Fasnia Moves Into A New Lane Of Progress

Two huge spits of rock attract fleeting curiosity half way up the motorway that links Los Cristianos to Santa Cruz – especially recently when they were partly covered. Walking the 6 km descent from Fasnia old town (see previous post) to the coast was tweaking my interest to fever pitch as the tight turns of the modern road revealed my familiar coastal refuelling point for CD Tenerife home games.

A flurry of work in the lower reaches showcased a new botanical garden being installed to admire plants and insects. An all action sculpture of Canarian wrestling made an informative focal point, and nearer the walkway under the motorway, an old water train showed how the life giving liquid was extracted from underground galleries. Preserving the past is high on the agenda with subtle changes being incorporated.


Emerging from the road tunnel, brought views of the black sand granules of Playa del Arico, and Playa Los Roques to rival the two rocky outcrops of Los Roques on the southern side of the cafe restaurants. There is much to stop and admire in this area as most of the traffic roars by unaware of the history of the gems below. Birds were swooping over the rocks, guardians of their colony. There is a small community of fishing families below the eye level of most visitors, and a transformation had just taken place.

The two beaches used to be linked but crumbling rocks and neglect kept the old houses and church hewn into the cliff, largely unoticed. Now it is possible to stroll around the edge of the biggest beach and onto the far beach, following newly concreted paths with wooden stair rails to ensure safe distance from the larger waves. The facelift has made it neater without changing the charm of the area, and a colourful mural from Roberto Rodriguez guides walkers from one gem of a view to another, complete with rock stacks and a small promenade.

The bigger beach is partly protected by rocky guardians but can still be prone to the odd roque wave. A hi tech safety capsule ca be quickly thrown into the sea from its holding post and expands into a flotation device. Perhaps the biggest change of all is about to happen, a new urbanisation of 40,000 square metres is proposed just inland from the beaches. Hopefully it can breathe new life into the area whilst keeping the character and history intact.


A Blessing Of Churches For Fasnia

Was the coast clear? Divinely so as the modern road flexed and wound down towards the eastern aspect of Tenerife. I had the perfect viewing point at the small ermita church on Fasnia mountain.

In my wake I had left the neat historical heart of the municipality with barrancos (ravines) parting the fertile land. Nature had left its mark over the centuries and in recent weeks the wild fires that swept Tenerife had raged too close for comfort. But Fasnia is a place with an eye on the future as well as a deep respect for the past.

Where the quiet back streets intersected, the Ayuntamiento (council) building stood proud opposite an eco agricultural centre. A poster proudly displayed an impressive range of locally grown potatoes, very timely as a potato shortage  was currently gripping the island due to colorado beetles hitching a ride on the small number of imported spuds from Egypt and Israel.

Further down towards the modern church of San Joaquin, a large park, and play area was receiving a blue modern coating to encourage young sports fans. The plaza surrounding the church was also a bustling social area with a bar and outside seating. The local football ground claimed a dynamic vista overlooking the sea in the distance to further enhance the charm.

From my lofty perch at the ermita it looked like a time curtain divided the view to the west as the Arico wind turbines whirred at a frantic pace. My downward gaze prepared me for the 6 km walk I was to undertake towards the coast. My brief visit had shown me solid roots of an established community, but I was soon to find that local pride was making a big splash on the other side of the motorway.

A Visitors Guide To Finding CD Tenerife Ground And Shop

Armada Sur south based CD Tenerife fan club will always do their best to get supporters to the Heliodoro Rodriguez Lopez  stadium in the capital of the island. If coaches are full, tickets sold out at ground, or you just want to have a random look at the 23,000 capacity stadium (sorry no inside tours) and club shop, here´s a south to north route guide. If you want match tickets, try official outlets Papelaria Raquel in El Camison, Los Cristianos, or Laguna Park Excursions in San Eugenio.

The green TITSA buses converge on the Costa Adeje (Las Americas) and Los Cristianos bus stations for 55 minute journeys to the Santa Cruz intercambiador three storey travel hub. The 110 bus goes from Costa Adeje but doesn´t stop at Los Cristianos, the 111 serves Costa Adeje but also skips Los Cristianos and takes about 30 minutes longer due to added rural stops, the 112 picks up at Los Cristianos but not Costa Adeje. A one way fare is 9 euros – cash or card when boarding, but an unlimited one day travelcard is just 10 euros, or 50 euros for 7 days movement (plus 2 euros for the plastic card) – you need to buy these in the bus station or from a kiosk before boarding. The card also covers the Santa Cruz to La Laguna tram system.

The tram picks up just outside the Santa Cruz terminal every 10 minutes and costs a standard 1.35 for any trip. The easiest call is the 5th stop of La Paz, turn left, and cross the bridge over the ravine, and left at the small roundabout to reveal the grand facade of the stadium and the nearby club shop a few strides down. If you want to meet up with the Armada Sur, we meet in the small lively plaza just down from the stadium. If its a late night game, the 10.25 and 11.45 are the best bets for a speedy bus back to the south.

