Amarilla Golf Marina Is A Place To Linger

With an almost hypnotic pull, the coast of Tenerife attracts a diverse range of visitors. Any of them popping into Amarilla Golf Marina will be pleased with the facelift that combines rest areas, childrens play zones, cycle lanes, and a clean, modern look.

Just a year since my last call, the transformation made a big difference. It was surely no conincidnce that the floating pontoons had more pleasure crafts and yachts in the water, plus more business units on the quay side offering a wider range of hire options with plenty of thrill rides.

The shoring up of the banking wall that shadows the golf course, added to the neat look with its white stone, it reflects well on the golf course as well, and presents a prettier wider picture. This first upgrade stage cost nearly one million euros, there´s more to come, extending the good work in a western direction. That should promote the walking options around the coast from Las Galletas and then onward to El Medano.

Looking down toward the airport and Montaña Roja (red mountain) improvements to the shingle and rock beach of Playa San Salvador has another six months to go. At present, a looping uphill detour to the promenade must put a few people off from visiting the cafes and bars along the strip. The marina has set a shining example of how to improve the area. I look forward to seeing the full stretch soon.



Tegueste is A Wine Haven Labelled With Love

Grapes of all sizes, colours, and varieties formed a maze around me in the heart of Tegueste, one of the smallest municipalities in Tenerife. A series of walks shadowed the water channels that made this such a fertile spot for its founders in 1813.

Having just hopped off a Titsa bus from La Laguna to Bajamar and Punta del Hidalgo, I had already been distracted by the hills that shelter the original village and have fed its growth. Even the football ground of UD Tegueste has its claim to fame as the starting point for Barcelona and Spain star Pedri. There was further proof of the local sporting pedigree in the form of a statue of two grappling wrestlers, a homage to Lucha Canarias, a popular sport in the seven Canary Islands.

The finca Los Zamorano spread out beyond me with its promise of free strolling around the vineyards, and their well documented range of grapes made me feel quite thirsty. Opposite the Mercadillo provided an outlet for many local wines and products but I was a few days adrift of its opening times of 8am to 2 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. It was early in the growing season but the vast layout and photos of the spread gave me a good idea of the rich bounty of the region.

The heart of Tegueste was visible beyond with the white tower of the church providing a focal point to lead me to Plaza San Marcos. History is preserved in the nearby cultural centre, the Ayuntamiento (town hall) and will be added to soon with a new centre of archaeology. Among the tranquility there was a pride and desire to share the history and culture of the area. Walking is encouraged over several short routes, the main one covering 2 kms up to the Barranco Aqua de Dios (ravine of the water of the gods) and back through the village as a teaser for other longer walks leading down to the rugged La Laguna coast.

One visit always sows seeds for a follow up, I will be trying a few of the trails, and just down below on the main bus route is Tejina, but that´s for another day.


Vada Haunts As CD Tenerife Give Up The Ghost

While last seasons loan player Mollejo had a lively return on the right for Real Zaragoza, it was another ex loanee Valentin Vada who destroyed hosts CD Tenerife with the only two goals of the game. Tenerife couldn´t complain, they were poor all over the pitch. The home defence was creaky, particularly left back Nacho who was continually exposed by the smart thinking yellow and blacks with their neat passing and cool finishing. Zaragoza had some luck on their side, after their goalie Alvarez had two bad cases of poor juggling from Tenerife shots in the first half.

Vada did little to impress last season in Santa Cruz, on loan from Almeria and got a free transfer to Zaragoza this summer and was buzzing in this Friday night game. Ivan Romero missed a sitter for the home cause, hitting the side of the netting, and Mo Dauda showed flashes of skill down the left flank but Tenerife seemed to run out of ideas as the game wore on.

Vada anticipated wonderfully for the opener after 23 minutes, latching onto a deep cross, and when he doubled the agony after 67 minutes there were streams of home fans deserting the stadium. At least another youth prospect, Alassan, got a run out with 18 minutes left but it was painful to watch and by the final whistle those remaining from the 11,443 crowd vented their frustration at the players and the negative tactics of coach Ramis. Now in 14th position, pressure is growing on the coach after this horror show.


CD Tenerife Are Top To Toe Perfect

Quality opponents coming off a 5-0 win, Granada might have seen CD Tenerife as easy prey but it was the Santa Cruz team that showed the hunger, the eye for goal, and the pride in a comfortable 2-0 home win.

Changes are almost a foregone conclusion under coach Ramis, but they worked well this week with Aitor Sanz and Javi Alonso running a tight ship in midfield.  Juan Soriano was immense between the sticks for Tenerife, he was solid behind the ball and frusrated the divisions top scorer, Uzani, with first half stops with feet, knees, and head. The keeper even turned provider with a 31st minute long punt upfield to Ivan Romero, who muscled past two defenders for the opening goal.

