Archive for August, 2013
Crispy Nuggets From The Chip Pan Of Tenerife

If you haven’t got a map of Tenerife etched on your brain let’s just imagine that our wonderful island is a deep chip pan with the north east corner being the pan handle. My latest assignment was trying out a new sea taxi from Nautica Nivaria serving Anaga National Park, a walkers delight in that north east area beyond Santa Cruz.

The address for the pick up point was a bit misleading so after an early rise I changed Titsa buses in Santa Cruz and got the 910 to San Andres (above). The journey took me through the new 560 metre tunnel under the Via Litoral, part of the long revamp of the area between the port and the city. It’s a good few years since I ventured up that way so I had a quick look around, the sea promenade has had a bad few years with big storms twice crashing over and across the road to threaten buildings. A barrier out at sea didn’t calm the next storm waves and the argument still rages, I was thinking this as a few random spots of rain plopped down. There are always oil tankers moored just out to see here and sure enough I counted six of them lurking.

The large orange beach of Las Teresitas is just a short walk beyond so I had a quick peek, despite the dark clouds there were plenty of bathers waiting for the sun to put his hat on. Controversy has stalked this beach for years over alleged corruption at the planning stages but it is a lovely spread for the good people of Santa Cruz to enjoy. By now I had asked directions and found I was way off beam so I grabbed a bus back towards Santa Cruz and got off half way at the Darsena Pesquero, a vast old dock that has seen better days. One of the old chaps fishing for scraps pointed me in the right direction and I found the entrance to my awaiting boat at Sector Five – Cueva Bermeja.

The boat trip was fantastic complete with blazing sunshine but that’s destined for , two hours later I was back on solid ground windswept, wet and exhilarated and as Santa Cruz didn’t look far I decided to walk along the port service road that runs parallel to the main road. After a good 20 minutes hike I realized that the exits I needed were all locked up and I was being funneled down to a busy road subway, luckily a half open gate offered me an alternative to retracing my steps and I squeezed through. No walk is wasted and as I passed the various docks I found some great old machinery at the gateways, the first was an old steam engine the La Jurada, made in Germany and used from 1927 to 1965 to transport huge rocks that helped to build the Santa Cruz ports. Further along I found a steam crane from Grafton & Sons of Bedford dating back to 1920 and put to good use locally from 1934 to 1956.

That little swell of patriotism was further boosted when I passed the La Palma steam ship, an old friend from several previous visits. This former mail ship between the Canary Islands was built in Middlesborough and is nearing the end of a big restoration project. Past and present sit in close proximity to each other in Santa Cruz, over in the main port the latest cruise ship visitor, Oceana, was looking majestic and dripping in money. Later touring around the heart of Santa Cruz I noticed many British passengers among the 2,000 on board the 10 decks were topping up the tills of local coffee shops and bars. All this mooching about didn’t leave me much time to check up on some of my usual points of call in the capital but I can do that next trip – unless I get sidetracked of course.




CD Tenerife Are Keen But Not Mean In Goal Less Draw

Maybe we should have bought some of the religious icons on sale among the Dorada at the Oasis bar, divine intervention in front of goal would have been welcome. We are going to have to fight for every point this season and should have punished Hercules during their 52 minutes with 10 men.

The five changes from last week included debuts for Salva Ruiz at left back and Borja Perez up front, both were ok but didn’t offer anything out of the ordinary, hopefully there is more to come from both. The same can be said for much of the team this week, promotion means that everyone needs to step up their game, and if they want inspiration they should take a hint from Cristo Martin. The midfielder has stepped up two divisions in the last two years and has taken it in his stride. Maybe he did miss the best chance with a poor header after the half hour but his work rate and desire are always good.

