Archive for November, 2009
Blimey, where did that come from?

It took CD Tenerife 60 minutes and a 3-0 deficit to realise that Valladolid are a poor team, but after that they roared back to draw 3-3 for their first away point of the season. This was a weird game, Tenerife were awful in the first half and looked like they had given up before they started, in the end they will be able to draw a huge confidence boost from a spirited fightback.

Tenerife looked supect down their left side from the start and Valladolid exploited that, a 5th minute raid by Costa went all the way to the goal line before a frantic CDT clearance. Another break followed but this time Sergio Aragoneses was there to make a great save. Omar and Alfaro were having quiet games leaving Nino with a lot to do on his own but he had a good charge after 17 minutes but ran into a defensive wall. Just before the half hour Valladolid took the lead, Costa shrugged off Bellvis and Alonso trying to cover the middle, and powered through to score.

A few minutes later it got worse, Alonso fouled Canobbio in the box and he slotted home his penalty. Nino had 2 more chancs before half time, the best a header from a great Omar cross, but Tenerife could hardly complain at going in 2-0 down. Valladolid started the second half strongly with 3 good shots on goal, Sergio’s point blank save again saved his team mates but Costa rose above the Tenerife defence to make sure the next chance brought a goal.

This was looking very bad, thankfully CDT dug deep and came back into the game, coach Oltra brought on Angel for Omar and it livened up the attack. Nino took advantage of a defensive mix up to nip in and pull one back, Alfaro spurned a clear chance soon after, but the home side were looking jittery. Tenerife broke forward again, this time Angel was sharp and made it 3-2, he nearly followed up with another but his final touch let him down. With 5 minutes left  Ayoze’s cross beat the defence and an attempted header by Luna and tied the scores at 3-3. There was time for more drama, Luna got a second yellow card and was off, and Angel sliced a shot wide after good play from Nino. After such a poor start, Tenerife will be feeling they could have shaded it 4-3, still a point is very welcome.

Next Sunday Sporting Gijon visit Santa Cruz for a 4pm kick off, and the week after we will hope for that elusive first away win at Getafe, I will be there with a selection of other hand picked ambassadors for Tenerife, can’t wait.

Sniffing around in north Tenerife

Some days you don’t always get what you are after, but there are always consolations. I headed up to La Laguna via Santa Cruz, to try to track down British artist Dave McKean. This talented chap from Maidenhead is an accomplished painter, illustrator and photographer, but famous as a comic book artist. I had heard the name vaguely, he wrote a series called Batman, Arkham Asylum. The La Laguna connection was as a photo artist with an exhibition called Pholk, at the Estudio Artizar, his website is being revamped so I couldn’t contact him, and just took a chance of an interview for . I soon found out that Dave is back in the UK freezing, so I purused his work at the small quaint gallery, an old traditional Canarian house. The photos are all based on traditional English dance fiqures, but with a bizarre twist added – interesting. You have till 12 December if you want to check out the work.

That could have been a blow to my day but Great Aunt Matilda always said “a day spent exploring is a day not wasted” that was just before she was shot for trespassing. So crossing the Calle San Augustin to the old convent of San Agustin, I sought out some more art at the exhibition hall. Rosa Munoz was the artist and as soon as I entered the hall, her paintings hit me, bright vibrant colours, all based on living scenes, some in a living room and some in a rural setting, but all boosted by screaming, loud colour – I liked that. For this show, you have unitl 10 December – both exhibitions are FREE.

Christmas is just a month away, time to plant the poinsettias, there were a few of these gorgeous red and yellow plants around La Laguna, but back in Santa Cruz, the borders and flower beds were bulging with them. Although a well worn christmas tradition, poinsettias are known in Spain as Flores de Pascua (Easter Flowers) , Santa Cruz council has bedded in 87, 112 of them, mainly red, but some yellow for contrast, there are also 3.500 persian violets adorning hanging baskets. Parque Garcia Sanabria was looking and smelling  particularly fragrant, especially the flower clock.

