Archive for April, 2012
CD Tenerife Get Back Their Fizz As Real Oviedo Are Tangoed

Whisper it quietly but promotion is no longer a dirty word in the Heliodoro stadium, CD Tenerife bounced back to form with a 3-0 win as influential midfielder Kitoko came back from his two month injury. To be fair to new coach Quique Medina, his other changes played a big part as well in kick starting the promotion play off quest. Medina replaced Tarantino in the centre of defence and Sergio Rodriguez took the place of Cristobal at right back, the defence looked steadier and the launch pad was there to fuel the miss firing rocket Perona up front. Few of us fancied Aridane as a strike partner for Perona (below) but it worked and our leading scorer finally moved on from his 11 goal tally with an impressive hat trick.

There was a sense of urgency from the start as the visitors were just a point behind CDT, Kike Lopez and Chechu both made strong runs down the flanks and Aridane was snapping at the Oviedo defenders. Chechu set up Perona for a headed shot but the keeper was able to deal with it. A few minutes later Perona pounced on some defensive uncertainty to fire a crisp shot into the visitors net, Tenerife were ahead with just 11 minutes on the clock. Nano came close to levelling but hit a post and at the other end Perona saw his shot go just wide of the target.

Kitoko (above) was in control in midfield and Bravo was having a decent go at his latest role alongside him. Oviedo are no mugs and a quick break caight the Tenerife defence stretched, Nano closed in on the space in front of goal but his pass was wasted by Rubiato with the goal gaping in front of him. Aridane missed his chance with a header, Sergio made a stunning double save, a second goal was needed to settle the nerves. Just before half time Perona was the hero with a flying header that had the Oviedo keeper well beaten, perfect timing to underline the Tenerife revival.

The visitors looked more deterrmined after the restart, Diop tested Sergio and found him alert and strong. Zazo came on for Chechu who’s passses were becoming a bit slack. Perona was buzzing but Aridane was running out of ideas, Kiko replaced him to keep the pressure on the Oviedo defence. It paid off as Juanpa brought Perona down in the box and the rejuvenated striker stepped up to complete his hat trick. The usual confetti of yellow cards was missing but in the 83 rd minute Bravo went into the book and ruled himself out of next weeks away game at Marino Luanco.


The 8.895 crowd were lapping it up and the rift between them and the players was a distant memory. Cristobal was the final sub, taking over from Bravo and helping to guard against any late slip ups – goal difference may yet play a part in the play off picture. Kiko and Perona both went close in the closing minutes but the victory was well deserved and put a big dent in Real Oviedo’s own play off ambitions.


Win A Holiday At The Hotel Jardin Tropical

Leggy promotion girls handing out cocktails and posh nibbles at the pool side, that was my first experience of the Hotel Jardin Tropical back in October 2008. It was the launch party for the first Tenerife Champions Cup beach volleyball competition and I was snapping photos of some of the competing players and grabbing the odd interview, honest I wasn’t enjoying all the pampering – well maybe a little bit.

Fast forward and Tenerife Magazine are offering a weeks half board holiday at this four star luxury zone in Costa Adeje. Hotel Jardin Tropical has moved with the times, they had a complete refurbishment in 2010 but still have wonderful tropical gardens and a great range of food. There’s the El Patio restaurant that makes the most of the garden setting, Las Rocas for gourmet cuisine at the headland with the sea lapping just beyond, and Las Mimosas, a bright cheery dining room and patio where breakfast comes with extra rise and shine.

Costa Adeje is one of my favourite wandering areas, starting out at La Caleta I often walk along the coastal promenade past Hotel Jardin Tropical and the other posh modern hotels.The beaches are high quality and the mix of water sports and safe bathing make it popular with families – and there’s always somewhere I can buy a big gooey ice cream and drible it all down my shirt.

Anyway back to the competition, just answer a simple question at the Tenerife Magazine home page and wait for the draw on 31st May 2012. The prize is a week’s half board holiday for two to be taken, subject to availability within 12 months. The prize doesn’t include flights and is not transferable and must be claimed within 2 weeks of the draw or it will be re-drawn. Good luck.


Play Off Hopes Hang By A Thread After Another CD Tenerife Away Surrender

It’s all snakes and no ladders these days with CD Tenerife, this 1-0 away loss at Atletico B let the home side back into contention for a promotion play off spot and left CDT sweating on the final three games of the regular Segunda B season. There can be no complaints about the result, Tenerife were again shockingly poor with no attacking threat and a bumbling defence that escaped time and again before letting in the killer blow. A win for Real Oviedo sees them snapping at Tenerife’s heels for that vital fourth spot, just a week before they meet in Santa Cruz next Sunday.

