Archive for March, 2019
Welcome To The Jungle At Arona Carnaval

Like a modern day Tarzan, I´m going to swing in and defend the honour of the Cabalgata, the opening parade of the annual Arona Carnaval. Many visitors to the south of Tenerife ask when is the Los Cristianos Carnaval? meaning the Sunday Coso closing parade from the foot of Guaza Mountain to the city centre. Arona municipality covers part of Playa de Las Americas as well as Los Cristianos, so they like to spread the love by having the opening parade from Veronicas to the Oasis Commercial Centre just before Las Vistas beach. With this years jungle theme vaguely in mind, 2019 brought another wonderful evening of colour, music, and laughter.

Coaches spilled their cargo of eager, young revellers with mountains of latex suits, feathers, and make up, and as the sun set, the frantic army squeezed into their weird and wonderful costumes. The main difference to the closing parade is the Queen, plus senior and junior versions have not yet been elected, so the public get a clear view of the candidates in open top cars, long before they are encased in their extravagant royal costumes. There is also more of an end of term feel to the Coso with many strange regular characters from history and cartoons. But the Cabalgata certainly isn’t shy, they were chomping at the bit to strut their stuff, and everyone was decked out from head to toe.

The cool of the evening is a marked contrast to the heat of the Sunday afternoon closing event, just right for those clad in heavy outfits. Big respect to the leaders of the groups, make up needed applying, emergency repairs cropped up, and fitting their charges into their allocated staring slots required planning, precision, and the odd ciggie or beer. The gathering area is right next to a strip of bars, everyone wanted a photo with the glittering stars, and their requests were met with smiles and a snazzy pose. When the drum beats started to sound, the tempo picked up and the seemingly rag tag bands of marchers formed a seamless sea of joy.

The turn out this year along the route was as busy as ever. Hotel lobbies emptied onto the street, meals were put on hold as photos were snapped, and every vantage point was used to the full. The journey took a good 90 minutes, everyone wanted to see the mobile show, it was like lighting the blue touch paper on this years Carnaval. Hold on tight, it´s a jungle out there!

CD Marino Rock Back For Point As Santa Brigida Roll

Frustration was the name of the game for CD Marino as visitors UD Villa Santa Brigida took a 15th minute lead and then threw bodies behind the ball, and to the ground to try to hang on.The Gran Canaria team´s goal was under siege for most of the game but there was some justice when top scorer Ahmed ensured a 1-1 draw with a late penalty goal.
Santa Brigida were positive in the opening exchanges, they forced a corner that Marino´s Juanmi cleared up with a header back to goalie David. Jeremy floated in a free kick that Padilla put over the bar as the blues struggled to stake their home claim. The opening goal was a smooth move, Santi drifted across the box, laid the ball off to Ojeda, and he tucked it past David. That shook Marino into action, Guti picked out Gaizka with a well weighted chip but Brigida cleared the danger. Niki was making good ground from right back but his cross was headed high by Juanmi. Marino´s play was a little predictable down the right where big defenders Leandro and Juanyi made life tough for them. Once Bamba pushed up from midfield on the other flank, Brigida were stretched more and Marino tore into them.

There was little conviction in a free kick on the edge of Marino´s box and it was easily cleared. The blues penned Brigida back for the last 20 minutes of the first half. Bamba forced a save out of Ione, and Guti was almost glued to the corner flag as he sent in three corners in quick succession. Bamba blasted wide with the last shot of the half and it seemed that home goals would follow after the break. Marino came back out charged up, Gaizka ran the ball at the goalie, he stood firm to seize it. Samuel chested a falling ball under control before feeding Jony who was robbed by an alert defender. When Brigida broke to the other end, David make a fine sliding intervention to protect his goal, and a free kick faltered against a sturdy home wall.

Brigida players were starting to go down with annoying regularity but Marino kept their sights on levelling the game. Gaizkar tested the goalie again and two subs, Ahmed and Mylan added new threats to the forward line. Niki delivered another classy cross which Saavedra glanced wide with his head. When Niki found Gaizka again, his shot had a bit too much height on it. While chasing the game, Marino had to be careful not to leave themselves open, David made a great stop from a Brigida breakaway. Mylan caused plenty of problems on Marino´s left as the game became disjointed with the amount of Brigida players writhing on the ground reaching a ridiculous level.

