Archive for August, 2012
Everything In The Arona Garden Is Lovely – Eventually

The clock of progress ticks slowly in Tenerife, projects seldom finished on time even before the recession. Parque Central de Arona, between the court building and El Camison where Los Cristianos meets Playa de Las Americas, looked finished for its delayed opening date of 12 February but the fences stayed up. Tantalizing glimpses through the mesh promised a well planned and delightfully executed new green space just a car horns blast away from the busy Avenida Chayofita.

Now the covers are off and the park has been revealed in all its green glory. A small lake by a children’s playground provides a focal point at one end and a circular stone kiosk may provide the reason for the tardy opening. The swings and slide were getting a good testing on the day that I passed through but the benches around the lake were empty as the kiosk is not yet open. It seems that much like the new beach in Callao Salvaje the kiosk will go out to tender to entice someone to add a commercial side to support the up keep of the park.

There is a lot to admire here, the foot path meanders slowly through the serenity of the open grassy areas, however relaxation and education go hand in hand here if you look to the banked verges. Plants and bushes familiar by sight around Tenerife are showcased with photos to clearly identify them and background information in Spanish and English puts them into context with their history and uses.

If you find yourself nearby don’t just peep over the hedge, take a stroll, smell the flowers, and admire the growing saplings. Maybe local workers will start to enjoy their breaks with a fistful of sarnies and a lung full of fresh air, could we even hope that miscreants up before the nearby court will pop in to turn over a new leaf or two. If nothing else it should provide a pleasing distraction when taking a short cut across this busy corner at the heart of the modern tourist zone.

CD Tenerife Make Themselves At Home With Away Win At CD Marino

So many things could have gone wrong for CD Tenerife in this Segunda B opener but a goal in the first 20 seconds settled the nerves and the eventual 2-0 win should help to dispel the pre season doubts that have haunted the fans. New coach Alvaro Cervera has chopped and changed in the warm up games and the squad still has a couple of shirts waiting to be filled. A new striker should be heading in this week but Aridane (above) looked determined to nail down his regular place with a bustling performance and two well taken goals.

This was the first time I have walked to an away game, CD Marino are just 20 minutes from Kirby Towers so there was a strange feeling as I met up with the Armada Sur and some of the other Peñas at Bar 13. It was as near as we could get to our spiritual home The Royal Oak 2 and many memories of our former host Andy mixed with the buzz of getting the league underway. Marino hiked their match day price to 20 euros and that seemed to rile their fans even more than ours, it was like the city of Santa Cruz had relocated for the day as we entered the ground.

Tenerife didn’t hang about, a quick break down the right and a strong cross and Aridane was there to head it in the net. It could have been 2-0 within 10 minutes, the home keeper had to make a diving interception to fist the ball clear. Loro fired wide when it looked easier to score and Marino came into the game and tested Sergio Aragoneses, particularly when forcing a finger tip save after 40 minutes.

The second half brought more scorching sun and a second goal was urgently needed to ensure we didn’t let the lead slip. Loro had a good break but couldn’t quite reach the ball to put in a telling shot. Chechu was probing out wide as new boys Inigo Ross and Cristo Martin impressed with their creative play. Aridane was alert after 65 minutes and gave a home defender the slip before racing through to slot the ball past the keeper for a 2-0 cushion. Marino had chances themselves but the Tenerife defence stood firm and Sergio was always on hand to deny anyone who got through.

It’s very early days and there will be better teams than Marino to beat, an away win and a clean sheet are good reasons to smile for at least the next week. It’s not always the obvious that works, the pairing of Bruno and Tarantino in defence is a strange one considering some of the other defenders we have at the club. The red card hungry Tarantino and former hot prospect Bruno, back from a years loan, have surprised many fans but they seem to bring out the best in each other. As for Marino, it could be a long hard season and they will have to woo back their hardcore fans, the official figure of 2,500 was quite a bit short of Marino´s prediction of 4,000 and did that include those copping a free one perched on top of the fence near the scoreboard?

Metal Mania At Goymar Fest in Guimar

A sultry Tenerife evening, the gentle lap of waves on the shore, a promenade kiosk for a cold Dorada, and loud, angry, ranting singers screaming against the world as guitars thrash, screech, and wail – aah you can’t beat a night at the Goymar Fest. Every type of music has its stage in Tenerife and for the fifth year Puertito de Guimar was the setting for 10 heavy metal and rock bands in a 12 hour kerrang feast of head banging and mosh pit bundles.

The General and I arrived as day turned into night, the approach roads were packed with parked cars and awesome dudes and dudess’s discussed the latest trends in body piercing as they took a breather from the action. What a shocker, after previously being a free event the organisers imposed a 3 euros entrance charge for the concreted outdoor sports court – but it included the first drink and a raffle ticket to possibly win a tattoo or an electric guitar. There are some nice posh modern dwellings in this bottom part of Guimar plus a large marina and a nautical club but they have got used to this friendly annual invasion. Uniformed security staff manned the entrance to the inner sanctum as we filed in and got our ticket and wrist band. First stop was one of the temporary bars to get our first drink, the barrels were warm and the Reina spluttered into plastic glasses with large foaming heads.

