Archive for January, 2011
Nino To The Rescue For Late CD Tenerife Draw

In a storming finish CD Tenerife grabbed an injury time 3-3 home draw with Girona to lift them off the bottom of the Segunda Division on goal difference, but they shouldn’t have needed rescuing. Defensive changes were forced on coach Tapia as Luna, Beranger and Melli served supensions, in came Bellvis at left back with Prieto and Sicilia filling the central roles.

What a start Tenerife made, Nino tested the Girona keeper twice in the first few minutes, the second effort had the keeper fumbling to hold on to the ball. Just 14 minutes in and Alvarez corner was met sweetly by Sicilia for a desrved lead. Nino is always a whirlwind but even by his standards he was blowing strong forcing the keeper to block and then having 2 close encounters in quick succession. It was all CD Tenerife but after 25 minutes they relaxed again not heeding previous slip ups. Girona came into the game and Jandro set up Despotovic who finished cleanly.Tenerife should have brought it level again but kome’s deft touch to Ricardo completely confused the midfielder who looked like he had never seen a ball before.

The worries were back, the Tenerife midfield was soft and generous and the same combination worked their magic again with Despotovic slipping the ball into the corner of the net. Half time was as grey and depressing as the weather but worse was to come. Just after the restart Sergio dashed out of his goal to stop Despotovic from completing his hat trick and handled the ball outside his area for a red card. Tapia sacrificed Bellvis to bring on goalie Luis Garcia with Juanlu dropping into the left back slot. Garcia lasted 10 minutes with little to do before Chechu easily evaded 3 defenders before giving former home player Kiko an easy finish for a 3-1 lead. Some fans started to head for the exits but their lack of loyalty meant they missed a quick reply, Hidalgo dug in and made an opening for Nino to give renewed hope.

At last Tenerife hit top gear, Dubarbier came on for Juanlu at left back and again showed what a good signing he is, prompting a series of threatening attacks. Garcia had nothing to do as Tenerife lay siege to the other half of the pitch, Nino was unlucky with a couple of shots as the game dragged into injury time. Then with time evaporating Alvarez unlocked the Girona defence and Nino was on hand to plunder the equaliser for a desperately needed point.

It was still a case of what could have been, just 3 points from the 4 January home games is a paltry return but it’s time to move on into February with hopefully at least one new player. Big forward Igor de Souza from Segunda B Pontevedra was at the game and is having a medical as I write. The crowd of 14,148 showed amazing support for a 3rd home game in a week and the Armada Sur had the usual 2 coaches including the Barnsley Babes (photo). The last Tenerife win was in November at Villareal so it’s time for another, this time at Salamanca next Saturday, I will be there for the Armada Sur weekend away and hope to bring back 3 points.

I’ve Got One Two Three Four Five Senses Working Overtime

What do you do in Tenerife when it rains? People on Tenerife Holidays would be surprised if they knew the full extent of possibilities. For me it meant a day up in Santa Cruz chasing my arts, I seem to be almost living there this week with 3 home games on the football but on those trips there isn’t much time for exploring anything more than the bar. A bright start in Los Cristianos enticed me to travel without a coat and half way up the motorway the rain was lashing against the Titsa bus, oh well I had indoor destinations so would dodge the spots. First stop was the Robert Capa retrospective at Caja Canarias HQ in Plaza del Patriotismo.

Capa was a famous war photographer who covered 5 major wars and defined history through his lens, this was an exhibition I had been looking forward to. I’d never class myself as a photographer, I just take photos to back up my written work so I have great respect for those with the real talent and Capa was the best. I paid my 2 euros residents entry price to get in, they could have given me a freebie as I had my CD Tenerife shirt on with Caja Canarias emblazoned on the chest but maybe the ticket man was a Madrid fan. Anyway once inside I was soon engrossed in the 98 black and white portraits and impressed with his style described as so close to the action you can feel the ground shake. Tunisia has been in the news lately due to civil upheavel, some of Capa’s pics showed Tunisia during the Second World War fighting, sadly some things remain constant in the world. I won’t go into depth on the Capa exhibition as I have done a feature on Tenerife Magazine but I recomend you go and have a look before it ends on 12 March.

