Archive for April, 2019
Pull Up A Bench And A Smile In Los Cristianos

It´s not a sin to smile, and it can be quite infectious. So give a cheer for the Urban Art project from Arona Ayuntamiento (council) that has sponsored 59 reasons to be cheerful in Los Cristianos. You may have spotted the team of artists busy colouring up the benches on the old beach promenade and in Avenida de Suecia at the upper level of the old town. Now the works are complete, and completely lovely.

Artists from across the south have turned their ideas into mutli coloured murals depicting aspects of Canarian life, environmental pride, and downright cute illustrations to put a spring in your daily step. One of the biggest contributors is the Pintores del Llano based in San Miguel, but the works have attracted artists of many ages and several nationalities.

As someone who nearly reduced his school art teacher to a quivering wreck, and would still struggle to draw a conclusion, I have great admiration for those who are talented with the pencil and the brush. Watching the works evolve over the last few weeks has been fascinating and they have attracted a lot of admiring glances from passers by.

Los Cristianos is something of a trail blazing canvas for street art. The harbour wall, the tunnel archway between the two beaches, and the steps behind the church, have all benefited from artistic intervention to turn the daily drab into a brush with brilliance. Of course they are still popular places to sit and watch the world go by, and what wonderfully romantic reference points for a blind date.

Clock Ticking On CD Tenerife Relegation Threat

Are they a good team having a few bad days or a bad team that´s had a few good days? The pendulum swung in favour of the latter for CD Tenerife after a shambolic 1-3 home loss to Almeria. The previous weeks first away win for over a year should have been all the encouragement they needed to keep the improvement going. Upcoming home derby and relegation rivals La s Palmas had lost and other results aided the cause. Even the sun was shining in Santa Cruz when the tourist south moaned about Easter clouds. The scene couldn´t have been set any better.


At least it took five minutes this week to leak the first goal. Rioja cut in from the left after beating Luis Perez, slipped a cross in front of goal and Gimenez managed to hook the ball into the net. That wasn´t in the script and any confidence the home side brought into the game evaporated. Coach Oltra´s negativity didn´t help, Racic was brought back after a suspension but he and the other creative midielder, Luis Milla, were played deep and at times were getting in each others way. Racic has only shown flashes of his January loan debut form, it has been widely reported that several big teams including an English Premier League outfit, are set to offer parent club Valencia big money to buy him in the summer. The lack of creative ideas starved the home forwards, and neither Nano or Malbasic looked inclined to fight to win the ball.

Almeria´s goalie hardly broke sweat to come out and take the ball off hesitant Nano when a half chance did arise. Juan Carlos Real was released by Tenerife at the end of last season and returned in new colours to torment his old team mates, he let them off the hook by putting a shot wide. At the other end Luis Milla had a penalty shout when fouled in the box, the ref wasn´t keen though. It was distressing to watch as Almeria threatened more punishment, Owona should have ended a good move with better than a shot over the bar. Dos Santos looked shaky at the back for Tenerife, he´s all arms and legs, a booking waiting to happen, the ref was glad to oblige. Racic managed a set up for Borja just before the break, he blasted it and the visiting goalie pushed it away.

Nano looks a spent force in his second spell with his home island club, he has neither power, speed, or drive, he got sight of the Almeria just into the second half and was easily dispossessed by Owona. Centre back Jorge Saenz felt a little muscle pull and was taken off in favor of Alberto, another player whose fire has gone out. It was all in vain as Almeria increased their lead. Dani parried a shot from Saveljich but the player shaped up to net the rebound, Dani pulled him back by his foot and a penalty was awarded. Gimenez despatched it and a collective groan shook the 10,385 crowd. A couple of minutes later Rioja had an easy finish as the home defence backed off, Albert even slipped up as he tried to block the shot. So an hour gone and 0-3 down some fans started to filter out of the stadium.

Naranjo had taken over from Borja and slipped into his comfy groove on the left, and another striker, Coniglio, tried to pep up the attack as Racic left the pitch to a mixed reception. Captain Suso was having a quiet game by his busy standards but his pride drove him to push his mature legs a bit more. A neat cross from the right by the skipper found Naranjo for a tap in to reduce the deficit with 10 minutes left. That goal raised Naranjo up to top scorer on five goals for the season, that tells its own story. There was not to be any miracle recovery, just the final whistle and the realisation that relegation is a bigger threat than ever. Tenerife are 15th just three places above the trap door, with seven games to go, and Alberto and Suso will miss the vital next game at Extremadura after bookings earned them a game suspension.