As we waited to be served I tried to work out which group was hammering out a little ditty with all the subtlety of a piledriver, I didn’t suceed but they were pretty good and one of their members was shinning up the scaffolding at the side of the stage like a dark brooding rock version of Spiderman. Drinks in hand we mingled just behind the main throng that was pressing down on the stage and chaarging at each other in a gleeful dance of darkness. The large crowd seemed to be younger this year, or am I getting older, I thought the bright green inflatable crocodiles tossed back and fore between the band and the audience didn’t fit the wild rock and roll image but noone seemed bothered so far play to them.

The bands were mainly from Tenerife, apart from 2 from Gran Canaria and one from Barcelona. Next up were The Slaughter Inc (above) their musical juggernaut of a performance really whipped the crowd up. Don’t ask me anything technical about the guitars, I only knew the black star shaped guitar looked pretty damm impressive to me. After the bands set finished there was a flurry of activity to change the stage instruments around, so to avoid another warm shaving mug of Reina we went outside to another kiosk near the beach walkway and ordered 2 cold cans of Dorada. It was very busy on the outside, quite a few tents were set up down on the sand and little groups of fans were enjoying their own parties along the beach, the music was loud enough to get them jumping at the distant lights of Gran Canaria so people weren’t missing out by taking the cooler sea air. A few tables had been put out beach side of the kiosk and a couple of local families sat there with young children enjoying drinks and snacks – much better than taking the kids for a McGrotburger and a sugar rush shake.

Back in the concert Pio band An Endless Path (above and top) took to the stage, probably the best of the bands we saw, their lead singer was as skinny as a yard of pump water but leapt around the stage like a mad thing as his guitar wielding friends added a thudding backing to his tirade of a delivery. Most of the bands were very hardcore, not so much of the punk influence from previous years, but down in the mosh pit heads were bowing in frantic reverance. Another noticeable difference was a marked increase in the number of female worshippers, rock chics were diving in the mix in front of the stage and giving as good as they got, on another trip outside a couple of tattooed young ladies were getting a bit of a clean up from the attending ambulance after a clash of heads. Several chaps were sporting small gas masks, the latest must have in metal circles I assume, black t-shirts displayed mainstream influences from Metallica to Anthrax, and as the whole concert was being videoed souvenir stalls were selling recordings of last years bash.

The last band we saw were familiar to us from previous Goymar Fests, Thrashtorno (above) have long been a fixture on the Tenerife circuit and have a large following, many of them had clearly been waiting for their slot on the bill. The bands seemed to be geting longer on stage as they worked their way up the pecking order, a couple of more beers and we were ready to leave as the clock headed for 1 am. Heading back to the car fans were spread all over the nearby area and all still in good friendly spirits. I should imagine early TF 1 motorway drivers would be slightly distracted by a stream of tired, sweaty rock fans heading up early next morning, it was good to see that this annual pilgrimage continues to thrive and cater for the less mainstream music fans on the island.


Hot Salsa And Cool Fashion At Los Cristianos

Can fish dance? Taking a cooling off sea break from the Salsa y Moda afternoon at Los Cristianos I’m sure they were twitching their little fins in rythmn to the salsa music belting out from the quayside. They couldn’t have picked a hotter day to get people up and dancing but as the old beach was packed they soon gathered at the quay end to join the stage dancers who were whipping them up into a sweaty frenzy. Many people were inventing a new hybrid of swimming and dancing but there were even more pleasures to come as young local volunteer models got ready to show off their leisue wear from local shops.

Little changing booths lined the quayside wall and the fashion catwalk stretched along just above the sand, when the salsa dj’s took their breaks it was time to admire the costumes. It was mainly young ladies showing off beach and leisure clothes but a few chaps strutted their stuff as well as one at a time they strode out in front of an appreciative crowd before posing in a group of five or six before the next stylish wave rolled in. Hopefully many onlookers will have been inspired to check out the local shops to find that perfect outfit to catch the eye in the Tenerife sun.

The fashion interludes were just long enough to draw breath before the music struck up again and it was time to groove in the sand. The stage crew with some keen volunteers pulled up from the crowd went through some basic moves and then with wild enthusiasm led the beach gang on a merry dance. Like the tide of the sea the crowd pulled back slowly and then surged up to the stage, a conga proved hard to resist and the party crowd circled the dance area before snaking down to the sea for a mass soaking. Even with the evening marching on the sun was powerful but a little lower in the sky, more converts to the cause flooded in to mix and match music and style.

The fiesta mood was infectious, sun bathers gyrated on the beach and swimmers dived off the top of moored boats just off shore. It was all good practice as the next big fiesta Virgen del Carmen is only weeks away but those thoughts were far away as people lost themselves in the moment and had a great time in Los Cristianos. There is a full gallery of photos here.