It’s been a few months since I visited TEA and as the Tenerife Espacio de Las Artes has a steady turnover of exhibitions I knew I would find new stimulation. On a rather dull afternoon the packed study area in the library shone out as I walked down the entrance ramp, paying my 2.50 residents entry (5 euros otherwise) I decided to take it logically and start with Sala A the first of the halls made up of several interlocing rooms. The main show was El Cuerpo Inventado (the invented body) with some typically unusual looks at the human body including this nifty hat on a leg (tempted to say kneecap). A smaller exhibition inside was Si Quebro El Cantaro, a look at child abuse through art, full of distorted nightmare images drawn mainly by children.

The TEA building is as much a star as the exhibits, it’s modern and very stylish, the library is huge with plenty of comfy areas to research or go through the large newspaper and magazine section. On previous visits the cafe has been closed but I was in luck and gave it a try, pretty standard snacks but the empty chalkboard still had the heading Menu del Dia so maybe they do offer something more substantial to feed the body as well as the mind. Anyway back to Sala B and Era Asi, No Era Asi from Lanzarote artist Juan Gopar, something of a beachcomber the rooms re-used driftwood and waste to add vibrant colours and shapes to discarded objects including a complete beach shack. As I walked around I could hear the rain pounding on the roof and through the brick sized windows could see Barranco Santos flooded and racing by in a brown sludgy hurry.

There’s one thing you could never accuse TEA of, playing safe, it’s a great champion to new artists and is always open to the unusual and downright bizarre. Sala C has been split into 7 workshop areas for resident artists under the title Arterias Visuales. Each has been given a small grant for materials and is free to develop their ideas, only one artist was actually at work and I was intriqued to read on her bio she has a Master in Sexology from Madrid – put me down for lots of homework. Some of the projects hadn’t got much beyond the scribbled design stage but a few had assembled some pieces like this pink creation. It’s an 11 week experiment so maybe I will get to see some end products and have a chat with the sexologist.

After 2 good hours I felt lifted, challenged and in some cases baffled but certainly happy that Santa Cruz has such a wonderful art space – even if there are hardly ever more than a handful of visitors. My challenge for the afternoon was to get to the bus station without looking like a drowned rat, I achieved it at least in part.

CD Tenerife Still Stuck On The Runway

Endangered and almost extinct, the rare Crested Dorada Bird is nesting in the back of one of the CD Tenerife goals safe in the knowledge that it will not be disturbed. CD Tenerife have failed to score this season in the Grada Popular end, noisy home to the Armada Sur and many of the other peñas and despite Tenerife netting twice in last nights 2-2 home draw with Granada, that sad statistic continues.

So much for the week of 3 home games, the points are slipping away and new coach Antoino Tapia is probably wondering what he has walked into. Leading 2-1 against 10 men, Tenerife wasted a golden chance in this game in hand, re-arranged after the air traffic controllers strike meant Granada couldn’t make the original fixture. It was a pig of a night, raining and chilly and that was refected in the 11,146 crowd, I even had to dig out my coat for the evening – wish I’d taken my snood.

There was an improvement in the first half, play was crisper with the ball on the ground more and earlier crosses pinging in. Juanlu and Alvarez started in place of Natalio and Kome and Hidalgo had one of his best games in a home shirt. Granada have done well this season and were sitting in 8th place and showed their class after 15 minutes when Benitez curled a perfect free lick past Sergio in the Tenerife goal. It was soon all square when 5 minutes later Alvarez set up Hidalgo who took his chance well prompting a strong spell from the Santa Cruz side. For once Tenerife got a decent break when Orellana picked up his second booking after 30 minutes and was sent off, Tenerife made it count almost immediately with Alvarez finishing off a good move to take the lead.