The team selection was again strange, no recognised forward just Luismi Loro pretending to be an attacker, apparently the idea was Kike Lopez would also play a forward role – I hardly noticed him. Gerard burst past Pablo Sicilia and Tarantino after 9 minutes and went down in the box appealing for a penalty, it may have been given if he hadn’t looked to be trying for it so obviously. Tenerife managed their first attack 5 minutes later, Loro proved to be no more than a minor irritation to the home keeper. Loro had another chance soon after from a good Chechu (above) cross but blasted it wide.

Tenerife looked half asleep and not interested, Atletico were no great shakes themselves despite being the form team of the division. They wasted a dangerous free kick with a soft shot that bounced gently into Sergio’s hands. Tarantino must be good at something – I will let you know when I find out – his defending was hopeless again, Gerard roasted him and only a great save from Sergio prevented a goal. Cristobal (below) managed to set up Kike in front of goal but he was so slow the keeper smothered the ball. At the start of the second half Feran Tacon headed the ball onto Chechu in space, his shot was pretty crisp but the home keeper matched him.

Sergio came to the rescue again, this time from a free kick, Perona replaced Chechu, and Marco got a booking that rules him out for the Oviedo home game. Sousa sent in a free kick that evaded both sets of players, thankfully Sergio was alert and the danger passed. Another warning came as Sousa ran at Tenerife, three players converged on him, Pablo, Marcos, and Tarantino but still he got a shot in, another rescue by Sergio. The goal was coming and sure enough Llorente timed his tackle all wrong and his leg was hurdled by a home attacker who played the ball in at the post leaving Sergio and his defence to scramble to clear it but failing dismally as Gerard bundled it in the net. Tenerife had nothing to offer in return, even bringing Kiko on for Loro failed to add any urgency and the game drifted to the final whistle, another blow to our promotion hopes.

The Pope, Cowboys, And Cooks In La Laguna And Santa Cruz

There was almost a queue to meet Pope John Paul the second in La Laguna, the fine new statue by Czeslaw Dzwigaj had only been unveiled the day before but a few of Tenerife’s Polish community were eager to get a photo with the main man. Karol Wojtyla had been a decent goalkeeper back in his youth but I don’t think that’s why USOPAL the Polish association commissioned and paid for the statue. It’s a nice addition to Plaza del Doctor Olivera and appropriately next to the iconic church Iglesia de la Concepcion.

So began another northern tour of discovery, the 110 direct Titsa bus to Santa Cruz had whizzed me up from Los Cristianos in under an hour and the tram ride to La Laguna was as smooth as ever. Wandering a few yards down into Calle Cruz de Candelaria my curiosity led me into El Cinematografo, a small shop packed with DVDs of classic films. I know everyone downloads these days but collectors still want to own copies of greats from Clark Gable, Randolph Scott and an amazing collection of old westerns. The box sets are wonderful, how about all 6 Gordon Scott Tarzan films, or 20 classic sci fi and fantasy movies, and they had a music section with CDs from Yes and The Alan Parsons Project – don’t think I will be lost for present ideas in future.

After a quick check around the main streets I hopped on the tram and back to Santa Cruz to tick a few more calls off my list. The port was quite busy with Independence Of The Seas docked, another nice top up for the bars and restaurants, the week is bringing 22,000 cruise visitors in total. At several points I saw Inside Tenerife the new free glossy colour magazine co-produced by the port authority and Santa Cruz council and aimed at cruise visitors, looks good, plenty of info on La Laguna as well as the capital and guides to culture and food stops. Everyone is frantically trying to tempt people into their shops and bars which means bargains for visitors, I had a basic but nice three course meal for 7 euros in Cafe Dachita at the top end of Calle Castillo.

One of the days main calls was the Expohostel & Gastronomia show at the Recinto Ferial, mainly aimed at the catering and hospitality trade but well worth a look as it was free to get in. One of the first sites to greet me was a huge upside down gutted pig in a glass case, part of the Egatesa stall, CD Tenerife fans are used to seeing their advert on the back of our season ticket – try a gutted Pio next event chaps. I was impressed by the greeen cow on top of their stand – maybe heights make it ill. There was plenty of food stalls, the cakes looked lovely but they were a bit mean on the freebies, it was quiet and stall holders seemed to be touring other peoples stalls and sharing the goodies out. Shame really as I might have been shopping for a bulk order of fancy cakes and spring water for the Armada Sur summer BBQ – never mind we will have to do with burgers and beer.

