Archive for October, 2011
Everything But The Goal For CD Tenerife

Grazing cattle, digging for buried treasure, or planting spuds, just what had SS Reyes done to their pitch for the visit of CD Tenerife? Despite a stampede towards goal all game CD Tenerife just couldn’t score and had to settle for a O-O draw although the gardeners nightmare of a pitch couldn’t be blamed.

With Luna suspended local boy Ayoze Placeres made his seasonal debut in the heart of defence with Tarantino at left back and Cristobal filling the right slot. Tenerife came out flying, Perona fed Kiko who turned and lashed a shot at the home goalie. Zazo looked sharp too trying a long lob that just went over the bar and giving second best to a defender a few minues later trying to pop the ball in at the post. Chechu Flores (above) got busy down the wing hurdling a few defenders before the keeper blocked him and Tacon put his long range effort wide. Very encouraging with Reyes hardly making a mark.

Cristobal slipped as Reyes woke up and mounted an attack, the defender recovered well and headed an attempted cross out of play. Bravo was on the bench again but Kiko was showing his worth with an ambitious back header while at the other end Medina missjudged the bounce of the ball but the incoming attacker fired wide. The last 10 minutes of the half were a little jittery as the Sanse side warmed to their task. During the break the groundsman planted a few more turnips and carrots but thankfully was stopped from bringing the chickens back out. Kiko opened the second half challenging the keeper for a high ball at the post, the stopper just came out on top.The big forward then showed his skill chesting the ball down perfectly with his back to goal to invite a Zazo shot that went wide.

Victor Bravo came on for Perona and was soon into the attack with a clear run on goal that the home keeper did well to smother. On came Nico for Kiko giving a complete change to the attack. Nico made a good chance on the right only to see Bravo’s shot find the goalie. A draw was looking the likely outcome but Sergio had a hairy moment in Tenerife’s goal, needing a second attempt to grab the ball with Reyes closing in on goal. Ferran Tacon (above) had the last couple of chances, skipping along the edge of the box and shooting wide with after a fruitless wait for support, in the dying seconds he went down in the area but there was no contact, no appeal and no score as the final whistle went.

Apathy Rules At Arona Anti Corruption March

Politicians? If they said it was Monday I’d immediately check my calendar, I don’t trust any of them. Here in the municipality of Arona there is not so much an anger against the local council, more like a general tut tutting over the morning coffee. Legal cases have been brought against 34 local councillors of all political parties for alleged corruption but it’s all a long drawn out process that will run and run.

Long serving Alcalde (mayor) Jose Alberto Gonzalez Reveron of the Coalicion Canarias has come in for particular stick and is one of the charged. The main complaints refer to business licences granted between 2003 and 2007 and the latest revelation is that all parties have agreed to pay 140,000 euros for the defence of the accused politicians.Anyway against this backdrop a Anti Corruption march was called for Saturday 29 October, meeting up at the court building on the edge of Las Americas and marching to the Los Cristianos cultural centre.

I popped along to have a look, the roads were heavily marshalled by police and civil protection but the protesters only numbered around 200, including a coach bringing protesters from as far away as Icod and Candelaria. The group included families with small children, political groups such as Partido Communista del Pueblo Canarioand the Alternativa Nacionalista Canaria – oh and a few subversive looking dogs. The march was noisy with horns and drums as they moved slowly down one carriageway of Avenida de Chayofita past the sports centre before turning off for the cultural centre and speeches.

People in bars that they passed showed little reaction, preferring to watch football on television. Maybe we do get what we deserve, the local elections were on 22 May and only 48.5 % (myself included) of the Arona electorate turned out to vote, the lowest percentage in Tenerife. Meanwhile the court cases rumble on – slowly.

Wind In My Hair (And The Turbines) In La Sabinita

Aah a pleasant peaceful morning in La Sabinita up above Arico – well apart from the mobile advertising boards known as rally cars zooming up the road. To be fair it was a big rally day in Tenerife and they were warming up for the big event as they tore through the main village street and it didn’t really disturb our pre walk coffee at the Casa Lala bar. Craving more walks I had met up with a group of 25 keen social walkers in Los Cristianos and our convoy had headed high up the TF 625.

