CD Tenerife Have That Upside Down Feeling

Fear of relegation trumped the hunger for promotion as Malaga out fought and out played CD Tenerife for a 0-2 win in Santa Cruz. For 24 hours the defeat hung like a black cloud over our sunny island, but points dropped by Real Oviedo the next evening confirmed a promotion play off place for Tenerife.

It took just eight minutes for the alarm bells to start clanging when  a raid down Tenerife´s left ended with a dipping cross that Carlos Ruiz failed to cut out, leaving a free Vadillo header past a hesitant Dani Hernandez covering for suspended Soriano.  Malaga were giving two 21 year old fringe players  a chance, Olmo running from deep was constantly testing Mellot but the French home defender did well to limit his influence. Mario Gonzalez had the best home chance of the first half but was held back by a Malaga defender when aiming his shot.

Tenerife looked half paced with Alex Corredera very quiet in midfield, Elady and Gallego were struggling to muster a decent shot between them. Surely a half time breather would restore the pecking order as suggested by league placings, but it just got worse. Three minutes after the restart, Dani blocked a shot with his knees and it rebounded out to Febas to double the agony.

Molledo was aggressive as always on the left but he was a little too wild to produce a cool, clean strike. Coach Ramis gambled with a double change just before the hour. Shaq Moore replaced Mellot at right back and forced a finger tip save after a dash down the wing and a pin point cross. Nahuel, rarely making even a spot on the bench, also came on but despite his powerful runs inside off the left, he had no end product.

Malaga were feisty, argumentative, and rime wasting, everything you would expect from a side fighting to avoid the drop. Tenerife were a shadow of their away game majesty and couldn´t claw their way back. Injuries and suspensions, plus nerves are bound to be playing a part, but they can now experiment a little in their two remaining regular league games before the two legged semi and hopefully final. Once again a big crowd, 14,672, went away dissapointed but the dream is still alive.


Hard Work And Hard Knocks Inspire San Juan De La Rambla

Hemmed in by the sacred mountain Fortaleza and a 9.000 year old black lava trail down to the sea, San Juan de la Rambla has had to dig deep to express itself. The result is a defiant and colourful municipality in the north of Tenerife.

The TF 5 road linking Icod de Los Vinos to Puerto de la Cruz delivered me from my TITSA bus, close ro one of several old concrete tunnels perched above the coast. Looking up it was a little dark and fornoding, especially taking the mini tunnel under the busy mainroad, but within minutes I was marvelling at the beauty in the old village of San Juan de la Rambla. The entire municipality boasts just under 5,000 inhabitants.

The bright colours of the buildings and the well maintained flower borders showed a sense of pride at work, and plenty of tradition. A calvaro made a sturdy home for the religious crosses and just beyond, a small neat plaza led to some age weary old houses. Despite their peeling paint, they had a certain nobility about them. and a few scattered clothes washing troughs were another link to the past.

Local rock dating back 2 million years had been quarried on a small scale in the past and the work had taken its toll on many younger workers. Ornaments and even parts of the nearby cemetary were adorned with locally crafted work, some of the extracted ore was even transported to South America. A monument paid tribute to the hard and dangerous quarry work.

The village hasn´t sat still since its industrial past. A newer, low level housing development sloped down to the Charco La Laja rock pool via a reinforced series of paths and ample warnings of times and rides ro avoid. On this sunny afternoon, the sparkling water had attracted a small crowd of swimmers and anglers. High up above the popular dipping point, a small spring trickled water down to the sea, and views both ways along the coast showed a series of rugged coves.

Heading back up, I swerved along and past several welcoming bars and cafes before finding the church and plaza of San Juan (John the Baptist) with its very detailed clock face. Striding up to my original access point, I couldn´t help imagine how horrific the record rainfall floods of 1826 must have been as water swept down off the mountain. Work was underway to widen the entry point to the village and the closed Tourist Information office had plenty of good information and maps on disply outside. A couple of walks caught my eyes and will draw me back to check out a route from up the mountain and down through the Barranco Ruiz.