The second half saw old errors creep back into the home play and Nino was again struggling alone up front, a headed chance went begging underlining the need for another option in front of goal. It was tense stuff, the Granada keeper teased with some sloppy moments and Natalio and Kome took to the pitch for Bertran and Omar. The equaliser was a soft goal from Calvo, Sergio seemed to be comfortable with his shot but but it evaded him to tie the match. Tenerife finished strongly, Natalio looked through but the visiting keeper came good and a scramble in the area just needed a touch but neither Nino or Kome could connect. A draw clawed back a point on the other relegation candidates but with just days left on the transfer window we still live in hope of at least 2 more players.

A Crazy Weather Day In Los Cristianos

Noddy moving his house around, that’s what we used to call thunder when I was a nipper, but the almighty claps along with lightning and torrential rain in the early hours of this morning were like a pile driver pounding Tenerife. A yellow alert had been declared but it still disturbed me from my slumber and I awoke to find a Cabildo (government) press release advising that access roads to Mount Teide were closed due to snow. It does happen from time to time but will pass in a few days leaving a beautiful snow capped peak on the volcano and hardly a trace of the rain once the sun puts its hat back on.

In the meantime I dodged the heavy showers to experience some of the strange sights the weather produced down in Los Cristianos. Holiday makers especially Brits are very resourceful and resilient, I love that spirit that says we paid for this holiday and nothing is going to stop us from enjoying it. As I sipped an early coffee at a bar in the Valdes centre I could see a lone walker on the small peak of Montaña Cayofita that overlooks Las Vistas beach. It was hammering down with rain and pretty windy but this defiant individual seemed totally unruffled, I quite expected him to get out a picnic basket.

Suddenly the tap turned off, the clouds parted and hot sunshine emerged, as quick as a flash people peeled off layers and were ready for action. I took the chance to pop into Via Vai on the old beach front but was half way through my cheese roll when the next episode of rain arrived with a vengence. We all scattered from the exposed tables and sheltered under the awning as the chirpy Candy used a broom to push tidal waves of water off the sagging cover. Back came the sun within minutes so I made a bolt for it, a trick I learnt in metalwork.

Just down the promenade I spotted the fisherwomans statue in Plaza del Pescadora had aquired a brolly, it looked quite fetching but was now more like a sun shade. Strange how these things come in pairs, just round the corner a local chap was snoozing on a bench with his umbrella perched protectively. Las Vistas beach was almost empty of sun worshippers but a few were risking the big waves, one lady stood at the waters edge with her walking poles looking like Queen Canute holding back the waves. For those worried for swimmers (and surfers) safety the flags were set at yellow and the lifeguards were keeping watch, but it was still too wild to entice me in.

The forecast suggests that this wet spell will go in a few days, no rain for our CD Tenerife game in Santa Cruz tomorrow night please. The afternoon ended warm windy and sunny and most seats along the sea front were taken, I even saw a few enjoying ice creams, I was almost tempted to sing Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside but resisted the urge as it frightens the seagulls.

Late Pio Goal Spoils CD Tenerife Party And Gets Coach Mandia Fired

What a difference a goal makes, there we were cruising to a 1-0 win over deadly rivals Las Palmas but the pios nipped in with a 87 th minute equaliser leaving us deflated and coach Mandia heading for the exit door. Honest I did have good intentions, I even asked for a coffee at The Royal Oak at 8am but the coffee machine wasn’t working and before I knew it a beer was plonked in front of me, oh well go with the flow. So began derby day with the pios of Las Palmas coming to town, always a great event and with both teams in a slump it took on extra significance and the beer is all part of the big day.

The sound of happy voices singing filled the 2 coaches of Armada Sur and even eclipsded the sound of bottles and cans clanking, we had a good run up to Santa Cruz with a quicker than usual stop at the Oasis for liquid top ups. We faced a dilema whether to get to our bar before or after the pio fans were marched past on their way to the ground, however the police dropped a surprise on us by not herding the yellow peril up the hill from the port until 10 minutes before the game. What a daft decision, it meant that some of us were held back at the side of the ground as they passed our turnstile and the upper tiers of the heliodoro stadium were able to have some free target practice at the pios. A few hundred of the 1,000 plus pios didn’t get into the ground until 15 minutes into the game, I know we would have been pissed off if the situation had been reversed, quite a few cars near the stadium got trashed maybe the police will pay the bill?