Mo Dauda was a constant menace to Granada and 20 minutes into the second half he was shaping up in front of goal when the visiting goalie chopped him down in the box. Gallego stepped up to double the damage and deny Granada any lingering hope. There was further good news when Elady made a return from injury. The squad all worked hard for the common cause, and that instilled greater appreciation from the fans.

After the final whistle, the Tenerife team surged towards the 11,472 crowd to soak up the applause. That win pushed the team up to 12th position, eyes are certainly looking upward now, anything is possible on this form.

CD Tenerife Juggling On A Tightrope

Well The defence was tighter and ensured a 0-0 home draw for CD Tenerife v Cartagena. Coach Ramis continued to ring the changes with Aitor Buñuel (right) and Andoni Lopez (left) starting in the full back slots. But the players that made way for them, Nacho and ultra consistent Mellot were back in their old roles within the hour. The constant tinkering is coming under the spotlight at the team struggles to put any prolonged form together.

Cartagena were revelling in their surprise status of third place. Home keeper Soriano had to be alert and agile to repel Borja Valle after the defence failed to cover the gap. Sipcic was magnificent at the heart of home defence, and Larrea was a quality playmaker in the middle of the park. It all ground to a halt in front of goal with Garces and Romero both struggling to cash in on the set ups from Appiah, and his later replacement Mo Dauda. The Ghana winger clipped the post with a rasping shot as frustration built.

Cartagena had their own hero in goalie, Escandell but were left to regret twice putting the ball in the Tenerife net – after straying into offside positions. Tenerife need to string a few wins together to get into the top half of the table and should be exploiting their home games. The crowd was up again, a bunper 12,180 turnout on an evening  of  extreme rain and sunshine but it´s the changing climate of the coach´s selections that are putting a few clouds in the Santa Cruz sky.

El Medano Barquera Floats Everyones Boats

Waves of people poured downhill towards the sea with the statue of the Virgen de Las Mercedes de Roja held aloft. Cascades of drums, pipes, and guitars formed a musical undertow and barbecues sizzled with a meaty aroma that required beer and wine to soothe its digestion.

El Medano on the Granadilla coast of Tenerife savours its fishing founders whilst thanking nature for its continuing bounty. The precarious balance of nature meant the 2022 fiesta was put back a week as incoming storms licked at the Canary Islands The extra week allowed fine tuning on the 45 home made boats based on shopping trolleys and small trucks. White costumes dominated the days fashion, hats were welcome in the searing heat but dancing feet made light work of pavements and eventually the fine sand of Playa Grande.

Some held back to dance in the main plaza overlooking the sea, but a large invasion from the 15,000 or so revellers took the show to the gently sweeping waves. Guests like the Fanfarria band from La Orotava in the north, matched the music of the ocean. One of the biggest fishing boats was loaded with the statue of the virgen for the best seat in the house to watch the day flow on.

Tourists flying over to the nearby sourh airport would have been staggered if they could see the swirling mass of people below. Fishing is a tough way of life but this outpouring of joy and pride is generously shared with the wider community. The lines are already being baited for next years flotilla of home made boats.


Arona Day Of Traditions Returns To A Cautious Present

Hermano Pedro (the Canary Islands only saint) rested on his crook outside the Arona Town Hall,home of the Ayuntamiento (council) as stalls and memories of a proud agricultural past started to fill the back streets. It was three years on from the last Dia de Tradiciones as I stepped off the first of the free buses from Tenerife´s southern tourist resorts of Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos.

Wine, cigars, beer, and home made wool and textile products vied for attention on the sparse mix of stalls. There were only 12 people on my free bus, it was going to be a tough sell in the back streets. The centre of attention was the plaza del Santisimo Cristo de La Salud and around the church. Musicians tuned up and animals stirred in readiness to deliver that cute factor. It wasn´t just crafts and animals that caught the eye, a vintage local police car looked dainty and a large Ford Thames Transit lorry, made in Dagenham, added to the mechanical history.

The Casa de la Bodega looked majestic  on the rise above the town, and the wine press was a reminder of the outstanding reputation of local wines. A practical demonstration of Silbo, the whistling language still used on the neighbouring island of La Gomera, was dramatic and impressive. Regular live music through the day until late into the evening seemed certain to help build the crowds, but my visit was only to be a brief one.

It was great to see the event back but sad to see such a low early turnout. The Plaza de la Paz at the bus drop off point had been a big display area at previous shows but was empty this time. Pre publicity for the event was too late and too limited. Arona town promotes its history all year round with posters of former times and key figures on murals. A group of modern performers seemed to step out of the sepia wall print down by the bus stops. The Casa de la Bodega doubles up as a free exhibition centre and is open weekdays. It´s well worth a trip up to look at the heart of Arona, many keen walkers have alredy discovered its secrets on route to the magnificent Roque del Conde mountain that towers over the town.