Inigo Ros is sorely missed in midfield and Aridane can’t return soon enough, Suso will welcome him back with a big hug, he saw much of his hard work on the wing wasted as his crosses weren’t pounced on. Hercules didn’t add much to the game themselves, a little curiosity value from Chile international Campos Toro playing with MCT as his shirt name – never seen that before. Assulin could have shortened his name to Ass after his crunching foul on Carlos Ruiz got a deserved red card, he was helped off the pitch with a hefty shove in the back from a team mate not impressed by his stupidity.

Tenerife tried to freshen things up as the second half wore on, Oscar Rico replaced Salva Ruiz and Chechu took over from Suso but the problem was still the end product. Aitor Sanz could have grabbed some glory but placed his shot past the post just before Ayoze arrived for the sluggish looking Loro. Pamarot tried to encourage CDT, his loose back pass had his goalie Falcon scrambling but there was no waiting to punish them.

A draw was a fair result, the 8981 crowd accepted it as part of our new learning curve, at the moment though it’s hard to see where the goals are coming from, the first win will make a big difference, can we have it next week at Mirandes please.

Loaves And Fishes In Los Cristianos

All over Los Cristianos cats were purring and licking their whiskers as the smell of freshly cooked fish wafted in from the old quay. There’s always room for another celebration in Tenerife and with perfect timing the Feria del Pescador arrived just ahead of the Virgen del Carmen celebrations to honour the patron saint of the fishermen.

The old beach was still busy after another scorching day and it was a full house in the marina and port. Many of the fishing boats were moored up after a busy day and the Fred Olsen and Armas inter island ferries were straining at their anchor chains near the harbour wall. The idea of the new fair was to show off some of the history and lifestyle of the industry that gives Los Cristianos much of its unique character. There were photos of the catches being landed, charts showing the different fish they capture and the minimum size restrictions placed on them.

A stage had been set up on the quay and the traditional musicians and dancers were limbering up for action. Many of the visitors had already noticed the cooking area where mountains of bread rolls were being cut open and two huge paella pans were poised ready for action. My taste buds were twitching too but first of all it was time to enjoy the music and dance, it set a lovely relaxed tone with the sun shining on the sea behind them and families lapping up the sand and beach to the side. The ladies swirled their dresses and the gents looked dapper in their waistcoats, those thick leggings must have been a bit warm though.

Back at the food station the pans were sizzling away with sardines and tuna steaks as the Canarian potatoes, tuna salad and mojo sauce took their place on the serving table. The queue soon stretched back a fair way but I joined it and had two generous plates full of delicious ready to devour. Large wine barrels made sturdy tables but many people sat along the edge of the beach enjoying the fruits of the sea as another group of musicians took over the stage. Soft drinks and beer served from a small bar surrounding the scaled down statue of the Virgen complimented the food. Back at the serving area the queue stretched even further but the loaves and fishes showed no sign of letting up – maybe it was a miracle. What a wonderful way to spend a sun kissed evening, roll on next years event.


A Sting In The Pony Tail As CD Tenerife Lose Opener

We could be kind and say Raul Llorente was trying to share the love and give Sales a cuddle but it looked more like a wrestling maul than his first booking earlier in the second half. This second clumsy block in injury time got him a red card and gave Alcorcon the green light to press for the winner from a crazy penalty call on Bruno leaving CD Tenerife to lose 1-0.

Caution seemed to be the game plan in this first match back in the Segunda and it was working well, Tenerife packed the midfield leaving Ayoze to use his pace to chase half chances up front. Even Chechu and Oscar Rico tucked well in rather than exploit the wings and the Tenerife defence looked solid with Bruno and Carlos Ruiz continuing their pairing in the centre. Neither keeper had a lot to do, Sergio Aragoneses punched clear from a corner and easily picked up a weak shot from Juli and at the other end Gimenez watched Bruno head a corner over and a Chechu free kick elude Ayoze as well as his defence.

The second half brought drama as a body check from Cristo saw Sanz tumble and smack his head on an advertising hoarding. There was a ten minute delay as an ambulance cut across the pitch to bring him round and then take him away for safety checks. Chechu had the best chance when he turned smartly in the box and fired low but the goalie reacted well to save. Then Raul Llorente had his first close encounter with Sales stopping him in his tracks with all the subtlety of an oversized wardrobe. The left back had another scare when a cross hit him on the shoulder, the penalty appeal was quickly dismissed.