The game promised so much but Tenerife’s weaknesses came back to haunt them, the cause wasn’t helped by Alonso being ruled out with a training back injury. Coach Mandia failed to win all the fans over and his final selection had a few question marks in it, Beranger returned at left back and was as hopeless as he has been all season, Sicilia was put just in front of the back four and looked lost. Las Palmas had a good chance within 10 minutes when Sergio failed to hold a corner but Ruyman could only put his shot wide. Nino was again foraging alone up front, his shot was parried out but was just out of reach of Kome’s boot. Natalio was supposedly helping Nino but looked too lightweight and was easily charged off the ball. Tenerife had Sergio to thank for keeping it a stalemate at half time, he got a hand to a pio shot and Bertran headed the loose ball clear and another one handed punch could easily have fallen into the path of an away attacker.

The second half had a dream start, Omar set up Melli for the break through goal just 6 minutes into the restart, it was a deserved lead but as the 20,000 crowd roared their approval Tenerife failed to show the killer instinct and as the game went on Las Palmas stepped up the poace with young Argentinian sub Quiroga causing plenty of problems. The inexperienced forward brought a good save out of Sergio but with just 3 minutes to go Quero put in a good pass which Quiroga pounced on and finished in style. The pio fans cheered it like it was a world cup winner and we all knew it was 2 points dropped. Given the speed of Antonio Tapia’s appointment as new coach it seems he was waiting in the wings and even victory might not have saved Mandia. It just gets tougher and now the new boss has to work a miracle in the next 2 home games.

Two Fiestas, Two Saints, One Great Week

Any excuse for a party, I’m sure each year they slip in a few new saints days in the Tenerife calendar to keep us on our toes but there are always some old reliables that fire up the party spirit and this week the weather was at it’s scorching best. Sunday kicked it off with San Antonio de Abad in Arona town, a lovely unspoilt haven just up in the hills and a starting point for many of the mountain walks. I had far less energetic pursuits on my mind this visit and after squeezing onto the Titsa bus I dived straight into the fun and games.

San Antonio is a protector of animals and they come out in force with oxen pulling carts leading the way and everything down to dogs, cats and even ferrets joining in. Drink plays a key role in fiestas, local wine is cheap and plentiful and the bars off the main tourist trails are very reasonably priced, it’s great sampling the atmosphere in the local hostelries as singing and dancing soon has them swinging. The more religious minded packed the church for a service but already the beer was flowing in the plaza among the stalls and various musicians were wetting their whistles.

The parade did a wide lap of the town coming back up alongside the plaza with all guns blazing and food and drink being handed out to anyone willing to reach out a hand. Daytime fireworks? why not, I was just worried that the rockets might scare the oxen and goats into making more street deposits, I did well to avoid stepping in any and also not to get bitten, chewed or nibbled by the animals on show. As I was covering the event for Tenerife Magazine I did my best to clamber on walls and hang off dodgy railings to get better pics through the lively crowd. You can’t beat a Sunday afternoon scoffing a huge baked potato as old ladies in Canarian dress dance and sing for your entertainment, when I left late afternoon there was a natural lull as the stage band took a break but it was sure to burst back into life in the evening.

Onto Thursday and San Sebastian patron saint of Adeje was waiting in the wings, another guardian of animals it was time to rouse the horses, goats and sheep but this time with the end result of riding the horses down into the sea at Playa de La Enramada in La Caleta. Seeing the goats and sheep in their pens reminded me of the old cattle market in Oxford, one of my favourite trips as a nipper, the smells and the chance to stroke the animals. The Tenerife sheep and goats were loving all the attention and the pigs were really hamming it up. Stars of the show though were the horses and foals, groomed to perfection and decorated they looked magnificent, the really keen ones trotting up and down the road to be joined by the ones in the paddock just before the parade marched off.

There were around 30,000 people gathered for the climax of the celebrations, most of them perched in precarious vantage points looking down on the beach. I followed the horses and riders down to the sand and then scrummed down as a wave of people washed over the beach as the horses galloped along the shore line and danced in the waves. The police kept people back at a safe distance but the shifting shingle and incoming tide made it fun keeping our footing. A few riders slithered off their horses and a brave little terrier of a dog raced after them snapping at their hoofs but backed off at the sight of the foaming water. San Sebastian made an appearance carried aloft but as he was carried away the crowd subsided all buzzing with the spectacle they had seen.