Santa Cruz port is always one of my stop off points, always some interesting ships in, and yesterday it was one of the smaller vessels taking centre stage. Petrel is a drug enforcement ship for the Agencia Tributuria, tracking down smugglers, and confiscating their loads. Since it launched in 1995, Petrel has carried out 47 major operations including in the waters off Venezuela, Brazil and even southern England. Their haul has included 84,000 kilos of cocaine, 8,000 kilos of hachis, and 725,000 packets of cigarettes, I bet their christmas party is pretty lively. Oh well that will do for another day, hopefully my next visit will see the christmas shopping frenzy in full swing.

Best foot forward for the Walk For Life

Sometimes in Tenerife, getting up on a Sunday morning can seem like hard work, but usually it is self inflicted. Here’s a rallying cry to stir yourselves and make a special effort for Sunday 13 December for an 11am start to do the Walk For Life, the annual breast cancer charity appeal. It’s just 3.5 kms from Mediterranean Palace to Sal Y Tien plaza, both in Playa de Las Americas, and the dress code is – wear something pink.

This is where I hold my hand up and say, I wont be there, due to a previous booking in Madrid to see Getafe v CD Tenerife, otherwise I would have done the walk armed with my camera for . I had the pleasure last week to meet one of the organisers of the Walk For Life , Gina Case, who broke off from hot footing the streets to deliver posters, to explain events. It’s the 4th year of the Walk in Tenerife, last year 2,000 walkers raised 20,000 euros to split between Spanish cancer charity AECC and Tenerife breast cancer charity Amate.

The walk unites both Spanish and British communities in Tenerife, and at the start and finish of the walk, there will be music and coverage in both languages. I also spoke to a British lady I know, who has recent personal experience of cancer, and her story gives a very encouraging and uplifting insight into cancer treatment in Tenerife, please have a look at

Ok here is the hard sell, the Walk For Life is free and everyone is invited, they would like you to make at least a nominal donation or better still get yourself sponsored. Don’t think that this event doesn’t concern you as it is driven mainly by breast cancer, the AECC deals with all varieties of the disease. Cancer can strike anyone at any time, supporters of CD Tenerife are well aware of this as our goalkeeper Sergio Aragoneses has fought off two bouts of testicular cancer, and is now fully recovered and playing some of the best games of his life, in La Liga.

For more information on the Walk For Life  and sponsorship forms check the website or call 600821100 and if you intend to pop along on the day, pledge your support at Facebook.

Sevilla class too much for improved Tenerife

This was a much better performance from Tenerife, but Sevilla looked a class act full of skill, speed and power, but they were still a little lucky to win 2-1. The pre match signs weren’t good Kome (injured) and Alfaro (his loan forbids him playing against his parent club) were missing and Sevilla were in a hot vein of form. Just before kick off there was a minutes silence for German goalkeeper Robert Enke, on loan at Tenerife in 2003, whose depression fuelled suicide shocked football.

From the off Sevilla showed their attacking flair, former Spurs and West Ham forward Kanoute dominated up front and speedy wingers Perotti and Navas were a constant threat on the flanks. Tenerife coach Oltra had another go at filling the problem right back slot, this time putting Luna there, and he had a torrid time. Mikel Alonso came back in midfield and had a great game for the home side, directing play and prompting his team mates.

Konko went close in the 2nd minute heading past the Tenerife goal and Kanoute had a great chance 10 mins later but fired it at Sergio Aragoneses in the CDT goal. Mikel forced a save with an ambitious long shot as Tenerife matched their 3rd placed visitors. Sevilla turned on the style at the half hour mark, Bellvis lost the ball at left back and Navas nipped in and cantered down the flank before crossing for Perotti to score. Ricardo ended the first half, forcing a save out of the Sevilla keeper.

Tenerife raised their game in the second half, Juanlu headed wide and Nino was flattened in the box, but no penalty was given. Sevilla made it 2-0 with a thunderbolt from Renato, and Tenerife were facing a near impossible task. That didn’t deter them, Nino was isolated up front but seemed to be relishing the challenge, showing some of his old confidence, he blasted a strong shot just wide and the 20,552 crowd responded, urging a hopeful revival.