Guillem took over from Ayoze late on before an extra 11 minutes injury time kicked in. Raul’s red changed everything, Mora curled the resulting free kick just over the Tenerife bar and a few minutes Bruno dropped his body to block the ball and an attacker let through by Chechu. Even though the defender ended up with his back to the Alcorcon player the ref gave a penalty and Juli picked out the bottom corner of the net. The home side were close to increasing the win as Afonso smashed a shot off the underside of the bar but it’s been a good week for late escapes for Alcorcon so they wont lose any sleep over that near miss.

Hercules are the visitors in Santa Cruz back at a normal time of 6pm and new left back Salva Ruiz will get his chance to stake a claim for Llorente’s place.

A Five Star Spectacle For CD Tenerife Fans To Worship

High visibility orange jackets were the uniform of the day for the motorway walkers heading to Candelaria but our pilgrimage by car passed them on the way to La Orotava to worship the boys in the pink change strip. It was Teide Trophy time again and late replacements Rayo Vallecano were run ragged as CD Tenerife beat them 5-0 and that hardly reflected their dominance.

The ground in its magnificent setting is always a good place to visit, especially after a few quick Doradas at our regular bar down the road. Tenerife came out with their tails up and Suso was unstoppable down the left, he bulldozed his way through two defenders and nearly skittled me over as well. The midfield was working well with Cristo Martin the creative spark and Ayoze’s speed and enthusiasm up front provided the cutting edge.

It took just 20 minutes for Ayoze to latch on to a pass from Loro to open the scoring. Rayo were struggling to create any decent chances, a wild looped shot over the goal didn’t need any attention from Sergio Aragoneses. Rayo’s six most experienced players were subbed after 35 minutes and Tenerife stepped up the pressure. Ricardo found Ayoze who shot wide and another Suso break ended with a teasing cross that Raul Llorente just failed to reach with his head. Suso charged again and this time he found Cristo who turned his markers and made it 2-0. The evening sun had set and a damp mist moved in by half time, combined with the pitch sprinklers it left perfect conditions for Super Mario to do his floundering fish impression on the grass.

Tenerife made their own raft of changes at the break without losing their rhythm and Chechu nipped in for the third goal to kill off Rayo. It would have been easy to relax but Tenerife showed a positive attitude and continued to exploit Rayo’s slow defending. Aday Benitez finished well for a fourth and even a change of goalie couldn’t stem the tide. Guillem got in on the scoring act 15 minutes from the end and had all the time in the world to find the net.

The La Orotava pitch is open on all sides and the final whistle was the cue for many of the 3,500 crowd to spill onto the playing surface and get photos and autographs with the Tenerife players. The presentations were a bit too laid back this year and players weren’t sure whether to go up or not, Ayoze got a man of the match award and captain Sergio picked up an old cracked trophy but was relieved of it as soon as he got down to pitch level again. As for the fans, we were still a little shell shocked by the ease of the victory and trying to reign in ambitious thoughts of the Segunda season ahead.




Safe Hands Make More Wins For CD Tenerife

A goalie a goalie, my kingdom for a goalie, well maybe it wasn’t that urgent but a lot of interest had been voiced about getting a more experienced back up CD Tenerife keeper to shadow Sergio Aragoneses. What better time then for our two young stoppers to show their best qualities.

Roberto was first in the spotlight in the home friendly with Osasuna and he did his reputation the world of good with a couple of strong early takes. The Primera visitors didn’t look that good but somehow sneaked an 11th minute lead through Ariel and wouldn’t you know it the telling pass was supplied by Mr Popular Marc Bertran. The former Tenerife full back and captain was roundly booed at every turn after he bailed out as we slid into Segunda B, I always thought he was over rated and towards the end of his time in the blue and white he often looked uninterested.