There was a bracing breeze but it was balanced by warm sunshine and just a scattering of clouds. Parking up at the start point a little north of the village we were on the brow of a hill looking down to the wind turbines in Arico, some say they are intrusive but I find them quite restful and serene. This is wine country and vineyards were plentiful but bare of their fruit in the coarse jable soil with metal pipes feeding water where the stone channels had once done the job. The first steps were downward and once protected from the breeze it got much warmer as we passed over small barrancos that parted the pine trees on their way down to the coast.

The pathway was partly concreted and pretty sturdy where it was just tightly packed soil, handy as access to several houses that were built into the side of the hill making full use of solar and wind power, impressive stuff. Then came the inevitable upward climb as the course weaved around in a wide circle, the terraced hillsides became a familiar pattern as we dipped and rose. Clouds were gathering higher up but not with enough threat to worry us, a joint complex of fincas (farms) loomed ahead and as we got nearer I was surprised to see the maintenance man from my complex painting a wall – it’s a small island.

Stopping for a rest and water we found seating on rocks overlooking the path and must have looked like an ambush waiting to happen,but we were friendly natives. The final stage brought us onto sturdy roads as the clouds linked up and a last push rewarded us with the familiar coastline as we came down onto the car park where we started. Just a bit over 2 hours, shorter than most of my walks but a good way to get my legs moving again and enough to make me determined to tread more tracks soon.

CD Tenerife Winning – Come In Victor Bravo – Over

So many good things to say today about a game that had everything, including the right result, 3-1 for CD Tenerife at home to Rayo Vallecano B. The crowd were whipped up into a patriotic frenzy with a fantastic home made terrace mosaic of the Canarian independence flag, following yesterdays celebration of its founding. That buzz seemed to infect the players as they started at a cracking pace with both sides creating chances. More changes saw Cristobal at right back, Tarantino left back, and Perona up front with Kiko and Zazo supporting in a four man midfield.

The shape looked good, Chechu Flores, fit at last, was hard working and productive and Zazo was always looking to attack the Rayo defence. The visitors looked one of the better sides to come to Santa Cruz, former Pio Rayco was a handful but Medina was a rock at the heart of the defence. The consistent defender squeezed a promising Rayo attack wide of the post after 20 minutes and a few minutes later Tenerife charged forward and a blatant foul on Zazo in the box produced a penalty. Thankfully Kiko has lost that little job and Perona calmly placed the ball in the bottom right of the net as the goalie dived the other way.

Chechu was alert soon after to pounce on a poor clearance by the keeper and his cross to Kiko deserved a better finish. Into the second half, Perona was having a personal duel with a visiting defender but that was leaving space for the other Tenerife players to exploit, Kiko (above) drilled a shot wide that should have increased the lead. Coach Calderon made a double change bringing Victor Bravo and Meji on for Chechu and Perona, it had an instant effect as Bravo smashed home a goal with his first touch of the ball. Just when it looked comfortable Luna got a straight red for a foul in the Rayo box, he was certainly the last defender and once a foul was called he had to go. Rayco stepped up to make it 2-1 and put the pressure on 10 man Tenerife.

Some quick juggling saw Kitoko drop back into the centre of defence, a role he always fills with assurity, Calderon made his last switch adding Marcos for Kiko and Bravo took the main forward role. Ferran Tacon (above)was in tormenting form down the right and chances were coming frequently for CDT. After 82 minutes Bravo saw his chance and shook off his marker to blast his second goal and kill off Rayo’s hopes. That didn’t stop Tenerife from pushing for more, Bravo came close to a hat trick lobbing the oncoming keeper but sadly he was offside. There was still time for a comedy moment as the ref reversed and tumbled slowly to the ground, off course we all gave him the utmost sympathy for his loss of face. At least his whistle was undamaged and he was able to blow for time to close a very rewarding and entertaining afternoon.