Goalies Grab Glory As CD Tenerife Step Nearer To Play Offs

Expansive, attacking football lit up the Heliodoro stadium as CD Tenerife and SD Huesca showed that O – O can be compulsive viewing. Huesca still had a long shot at sneaking into the promotion play offs  and started out with five players leading a forward charge. Jose Leon had to defuse a couple of early raids, and Soriano made a fine full length dive to deflect a partially obscured Huesca shot. Fernandez also felt his gloves stinging after two close range blocks from Mollejo. Timor fancied his chances but found Soriano´s safe hands defying him. Alez Muñoz was linking well with Bermejo who couldn´t find a way past the visiting stopper. It was action all the way.

Pulses were racing after that frantic first half. Muñoz injury problems meant he had to give way to Pomares for the second half as Tenerife assumed the dominant role. Pomares found his defensive partner Seergio Gonzalez with a long pass that resulted in a fierce shot at the Huesca keeper. Iy was gripping stuff to watch as the search for the break through heated up. Sergio Gonzalez has made his name on steady defending but was enjoying his forward runs to support strikers Elady and Gallego, and he showed he has a powerful shot on him too.

Coach Ramis freshened up the forward positions with 15 minutes left with Andres Martin and Mario Gonzalez replacing the two leading scorers. Huesca added their own extra fire power but Mario had the best late chance, only to be denied by Fernandez. Gallant Huesca said goodbye to their promotion hopes but CD Tenerife are still well placed in fourth spot with just 5 regular games before the play offs. It was a refreshing match to watch after the visits of so many teams of spoilers had gone before, and deserved more than the 11,970 crowd.


Breaching The Adeje Fortress Of Industry, Commerce, And Culture

Panting up hill from Adeje town centre has tweaked many hikers muscles ready for the plunge into Barranco del Invierno, one of the most trodden walks in Tenerife. The sturdy canon outside the battle weary walls of Casa Fuerte may have hinted at the strategic value of the “strong house” but now a full appreciation of this 500 year old home and fortress is open to visitors. A new Sunday initiative of an artesans market was in full swing with music and crafts on my visit.

Where pirates failed to destroy the Casa Fuerte, fire had more success in 1902, but on this clear morning the missing sections of roof showcased natures ingredients that had inspired the original sugar refinery on the same site. This sweet production process was the biggest of its kind in Tenerife.

The proud white tower of the country house still looks lout over the 7,200 square metres of courtyards, gardens, servant quarters, and industrial and agricultural work spaces. Boilers and other production stock gleamed as hand held tools clinged to walls. I felt a swell of pride to see that some items were made in England. Wooden barrels, now empty, would have lubricated many a social gathering. Wine, art, and needlework were among the many items for sale in the market area, harking back to the days when this was the social centre of Adeje.

Casa Fuerte is open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 1 pm, and the artesans market is expected to become a monthly treat. The website will keep you up with further developments.Views down to the coast show a very changed landscape, vut the fortress is regaining its modern relevance at the same time as shining a light on the past.

CD Tenerife Turn Up The Promotion Heat

Sizzling in the stands and grilling on the grass. Easter Sunday weather turned the Heliodoro stadium into a cauldron  as the home heroes romped to a tasty 3-1 win over relegation strugglers Fuenlabrada. The visitors were very poor but all the home players kept sharp and clinical, this was no time for banana skins.

The return of influential left back Alex Muñoz from injury added a calmness to defence and a smooth supply line to Bermejo who has become a key regular on the left flank. Pablo Larrea got the midfileld nod over Alexandre Corredera. Although he hasn´t got the same creative skills, he had the same work rate and linked defence to attack with a hard edged determination.

After 27 minutes Mellot crossed from out wide for Enric Gallego who shook off his marker and blasted his shot past the back peddling keeper to take the lead. The second goal was even better just five minutes from the break. A defender lost the ball, Gallego took a short step away and looped the ball high and over the advancing goalie. That took Gallego to 10 goals so far this season.

Into the second half and Larrea with a booking that tots up a one game ban, made way for Alexandre. There was no let up for Fuenlabrada, Mario Gonzalez was also tormenting them and got his reward with some smart reactions. A corner ball found Mario with plenty of space to side foot the despondent stopper. A few minutes after, Mario gave way to Elady, who leads the way with 11 strikes so far. There are plenty of goals in this Tenerife squad, that will prove vital in the promotion play offs.