Just add crowd for the buzz of a live match, but even empty, you still get a feel of the history and passion of CD Tenerife.


CD Tenerife Promise Stifled But It´s Shaping Up Nicely

They came in large numbers to show their support, not just for CD Tenerife but also for the bomberos (fire fighters) who had tamed the raging wild fires. The small clutch of Real Zaragoza supporters among the 18,848 crowd left with a 0-1 victory that owed a generous intervention to the ref who tipped the balance with a harsh sending off for home forward Angel, barely 5 minutes after coming on as a late sub. There were still plenty of good indicators though that Tenerife have assembled a talented squad, and with a few days transfer window fine tuning remaining they can feel confident of adding to their opening two victories.

Zaragoza´s huge budget dwarfs the modest finances of CD Tenerife, but Tenerife showed more desire to play good football. The visitors had a negative style but strong first half shots from Waldo and a cross that flashed temptingly across the Real goal mouth, geve encouragement to the white and blues. Home keeper Soriano was alert to smother a long shot after a hurried clearance.

It´s still ealy days for new Santa Cruz coach Asier Garitano so he was still trying new combinations in his line up. By the later part of the second half, after a Jair goal, it was time to shake up the front line. Mo Dauda added width and trickery on the ball while Teto was lively and unlucky to see a shot canon back off the post. Angel came and departed in quick succession after the ref saw malice in a routine tackle. Nine minutes of play were added under the new fair play rulings, an added strain on a baking hot night. Theatrical play is still thriving, but now we seem doomed to see even more of it, as Zaragoza showed in the added spell.

The night was about bigger matters than just football, an auction of limited edition training tops helped to swell the fire fighting fund with a donation of 94,240 euros.



Armada Sur Ignite A Tasty New Season For CD Tenerife

Unbeaten, full of hope, beer, and burgers, all things are possible in that dream land of pre season. The CD Tenerife players had just started taking tentative steps onto scales and hoping any out of term over indulgencies would not show. Meanwhile high up in San Miguel, the Armada Sur fan club were limbering up appetites and voices at Cho Pancho barbecue park.

Sandwiched between heat waves that teased at 40 degrees, it was a misty, low cloud setting that greeted our coach from the south as it cork screwed up steep, tight roads. The advance party had been busy since first light to ensure chilled drinks, a stoked up fire, and a liberal sprinkling of banners. These well maintained picnic zones feature in key spots around Tenerife, with sturdy roads for vehicles, but most of us enjoyed walking the last part to sharpen the anticipation. A party of just graduated young students were celebrating just above our welcoming hollow.

There were good reasons for the Armada Sur to look forward to the new campaign. The appointment of a new coach, generous season ticket prices, the return of some island born players, and five new signings to date, plus a much needed revamp of the Heliodoro stadium facillities.

The pine forest was a fitting setting for our pre season reunion. Armada Sur are entering their 31st season of supporting CD Tenerife, and still welcoming new friends all the time. Some well worn barbecue features had to be observed for our “nearest and dearest” rivals from across the waters. as we raised our beers and gave their mascot the warmest of welcomes on the grill. Bring on the season, more good times in the company of good friends…and hopefully plenty of wins. Vamos Tete!


Stairways To Heavenly Views On Rambla De Castro Walk

Cathedrals of rock rose steeply from secluded beaches, and the few people chosing to dip their toes certainly earned their reward by threading their way through old plantations, and past mirador viewing points, defended in the past with canons. My starting point for the Rambla de Castro was only a small trial and error challenge through entry points close to Puerto de la Cruz but worth every step. Notices warning of rock falls were nearly all breached at various points just beyond Playa Jardin, Punta Brava, Loro Parque, and two old tall pastel coloured hotels. The best entry route was between the two modern La Romantica housing complexes.

Playa Los Roques spread out below as the foaming tide tickled the secluded rock stacks, the insistent roll of the waves was almost like nature itself breathing. My feet didn´t quite share that notion as I followed the twisting track down to a large protrusion with a tight walkway wrapped around it. On the far side, seagulls dived and swirled as I ducked my head to pass under an archway carved out by the tide. Retracing my steps up to the higher road, a modest commercial estate soon gave way to the resumption of the high coastal ledge.

The long view ahead soon revealed rising green terraces inland, and more secrets below. Despite these competing charms, it was the bizarre ruin of the Gordejuela water pumping station that caught my eye. Dating back to 1909, it had seen better days, and had been partly stripped, a compact modern water station mocked the remains from a high perch. A small mirador viewing point was a good point for reflection, a smart, modern walkway, complete with safety rails led up and beyond into Los Realejos, and up the other side of the ravine and beyond up the coast.