And This Afternoons Los Cristianos Weather Is…Biblical

Blimey where did that come from, the forecast was decent for today so after letting a small storm pass over I hit Las Vistas beach as the sun peaked from around an average sized black cloud. A few big plops of rain didn’t disturb me or several other swimmers enjoying the calm green flag sea at Los Cristianos. Suddenly a wall of water began to pelt down, no thunder, no lightning, just huge spots covering the sea surface with large crescent splashes dancing a frantic jig. This was like a rallying cry to a good sprinkling of youngsters who charged down the sand to wallow in the mix of sea and rain, although it was difficult to see where one ended and the other began.

The sea was still calm but my vision was suddenly reduced like someone had drawn a frosted shower curtain around me. It was quite exhilerating, to one side I could see people scampering for shelter at the back of the beach, towels and trainers left to sink or swim, and to the other I could just see a few murky shapes out to sea, was that a ship or Noahs Ark? Finishing my swim I pitched up on the beach and grabbed my plastic bag, which had protected most of my belongings, and sprinted with all the dignity I could muster to find cover at the rear of the sand. The disabled changing hut was open and crammed so I joined them as others sheltered below the overhanging lifeguard station watching a river pour down the steps from the promenade.

By now the sun had joined the party and was sending it’s watery rays down to make the scene even more bizarre. I took advantage of a slight lull and walked along the promenade which was flowing well, manhole covers had popped like corks revealing a frothing muddy jacuzzi that wasn’t tempting anyone, it ponged a bit as well, and shops were already sweeping back the tide. I sheltered at The Breeze Inn and finished dressing, I didn’t fancy wading through the yucky water. A few phone calls confirmed that this was a very localised storm, it hadn’t touched Fañabe and certainly not Los Gigantes on the west coast. Wet feet once again in my trainers I began to head through the tunnel, more like a sheep dip, to the old beach, the sand there was nearly covered in one big puddle but at least the seagulls were happy at the rich pickings.

Hovering over Guaza Mountain was another dark brooding cloud heading in so I stepped up the pace and made the Valdes Centre just in time for the next batch of rain. This was a pale imitation of the earlier downpour and soon fizzled out, but not before leaving a terrific rainbow over the roundabout fountain. I was confident that the Arona council workmen and business owners would soon see off the worst effects of the deluge so turned my mind to getting home. One end of the rainbow seemed to arch down onto my apartment balcony, I couldn’t wait to collect my pot of gold, the spell must have been broken by the time I got in because all I found was soggy socks and slippers. Never mind.

Santa Cruz – Not Any Old Port In A Shower

Even in Tenerife a little rain must fall now and then, that’s how I came to be dodging spots up north on another day of story gathering for Tenerife Magazine. It had already been a busy slightly soggy day with a tram ride to La Laguna to visit the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias for some science, and back to Santa Cruz to fly around like a culture vulture chasing sculptures in galleries and in the street, but more of that at Tenerife Magazine.

The capital city’s port is always on my list of calls and I knew the Russian four mast sailing ship Kruzenshtern was in port for a few days and about to depart within hours for Vigo on the Spanish mainland. Luckily a mad dash brought me to its mooring spot and as it loomed over me I could see it was a hefty piece of work. I’m sure you want the technical details so here we go, it was built in Germany in 1926 and is a Russian Navy training ship or barque to be precise. Kruzenshtern is 114.4 metres (375 foot) long, 51.3 m (168 ft) high, weighs 3,141 tons and can go at 17.3 knots (32 km/h or 19.9 mph). It would have been lovely to see all the sails deployed but on this dull wet day there was little chance of that.

The gangplank was down but sealed off and manned by young recruits, I gave a hearty ahoy there and tried to blag a tour on board with a mix of Spanish and English. The answer was a firm no but one poker faced joker said if I came back tomorrow I could get a tour – it would of course be far out in the Atlantic by then and my swimming isn’t quite that good. I settled for a few quick discreet photos, not wanting to wake up in a salt mine many miles away. I wonder what the 257 crew did with their time in Santa Cruz, hopefully they managed to enjoy a few of our decadent ways.