Mistakes Proving Costly For CD Tenerife

Even with three strong penalty claims not even referred to VAR, CD Tenerife were again their worst enemy in a 1-1 home draw with Real Sporting Gijon.

Just 15 minutes into the rain lashed action, Cristo Gonzalez was gifted the opening goal for Sporting. A long ball should have been cut out by Jose Leon but he committed the cardinal sin of turning his back on the attacker. The former Tenerife nurtured player was left with a simple, clear shot. These days an asset of Italian club Udinese, Cristo is on his fourth loan out and can´t have come across such generosity on his travels.

The home attack was off song with play continually drifting down the left side. Ivan Romero looked lightweight in front of goal as big built Gallego hung back deep. Young Teto chased and harried to pick up scraps on the right. Tenerife were better in the second half with more expansive football but Sporting had a tight clamp on them. Confidence was sapped as the ref ignored those appeals, the worst being a double hand ball as Teto burst through into the enemy goal mouth. A double change after 68 minutes saw home coach Ramis bring on Arvin Appiah for Romero and Javi Alonso for Larrea in midfield.

The return of local boy Alonso after long term injury breathed new creativity into the heart of the home team, something they will need as Alex Corredera undergoes treatment and possible surgery on his foot. Appiah tormented Sporting with his speedy right flank runs and inside charges. The former Nottingham Forest youth player launched a trio of strikes into the box, one was cleared into space where Nacho returned it quickly with a rasping shot past the goalie to level the game with just over 10 minutes left.

With eight games gone, Tenerife are still making too many errors and sit in 15th position. The fans are showing patience and belief, even on a soaking night, the gate was slightly up with a 11,057 attendance.


Seeing The Wood, The Trees, And Fragrant Foliage in El Sauzal

Oh the joys of wash day. Parque Las Lavanderas in El Sauzal has been pumping out 50 cubic metres of spring water an hour through the beautiful cascade of pools and greenery since it was formally welcomed into the caring arms of the municipality in 1987. Tenerife outdoor washing areas have always been a social gathering point and are conserved with pride.

I´m often waylaid by the latest artisitc masterpiece on the steep steps of the town hall. This time, sculptor  Luis Stinga had exceled himself with his tribute to this domestic chore that was transformed into a sicial occaision in the 8,000 square metre park, perched 200 metres above the coast line. Cafeteria Deleite nestles in the middle of the feast of nature, winter (september to may) opening is from 10 am to 7 pm. Most visitors can´t resist a wander around the split level pathways to spot dragon flies, fish, and lizards.

There´s plenty of pride in the local traditions of El Sauzal, posters invited entry to a photographic exhibition featuring the manzana reineta (Queen Apple), an import from France many decades ago that has won people over with its destinctive bitter sweet taste. I was also just a few days short of a classical instrument recital in a vineyard.

Like most remote rural areas, El Sauzal is constantly fighting to keep their population steady and thriving. A practical scheme backed by the Ayuntamiento (council) and the Gobierno (Canary Islands government) offers a 50% maximum grant of up to 10,000 euros to Spanish residents of El Sauzal, to rebuild properties that are in danger of being left to ruin. There are some impressive new residencies between the coast and the motorway linking Puerto de la Cruz and the capital Santa Cruz. Older buildings will now have an even chance of providing affordable homes as the municipality looks to the future.

With its modern outlook on old favourites, El Sauzal is always a good place to visit, I´m already looking forward to the festive season to see what adorns the town hall steps this year.

Tacoronte Has Much To Celebrate

Just entering their fifth week of the Fiestas of Santisimo Cristo, a relaxed mood drifted through the back streets and plazas of Tacoronte. just 40 minutes on the Titsa bus from Tenerife capital city Santa Cruz. It would be hard to guess that Tenerife North airport was just over the horizon, the hills shield it from the former bus station plaza viewing point, which allowed nature to roll out below.

My focus for this latest visit was to see more of Santa Catalina church – and it impressed from all angles. Sebastian Machado, the founder of the municipality stood proud of the former hermitage that he had built in 1497. Curiously, different official notices identified the Portuguese founder as “a settler” and also “conqueror”. There´s no such difference of opinion about the founding of the main town of Tacoronte, founded in 1911 as noted on a sculpture on the top road.

Heading downward to the busy commercial streets, the theatre offered a range of live events, and the Plaza del Cristo further on is a big focal point for celebrations, and has plenty of references to the towns famous artist Oscar Dominguez who went on to wow the Spanish courts. Me eyes were drawn to the classic wooden balcony that frames La Casona within easy distance of the church.

Strikingly agricultural with its proud wine making tradition, Tacoronte boats a long stretch of black sand coast. El Pris and Mesa del Mar are both popular cooling off points and accessed by steep corkscrew roads. That pleasure would have to wait another day as my strides had already taken me further along to the neighbouring municipality of El Sauzal. There´s something for everyone along this north coast of Tenerife.