on course for victory.

Linense were relying on their big forwards to chase the game as CD Tenerife struggled to regain their composure at the start of the second half. Disaster struck after 58 minutes when Victor Bravo got a second yellow card for arguing and was off%

Little Boy Blue And A Carnaval Of Colour

A little weirdness always makes my day so I was very happy sat in a cave made from glowing blue plastic water bottles. It was an unexpected bonus from my trip to La Laguna and Santa Cruz, I love strange art and the Instituto de Canarias Cabrera Pinto (below) in Calle San Agustin is always worth a detour when in La Laguna.

The current exhibition in the Sala de Exposiciones is called MBIDOM by Nestor Torrens, entering the main hall I was greeted by a blue glow, all the walls and ceiling were covered in the tinted blue water bottles with red lights in the caps to add a contrast. The young lady guide was sat in a small alcove also made out of the bottles and looked like a rather attrctive Smurf as the glow enveloped her. Wandering around I found sofas and a large table in a small side room, all made from the same water filled containers. Suitably impressed I headed towards the exit of the main building but saw an arrow pointing to a Cosy Room upstairs and of course my curiosity led me up the stone stairwell.

A small entrance led into a tight twisitng low corridor of the blue botles and opened up into a circular chamber with a cushioned seating area in the middle. I lay across the seating and imagined what a bizarre bedroom this would make – only problem would be the water in the bottles would make me want the toilet every 10 minutes. Some other visitors squeezed into the chamber and we exchanged puzzled glances before I eased my way back out. The guard outsidewhere the quadrangle looks down onto a typical Canarian courtyard gave me a brief nod of acknowledgement as I headed out into normal sunlight without the blue haze. The exhibition is on until 4 July, Tuesday to Friday 11 to 2 and 5 to 8 with just 11 to 2 on Saturday and Sunday and it’s free.

Back down to Santa Cruz and a sneak preview of the new Carnaval Museum, it’s in the commercial centre Parque Bulevar and spread out through the three floors with costume clad dummies hanging from ceilings and lurking at the top of escalators. There are also glass cases with smaller exhibits and plenty of reproductions of old Santa Cruz Carnaval posters. The official inauguration is next Wednesday at 7pm but the exhibits are in place and extra lighting is just being tweaked to bring out the magic from the costumes. There are 79 business units in the building but on several visits I have yet to see it anywhere near busy – shame as it is set out well and they make an effort with outside entertainment for the children.

The exhibits have got to help make the centre more attractive, there’s a really creepy Ronald McDonald figure sat on a bench downstairs – quite realistic, his fries seem to follow you around the room. Anyway if you happen to be in Santa Cruz have a wander around, Parque Bulevar is just behind the Caja Canarias HQ on the ferry port side of town.


Sergio Is A Rock As CD Tenerife Roll Over Linense

Even penned in the players tunnel and trying to peer through a police guard Quique Medina must have enjoyed watching his CD Tenerife players cruise to a 1-0 away win at Linense. The coach was sent off from the bench after 69 minutes for arguing with the ref over a blatant penalty that could have made this a 2-0 walk over. Long before that Kike Lopez had grabbed a 40 minute lead with a little help from dozey home keeper Pagola.

Linense were a poor team with few ideas other than hooffing the ball at the Tenrife goal from long range. Coach Medina again showed his tactical sense by playing Bravo in a more defensive midfield role and giving Kike licence to cut inside more to take pressure off Aridane who was doubtful with an injury a few days before the match. Kike was like a ferret down the Linense trousers and gave them lots of early problems, their goalie looked slow and hesitant and was thankful to see Perona pulled back for an early offside and Aridane blocked on the left touchline as he threatened to repeat his previous weeks heroics in opening an opposition defence.

The Rock Of Gibraltar loomed large over the packed ground but it was Tenerife that were in charge, Aridane forced the keeper to save from a corner and Chechu and Sicilia both juggled the ball but couldn’t quite get a clean shot in front of goal. Aridane set Kike free but he could only screw the ball back across the face of the goal, Perona should have punished a defensive slip that left him one on one with the keeper but his half shot was saved. The goal had to come, after 40 minutes Kike poked the ball past Olmo and despite his bulky body check he shrugged past him and took it wide before squeezing his shot back, the bewildered keeper stuck out a foot and redirected the ball inside the top netting.

The second half opened with a long range Bravo chip over the bar, Copi made a rare visit to the CDT goal area but was well offside, and Ocana went for power rather than accuracy to blast wide. The penalty that wasn’t given came when Aridane rode a challenge outside the box but was then tripped inside, the ref didn’t want to know but Medina had plenty to say about it and ended up directing operations via his mobile and assistant Roberto Perera on the bench. Bello got sent off with a harsh straight red for a foul on Sergio Rodriguez but it seemd to lift the crowd and the ten men for a while. Sergio Aragoneses had a little flutter losing the ball but Kitoko cleaned up after him. Sergio showed his brilliant best in injury time, first a two handed save from a downward point blank header and then a full length finger tip save at the top corner.

So we go into next Sundays home leg (noon kick off) with a great lead, hopefullythe players will beware of over confidence, Linense can’t have got in the play offs by playing this bad every week.