There is nearly always a nautical surprise or two in Santa Cruz, this time it came in the form of two German war ships moored on the far side beyond the security fences. The Sachsen was partly hidden by a pleasure cruiser but the Schleswig Holstein (above)Â was standing proud ready to be identified. The two ships are Brandenburg class frigates built in the early 1990’s, both 138.9 metres long capable of 29 knots and carrying 220 crew. They pack a punch with anti air and submarine weapons and exocets to see off any hostile ships. The pair had arrived from Tema in Ghana and were ready for a quick departure to Souda in Greece.For now though it was my turn for a quick departure on the good ship Titsa back to Los Cristianos – steady as she goes.

Win A High Time At Hotel Spa Villalba

Vilaflor has a special place in my memory as I did my first big walk in Tenerife at Paisaje de Lunar just above the small but beautifully formed village. That was nearly 10 years ago and I have been back many times to try other nearby walks, never failing to be impressed by the marching pine trees and the tajinaste plants with their bursts of red bloom. The frontage of the Hotel Spa Villalba has always caught my eye as I puffed and panted past but now some lucky pair are going to win a seven night half board break there through Tenerife Magazine.

The rural setting will tie you into the past of Tenerife but as part of the Reveron Hotels group, Hotel Spa Villalba boasts four star comfort and facilities headed by the relaxing and luxurious spa with sauna, Jacuzzi and pool. There is a choice of two restaurants, La Vendimia offers the best of Spanish cuisine with the finest natural ingredients and Terraza has a beautiful outdoor setting with the same high quality.

Two of my colleagues have just got back from luxuriating in the hotel so if you want to read a first hand account just follow this link. just because I like to stomp around disturbing nature and frightening wildlife it doesn’t mean you have to walk all over Teide National Park, slide down rough tracks and commute with nature like Grizzly Adams but I can definately recomend exploring the nearby countryside and sampling a few nice bars and restaurants. Vilaflor is a very peaceful historic town so you could have a walk through there in between enjoying some good old fashioned pampering at the hotel.

To enter the competition just go to the Tenerife Magazine homepage and answer a question so easy that Katie Price would eventually get it. One lucky winner and guest can have a seven nights half board stay for free, all you have to do is answer the question below and click your answer to us by 9 pm on Wedneday 30th November. The draw will be made the following day , you will be notified by email and once confirmed your good news will be posted on the Tenerife Magazine Facebook page. The prize does not include transport and there is no cash alternative, dates are subject to availability. Good luck!

A Beast Of A Celebration In Adeje

The art of enjoying a traditional Canarian romeria is to soak up the atmosphere without treading in any of the trimmings left by the parade of sturdy farm animals. There’s always so much to enjoy for all the senses at these celebrations of agriculture and the fruits of the land and Adeje packed them into the centre of the old town on a gasping hot October afternoon and evening.

Plaza del Cerco guarded at each end by statues of a Guanche and a bombero (fireman) was already buzzing when I arrived, oxon and horses were being groomed, carts were being decorated and the all important planchas and grills were already cooking bbq’s on board as the wine started to flow. Musicians were tuning up with drums, timple (small guitars) and accordians but amidst the old customs ladies checked state of the art mobiles and rallied the troops by text. The local supermarkets had never been busier with ice creams and cold drinks needed to quench thirsts as the afternoon sun beat down.

With the oxon and donkeys chomping at the bit it was time for the big parade up into Calle Grande, the dancers led the way in a blaze of colour as they slowly inched their way up the packed main street. Many people had arrived early and found good vantage points at the tables outside the bars and cafes, tapas and full meals were whizzing out of kitchens and the livestocks nostrils were twitiching as they lumbered along their route. I have been to many of the annual performances of The Passion on Good Friday but Calle Grande seemed more densley packed for this celebration.

Approaching the top of the street the scene was set around the church with timple players strumming their instruments and the saints statues taking pride of place at the top of the steps. Each cart and its followers took their turn to receive blessings as fresh fruit and vegetables were offered up as examples of the bounty of the land. Among the blessings and rousing cheers for San Sebastian and Santa Ursula there was a special warmth and empathy for the people of El Hierro as a wave of goodwill was sent towards the seismically troubled island.