Sevilla were always dangerous on the break due to their lighning reflexes, Navas fired a shot high over the Tenerife goal. Tenerife stuck to their task and got their reward after 74 minutes, Juanlu came in from the right and set up Nino who struck the ball perfectly to pull a goal back. Tenerife tried to get a deserved equaliser but Sevilla sat on their lead as the game ticked away. With just a few minutes to go Luna picked up a booking that will sideline him for next Sundays game at Valladolid, but Tenerife showed enough character and determination in this game to give then renewed encouragement for the next few games.

Give it a whirl in Los Cristianos

Music, wine and food, what more could you ask for (without being rude) if you take a stroll down to the promenade in Los Cristianos on a Thursday evening, you will find all of these at the Canarias Folk Fest, Arona council have started these weekly gatherings all the way through to 25 March 2010.

The first shock I got was they started bang on time at 8pm, that’s not very traditional, everything starts late here, in fact we are expecting Christmas Day some time next April. There was a large gathering and the restaurants were all benefiting from the interest, there was a real buzz about the seafront. The musiacal action centred on a small stage in the plaza where the fisherwomans statue holds court. Singers and musicians in full Canarian costume were belting out some fine tunes as dancers glided across the cobbles.

There is a whole range of dances, described in the official tourism leaflet, here is one example, the Folias. “A dance of love, it is slow and unhurried. The young men show their respect towards the ladies and never touch them.” Wow that sounds just like the scene in a Newcastle nightclub, well almost. As well as the music there is a row of food outlets, selling sauces, cakes biscuits, and of course local wine, all with plenty of FREE samples.

The entertainment lasted for just over an hour and ended with a volley of fireworks. It’s a good initiative to boost the local economy, tourists learn about culture and tradition, while Canarians learn that it takes a brave person to stand between a Brit and free food.

Shipping in tourists and revving up the locals in Santa Cruz

Ahoy me old ship mates, this is Captain Colin here fresh back from Santa Cruz, it was awash with tourists from Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain, as 5 cruise liners docked. It was too good an opportunity to miss, so armed with my camera and notebook I stalked the streets of the capital looking for a story for .

The ships were lined up nicely at the far side of the port, trouble was security guards were posted at the entrance to the area where they were moored, so I had to be content with pics from the ferry reception building. The biggest of all the ships, MSC Fantasia has called in before, but still looks impressive with its 18 decks, 3,274 passengers, and money oozing out of every port hole. The Grand Mistral weighed in with 1,100 passengers, the Astor 590, a 4 mast sailing yacht, Sea Cloud with about half that, and Island Escape adding another 1,690 floating wallets. Personal service is the order of the day on board these ships, so crew numbers only lag slightly behind the paying public.

Thankfully the weather behaved, leaving me to chase passengers around the streets of Santa Cruz with a big net, it just needed the Benny Hill music in the background and it would have been perfect. A lot of passengers didn’t want to talk, probably thought I was selling something, and others pretended to speak French or Italian just to get rid of me, probably from Scunthorpe but good at accents. At least a few were chatty, give it a few days and you can read the full article at , we are cramming so many stories in at the moment, some have to adopt a stacking formation and wait for a space to become available.

All this activity didn’t keep me away from my favourite food places, I nearly always have some churros de pescado (fish in batter) at the Plaza del Principe cafe, and it would be rude not to have some coffee and chocolate doughnuts along the way. All the streets were busy with beggars and artists, some are a pain, but I can’t resist stopping to watch the living statues, and the reactions they get from startled members of the public when they suddenly move.

I was ready to make my way back down south, this time along the Avenida Maritima, the dock front road, but loud music and gathered crowds alerted me to the slip road bordering the docks, brightly coloured race cars were gathering for the Tenerife Rally. All 96 entrants were going through last minute checks before Friday nights 3 quickfire stages could take place in Arico, Icor and Fasnia.