Full reports and different photos are on I musr scan my diary and see what other delights are coming up in the next few weeks before Carnaval fever kicks in.

Win The Best Of The West At Hotel Barcelo Santiago

Even though I’m now a Tenerife southerner I still feel the pull sometimes for the west coast where I lived when I first moved to this land of sun, sea, Dorada and CD Tenerife. Puerto Santiago was where I first rented, a lovely Canarian enclave just above Los Gigantes, with some lovely bars and restaurants. Sitting on the terrace outside Bar Camber or Bar Central I could just see the top of Hotel Barcelo Santiago but you can seemuch more of it by winning a weeks holiday in the latest Tenerife Magazine competition.

This 4 star hotel is perched on the craggy coast with views from the pool area across to the towering cliffs thsat give Los Gigantes its name. Packed with the best in accomodation, service and food it welcomes families, couples and singles all with the same warmth. Since I moved on the commercial area nearby has been given a complete facelift and a new coastal walkway has been added so everyone can enjoy the rock pools and great views out to La Gomera and of course to those famous cliffs. Recently I took a walk along the coastal path and was very impressed by what I saw, take a peep yourself.

If you hurry you could still win a weeks half board holiday for two, and it’s dead easy to enter. Just click like on our Tenerife Magazine Facebook page to join the other fans in the draw on Monday 31 January 2011. If you are the lucky winner you have 7 days after we contact you on Facebook to confirm you will be taking the prize, then you and a guest can enjoy a weeks half board stay at Hotel Barcelo Santiago anytime in the next year subject to availability. The prize does not include transport, is not transferable and there is no cash alternative. If the lucky winner does not claim the prize within 7 days it will be drawn again. If you find yourself up on the west coast pop in and have a look around, the staff will make you very welcome – but if you stroll around a few of the local bars don’t mention my name, I think I settled all my bar bills but you can’t be too careful.

Away Draw For CD Tenerife But Much More Needed

Every morning I recite at least 5 stupidly optimistic sayings like Worse Things Happen At Sea and It’s Allways Darkest Before The Dawn but even that doesn’t dispel my sense of impending doom over CD Tenerife. A 1-1 away draw at Ponferradina was better than a defeat but at 7 points adrift from safety it didn’t feel like enough, especially after going 1-0 up.

With no television coverage I was plugged into my MP3 listening to the local radio and the first half sounded encouraging, the neighbours must have wondered what was going on when I yelped with joy after 32 minutes as Mikel Alonso set up Pablo Sicilia for a CDT goal. We needed a win and under fire coach Mandia had set out his stall with a brave new format playing 5-4-1, Bellvis in at left back and Melli playing just in front of Sicilia and Prieto (pic) in the middle of defence. Big midfield letdown Ricardo was benched along with Julio Alvarez giving preference to the more attacking Kome and Omar.

At half time I was planning a few celebratory beers later but fate was cruel, Bellvis had to go off after 59 minutes with a calf injury and it was back to a flat back 4, that seemed to unsettle Tenerife. Sergio made some strong saves again but there was a certain inevitability to the 77 minute equaliser that came from Mayor. Bang went my beer plans as the second from bottom side (guess who’s bottom) held on. Not ideal preperation for the derby game home to Las Palmas on Sunday morning but we will be bright eyed and hopeful against the plunging Pios.

CD Tenerife Press Self Destruct Button

Not the worst performance of the season but probably the most frustrating. The better side for much of the game CD Tenerife made some suicidal mistakes on the pitch and paid with a 1-0 defeat. Off the pitch  in the Grada Popular area home fans boiled over with security staff having to dive in as the terraces started to resemble an episode of the Jeremy Kyle show.