Ahmed teased the visitors down the right, he had an eye for goal and his curled shot went just the wrong side of the post. Marino followed up with another incisive move, Brayan found Gaizka just inside the box and Angelo held him down to give away a clear penalty. Ahmed stepped up and stroked in his 13th goal of the season past the full stretch keeper. As the final four minutes ticked down, Mylan rounded the goalie to rob him of the ball but as he pulled away into a clearer shooting position, Trujillo won the ball back and his own breakaway was only stopped by Mylan´s pull. Marino had to settle for the draw and slipped to 9th in their Tercera Division group.

CD Tenerife Are As Flat As A Carnaval Hangover

It was a 1-1 home draw with Numancia on the scoreboard, but for most of the 9,412 crowd it felt like a defeat, and a grim warning that CD Tenerife could still get pulled into the relegation mire. It was the Carnaval game but the mood was strangely subdued. The residents of Santa Cruz could be excused for feeling a little delicate after the previous days record breaking 400,000 revellers partied into the wee hours, but what was the players excuse for a pitiful performance.

Jorge Saenz was suspended from his centre back role, January signing Mauro Dos Santos was expected to make his much delayed debut, but coach Oltra opted for Carlos Ruiz instead. The veteran defender is always a reliable option but not even using Dos Santos as a late sub added to growing doubts over Oltra´s judgement. Numancia showed the greater hunger and determination for the game, a smooth build up from David Rodriguez saw an early shot covered comfortably by home keeper Dani Hernandez.

Numancia were looking to expose Tenerife, Luis Perez had to make a smart intervention to derail another raid from the visitors. Oyarzum sensed the lack of adventure in the home team and tried a long, looping shot that just cleared the bar. Tenerife were struggling to make any impact, Racic was playing deep again, a total waste of his talent, captain Suso was trying to lead from the right wing but when he opened up the Numancia rearguard he found his team mates were slow to support in front of goal. It took a moment of brilliance from Luis Milla to put Tenerife ahead. The midfielder launched a wonderfully flighted 23rd minute corner that curled and caught the opponents goalie completely stranded,

That should have been the spur for Tenerife to push on and bury the game. Coniglio, still looking to break his duck, managed to get up for a header but it lacked power and direction. Ganea was doing well down the Numancia left wing and dropped a teasing cross into the heart of the Tenerife box, Ruiz used his experience to intercept the ball with a well timed header. Dani Hernandez has been below par recently, he showed he is still a class keeper and put on a master class that included a reflex parry just before the half time whistle. Home form this season has seen Tenerife save their best for the second half, that trend was reversed as they emerged for the second half with no purpose or drive.

Even allowing for the usual sprinkler soaking of the pitch at half time, the home players had trouble keeping their footing. How can a striker as big as Malbasic become invisible? He wasn´t the only one, Borja Lasso was missing in action, Alberto continued to look uncomfortable in the centre of defence and had to be bailed out by Ruiz. It was up to Tenerife to push for a second goal to kill the game but they looked content to sit back, Racic tried to head a loose ball away, it fell to a Numancia forward and only a sprightly dive from Dani saved his team mates blushes. The resurgent keeper was the hero again with two saves from a corner, Numancia were well on top.

Subs are also a bone of contention for Tenerife fans, predictably the first swap came after 64 minutes, midfielder Isma Lopez on for consistently poor striker Coniglio. With 20 minutes left, Nano came on for Lasso, the striker doesn´t even look interested these days and his fitness level leaves a lot to be desired. The final swap was the most negative of all, the dour, defensive Undabarrena for Suso. Within a minute the equaliser arrived, as Higinio scored with a free header as a cluster of defenders looked on. It was now all about holding on for the last six minutes, Dani blocked a Ganea shot at his near post and made an injury time stop from a last gasp Numancia onslaught. The point keeps Tenerife in 16th place but the performance was more circus than Carnaval.

Thin Blue Line Makes A Good Point For CD Marino

Unfamiliar faces in unusual roles was not the perfect recipe for CD Marino to take on visitors UD San Fernando from Maspalomas in Gran Canaria. Ravaged by injuries, the blues came from behind for a well earned 1-1 draw, thanks to hard work and a battling attitude.

Striker Gaizka and midfielder Juanmi adapted well to filling the heart of the home defence, and Prince dipped back to help them, his early block of Fede set the tone for the resolute rear guard. Ahmed assumed extra responsibility up front, he rounded the yellows defence with ease before firing a speculative cross too high. Javi Gonzalez benefitted from a long ball in, he leapt well to head the ball but it went straight to goalie Choolani. There was a let off at the other end when Brandon only half stopped a San Fernando shot, the ball squirmed loose but trickled harmlessly out of danger as forwards rushed to reach it.

