Archive for January 1st, 2010
Happy New Year, Los Cristianos style

Snow driving in from the mountains, icebergs floating towards the beach, and penquins with bobble hats and scarfs on. Well, not quite, but the Tenerife night had a little chill in the air forcing me to wear jeans instead of my usual shorts – Â oh what hardships I endure. After a very liquid christmas, I was determined to tone down my New Year celebrations, and didn’t go out until 11pm.

In recent years the local council have tweaked and fine tuned the arrangements for the big night, this year there was no stage and fair in the old car park by the Valdes centre. Things were a bit more spread out with a stage set up outside the cultural centre and several temporary bars in the nearby area, sealed off to traffic. It worked well, the stage area drew people in and even before the magic hour, locals and tourists were dancing happily as the giant screen made sure everyone got to see, as well as hear the music.

Onward to the beach, and it was pretty busy, people were grabbing vantage points ready for the fireworks. The restaurants were getting a welcome boost to end a poor years trade, and there was a sprinkling of kilts and fancy dress. Many brought their own drink, bags clanking with bottles and glasses, and bunches of grapes ripe for eating. The Spanish tradition is to sip champagne or Cava, and eat one grape for every strike of midnight. Supermarket chain Hipertrebol, offered a slight twist on that, selling cheap satsumas and cider for the day.

The anticipation grew as midnight approached, there are no audible bells near the beach so it was a very rough guess as to the precise moment, but once a few cheers went up and the first colourful rocket ripped through the sky, everyone started popping corks, hugging, dancing and showering their neighbours with best wishes for 2010. The fireworks were impressive as ever, volleys of light shot up from several launch pads, on Montaña Chayofita overlooking the beach, and out along the bay by the bigger hotels. The show lasted a good 15 minutes with necks craning to catch all the displays at the same time, as the last shower of colour faded, rapturous applause rang out and the serious dancing and drinking began.

I bumped into a few of the Armada Sur and we reflected on the past mammoth year for CD Tenerife, raising a glass to hopes of stability in La Liga. I threaded my way back past the stage, by now a swirling mass of dancing bodies, and called into the Apolo centre to join the Blues Brothers party at The Don John bar. My good intentions were eroded a little and I eventually got home at 4am but it was a nice way to launch 2010.