Easter Story Blooms In The Streets Of Guia De Isora

From despair comes hope, and from death comes life. Easter is the time to celebrate these momentous swings, and what better way than through a combination of nature and art. Guia de Isora, above the west coast of Tenerife has established a four day exhibition of floral sculptures that wind around the narrow streets of this quiet Tenerife town. Pascua Florida attracted 21 designs for the 2019 edition and although the sun was shy, the quality of expression and design was bold and emotionally stunning.

One of the first exhibits to strike me was Transformation, designed by Carmen Barreña Moreno from the Spanish Association of Florists. Ropes, nails and thorns combined to show the transformation of the body to the spirit of Christ. Temptations Between Good And Evil from local artist Carlos Curbelo displayed the serpent from the Garden Of Eden on a bed of apples. Christ The Redeemer held a central position in the church square, invited artist Fernando Mena kept a classically simple image and its closeness to the church building added to the impact.

Breaking The Bread holds a special place in bible teachings and Carlos Curbelo revisited a previous theme to show the stark white ingredients in their basic form. This was in one of the back streets, La Vera, which featured some extra designs outside of the exhibition. The local council added their own inventive use of water piping coiled around flowers that are sustained by the water. In the background some classical choral music added to the affect. For a big splash of colour to underline the theme, Patricia Leon made Flowers Are Colours, providing a link to the Tenerife tradition of flower carpets.

The good people of Guia de Isora embrace the annual display, just as well as it makes use of many small spaces such as alleys and doorways. This was the case with Tears Of Christ, cascading around the entrance to a house. Juan Chamorro from Oviedo made the journey from the mainland to submit his design. Dismember, with its vibrant reds touched on sadness and violence, another fine work by Carlos Curbelo. The weekend had seen several re-enactments of The Passion around Tenerife, most notably the huge Adeje street theatre, True Image by Carlos Curbelo referred to a lady who wiped the blood from Christs face as he carried the cross, the image was preserved on her cloth.

Expiration captured the moment of crucifixion with hands outstretched to the heavens. This was also at a point near to the church plaza, and also came from Carlos Curbelo. The route around the town snaked through tight streets and walkways with many of the works only becoming visible at the last minute. 30 Coins was one piece that caught me off guard as I turned a corner. Montse Dominguez showed some of the 30 pieces of silver that Judas received for his betrayal.

Ascension was one of the bigger works near the far end of the route. It marked the rise to heaven of Christ, and was designed by Cristina de Leon Sabina, a florist from Alde. All points led back to the church plaza, where music and dance performances added to the four day event. This is just a selection of the full 21 piece line up, there was even an entry from a Hong Kong School of Floral Art designer this year. Each year Pascua Florida adds to its reputation and encourages more artistic contributors to get involved. A big thanks to all who worked so hard on this years crop.

Kicking The Habit For CD Tenerife Triple Triumph

The deeper the down, the higher the up. Those words would have sounded so hollow as CD Tenerife let in a first minute goal at Rayo Mahadahonda. Wind on 90 minutes and the stunning transformation was complete as Malbasic robbed the roving home goalie and cracked the ball into an open net for a 1-3 win, the first away victory in just over a year.
The pea in the refs whistle had barely stopped vibrating when Hector strolled past Tenerife full back Isma Lopez and launched the ball across the face of the away goal. It hit the far post and sat up invitingly for Carcelen to tap it into the net. The harmonicas were out and the away day blues were about to be played. Heads could have dropped but Tenerife reacted in the best fashion against a team just above them at the wrong end of the table. Suso set up Borja Lasso who was stopped by an offside call. Luis Milla sent a screaming shot over the join of bar and post. The team from the outskirts of Madrid were riding their luck but it was not going to last. A Milla corner got a touch on from Malbasic and Nano got a foot to the ball to poke it in the home goal for a 13th minute leveller.