Penalty Spares Pio Blushes Against Tough To Beat CD Tenerife

Lucky Las Palmas snatched the Copa Mahou Canarias with a harsh 88 th minute penalty after another masterful defensive showing from CD Tenerife. Just like the goal less home leg the Pios made the better chances but found the new look mean CDT defence unwilling to let them in, the penalty was for a hand ball by Amado but the replay was far from convincing.

Sergio Aragoneses was captain for the night and was on top form particularly with a two fisted clearance half way through the second half. Tenerife matched Las Palmas in the first half, Vitolo was the danger man for the Pios but a frustrated theatrical dive in the box after 40 minutes was the nearest he got to scoring, the ref just laughed it away. Las Palmas took control of the game in the second half but Vitolo fluffed an easy chance. With it all level over 2 legs a penalty shoot out was looming when the ref made his strange late decision allowing Suarez to score from the spot. Tenerife weren’t happy and already booked David Medina talked himself into a sending off.

Overall it was another encouraging performance on the heels of the 2-0 midweek win at Granadilla (both goals from Suso). Josmar played the first half but needs to impose his undoubted skill on the game more and the need for a goal scorer is getting rather pressing.

Colinas – Off the Peg Art At Magma Art And Congress

Four giant coloured clothes pegs greeted me as I entered the Pop Art exhibition of Baltasar Colinas at the Magma Arte Y Congresos near the Playa de Las Americas bus station. Arriving early I had a good prowl around the outside of this modern multi functional venue that impresses, confuses, and delights in pretty equal measure. Usually I am on my way into a show or conference so I made sure I checked out all the angles on “the bunker” as it’s often called locally. The outside concourse was being hosed down and around the corner a 1,000 places were being set for a wedding meal later in the day, the sun soaked pleasure towers of Siam Park reflected in the glass frontage as I squashed my nose up against the windows to sneak preview some of the 42 paintings and four pegs from The Land Of The Giants.

I was the lone visitor for the midday opening so had free reign to pour over the bold, bright paintings and to link up the internatonal influences in the first rooms offerings. A bright red phone box was a call from home in London City and the love padlocks, a trend kick started from Rome’s Ponte Milvio bridge in the book I Want You , caught my eye in Love Stories. Those pegs were a recuring theme as I worked my way through into the main entrance hall and past the cafe bar, sports shoes and commercial cans and bottles also popped up.

Baltasar Colinas is an artist with a keen social conscience that has followed him from his birthplace in Leon to Los Cristianos his Tenerife home for several years. On each leg of the exhibition’s Spanish tour Baltasar is donating 80 % of sales to local causes, for the Tenerife stop the chosen cause is the people who suffered as a result of the El Hierro eruptions last year. Paintings range from 500 euros to 10,000 euros for Colosos de Madrid, and those giant pegs ring in at 2,500 euros each. In the low ceiling cosy lounge area the paintings add to another contrasting mood for this venue of surprises. The soft classical music and subdued lighting also make a viewing a unique experience.

The free exhibition is on until 31 August from Noon to 6pm Monday to Thursday, Noon till midnight on Fridays, 6pm till midnight Saturdays, and closed Sundays. Pop in and have a look, there’s plenty to please the eye.

CD Tenerife Young Guns Blank Out Las Palmas

Another new dawn for CD Tenerife but this season we are promised a largely young squad of Canarian born players. Expectation and reality may be on seperate tracks but hopefully they will begin to converge as the new crop grows in experience and confidence under the latest coach Alvaro Cervera who spent some of his formative years as a CDT youth player. Before this first leg of the Copa Mahou Canarias we were bracing ourselves for a pounding from The Pios smug on their lofty perch a division above us but a strong defensive display and some poor Las Palmas finishing produced a comendable 0-0 draw.

It was difficult to work out who was who among the new faces as the players wore last seasons shirts and no information was given on the stadium scoreboard – to be fair they could have come round and whispered the changes individually to the crowd,the official 2,382 was wildly generous, it it wasn’t for the ever loyal, ever vocal Frente Blanquiazul and a full coach of Armada Sur the stadium would have been like a ghost town. Las Palmas clearly had the edge in terms of preparation and experience but they never made it count, Aragoneses was a little lucky when he pulled down Deived after the half hour but the home defence looked calm and well organised particularly right back Javi Moyano (above). Tenerife looked light up front despite Aridane turning in a decent display, the 17 year old goal scoring sensation Ayoze from the youth team looks like a strong breeze migh snap him in two but that is something that can be worked on.

From our half time vantage point on the outside ring of the stadium we could see a fire in a local shop had roused a full range of emergency service vehicles and staff – maybe the club added them all onto the attendance figure. At the break the bench rang the first of eight changes to the playing line up, when Medina and Chechu were added they made a difference to the weak midfield and Loro had a couple of genuine chances. German looked quite lively but at the moment it’s not clear where our goals are going to come from. The Pios hit the woodwork twice and looked suitably frustrated, they will see this as a bad result in their build up, for Tenerife it was a useful warm up, the new coaches influence could be seen but he knows there is a lot of work and hopefully another couple of signings before the Segunda B campaign starts.