Feast you eyes on this Porsche 911 997 GT3 , I’m told it is favourite to win the Tenerife Rally after the 2 further Saturday runs on the same 3 routes. The driver is Santiago Concepcion Acosta from La Palma and his co pilot Nazer Ghuneim Olivares. I must be honest and say that the technical wizardry of the cars is lost on me, but I did appreciate the dolly girls dishing out the race programmes. The full article is already up on and you still have until the end of November to win a weeks holiday at Sands Beach Resort in Lanzarote, by joining the Tenerife Magazine Facebook group, get in there.

CD Tenerife out of the Cup with a whimper

This has to be the lowest point of the season, losing 1-0 at home to Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey, even worse than the 2-1 defeat in the away leg. Celta are struggling in the bottom four of the Second Division but were more than a match for CDT. Poor passing, losing the ball too easily and a general lack of urgency and purpose all helped to humble Tenerife, there were schoolboy errors – maybe it’s time for a new teacher, coach Oltra chalked up his 100th game in charge but can’t seem to motivate the players any more.

Tenerife put out a strong line up, and there was a decent 13,328 crowd, so we were hoping they would go all out to claw back the one goal deficit, how wrong we were. Alfaro missed a good chance in the first minute but Celta soon put the pressure on the home goal, Garcia had to save from Saulo after 14 minutes. At times Celta had Tenerife pinned down in their own end and relying on some desperate clearances, Alfaro squandered a couple of more chances and it was all looking a bit desperate.

Tenerife looked a bit better starting the second half, but slipped back into sloppy habits. Omar continues to improve and made a great run down the left and into the box, leaving the ball for Dinei, somehow he managed to miss his golden opportunity, a signal that Tenerife were about to say goodbye to the cup.

Because of the away goal, Tenerife only needed to score once to go through and Celta could afford to sit on the draw. It didn’t look like that, Nino and Angel came on for CDT but both looked poor. Celta even went down to 10 men, Vasco got his marching orders for a second yellow, although his tackle on Omar looked fair. Time for a late Tenerife rally? not quite, Celta broke on the counter attack and Luna lost the ball to Danilo to score the only goal of the night.

Sad news reached us after the game, German goalkeeper Robert Enke (above), on loan at Tenerife in 2004, committed suicide on a rail crossing in Germany. Robert impressed with some great performances in CDT colours and went on to play for Hannover, he would have been at the 2010 World Cup as third choice keepr for Germany. Friends say he never came to terms with the death of his 2 year old daughter in 2006 from a heart problem.

CD Tenerife “lose” 2-2 at home to Malaga

The key to staying in La Liga looked like finding 3 teams worse than Tenerife, the reality isn’t quite that simple, we still have to beat them. This was a shameful waste of 2 points against the bottom placed team, CDT were cruising at 2-0 up after half an hour but a sloppy, uninspired performance let Malaga back in.

It was quite a low key start to the game, Malaga looked poor with Portugese forward Edihno their only real threat, Sergio Aragoneses denied him after 15 minutes. Tenerife gradually got into their stride and Omar showed some great ball control to set up Roman for a 17th minute home lead. It got better barely 10 minutes later, Nino found Kome and his ball to Alfaro was gratefully fired into the Malaga net by the CDT forward.

That should have been the start of an easy romp, but it’s never easy for Tenerife fans, Malaga hit back straight away, Edinho exploting the CDT defence to pull a goal back. Aragoneses was kicking the goal post in anger and frustration at his defence, but he showed his own class a few minutes later, arching his body back to tip over a goal bound shot.

Into the second half and Tenerife really fell apart. Alfaro had a penalty claim turned down, he was tackled in the box and had a fair claim but made the most of his fall, and put doubts in the referees mind. Duda forced another save out of Sergio and Alfaro went close again at the other end, but there seemed a lack of urgency about Tenerife. They paid the price after 76 minutes when Sergio’s save came out to Lopez, who scored on his senior debut. It was a dismal ending for the 17,761 crowd, Nino looked poor again, near the end of the game he froze when the ball broke free in front of goal, and then fired a shot outside the Malaga post.