Borja was buzzing, his rising shot wasn´t that far off the target, Del Toro curled a free kick at the other end and found goalie Dani Hernandez ready to receive it. Aitor caused concern when he fired wide after the Tenerife defence failed to shut him down. Milla hit a shot on the turn at the home keeper, Nano was offside but the moves encouraged Tenerife. The half ended with a couple of scares, Aitor dragged a shot wide, and a header was on course until Dani made a safe catch. As the game resumed, Tenerife went looking for the lead, a Milla pass found defender Jorge Saenz in a good position, he picked his spot and showed the instinct of a striker to fire the ball into the net to take the lead.

Holding onto an advantage hasn´t always worked out for Tenerife this season but Dani has been in inspired form for the last month, he showed his authority to marshal Aitor wide when he was looking to shoot. Home sub Manu offered no threat with a wild shot that pounded the tarpaulin that closed off that end of the ground. Tenerife´s first change was Naranjo for Nano, the forward put a square ball across that the defence cleared, and juggled the ball before testing the goalie with a shot. With 10 minutes left, defender Carlos Ruiz took over from Borja and it looked like Tenerife might try to sit on the lead. Varela beat Luiz Perez and let fly at Dani, his response was another accomplished save. A dipping shot could have been difficult to read, not for Dani, he added it to his tally of stops.

The icing on the unexpected cake was pure class from Serbian striker Malbasic. The home goalie ran out from his area to pick the ball up and completely miss read it, Malbasic raced inside him and was Mr Cool as he belted the ball into the unguarded net. There was just a couple of minutes left, Mahadahonda managed one last chance but Dani wasn´t about to show any generosity and made a point blank save. The joy of the team and coach was clear to see when the final whistle sounded, the players ran to the small wedge of travelling fans and they shared the moment. It´s a big barrier lifted on the road to salvation but other results kept the gap above the relegation zone to 4 points with 8 games remaining. The other big incentive is Tenerife are just three points behind plummeting Las Palmas and the home derby has been set for Sat 4 May at 7.30pm.

No Way Back For CD Marino After UD Ibarra Blitz

Local pride was at stake for the near neighbours in Tenerife South as UD Ibarra from El Fraile grabbed a 0-2 win at CD Marino in Playa de Las Americas after an opening onslaught. Both were playing out their season in mid table and sounded each other out in the opening minutes. Aday could find no takers to convert his swinging cross for the home blues, and Alexis was squeezed out by the Marino defence.

Ibarra looked the more menacing, they were powerful going forward with Balduino eager to score against his former team. After nine minutes, a long ball free kick from Ibarra was headed on to Muny to bury past goalie Brandon. Balduino had two strong charges halted by the home defence, and a hopeful lob from distance by Alonso cleared the crossbar. Coly set Jurgen free for another crack at the Marino goal but Brandon tidied up.

Pressure was building on Marino and Balduino was bearing down on goal when Saavedra stopped him in his tracks but gave away a penalty. The big striker placed his spot kick perfectly for a 20th minute 0-2 lead. It could have led to a complete collapse but Marino steadied the ship and found some better form. Javi Gonzalez gave Cicovic some work to do in the Ibarra goal as he made a speedy run. Niki raided from the right back slot and fed Javi, this time his shot teased before sneaking past the post. Marino tried again and forced a corner, Guti met it well with his head but the ball went a little too high. Ahmed was coming into the game more as he moved over to the right of the Marino attack, he beat two visiting defenders before delivering a soft shot that ran into the goalies hands.

Mylan Carrasco replaced Juanmi at half time and linked well with Sesma to produce plenty of threats down the left flank. Mendy had to make a sturdy headed clearance to stop Mylan from completing a well worked move with a goal. The first 20 minutes of the second half were the most promising for Marino and when Kevin Castro joined the action in place of injured Bamba they varied the play. Kevin was picking up the ball in a deep position and exposing gaps to support the forward line.The final touch was lacking, Mylan opened up the Ibarra defence out wide and slung the ball over but it was leapt on by Cicovic.