As the formal procession broke up the wine and beer flowed around the church square with its magnificent setting against the backdrop of Roque del Conde. The last stragglers of the carts were taking their time negotiating the deposits on the road while dishing out cups full of wine and plates full of meat and potatoes. Dancing was breaking out in small groups as the wine worked its magic and the large stage was set for a long night ahead. Once again in Tenerife the best pleasures proved to be the natural ones.

CD Tenerife Smarting From Capital Punishment

Travelling to Real Madrid Castilla, B team of Mourinho’s millionaires, CD Tenerife needed to be at their very best but this was like the bad old days, three goals conceeded in the 3-1 defeat, and six players booked. Most of this season is going to be a diet of mediocre opponents but there are a few that will be genuine contenders for the four promotion play off spots in this section of Segunda B. Castilla although a little cynical, wonder where they get that from, are definately one of the sides that have the quality to rise above the pack.

It all started so well for the near 200 CDT fans that made the trip, Tenerife were playing good passing football and Ferran Tacon and Kiko both went close in the first ten minutes. Victor Bravo tested the home keeper with one of his free kicks while at the other end Sergio Aragoneses snuffed out a long range Madrid effort. Disaster struck after 26 minutes when a penalty was given against Kitoko for hand ball, the replay showed he moved his hand towards the ball as it was heading out of the danger zone. Joselu stepped up to make it 1-0 and suuddenly Tenerife looked a shadow of the confident starters. Madrid seized the initiative, Sergio had to react well to stop Morata and Fernandez curled a clever shot just over the bar.

Into the second half and a defensive lapse saw the margin doubled, Juanera ran down the right and with Meji out of position Tarantino tried to cover but the home player played the ball past him and went on to put in a cross that Morata was able to tap in. Castilla had a half hearted appeal a few minutes later when the ball struck Tarantino’s hand just inside the box, thankfully the ref wasn’t interested. Perona missed a decent chance in front of goal just before Madrid grabbed a third, Joselu cut in from the left and unleashed a shot that Sergio seemed to have reached but it beat his outstretched hand and bulged the net.

Coach Calderon brought on Nico for Bravo and it perked Tenerife up a little, Ferran Tacon was bearing down on goal and fired but it hit a home defender full in the face. Perona tested home goalie Mejias but he was equal to it with a one handed save. Zazo (above) on for Marcos pulled a goal back with a well flighted free kick with 10 minutes waiting but despite an attempt by Nico and a late save from Zazo, Tenerife paid the price for a poor second half display.

Los Cristianos Fishermen Fighting A Rising Tide

The sea may be lovely for swimming but there are choppy waters around Los Cristianos port as old and new collide. Changes are taking place in the layout of the fishermens area between the old beach and the ferry port as the port authority looks to modernise and increase revenue. It’s not just physical changes, Los Cristianos has grown steadily but is still very much a working area for the fishing trade but many of the seafaring folk and the Asociacion Vecinos – Amigos de Los Cristianos (neighbours & friends) feel their way of life is being eroded by tighter controls on their catch and higher mooring fees.

There has been a crackdown on outstanding fees around the harbour and some boats have been cleared away, others are now being brought nearer the shore at new moorings. Down by the ferry port many old small fishing boats are now moored by ropes while on the quayside new pontoons are being lowered into place in the water. New concrete seating with the port authority crest on them have started to appear and the general look is changing presumably to encourage more profitable leisure craft. On top of this cold wind of change many boat owners complained that their recent traditional celebrations for the Virgen del Carmen were restricted by petty rules being enforced.

There is a growing rearguard action among the locals, several meetings have been held at the cultural centre and the Platforma en Defensa de Los Cristianos attracted 300 concerned supporters to the Plaza del Pescadora two weeks ago. the next protest is on Friday 7th October at the church plaza. then on Saturday 15 October at 4 pm the fishermen are holding their Sortija de Barcos, a gathering of boats with crew in old traditional costume. It’s a celebration of their proud past but in the current climate it may well have an air of defiance as an added extra. So keep an eye on the port, you don’t need a bit of seaweed to predict that things could get choppy.