Archive for March 17th, 2015
Balduino Hat Trick Steers CD Marino Through Choppy Waters

Team form has been a little brittle lately for CD Marino but striker Balduino is having his best season in the blue shirt and took his tally to 18 goals to fend off their determined 10 man opponents Santa Brigida with a 3-2 home win.

The visitors from Gran Canaria were more direct and always looking to test Sergio Aragoneses while Marino always wanted one more pass before letting rip. Just seven minutes into the game Santa Brigida broke and with some good passing got the ball through to Trujillo who skillfully juggled the ball to beat the advancing Sergio. Winger Javi Marchena was playing at left back and his speed going forward was starting to pressure the yellows, a second trip on Javi resulted in a free kick that wasn’t far shy of the bar.

Marino could have succumbed again when Alvarez flashed a shot across the face of the home goal but this was answered with a quick break that released Nestor, goalie Raul managed to take the ball off him and winded him at the same time. It had the makings of a well matched thriller but the balance changed after 18 minutes when Raul clattered Airam to the ground and got sent off. With no back up keeper on their bench, Fermin was volunteered to go between the sticks and there was a tense wait as the sub donned the shirt and gloves. Balduino wasn’t ruffled and stepped up to beat the replacement to tie it at 1-1.

Javi continued his good work after the break forcing a hasty defensive clearance and setting up Nestor for a half chance that the rookie goalie took well. Marino couldn’t make their man advantage count and never really put the second keeper under pressure, Santa Brigida were still game and Trujillo drew a full stretch stop from Sergio. Marino went close as Nestor’s diving header caught the ball a little low and sent it over the bar. The referee seemed a bit clueless at times, during one Marino attack there were two balls in the penalty area and when a visiting player loudly pointed out the obvious the ref booked him for dissent.

Kevin Castro came on for Barrios on the hour and inspired a speedy attack that found Balduino in the thick of the action and ready to head his team back into the lead. The attacking instinct was still strong in Santa Brigida and with another surge forward they got a penalty after Aridani was adjudged to have handled the ball. Carreno converted the kick to keep all options open for the closing 25 minutes. Defender and captain Aridani tried to redeem himself with a wild long shot and Kevin needed another inch on his leg to reach a tempting cross in front of goal.

There was only one man who could seal the win for Marino and that was Balduino, in the final minutes he was in the right place again to head another fine goal for his hat trick and his team’s salvation. With the win assured the blues managed another couple of late efforts, Nestor looped a shot high, and a Santa Brigida defender made a strong clearance just in front of his net. Once again it should have been much easier but the points keep piling up and Marino still sit two points clear at the top of group 12 of the Tercera division.



Coso Fever Scorches Through Los Cristianos

Some people turn their nose up at the sardine, some prefer their slippers to late night dancing shoes, and some haven’t got the patience to sit through the spectacular stage shows. But every year when Arona Carnaval looms up on the horizon, everyone wants to know the details of the big Coso parade on the final Sunday.

Certain elements hold true every year, parking spaces are like the Holy Grail, prime viewing spots start to get bagged from mid day, and the sun cranks the heat up a few notches. This year 60 groups took part in the parade, I joined the preparation down by Paloma Beach ten minutes before the advertised off, that’s an hour and ten minutes before the eventual wagons roll. It looks chaotic but there is a system, assembly points were chalked on the road surface and organizers with clipboards rounded up and checked dancers and other performers in various states of transformation. The sky was clear and the drinks were pouring, crafty drags on ciggies were calming nerves, and face make up was setting within seconds of being applied.

The Arona Carnaval theme, Olympus this year, was just a rough guide, there are always annual favourites like Elvis, Michael Jackson, and Freddy Kreugar – now that’s a supergroup I would buy tickets to see. For the dance schools and groups Carnaval is the culmination of a year of hard work, just a quick glance at the costumes shows the amount of hours that are put in to ensure they don’t just look brilliant, but also synchronized. The drummers at the front set the pace and once they strike up their rhythm everyone falls into line and the slow process of turning the corner onto the main stretch of road begins.