Alexis tested Brandon as Ibarra emerged from Marino´s dominant spell, Alexis was the player on the end of the breakaway move that the keeper contained. Balduino was hard to hold off a he brushed past two markers and headed the ball down for a shot but it didn´t quite fall right and he wasn´t able to get a clean strike. Carballo came on for Ibarra and was another forceful player up front, Niki did well to derail him as he moved in for a strike. Into the last 10 minutes and Mylan lashed a shot at the visitors goal, Cicovic dived to put the ball out with a great save. From the corner the keeper followed up with a determined punch that cleared a hanging ball. By injury time the victory was safe and Muny tried his luck with a cheeky lob from the half way line that Brandon tipped over with the last touch of the game. The teams are now 10th (CDM) and 11th (UDI) with five games left in the Tercera Division Group 12.

CD Tenerife Lose As Gijon Handed A Sporting Chance

A few choice Serbian swear words must have punctured the night air of Santa Cruz as in form Sporting Gijon stole a 0-1 victory over CD Tenerife. They were cries of frustration for the home players, misfiring forward Malbasic, and booked midfielder Racic who topped up his tally for a one game suspension. For visiting striker Djurdjevic it was in joy and relief that his 37th minute hand ball goal went unpunished by the ref.

It was another Tenerife performance with much for the home supporters to cheer but the old curse of missed chances was evident again. Oltra rejigged the defence with Jorge Saenz retuning from his suspension, Alberto was dropped after a poor run of form, and Isma Lopez kept his place at left back. Lopez unlocked the Gijon defence with an early cross to Borja, his shot was true but keeper Mariño reacted well to push the ball away. Mariño was fortunate with a later attack when Malbasic used his strength to get into a good position but only delivered a weak shot. Suso was furious at himself for beating the away defence before finding the keeper with a low shot.

The home defence were doing well to repel Sporting´s best advances, Luis Perez saw off Garcia and Djurdjevic in the space of a few minutes. Shortly before half time, Dani got a hand to a low cross and did just enough to push it upwards, Dos Santos swung wildly at the ball and missed as Djurdjevic jumped up and redirected it into the net with his hand. It was a tough one for the ref as the Serbian strikers body shielded his illegal touch, and it came a season too soon for the introduction of VAR to the Segunda Division. It was a hammer blow but Tenerife came out for the second half with a positive attitude, Borja and Naranjo opened up the Gijon defence with a flowing move that had everything – except the finish.

Coach Oltra made a double change, withdrawing Borja and Naranjo and introducing strikers Coniglio and Nano. Neither of the new front men looked like scoring, Coniglio can jump but can´t head with direction or power, and Nano only showed a brief glimpse of hunger when he shook off his marker but couldn´t get a decent shot in. Another mazey dribble from Suso went agonisingly past the post Gijon had chances to increase their lead, Dani Hernandez denied Djurdjevic, and a free kick was sliced wide of the target. Traver turned Lopez inside out but could only muster a poor shot. Montañes was the final home sub as an attacking gamble in place of Luis Perez, the oncoming wide player is another destined to be culled in the summer and made no real impression. Dani Hernandez was steady as a rock when he showed his class again by turning a late shot wide.

The spectre of relegation still stalks the corridors of the Heliodoro, other results meant the gap from relegation is just four points with nine games to play, Tenerife have to sharpen up in front of goal. Oltra´s short term contract runs out at the end of the season and the clubs sporting director has indicated that there will be a big summer clear out. There´s plenty for the staff to play for, and another 10,000 plus crowd showed that they will do their bit to push the team over the line to safety.

Food And Drink As You Like It At New Shakespeare’s

Good food and drink takes centre stage at New Shakespeare’s in Oasis del Sur, Los Cristiasnos, and there’s plenty of favourite British meals and snacks for all tastes, budgets, and ages. Hosts Nick, from Wigan, and Sue from Leicestershire have decades of catering in Tenerife behind them, and have some special attractions throughout the week.

I have to confess to a weakness for the deep crust Meat and Potato pie, you can’t beat a wall of crumbly pastry to set off that home made taste. Battered Fish and Chips, Chicken Curry Special, and BBQ Chicken melt keep tempting me astray, and there’s plenty more old timers like Bangers, Mash and Cabbage, or Pasta Bolognese Bake, waiting in the wings. The 10 oz Sirloin Steak is the only main meal that stretches over the 10 euro barrier, and there ‘s a shorter 2 meals for 12.99 selection. There’s nothing more traditional then a Sunday Roast, even when lapping up the Tenerife sun, Shakespeare’s offers four meats, chicken, pork, beef, or lamb, individually or as a combination. Add a Yorkshire Pudding, Mashed and Roast Potatoes, Stuffing and Meat Stock Gravy, and you can see why booking for the 12.30 to 5 pm servings is essential.