The carpenters devotion to the wandering staircases served me well as I ventured further up the coast where more miradors sprouted at key points. These were great to view the small coves below. Mirador El Fortin was one of the smaller look outs but packed a punch in its day from some small but potent canons. It was a baking hot afternoon and several groups of young people were answering the call of the waves. I was moving along the cliff tops and then back inland to a point where several paths converged just by the leafy shade of a plantation.

The grand old house , La Casona, stood proud but in need of some attention, that was granted a few days later in the form of a 8 million euro, 2 year restoration programme announced by the Tenerife government and the local municipality, Los Realejos. A multitude of paths veered off from this point, I was looking to move on into San Juan de La Rambla but emerged quite a way short on the main road linking La Orotava and Puerto de la Cruz with Icod de Los Vinos. My Titsa bus ticket allowed me a few other stop off on a unhurried return to the south, there were plenty of variations left for another trip soon.




Delving Into A Tenerife Barranco That Coloured Commerce

A 460 metres drop from a modern concrete bridge gave me a tempting reminder of the Barranco La Orchilla ravine as it snaked its way down from Granadilla to San Miguel. It was a relatively cool June day as the Titsa bus delivered me further uphill to the basic Granadilla bus station from my Los Cristianos start. Now for the fun part as I retraced the bus wheels before begining a spiralling trek into the ravine,  pushing the bridge to the edge of my vision as my feet tried to be nimble among the loose stones and trailing ferns.

The top half of the walk was a split of modern concrete and an untamed growth of long grass and remains of cereal crops trailing away to the sun kissed coast of El Medano. Charco del Pino provided a delightful interuption as I walked up to the mirador view point behind the small church of San Luis Rey de Francia. The spread of stone dwellings and a steep walkway down to a smaller point of reflection over the largely unchanged views harked back to the importance of the Camino Real royal route that spread commerce between Granadilla and the south.

The barranco a few yards beyond was the big draw for me. A well worn path teased me along at a gentle descent before opening up to the steeper sides and  and uneven surfaces. Even the air seemed to change, warmer and full of the buzz of insects, many flies took a closer interest in me in small swarms – fair play as I was disturbing their world. Lichens are a big star in the Tenerife barrancos, clinging to precarious rocks in an array of green and yellow shades. Cochineal insects living on cactus plants put the Canary Islands on the rag trade map in the 19th century, secreting natural colour dyes, but lichens weren´t far behind and also boosted trade.

The small plant like life lichens clung to every rock and bush, and around me down in the bowl of the barranco. Their value has long been replaced with artificial colourings but they still live in happy retirement in the more remote areas of Canarian land. Cactus flowers speckled my progress down the steep side before I hit rock bottom where soft echoes of bird song added to the serene feel. Having done the walk before, my eyes soon found the outline of the upward trail to the lip of the ravine. This ascent brought its own challenges as powder dry earth filtered away under foot. Looking back from the other side of the track confirmed my appreciation of nature´s alluring mix.

Meanwhile up top, the modern road curled the long way through high sided rock faces which were drilled out mechanically in recent time of expansion in Tenerife. The barking of dogs told me that there were small farms at the top of the ravine side, rural areas still feature many variations on old pursuits. Cresting the hill, a choice of gravel tracks leading to the modern main road meant my feet would soon get some rest. The margins are tight for walkers using these driving routes so caution and agility are useful. Even in this final stretch there was another joy in the sculpted shape of hunting dogs, a fitting link to a still popular past time.

San Miguel was just a few more strides away with its choice of bars and cafes to quench the first from the two hour escapade. As always, it was a pleasure to dip into the heritage of Tenerife to discover how hard work propelled the local economy.






Last Gasp Fanfare For Ruiz And Ramis

Diverging destinations dominated CD Tenerife´s last home game of the 2022 – 2023 season. Coach Ramis is moving on after 123 games in charge, and 39 year old Carlos Ruiz ended his 10 year devotion to the heart of the Tenerife defence. A hard fought 2-1 home win over Burgos CF was a fitting send off, as Waldo and Mo Dauda showed glimpses of what could come next season. No longer a regular starter, the number 14 turned back the clock with a trade mark display of confidence and pride, and in the 14th minute the crowds prolonged ovation rung out.

Both teams were destined to finish just outside the promotion play off zone, even if they won both remaining games, but there was still business to be seen to. Burgos found home goalie Soriano alert during early breaks, but the role of party pooper went to Gaspar Campos who gave defender Mellot the slip after 40 minutes and grabbed the lead. There will be many summer changes at the Heliodoro, Mo Dauda has mainly had a late sub role, partly due to injuries, but taking over from Borjs Grces after 62 minutes, he pressed his claims for a bigger role next season.