On a football theme a couple of falcons were being shown off by the pest control company that protects the pitch at the Heliodoro Stadium, one of the birds stops us from being continually crapped on – well at least by the pigeons. One of the centre pieces of the show was a slow cooking contest with five chefs facing off at a row of cooking stations watched from rows of bleacher seating. It was all modern cuisine designed to show off as much of the plate as possible rather than cover it with food – and not a single Gordon Ramsey style tourets outbreak in sight.

On the way back to the bus station I popped into El Tanque, one of my favourite and weirdest art places. The former oil tank, 20 metres high was built in 1929 but after being pensioned off was turned into a cultural space 15 years ago. Inside there is just a series of steel girders supporting the roof and some spotlights are all that break the darkness. On this latest visit four sets of video art were projected on the inner metal skin with a series of cushions to sit on in the centre of the tank. On my first visit there was a circle of huge gongs suspended from the ceiling with fluffy cod ball type drumsticks to beat them with. The acoustics in El Tanque are amazing,they sometimes have live theatre and music – it’s very bizarre, the latest display is open 5 to 8pm in the week and 11 am to 4 pm on Saturdays and always free entry. One day I expect to go in and find hundreds of dormant Cybermen. El Tanque has just been declared a site of cultural interest. Time to catch the bus back to the relative sanity of the south.

A Little Light In A Very Long Tunnel For CD Tenerife

A few months ago Sergio Aragoneses (below) could have worn pyjamas and a red nose, sung the Birdie Song, and dribbled the ball into his own net with Garfield slippers – and still be forgiven by the fans. These are troubled times for CD Tenerife and long serving goalie Sergio was booed and showered with abuse from the start of the 1-1 home draw with Lugo after being named as one of the main architects of the dressing room revolt that saw coach Garcia Tebar sacked last week.

Not the best of backgrounds for former B team coach Quique Medina to step up and try to steer a course into the promotion play offs. The hostility of the fans extended to most of the team, seen as mercenaries, although most mercenaries get paid, this lot have been relying on promises since January. At least Sergio responded with a defiant display in goal starting with a first minute fingertip save from a corner. The Tenerife team looked slow and lacking punch up front, Kiko was suspended and Loro supported Perona in attack.

The home defence was uncertain, Llorente had to make a strong headed intervention to clear danger and Sergio pushed away a long range effort from Quero. Manu had a clear route to goal before Pablo blocked him, from the corner Manu headed in but Sergio was there to punch the ball away. Tenerife set off on a breakaway with Feran Tacon bearing down on the Lugo goal, the keepers feet were equal to the weak shot. Marcos managed a weak looping shot, again the Lugo keeper hardly broke sweat. The visitors looked a classy well balanced side and at times seemed to be toying with Tenerife.

The half time whistle brought more derision from the 8,627 crowd and the game pattern continued into the second half with Sergio making a great one handed save. The new coach made his first change and it was aa bold one, giving B team midfielder Sandro (above) a debut replacing Ferran Tacon on the left wing. The 21 year old looked lively and sparked a couple of assaults on the Lugo goal, Kike Lopez put a great ball across the face of the goal and Belforti kindly turned it into his own net for a vital lead. Zazo took to the field in place of the disapointing Loro but Tenerife slipped back into their slow tempo and Lugo stepped up their game.

As Aridane waited to come on for Bravo in the 80th minute, Lugo pushed forward and although Sergio got a hand to the ball De Pita scored at the second atempt to level the game. The last 10 minutes was more about keeping the visitors from taking all three points and CD Tenerife hung on but needed two fine late saves from Sergio to ensure the day wasn’t a complete disaster. As the players left the pitch they managed a token effort at clapping the crowd but got an equally unconvincing response as a Siberian chill interupted the hot sunny afternoon. Thankfully 5th placed Real Oviedo, visitors to Santa Cruz in 2 weeks, lost and with an away game at 6th placed Atletico Madrid B next week, Tenerife are still masters of their own play off fate.


Books, Bargains, And Big Big Boats In Los Cristianos

To the untrained eye I was just lazing around at Via Vai near the beach feeding my face and slurping a cold drink but another lovely afternoon was shaping up nicely. The Feria del Libro (book fair) was on its last day outside the Los Cristianos Cultural Centre, not just stalls with a range of books on culture, food and local history but also a stage where I saw soprano Candelaria Gonzalez shake the rafters at the opening presentation.