Chechu is another player that some fans, myself included, saw as at best a fringe player in the Segunda, he has had a lively start to the friendlies and opened up Osasuna after 19 minutes with a determined run down the right before planting the ball in the net to level. Roberto made a decisive intervention of a high cross just after that and ended the half with an inspiring double save.

Despite lots of changes Tenerife kept their shape in the second half and soon grabbed a winner with another classy goal, this time it was Oscar Rico after good work from Ayoze. Osasuna had little to offer after that, the 4,285 crowd was left to practice chants and songs and admire the latest B team prospect Amorin who made a sound second half debut.

Onto Wednesday and a trip to El Fraile to play Ibarra. Meeting in the little bar opposite the ground we got stuck into the owners Dorada stocks, well at one euro a bottle it would have been rude not to. Ground entry was just eight euros and we got in Justin time for the presentations and kick off. This time Nauzet the third choice goalie was between the sticks and from the start he looked secure and confident. Cristo Martin took just three minutes to open the scoring with an opportunist goal and things were looking good. After ten minutes the Guardia Civil stopped the in ground bar from serving beer, that didn’t go down well with anyone, if it had been in the UK we could have bleated about having our human rights infringed.

Ibarra were keen and put pressure on Tenerife, after 30 minutes Roberto was tested and made a great save followed soon after by a strong punched clearance. Kike Rivero, already looking a good signing, reacted well to pounce for our second goal just before the half time whistle. With dry throats at our end of the ground Gordon did the decent thing and sneaked out to buy up the canned beer supplies from a local shop and sneaked them in over the fence. A sneaky beer always tastes better and we were soon in good voice again, just in time to see sub Suso latch on to an Ayoze pass for our third strike of the night. That was about it for the game and we streamed out with the rest of the 600 crowd at the end happy with another winning game with no goals conceded. Let’s hope this form continues into the serious matches.



Look Who The Wind Blew In

I don’t know a tweaked pushloop from a goiter or a tabletop forward but I could still appreciate the courage and talent of the worlds best windsurfers as they strutted their stuff at El Cabezo beach in El Medano for the PWA World Cup.

The white caps on the waves as I passed through Golf del Sur and the straining palm trees as my bus drove down into El Medano was enough to ensure me that this fourth day of competition was going to be a real rip roarer. As I turned the corner and approached the pits area and launch zone the wind boxed my ears and slapped a little tune on my face, apparently it was near 40 knots. There didn’t seem as many spectators as previous years but the riders were busy, some fine tuning their boards, others dragging their boards out into the waves, and others flipping and popping between the peaks and troughs of the Atlantic.

To the west kite surfers were doing their thing but all eyes were on the 32 men and 16 women with the sails. The hooter sounded the start of each 12 minute routine as they set out to catch the judges eyes, back on almost dry sand I was just about managing to stand upright and take a few photos between constant wipes to remove the spray from my lens.

There’s always a great social side to the sea based sport of El Medano and a mini village had sprung up with a large marquee and a bar keeping the contestants and fans well watered. I managed to catch a few words with Adam Lewis who I had interviewed the previous week for The Tenerife Weekly, he finished 9th but had a satisfying Tuesday with the best round of the day. The female riders looked good in their official tournament tops, I found three of them relaxing between races. Eva Oude Ophuis (left) from Hungary, Alice Aruntkin from France, and Fanny Aubet also from France looked relaxed and at ease with the prospect of battling nature in front of spectators, cameras, and video coverage.

It all came to a head on Wednesday with the top five male and female battling it out. Congratulations to Philip Koster of Germany for winning and maintaining his stranglehold on the World title, and well done to Daida Ruano from Gran Canaria who shrugged off the challenge of her sister Iballa to win the ladies title. If I ignore anyone in the next few weeks please excuse me I’m still extracting sand from my ears. Big respect to all the windsurfers for putting on a tremendous free show for Tenerife.