Fast and strong, Mo squirmed and wriggled his way past the visiting defence and was unlucky to see his cclose up shot cleared. Coming back for more, the loan striker showed quick thinking to pounce on the ball at the post to level the game. The players showed they were keen to deliver the perfect result for their departing friends, Mo was in the mix again, allowing Waldo to cat another impressive game with an injury time strike. Despite drawn out deliberations from VAR, the goal stood despite claims of a hand ball bt Sergio Gonzalez. The final whistle saw Ramis hoisted into the air, and Carlos engulfed by appreciative players of both sides. The applause rained down from all sides of the ground as Carlos headed for the home goal for more cascades of thanks and admiration.

LAST ACT – A 1-1 draw at Real Zaragoza, at the end of the week, rounded off the season. Ex CDT player Mollejo pounced on a rare slip by goalie Soriano for a first half lead but Mo Dauda did it again with a superb injury time leveller from an acute angle past a defender and the goalie. CD Tenerife finished in 10th place in the Segunda and a few days later confirmed Asier Garitano as new coach. The players report back for pre season on 5 July, no rest for the club management though as strengthening the squad begins.

Rural Tourism Is Well Fed In Ifonche


Less reliance on the big hotel chains, and more rural tourism is a popular call in Tenerife, but maybe some people think it means giving up their creature comforts. That seemed a laughable idea on my latest trek down from Ifonche, just below Vilaflor. Within a few strides along the path from the Titsa bus stop, I had spotted four restaurants, including a new offering, Finca Tres Roques, a short stroll from the track.

Hermano Pedro´s name was proudly linked to one of the eateries, as the Canary Islands only saint grew up in this area. A small chapel and fountain further ahead, underlined the links with the goat herder who took his healing mission to Guatamala in later life. Working fincas (farms) and a constant trickle of walkers weaved towards the three peaks of th volcanic mountains that dominate the region.

The landscape is mainly gentle on the feet but a large barranco just beyond the chapel called for nimble foot work to dip down and then seek decent foot holds on the upward bank of the ravine. A large private dwelling inland from my goat like scrambling showed how some properties have had modern make overs for the best of all worlds. This has always been a favourite walk of mine so I knew that the key was to aim up and past a neglected old house on the lip of the barranco.

As so often on these walks, a great effort was rewarded by the views as I sat on the edge of a threshing circle that panned across the three dominant peaks. A good place for a breather, water, and a feast for the eyes. Then the hardest part of the walk beckoned, skirting down and around a twisting path that opened up rewarding views of Roque del Conde, the peak that looks down on Los Cristianos, Arona, and Adeje.


Nearer to the lower slopes of Conde, the terracing of the fields showed how locals eeked out a living growning crops in this exposed area. At times the path offers choices, the mantra to remember is to progress with Conde to your right and move downwards away from the sea view. The finish point of Arona town began to loom up ahead but a tight, deep barranco called for more agile steps as I descended into the cool floor of the ravine. It was fairly quiet but birds were carrying on their day with little regard for this noisy interlooper. On past trips I have sen goats being herded up narrow paths and barbary partridge chicks getting parental guidance.

The walk took nearly four hours with plenty of rests and the final leg led past a small village and into the town of Arona with a couple of cafes and a bus link back down to Los Cristianos. Even on repeat visits, I always find new pleasures and refresh my thirst for the rural wonders of Tenerife.



Gallego And CD Tenerife Friends Are Scene Stealers

Promotion hot shots Levante UD froze in the Santa Cruz spotlight as all the action came from the hosts. As Gerard Butler filmed his latest  movie just down the road, CD Tenerife shook off their negative tag for their own all action show, and were unlucky not to create a bigger margin than their 1-0 win.

The home defence made telling contributions to the early pressure with right back Mellot and confident loan centre back Kike Salas pushing forward. Belief grew for the white shirts as the red and blues struggled to keep up with the home pace. Gallego dragged a shot wide and Mellot blasted a shot wide of the other post. It was looking surprisingly one sided for Tenerife.

After the break, Alexandre tested the Levante goalie before Gallego grabbed a 53rd minute lead with a powerful header from a Nacho cross, the forwards 11 th strike of the season. Brazilian forward Wesley, a former Aston Villa player, showed a little resistance but Tenerife always looked comfortable.


Both teams made wholesale late changes, Alex Munoz got a mixed reception on his return to the Heliodoro in an away shirt, while Tenerife gave more playing time to fringe players. Mo Dauda shone in a free central strikers role that allowed him to show off his delicate lay offs. Pressure is a big leveller, Levante were cowering below their promotion task, but Tenerife were unshackled with the faint relegation threat evaporated. Just three league games remain, a new coach waits in the wings, young players have been promised more opportunities, and the feel good factor is seeping back in.