Archive for October, 2020
Fans In, Points Out, As CD Marino Ride a Higher Tide

Do pass go, do collect 500 fans. That was the set up for CD Marino on their return to Segunda B football. Despite giving a good account of themselves at the higher level, a sucker punch last minute goal from visitors RB Linense was enough to separate the two teams. Less than 24 hours after Marino got the go ahead to allow a limited capacity crowd, all places were taken with social distancing observed on the Playa de Las America terraces as well as for the pre match team photos.

A harder, more intense tempo greeted the blues step up. Danese blocked an early shot from new home striker Manu Dimas. Anaba, another new addition, posted his central defensive qualities with a strong clearing header. Pablo Santana matched him with some neat tidying up and a safe tap back to goalie David Kikvidze as Marino settled to their task. Dimas was probing for an attacking opening and Nadjib cut in from the right with a mazey run and a shot that veered wide. Alejandro looked lively up front for the Andalucia team but his finishing was wasteful. The best home effort of the first half came from a Dimas free kick that keeper Miras smothered. Anaba was rock solid in the heart of the blues defence, Linense had to rely on scraps, Antonio was cursing himself after he put a rare headed chance over the home goal.

The lateness of their confirmed promotion and squad strengthening left Marino playing catch up but they came out after the break with a renewed determination and a growing awareness of each others play. Captain Saavedra was in a unfamiar left back role but Niki was adding his usual attacking bursts down the right slot. Alejandro was still the danger man to watch from Linense, a quick turn to create space should have been finished with something better than his drag wide. Dimas had a similar miss at the other end as Marino stepped up the pressure. Saavedra found Cristo Diaz with a good through ball, although he forced a corner, Linense held firm.

Ahmed was having a quiet game by his own standards and wasn´t helped by the ref ignoring a foul on him when he was free in the box. New blood was needed, strikers Borja llarena and last seasons top scorer, Nami came on to push for the winner. Cristo Diaz came close with a powerful strike that deflected of a defender as time slipped away. In the final minute, a free kick just outside  the home box had the nerves jangling. Alejandro shaped up to take the kick but  Camacho took the job and lifted his shot over the defensive wall and into the back of the net. Marino tried to level in injury time but a bullet header from Pablo Santana was cleared off the goal line by the head of Sergio Rodriguez. The loss was a bitter pill but the sight of 500 fans in the stadium was a shot in the arm for Marino and football in Tenerife.

 

Beacons Of Hope In Abades And Arico

A sinister figure lurked in the doorway of the former leper colony site in Abades on the east coast of Tenerife. Phew, it was just a cheeky minion.

Space age wind turbines added their contradictions to the landscape, and a stark prefab church pitched in its own contribution to the myths and enchantment that surround a series of enticing beaches. The sprawling colony of nearly 30 part built structures was begun in 1943 on the orders of General Franco, he took his first steps to national power from a posting as military governer of the Canary Islands. The grand scheme was never completed as leprosy was wiped out before the work could be completed.

The first time I visited, I was a little in awe of the concrete graveyard, but this time I had a feeling of hope. Leprosy had been a world scourge since biblical times, if it could be tamed then surely Covid could also be banished to the history books. The graffiti daubed on the buildings seemed to mock the demise of leprosy. In 2002 Italian investors were said to have bought the entire site, security patrol notices, and well tyre tracked paths explained why the only recent invaders had been phantom painters but no goose bump seekers, film crews, or  campers.

The people of Abades clearly enjoy their dark sand bays down below. There´s a thriving diving scene and some nice bars and eateries in the sea facing plaza. A new commercial age is about to dawn. The Navaria Beach apartment and villa development was nearing completion near the shoreline. With white, two story buildings, it blended in nicely with the colour scheme of the well established houses without spoiling the skyline.

Heading back down to the coastal path, I was soon down and up the other side of a small craggy bay and got a glimpse of the Punta de Abona lighthouse. A classic Tenerife combination of tall candy striped 1978 original with a squat sidekick for remote operating. There are seven “faros” around the coast of the biggest Canary Island, “bagging” is the term used by enthusiasts who get up close with a new recruit to the farologists haul.

 

The municipality of Villa de Arico is one of the smallest in Tenerife but ambitious plans could soon propel them into the big league of tourism. In January 2020 a big new resort scheme was unveiled, including a new sandy beach, four hotels,3,000 beds, and 1,550 jobs. The intervention of Covid may well selay or even scupper the project completely.

As a fine drizzle swept in off the sea, I enjoyed the uninterrupted coastal walk views round to Arico Nuevo, and the steep climb to the Titsa bus stop at Poris. The fishing boat looking down on the TF! motorway seemed to underline the constant dilema of commercial progress versus unspoilt nature.

 

Barking Up All the Right Trees At Tenerife Palmetum

From the seed of an idea to fully bloomed botanical gardens, it took 20 years to transform a landfill mountain into an oasis of colour, featuring 2,000 species of plants at the southern entrance to Santa Cruz.

Splashes of colour from lake based blooms, cascades of frothy pom poms from palm trees, bulging bundles of berries and figs, and even a mangrove swamp. All this was harvested together from as far as the Caribbean, Americas north, south, and central, Asia, and Australia.

Five years on from the 2015 opening, I returned to find everything in the 12 hectares garden was lovelier than ever. The well planned layout guided me gently through the different zones. A river meandered through, linking two lakes complete with waterfalls. The water theme reached its crescendo at the partly covered central Octogona lagoon.

It´s difficult to imagine all the accumulated rubbish beneth your feet. The seven mirador viewing points reminded me of the park´s setting, and benches under leafy shade allowed me to gaze over Tenerife´s capital or out to sea. Although the dedicated team of gardeners keep a low profile, the wildlife caught my eyes and ears from time to time. Birds and ducks are drawn to the gardens, those in the middle of migration are joined by rarer species and natives.

The detail, devotion, and ecological value of the Palmetum are outshined by the sheer visual joy on offer. Few would Adam and Eve such a project could take place near a busy port, and refinery, but this garden of eden is a blooming wonder. The Palmetum opens every day and has disabled access and toilet facilities located on the site. Adult entry was six euros (half for residents) on my visit. You can check out the full updated offers at the multi language website.