On the way to my lunch break I had popped into the 2 day Feria de Oportunidades (bargain fair) where over 40 Arona business’s had taken stalls to clear oldstock at crazy prices. It was bustling quite well with some heavy scrummig down at the more popular clothes stalls. Never get too near to a woman in search of a bargain, they are lethal, some of the stall holders were thinking about ccalling in a UN peace keeping force at one point. To the side of the stalls there was a large bouncy castle slide for the little ones to play on, they could have let me have one go down the slide it looked great fun – apparently I’m a bit old – ageist or what.

Back at my food stop a few shoppers were comparing the contents of their bargain bags and were well chuffed, in thes tight times it’s a helpful boost to struggling local business’s and adds another attraction to a fairly quiet Saturday afternoon. Looking across to the ferry port I could see the top deck of an unusually sleek and stylish boat peering over the usual fishing boats along from the old beach. I normally head round that way for a relaxing walk and a chance to talk to the fishes – their sport knowledge is sketchy but they are quite opinionated about the latest film releases.

As soon as I got near, the size of this motor yacht impressed me, obviously a very rich persons plaything and in 10 years here I have never seen a private boat moored up near where the excursion boats load and unload. It’s an open area and quite a few people had gathered to admirre the gleaming craft, the name Vive La Vie didn’t tell me much and a red flag with a Union Jack in the corner puzzled me. Someone mentioned the Cayman Islands and later research showed this to be right on the money, the motto on the flag said He Hath Founded It Upon The Sea . A big chap who didn’t look short of a euro disembarked down the gang plank and in perfect polite English answered a few general questions and was suitably vague about the yachts owners. I did ask for a tour on board but got the no I expected.

Anyway a mix of scraps of info and later frantic internet action told ne the 60 metre yacht was built in 2008 at Bremen, Germany by Lurssen to specific specifications for “a man and his family”. Top speed is 18 nautical miles an hour, it can sleep 12 each of crew and guests but most impressive of all was the fantastic inside design with a hi tech modern lounge, a fitness room, bedrooms that would shame many hotels, and a jacuzi. The yacht may be out on charter, aa notice on the gang plank made it clear that privacy would be protected with 24 hour security. We may never know who are illustriuos visitors are but they are sure to be impressed by Los Cristianos as it was at its dazzling best.


One Coach Out, One Coach In, But What’s It All About At CD Tenerife

After narrowly swerving one iceberg last weekend the good ship CD Tenerife ripped straight into another with a 3-1 defeat at Celta Vigo B and coach Garcia Tebar felt the chill as he was pushed overboard. In the crazy world of CD Tenerife anything can happen and usually does, losing after being a goal up against ten men and Kiko collecting yellow and red cards in just 20 minutes revived last weeks crisis fever and Monday morning marked the latest departure.

It started so well,home player Warden got a straight red card after just 5 minutes and CDT capitalised with a goal after 8 minutes as Ferran Tacon set up Perona, the ball went in the net but was given as an own goal, coming off Vazquez. We’re not fussy how the ball goes in, that should have been the start of an easy victory but this is CD Tenerife we are talking about. Just after the half hour Jota levelled and 4 minutes later the sharp young forward gave Celta a half time lead.

Into the second half and just after Kiko had come on for Ferran Tacon (above), Jota wrapped up his hat trick, Sergio was again suspect with his positioning but the defence was having a nightmare. Jota is a hot property, he had been with the first team squad at Cartegena the previous night in a game that was abandoned after a linesman was felled by an object from the crowd. Anyway back to the nightmare, Kiko got himself booked and followed up soon after with another caution and was off, the 7th sending off for Tenerife this season to go with the storm of yellow cards.

As soon as the game finished the clock was ticking on Garcia Tebar, at least the club allowed him the flight home before sacking him. In comes Quique Medina coach of the B team, until the end of the season, or at least until he upsets our sensitive players. Our play off rivals all dropped points so the new boss goes into Sundays home game with second placed Lugo knowing we can leap over them – yes we sacked a coach with the team in third position? Bookies probably wont even give odds on what will happen next at CD Tenerife – the only thing we can rely on is the passion and support of the fans. Time for us to dig deep again as we usher in another new charge for promotion.



The Greatest Story Ever Told Never Loses Its Passion

If credits rolled at the end of The Passion in Adeje “shepherd with shovel” would appear on the honours. As noon approached Roman soldiers shuffled their sandals, the Empress toyed with her snake, even the Roman eagle had a little flutter, and the horses showed their nerves in a less delicate manner.

There has to be some back stage jitters for this annual street theatre extravaganza that re-creates the last days of Christ and his crucifixion. A cast of 300 actors rehearse for months, scenery and costumes are lovingly created, and Calle Grande is transformed to a biblical setting thanks to liberal sprinklings of palm ferns and leaves.