Tuesday night it’s home in the Copa del Rey 2nd round, with a 2-1 deficit to make up from the first leg, kick off 7pm. Internationals mean a blank weekend next week, but in 2 weeks time Sevilla are the visitors, at least it brings us a bit nearer to the January transfer window – reinforcements are definately needed.

Great Scott, Santa Cruz is for sale

If I was an MP, I would have a second home in Santa Cruz, subsidised by the tax payer, I seem to spend a lot of time up there – not that I’m moaning. Today I popped up to interview the British Consul for the Canary Islands, see

First stop though was the port to get a look at Royal Navy ship HMS Scott,the fleets only ocean survey vessel. For the technical out there, it is 131 metres (430 foot) long, can do up to 18 knots and has a crew of up to 63. The ship is here until Tuesday (Nov 10) morning before heading off into the oceans of the world.

The forecast for Santa Cruz was rain, thankfully it didn’t amount to more that a bit of drizzle, or as I like to think of it, the makings of a Miss Wet Tshirt contest. After my usual wanderings around the capital, I headed to Plaza Weyler and my interview with the Consul. Matthew Vickers turned out to be a very interesting chap, I hadn’t realised he had lived in my home city of Oxford for 8 years, so we spent the first 10 minutes talking about pubs and live music in Oxford. The full interview is quite revealing and well worth a look at

Before heading for home, I couldn’t resist delving into the huge open sale at the Recinto Ferial events centre. The Expolsado Invierno has 212 stands from 120 companies, and is a real mix of everthing you could ever want, and a few things you cartainly wouldn’t. I thought the 3 euro entrance was a bit of a cheek, but queued for a ticket from the box offi¡ce and then moved round to the entrance. As I walked in I was buzzed by a remote control truck and was immediately struck by the amazing array of goods on offer. One whole side was for used cars, two strange white animal type mascots posed for photos, they seemed to be scarring more kids than they enchanted.

There were imitation guns, toys, loads of christmas decorations, musical instruments and electrical goods, all at knock down prices. One man bought a faulty television with the volume stuck on full, well he couln’t turn it down. There were huge baskets of clothes being turned over by bargain hunting ladies, I sneaked in and hid in one of the baskets and let the frenzied women rummage through me – very enjoyable. The sale is on till Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm, don’t worry chaps, if you want to take your good woman along, or even the wife, it’s good to know that the cafe sells beer. Happy hunting.

CD Tenerife chewed up by Villareal beast

It’s cat kicking time at Kirby Towers after a hefty 5-0 away loss to Villareal, one of the teams below CDT in La Liga. Tenerife played well in the first half and had much more possesion but poor finishing was again their downfall.

Tenerife coach Oltra described Champions League regulars Villareal as slumbering beasts, sadly for Tenerife they chose today to wake up. Llorente was nearly on the score sheet after 5 minutes, thankfully Aragonoses was more alert than his defence and foiled him. Nino had a good chance just after but skied it over the goal, Llorente showed him how to do it, slipping through CDT’s slack centre backs Sicila and Martinez to make it 1-0.

Alfaro put Omar through in front of goal but the young striker couldn’t quite control the ball to convert it, Nino (pic) had another clear chance and hit it straight at the keeper, and Omar hit the post. Llorente showed he was human, failing to score after a slip by Sicilia, and trailing 1-0 at half time, Tenerife were still hopeful. Villareal came out after the break fired up, Pires latched onto a great long pass to make it 2-0, then a double whammy knocked the stuffing out of the visitors. Former Man Utd forward Rossi finished off a great move to add a third and barely a minute later, Llorente showed his class, beating Martinez, chipping the ball over Aragonoses, and running on to head it in the net.

Tenerife kept going, Nino showed a flash of last seasons form, beating 2 players and curling in a shot that just missed the goal. Villareal had the last word, a break down the left ended with Cani making it 5-0 with his second touch. Next Saturday at home it’s bottom placed Malaga and another must win game.