The Carnaval Queen, Dames of Honour, Infantil Queen, and other runners up wave from on high on the back of big trucks, well it takes a big stage to hold their magnificent outfits. This year Andrea Barriero Monroy was elected Queen in a pink and white blaze of splendor and Cynthia Padilla was a close second in her teal and silver creation. It’s all very impressive but my favourites are the ones that interact with the crowds, a close up wave or a blown kiss to a small child soon lights up their faces and a few mature ladies squealed with surprise when given a cuddle by Harpo Marx or a German general.

It was a bit of a squeeze at the finishing point behind the cultural centre and a logistical nightmare for the police and stewards but as always it went pretty smoothly and participants were able to peel off their costumes and cool down. There was just enough energy left for the last big night of dancing by the main stage. Well done to all who put on such a great show and of course the council clean up crew who follow the parade to purge the streets.


Soaring Upwards At Roque Del Conde The Guardian Of South Tenerife

Maybe it’s the sheared summit effect that earns Roque del Conde the nickname of table top mountain but I like to think it’s due to the feast of views offered from the top, either way I was ready for another serving. Sitting in a café in Los Cristianos gazing up is one way to enjoy the folds and shades that change hourly and seasonally but there’s nothing like the bite in the leg muscles as you curl your way around the popular route.

It was nice to show off my favourite stroll to my visiting friend Francine, the morning couldn’t have looked more perfect as we caught the 480 Arona bus and emerged a short hop from the Plaza del Cristo de la Salud. It’s quite a gathering point for walkers with four main routes well sign posted, and a nice little leaflet (Arona Rural) available from tourist offices, both in several languages. Striking out across the main road and down the dirt track to the El Vento area we came to the path down through a small gorge and up over the old iron water pipes. What a greeting, the landscape spread out far ahead with a old viaduct spanning the horizon and several other smaller mountains offering homage to our destination. Ahead of us little groups of walkers were noticeable in the distance as the sun poured its warmth over us.

The first big test was the Barranco del Rey, a deep ravine, we took the steep winding pathway down to the dry river bed. Hidden from the sun it was cool with a little bit of echo that carried the clanking bells of a herd of goats. Looking up it was just possible to see them making light work of a precarious trail just below the lip of the barranco. Taking the steep ascent up the other side we emerged with a disused threshing circle in our sights and above that an old wreck of a stone cottage. The path we followed was well worn not just by modern walkers but also by ancient farmers who grew cereal crops, not a good place to forget your watering can. The coastal scenery unfolded below us as the path took us around the mountain to a halfway outcrop of rock that made a suitable resting spot to catch up on water and snacks.

The top of the mountain looked within quick reach from here but it was deceptive as the path tightened and twisted and the summit remained elusive. Looking back the views of Los Cristianos, Playa de Las Americas and westward were very rewarding. A few other walkers passed us on their way down with smiles of satisfaction and a renewed spring in their step. Finally the light grass ahead gave way to the plateau, time for a deep breath and a scan of the panoramic views. Remnants of past farming had left a landscape of shallow terraces between low stone walls, tufts of dry grass and thistles were being used as a playground by small birds. Walking around the perimeter brought differing views, Adeje town spread out on one side, Mount Teide shimmered in the distance on another, and plants clung to the side of splintered rock stacks as Barranco del Infierno snaked its way around smaller mountains far below.

Perching back at our entry point we were entertained by para gliders swooping serenely and some cheeky lizards helping to finish off our sarnies and crisps. There were quite a few other people on the plateau, some we had seen earlier in the journey, the different nationalities reflected the international reputation that Arona has as a walkers delight. Return journeys are usually faster but that was offset by the need to not let the incline force our pace, especially on the shifting loose dusty earth. We were being shielded from what little breeze there was so the sun made its presence felt, the halfway stop brought a welcome wafting of cooler air. The cactus plants with their prickly pears became more plentiful as we got lower and there was always the white water trail of the pleasure boats and ferries etching their progress on the sea to distract us.

Barranco del Rey seemed a little easier going back, the walk is well maintained particularly in this barranco where rope and wood rails help to guide walkers down to the floor of the ravine. Painted markings at key points of the route also help to usher the wayward onto the true course, we still nearly missed the crossing point for the small gorge. We hit Arona plaza just over four hours after our start, that was at a leisurely pace, the cold drinks at a small bar were very welcome, Roque del Conde did us proud.