The crowd was bigger than ever this year, 22,000 people lined the street from the church at the top down to the small plaza where Jesus would be nailed to a wooden cross. Press and the local television crews following the scenes as they unfold dress in costume so as to not distract from the emotionally charged story.

Even The Greatest Story Ever Told can benefit from a few tweaks, this year there were more dancers and some extra passages of dialogue, relayed over speakers from head sets worn by the main characters. The key elements were all there in their usual glory, The Last Supper, the garden of Gethsemane, Pontius Pilot’s court room and the market.

The power and realism is a tribute to the hard work of everyone involved, no gory detail is spared from Jesus chained and whipped by the Romans to the graphic nailing of Jesus to the cross before it is hoisted before his mother and Mary Magdalene. As Jesus forgave his captors with his last breath and his close friends wept at his loss, many of the onlookers shed tears too and everyone crowded into the final area was visibly moved as every last drop of emotion was wrung out.


Into The Valley, Peaceful And Divine

Fertile is another adjective that The Skids might have added to their lyrics if they had done the Santiago de Teide to Puerto Santiago walk. As talk of drought continues in Tenerife the Barranco del Valle showed how well water can be used to keep agriculture going.

At the top end of this 8 km walk the low dark rolling cloud was sprinkling rain on me as I set out, it felt a bit chilly too and I was glad of my rain jacket. Much of the route is the old Camino Real, one of the earliest paths linking the coast to the hills. Big angular blocks of stone tested my footwork and volcanic stone walling helped to channel me slowly downwards parallel to the main road.

The rain soon fizzled out as I left the brooding cloud behind me and the coat joined the bare essentials in my small rucksack. I soon discovered that this was quite a selection box of teasing trails, the first temptation was a detour of 3.8 kms to El Moledo or a 2.1 km stairway up to Risco Blanco. Making a mental note for a future trip I pushed onwards and down to the lip of the barranco deep below.

Rock stacks to my right were bizarre and fascinating and the path had its own beauty with cactus plants blooming with pink pears. The next signpost offered up Cruz de Los Misioneres, a steep climb up the side of the mountain to a lone white cross at the top, again I had to decline the invitation. A black goat I passed trotted up onto a mound and started a bleated conversation with a friend across the barranco. Tamaimo was now in view to my left and as the path dipped down, the trail crossed the dry barranco bed and I took advantage of a smooth stone to sit and have a snack. The river course may have been dry but since the start of the walk a large pipe running close to the path had gurgled loudly with the water rushing through it.

Cresting a hill I got my first glimpse of the coast and very beautiful it looked. A little further on I noticed several reservoirs, not full but not far off. Pipes running into them were matched by others leading out into well tended plots of bananas and cereal crops, all looking very healthy. Coming down hill two reservoirs looked more like a small marina, the sign here pointed up to the right so I duly obliged only to find myself following a quickly narrowing ledge that was leading to a sheer drop.

Common sense eventually tapped me on the shoulder and I back tracked to the reservoirs and headed around the well protected banana plantations. The track between the towering green enclosures soon turned into a road and my confidence returned as I recognised some landmarks up ahead. The road came out just above the Los Gigantes mirador which was awash with coach parties of tourists. The near four hours had sped by, the transition from rain to hot sun, and the expanse of fertile farmland in the barranco had given me a new understanding of the precarious nature of water supplies on the island. More importantly I had found another stimulating and rewarding trail of wonder and beauty.



Getting Physical With Pussy At The Beach

Bending and stretching to the music, and that was just the palm trees being whipped into a frenzy by a strong breeze at the promenade near the old Metropolis disco. Arona Maxima Deporte (wasn’t that a character in Gladiator?) was an open air sports zone with a chance for young people to get involved in excercise.

As I approached I could hear the pounding dance beat and sure enough there was a stage with an incredibly energetic instructor coaxing a good sized crowd to strut their stuff. At the far side of the old car park young eager sports fans tried their hand at basketball and tennis, I’m hopeless at both but maybe the super sized rackets could have made me into a champ.

Over on the coast side stalls were pushing massage, healthy eating, and even wind surfing but my eye was distracted by a pretty young Canarian lady promoting a new sports energy drink called Pussy. She seemed blissfully unaware of sniggering British men clamouring for samples of her ice cold Pussy, and has probably never even heard of Mrs Slocombe.

Back at the stage aerobics, step, and disco all mingled, there was even a congaa line that threatened to spill over onto the beach. Passing tourists stopped to watch and some even joined in with a hint of Dad dancing at a weedding. Still chuckling like Beavis and Butthead on speed I headed off to get my swim at a less choppy bit of beach.