There was a rare lapse from the home side after 63 minutes, when Pedrro Leon was knocked to the ground in the box and stepped up to convert the penalty. Tenerife were still dominant, Mollejo had free range up front and was causing havoc. Diame was a late sub for Fuenlabrada, the former Wigan, West Ham, Hull, and Newcastle player was a recent free agent after a spell in the Qatar league. Vastly overweight and clumsy, the defender tried holding Elady back before grounding him with a belly flop that shook Santa Cruz. The ref ignored a possible penalty but it was still a convincing victory in front of 11,763 fans and leaves just 6 regular season games.

Strolling In The Parks Of Puerto De La Cruz

Was I getting a history lesson, botany class, or a grounding in landscape gardening? All were gratefully accepted as Parque Taoro in Puerto de la Cruz drew me up from the busy Carretera Jardin road below.

A crescendo of low stepped paths huddled around pools and water falls as they gently parted the green curtain of flora. It was to be a double pleasure as the circular galleries emerged above the tree line for great views of the north coast of Tenerife. Ceramic tiles showed glimpses of history and customs via the Guanches, the original inhabitants of Tenerife.

Big clearings with palm islands in ornate lakes vied for attention as Cuban born poet, Dulce Maria Loynaz, an adopted daughter of Tenerife, looked on with pride. Awarding myself a rest and a coffee at the Taoro Terrace Restaurant And Bar, I was in good company as people kicked back to enjoy the views or the shade.

Moving on past the abandoned former casino to the more modern, and groomed layout of Parque de La Sortija, I could see a lot of care and styling had gone into the huge leisure space. Neat paths, sport zones, even a large excercise zone for dogs, and a big feature was made of the intrusions of volcanic lava in wild twisting patterns. Gnarled ancient tree roots flexed their muscles in a proud show of age, and the meandering and split level walks allowed for plenty of secluded spots to take the sin or indulge in some light excercise.

Living in the shadow of the up market Jardin Tropical just up the road hasn´t bothered these parks. Its all free and open from 10 am to 8 pm apart from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday when its late opening to 10 pm.

Cat Keeps CD Tenerife In The Promotion Bag

Like wading through treacle, everything seems hard going for CD Tenerife at the moment. Even with an improved performance and key players back on song, they were held 1-1 by mid table Real Zaragoza.

Home keeper Soriano again made a series of top quality saves, the first was a dive to divert the ball from entering the net. It bobbled and fell kindly to former Tenerife player Vada to poke it inside the roof of the net after 15 minutes. Sam Shashoua made a rare start and joined the dots along the forward line. Zaragoza couldn´t nail the former England under 18 play maker down. Andres Martin returned the ball to Sam after it had left a defender chasing shadows, Sam saw his chance and stroked the ball past the goalie to level after 22 minutes.

Alex Correrdera had looked tired in recent games, it was good to see the spring back in his step, full of creative scheming, and linking defence and attack.Sergio Gonzalez was also back in the groove at the heart of the home defence, another influential player and a perfect compliment for Jose Leon. Soriano opened the second half with another acrobatic denial as Zaragoza pressed forward.


Bermejo on for Elady at half time did little to sharpen the attack. Sam departed with Pomares after 68 minutes as Ruben Diez and Shaq Moore entered the fray. Shaq was fresh back from helping the USA to qualify for the Qatar World Cup. There was a scare when decisive goalie Soriano raced out to foul a Zaragoza forward who had left the home defence in his wake and had a clear sight of the target. A yellow card for the stopper and a wasted free kick for the visitors calmed the nerves. Another former Santa Cruz player, Nano, teed up his own chance but Soriano seemed rto double in size to smother the shot.

Eight regular games remain, Tenerife are in 5th place (3rd to 6th male the play offs) with a five point safety margin. Form is everything, Girona have crashed the play off party and Las Palmas are just six points adrift from joining the knock out stage. The 12,039 crowd could  feel the tension among the home players, Tenerife need to rekindle their best form for the big run in, they have the talent to suceed.

Waves Of Colour Transform Los Abrigos Harbour Wall

Fish restaurants on the sloping crescent of Los Abrigos now have an even better view for customers to feast on.Michael Diaz and Natalia Real have been adding  images of noted local figures to a 395  square  metre concrete canvas that extends its protective arm around the secluded bay on the Granadilla coast of Tenerife.