How about kick starting the day with a breakfast deal. Full English, Full Scottish, Full Monty, or Vegetarian, all with fried, poached, or scrambled eggs. Maybe a snack is what you need. Jacket Spuds with Atlantic Prawns, or Sausage, Fried Onions, and Cheese might hit the spot, or the Salads come with their own tempting range of goodies. Then there’s a colossal range of Sandwiches and Toasties, or a Kids Menu, complete with pop or fruit juice, and a lolly or ice cream, for just 5 euros. Your probably getting the idea by now that there are a lot of choices at Shakespeare’s, you can also add Friday Chippy Night with Wholetail Scampi, Fish Cakes, and Battered Sausage fighting the Large Battered Cod for top billing.

If Gin is the new Rock and Roll, Sue has a packed jukebox on her bar. At last count the Gin counter was groaning under the weight of 89 flavoured bottles. All this good living is sure to sharpen the brain, Thursday nights mean the Fun Quiz for charity from 8.30 pm. Big screen TVs inside will ensure you can catch all the top sporting events. You can keep track of the latest offers at Facebook or pop in at the top of hill straight up from Los Cristianos fountain roundabout.

Parades Swishy And Fishy As Arona Closes The Book On Jungle

Wriggling into tight costumes as AC/DC gave the passing seagulls a full rock blast. It wasn´t a Highway To Hell, just the back road between the beach and Guaza Mountain, and it was filling up with feathers and sequins as the floats loaded up for the Coso Parade up into the centre of Los Cristianos. The 2019 Arona Carnaval was into the final stages but was going out in Tenerife style.

Pride of place went to the candidates and winners in the Queen categories, their huge designs stood like colourful monuments on flat back trucks, awaiting the insertion of their wearers in the centre. Rebeca Gonzalez Cabrera milked the adoration in her pink and silver explosion that scooped the main Carnaval Queen award. Candelaria Perez Dominguez glowed in a cool white dress surrounded by roses, she was number one in the Third Age category.

The starting grid might have looked colourful but chaotic, the stewards had it all sorted and ticked down their clipboards, slowly adding everyone to the mix. It is always a hot, sunny afternoon for the Coso, planning is essential, a good ice box for beer and wine helped the mood along, and an extra lick of make up ensured plenty of happy photos. In keeping with tradition, the parade started an hour later than advertised and snaked its way along the route in bright sunshine.

Official figures said 15,000 people lined the course but it looked less than other years, the tell tale sign was areas of bare rope on each side of the street. Normally it’s almost impossible to squeeze between people all the way along. The revellers, floats, and groups were certainly as plentiful as ever, and the operation was slick, loud, and proud. Even the clean up behind the rear of the parade had a new zest, Arona’s new fleet of Italian, electric, road sweeping buggies ploughed through the rubbish generated by the event.

Alas the final act arrived with the sardine funeral, and what a cutie it looked, but this fish had a sting in the tail. The mourners gathered in their black, widows veils and the procession set off round the streets with much weeping and wailing from the mourners. As tradition demands, I adjourned to The Devon Arms for a couple of Dorada’s as the sardine made its slow progress, emerging just in time to see the fish loom into view at the old beach. As people poured down onto the sand for the cremation, the heavens opened and the rain poured down – the sardines revenge? Slightly soggy, the fish still burst into flames as fireworks ripped through the sky. The monsoon continued, I managed to wade up through town and sought refuge in The Buccaneer as I raised a few glasses to another fabulous Arona Carnaval.