Albacete arrived with 4 of their 5 new signings in the squad, where are ours? and with Saturdays results going badly Tenerife were already back on the bottom of the Segunda Division. The awfull Beranger was out injured so Pablo Sicilia switched to left back and Omar was picked ahead of Juanlu Hens. Tenerife started well, Alonso set up Natalio after 6 minutes but the visitors Costa Rica international goalie Keylor Navas saved well. Natalio looked a little livelier than of late and the tireless Nino made a good run through only to drag his shot just wide.

Albacete creatred few chances and Navas had to make a double save from a Natalio header and a Nino follow up that he hooked away with his legs. Just when we were getting our hopes up a Songo’o break should have been cleared by Melli but he made a hash of it leaving Luna to deal with Tato but his tackle was wild and the forward was only too happy to go down sending Luna towards the dressing room with a red card and giving Tato a penalty that he converted for a 1-0 lead after 25 minutes. That left Tenerife with a mountain to climb and their despondent players haven’t got enough confidence or fight to turn games around. Sicilia filled the central defence gap left by Luna and Omar wasan unexpected choice to fill in at left back but he made a good job of it.

Into the second half with Kome and Hens on for Ricardo and Alvarez but it wasn’t enough to provide a revival. Kome headed over a clear chance and Iriome replaced Natalio to offer another attacking option but it was hard work against an ordinary but rugged Albacete side. Sergio did well to slide out and cut off a Kike raid on goal but the visitors could sense a victory and strung out every stoppage when one of their players went to ground. Some of the 15,609 crowd started to leave early as the reality of another defeat grew, some of the Grada Popular section turned their frustration on the players with some quite savage chants while others urged renewed support. The 2 viewpoints produced a heated flashpoint with pushing, shoving and angry exchanges but as the pitchside security dived in the stand off just simmered away during the 4 minutes of added time. A sad way to end another desperate day and a home game wasted, all eyes are on the hill to see if reinforcements will come riding in – they better be quick.

La Cofradia, Where The Big Fish Meet

Does bullying go on in the fish world? If it does I think my dinnertime tuna could have been one of the enforcers, maybe even The Codfather, it was big, a whopper, I didn’t know whether to eat it or offer it a seat at our table. I looked around and my friends plates were also dominated by equally generous and tasty portions. This was of course all in the line of work, albeit in very good company. The setting was the La Cofradia (The Brotherhood) restaurant in the newly restored fishermans block by the Muelle Pesquero, and the gathering was for Tenerife Magazine.

On yet another cloudless sunny Tenerife day I met John Beckley at Sorted Sites in downtown Los Cristianos and he drove us to Santa Cruz to pick up Arantxa Ros, one of the more enlightened social media users in the hotel and tourism trade. Heading on to Puerto de la Cruz we met Jack and Andrea Montgomery and followed their recomendation to try La Cofradia in Calle Las Lonjas. The functional frontage was soon contrasted by the bright modern interior but we chose the outside terrace looking out onto the festive fun fair on the quay side and the turret of the old battlements complete with a sturdy canon peeping over the mottled brick wall. In the distance the sea was lapping over the sea wall while the small harbour offered a much more sedate scene with fishing boats gently bobbing up and down.

A new year and a time to reflect and plan ahead, the last few days Tenerife Magazine has been getting 1,000 visitors a day and the Facebook friends are about to spill over the 3,000 mark. Arantxa was able to give us a refreshing insight into some possible new ways to spread the good word based on her local knowledge and experience. The arrival of a large plate of sardines was a welcome interuption and a good curtain raiser for the main course, my Atun en Salmorejo sauce was a challenge even for my ravenous appetite and the side order of canarian potatoes shared their bathing pleasure between the tangy salmorejo sauce and the usual choice of hot or mild mojo sauce. Dessert seemed the natural way to round it off, a bowl of caramello ice cream hit the spot for me with a coffee afterwards to keep it all tidy.

As the sun crept onto and across the terrace several of the other tables filled and emptied, a very popular spot, luckily Jack and Andrea had pre booked (Tel 922383409) the previous day. Suitably fed and watered we reluctantly departed to digest the ideas we had bounced around, hopefully you will appreciate our plans for Tenerife Magazine in the coming year, and La Cofradia has definately reeled me in for a return visit.