Four months on and the work is nearing completion as friendly faces from the fishing community share their stage with the reassuring prescence of the Virfen del Carmen, the patron of the fishermen. It´s not just people immortalised in paint, the ginger cat that pads the promenade looks like the cats whiskers on the big screen.

The framework of the mural was outlined first like a giant jugsaw before colour and details were added. Michel and Natalia are experienced with such large projects and favour artists brushes rather than sprays. Old school rules with mixing performed on a hand held palate, and a paint spotted gladstone bag that keeps the creative mixtures ready to apply.

It´s a tough call to reflect the charms of the port and shine up a natural jewel like Los Abrigos but the couple have achirved it with a sprinkling of humour and lots of pride. Now the fine flavours of the restaurants opposite are complimented by the respectful insight into tradition.


Culture, Care, And Carnaval In Los Realejos

Jumping out at me from all directions, Carnaval legends defied the gathering clouds high above Puerto de la Cruz and La Orotava in the north of Tenerife. Two years of minimal carnaval celebrations meant high heels and hi jinks were straining to break through.

The steep winding road up to the small municipality of Los Realejos bajo and alto showed their concern for those with little to celebrate, at several of the traffic roundabouts. The modern sculpture of friendship towards the young had gained a Ukraine flag and a wish for unity, along with proclamations of hope and respect at the smaller traffic islands.

Los Realejos Carnaval theme was “Life Is A Musical” . The cut outs of key players in the history of the areas celebrations took centre stage in Plaza de San Agustin with many of their former costumes getting a roll call. A small ferris wheel was also being adjusted. The previous weeks rain had delayed some events but not dampened enthusiasm.

La Orotava squeezed in a three day carnaval a few weeks before, and the delayed biggie for Santa Cruz has been pencilled in from 2 to 26 June with hopes of thronging the streets once more to maintain its status as second only to Rio de Janiero in size and splendour. Fingers and painted toes are crossed for the explosion of colour.

Just below the Los Realejos plaza, was an ambitious project to restore and extend the short lived cinema. Teatro Cine was originally a convent owned by the Agustin monks but from 1930 to 1932 it became a beacon for entertainment. If all goes to plan, cinema, theatre, and culture will enrich the comminuty from 2023. In the meantime, free expression and music were being lined up for the night times celebrating up on the plaza.

Play Off Path Beckons For CD Tenerife

Mario Gonzalez rose for a bullet header just before half time, only to be denied as Almeria goalie Fernando arched his back and at full stretch tipped the ball just over the join of post and bar. Nearly an hour into the game, Carlos Ruiz lent into  visiting 15 goal hot shot Sadiq who collapsed for Ramazani to convert a VAR decided penalty. On such moments seasons can turn. Even at a time when promotion candidates are all dropping unexpected points, this 0-1 home defeat for CD Tenerife, effectively shut the door on top two automatic promotion.

For the opening 20 minutes Almeria shaded the play but once Tenerife had sussed out their tactics, the Santa Cruz team took control. Almeria built from the back with Akieme overlapping from a deep left back role to supply Sadiq. Tenerife were adjusting to the late loss of defender Pomares with Covid, Shaq Moore continued at right back with Mellot swapping to the other flank where he kept  Sousa shackled.

Tenerife went in for half time with a growing feeling of confidence and it continued after the restart. Rodrigo Ely, one of the oppositions two free agent recruits in the week before the game looked rusty after sitting on the sidelines at Nottingham Forest. The central defender was fortunate to get away with a loose tackle on Mario in the penalty area. Shaq Moore shaped up for a header at the visitors goal but a defender got his own head in to steer the ball away.

The Almeria goal changed the shape of the game, they looked to defend their lead and run down the time. Tenerife resisted big changes as they were still pressing their opponents and Mario was creating plenty of half chances. Sam Shasoua replaced Bermejo after 77 minutes and was soon followed by Victor Mollejo who provided a late burst of pace and urgency. The 15,053 crowd willed their team on but there was no way back. Captain Aitor Sanz misses the next game after his booking protesting ro the ref over the penalty – but he still led his team over to the crowd after the game to stoke their passion with defiant words. With 10 games left of the regular season, anything can happen but a June extension to Tenerife´s season for the nerve shredding lottery of four team home and away semi finals and final are loomimg large.