Mid Table Stalemate As Goalies Shine At CD Marino

Clear chances were at a premium in the 0-0 draw between CD Marino and CD Tenerife B but when danger did call, both keepers, David of Marino, and Otaño of Tenerife met it with a safe pair of hands. Both teams were occupying mid table after early season promise had slipped away. Aleman looked hesitant in the heart of the visitors defence and was beaten easily by Ahmed before Otaño tidied up. Tenerife had a chance at the other end from a corner, Tito couldn´t connect with the ball as it came across. Sesma spotted home team mate Mylan in a good position and made the pass but his shot went wide. Tenerife were relying too much on hopeful long balls up the field, Torres raced to catch one but David reacted quicker. There was a blow for the away team when Samu was injured in a tackle, he tried to run it off before having to give way to sub Javi.

Another speculative ball from Tenerife was heading to Josue, Brayan read it well and made a strong intervention. Neither side could really find any consistency, twice the visitors were awarded free kicks and hit the ball straight into the defending wall. Saavedra tried his luck with a high long ball into the Tenerife box, Otaño was safely under it with a clean catch. Tenerife left back Jeremi made a good run but his swinging cross was expertly covered by David in the home goal. Mylan had the last word for the half, he took the ball inside the away defence but the finish was just wide.

Marino opened the second half with their tails up. A free kick left the Tenerife defence scrambling and it was down to Otaño to deprieve Saavedra of a shot at close range. Both teams couldn´t make their free kicks count, Guti struck one straight at Otaño. The game should have swung in favour of Tenerife when Bamba got a second booking and was sent off for Marino. The blues reorganised, bringing on Alberto for Mylan and they saw off an increased spell of pressure from their opponents. Tenerife captain, Fede, led by example as he pushed up from right back to help his forwards, he got a couple of good crosses in, again the finishing touch was missing.

Borja Llarena and Adri entered the action as subs for Tenerife and both had a positive impact. Borja, who played for the Tenerife first team at the end of last season, showed much more awareness and got into some good positions, he came close to scoring with a bullet header. Adri was tough in the tackle and hard to shake off the ball. Marino tried to shake things up to, Djavan was added to the attack in place of Ahmed. It revived the blues attacking urges, Brayan was well placed for a header but Otaño plucked the ball off his head. Torres made a breakaway for Tenerife, David was alert and showed that he intended to match the other stopper.

It must have been quite daunting to the teams to come up against two goalies on top form, a curled free kick from Guti was snuffed out by Otaño, and Josue was out jumped at the other end by David. The final home sub, Jony, forced a couple of corners that Tenerife cleared, and deep in injury time Alberto couldn´t quite stretch to keep in an offside pass that evaded the refs whistle. It ended honours even, thanks in no small part, to the hard working keepers.

Putting On Their Saturday Best For Arona Carnaval

No school, no college, and no work, Saturday is a great time to throw off any inhibitions you have, and the two daytime Carnaval specials in Los Cristianos were a real family treat. The first week it was the Wig Party, and the second was a music and dance bonanza, both kicking off at noon.

The devotion, humour, and wow factor were evident throughout. The Arona Carnaval theme was Jungle but it was mixed with lots of old favourites, and recycling. There was an element of competition at both the Wig Party and the fancy dress competition at the Plaza del Pescadora, near the beach, on the second week. Prize money was given but in my eyes everyone was a winner, some deserved a prize for being able to dance whilst wearing high heels, heavy cloaks and jackets, and make up that must have made the world look like a blur.

Security gets a bit higher each year as organisers try to stem the flow of over enthusiastic young drinkers, but they try to be discreet and not squash the fun out of the revellers. Another welcome addition this year was a small violet coloured kiosk that ladies could head for if they felt vulnerable.Hopefully they didn’t have many takers, the mood of the Carnaval party is always friendly, and the crowd is a mix of locals, ex pats, and holiday makers. It’s quite an eye opener for newcomers, especially some of the cheekier outfits.

The main stage in the show ground was booming out dance music into the wee hours, and two smaller stages near the cultural centre featured DJ’s and more specialist grooves. A large fun fair offered thrills just across the road, and a large variety of food and drink stalls catered for every need. Walking along the beach promenade late on the Saturday evening, the celebrations were overflowing to surrounding bars and the sand. Parking is always challenging but at least the old spare land behind the Valdes Centre was back in free use this year.

The weather teased this year with sudden localised downpours nearby but the heart of the Carnaval led a charmed life and was bathed in sunshine. One of my highlights was seeing two large orange dinosaurs waddling in time to the music – and that was before I had started on the Dorada!