Much of San Fernando´s play was made down their left with Medina, when he cut inside he looked certain to try his luck but Gaizka shielded the ball well. The yellows tried to exploit the hastily refashioned home line up, Echedey wasted a free kick by curling the ball over the bar, and Niki came to the rescue to halt another Medina raid. Marino were giving away too many fouls and it cost them after 20 minutes when Navas powered a free kick to the left of a static Brandon to take the lead. Marino had to weather a prolonged spell of pressure that saw Bryan and Ramirez spurn good chances. The blues regained their composure and started to trouble their guests again, Bamba showed good vision when he tried to lob Choolani from distance, the keeper was relieved to pluck the ball under control.

San Fernando dug themselves a big hole when Ramirez brought down Mylan as he raced clear towards the goal. The ref didn´t hesitate to wave the red card to reduce them to 10 men. It was a handy bit of encouragement for Marino, and just before half time they seized an equaliser. A free kick into the yellows defence caught the goalie off guard, he prodded the ball a few feet in front of him and then got tangled up with his captain, Israel. As they fumbled around, Javi Gonzalez was quick witted and tapped the ball in the net. Marino should have turned the screw at the start of the second half but San Fernando made a spirited reply. Brandon had to be alert and decisive to thwart a Bryan shot, and then claimed the ball off the head of sub Quintero. The Gran Canarian side were getting some mileage out of pushing up their full backs but Marino put the squeeze on them to dry up that supply.

Numbers were evened out after 78 minutes when Navas got into an attacking position but was brought down by Gaizka just outside the penalty area. The ref brandished another red card but Fede could only muster a weak free kick that Marino easily cleared. Samuel added his speedy runs from left back to the home attack, he set up Ahmed for a shot that cleared the bar. Ideally Marino would have made a couple of earlier substitutions but the current shortage of experienced players on the bench limited their options. Mussa came on for Javi with barely 10 minutes left and Marino had a couple of half chances. There was always a danger that San Fernando might grab a winner, Quintero forced a corner and the ball in had to be cleared off the home goal line by a Juanmi header. A draw was a fair outcome and Marino learned a lot about how versatile their players are, but they will be glad to have a full squad available again.

Las Galletas Ready To Reel In More Visitors

Glowing with pride rather than jumping for joy. That would be the under stated reaction from Tenerife fishing village Las Galletas if Arona council plans for a new beach and promenade take shape. Although just a 25 minute hop from Los Cristianos, change has been gradual and respectful of tradition.


The shingle and dark sand crescent beach was almost deserted for my dull day visit, but I have enjoyed many swims in the gently shelving, calm of the sea framed by small boats. There is plenty of rough ground just across the main road to allow for a widened promenade with imported sand to make the beach more comfortable. At the moment showering is a free show for the cars and buses passing through, and a kiosk bar, plus a toilet and changing block are the only amenities. A few years ago large stones were cleared off the sand but soon back individually by bathers to anchor their towels.

The biggest change of recent years has been the building of the attractive Marina del Sur, that embraces the sea in front of the beach and has added pontoons for pleasure boats, restaurants for strollers, and a high wall for views out to the ocean. Fishermen still sell their morning catch from old wooden stalls just along from a rusty iron canon. A new modern sales room was spurned by fishermen who prefer to be on the front line where it is much truer to the character of the area. Modern trends in sea based sports and excursions are well catered for along the Marina, old King Neptune looks down on the ancient and modern mix approvingly.


The Paseo Litoral is the popular walk between a stretch of restaurants and the banked stones that slope into the sea, the waves are much livelier this side and attract surfers rather that swimmers.The crunch of the shingle as it is dragged in and out is a pleasant backing track to the popular sun trap walk. Behind the restaurants is La Rambla, a shady mix of gardens and sculptures, look out for a series of large artistic shells designed by Maria Isabel Reyes Gonzalez. Modern intruders come in the shape of aeroplanes heading for Reina Sofia airport, they are low enough to get to know the crew, but soon become just a curiosity rather than an intrusion. The old part of town is made up of tight back streets and a pedestrianised central shopping area, many of the shops there close for an afternoon siesta but you can always find a coffee or snack stop. Frequent fiestas and promotions turn the centre into a cultural mix for all ages.

Arona is rightly proud of its older, more traditional areas, and that is reflected in the mural just before taking the short passage back out to the sea front. It may take a few years for a new beach and promenade to arrive, Las Galletas is used to moving at a sedate pace and is always a welcome place to relax and take it easy.