Archive for May 25th, 2012
Tenerife Work In Progress – Inauguration, Consternation, And Celebration

Delays and over runs are a fact of life in Tenerife, noone expects any project to run to schedule – or budget, but I find it a bit annoying when they have a show piece inauguration for a project before it is finished. It’s nice for the politicians to get their grins in the media but looks silly when the fences go back up after the ceremony. Over the last two weeks I visited the sites of two major building projects a few days after they were unveiled to the world – and found drastically different results.

Let’s start with the new Garachico port, much neeeded to boost the local economy it was started in 2008 with a finish date of 10 September 2011 and a budget of 33,150,0oo euros. The revised date was mid January 2012, I had a peek early in that month and it was clearly a long way from finished but even then showed it would be a pretty impressive home to 200 berths and even a small ferry. The inauguration was set for 14 May so I planned a trip a few days after that. The big day was splashed over the local media with two small boats bobbing up and down in the port but it was eerily empty when I called in and the fences were back up.

The port still lacks gruas to lift boats in and out, it was daytime soI couldn’t tell if the electrics were working for the street lights around the dock. Fair play they have made massive strides, the port wall and dyke was defiantly made up of 1,700 concrete blocks of 70 tons each – I didn’t count them all. There was a big Neptune theme running along the concrete surrond with bigger murals of the King of the Sea’s head at regular intervals. Hopefully it will be just a few more months before it is functional and busy, wouldn’t it have made sense to do the big bash later?

Then on 18 May Callao Salvaje’s much delayed beach received its inauguration – cue photos of councillors making speeches on the sand but I didn’t see any of people taking to the water. Ever hopeful I headed up west a few days later and was greeted by the uplifting sight of sun bathers, swimmers, and even divers enjoying the fresh and inviting beach. Playa Ajabo was always a wild natural beach at the mervy of frequent big waves, a dyke and a quayside reaching out across part of the cove have tamed the sea and on a hot clear day it was a lovely place to be. Work started in 2009 and stuttered along as the cost rose to 1.8 million euros, whenI last looked in February there was still a huge pile of sand waiting to be spread out on what resembled a building site.

Things are very different now, wide walk ways down at each side of the cove and a wooden path leading to the shore beckon you to lapup the sunshine. I like the two outcrops of rock that protrude through the sand to break up the eyeline and add a bit of character, and far round one side beyond the quay there is a series of steps that makes a nice chill out zone to read or just enjoy the sea view. There is more to come, a raised changing and toilet block at the rear of the beach is not in use and a kiosk at the very top is awaiting someone to take it on selling snacks and drinks. Benches are at key points and on my visit a few people were enjoying a mini picnic, it’s a very family friendly beach.

Nature will no doubt put it to the test at some point but they look prepared, a large area of netting is guarding against any small rock falls and a tunnel and furrows in the sand at each side of the beach should channel any storm water straight out into the sea. It’s been a long wait but it’s a classy addition to the area. I must pop back soon and have a mice stroll along the cliff top path from Playa Paraiso followed by a cooling dip in the sea.