Archive for August, 2015
Missed Chances Come Back To Haunt CD Marino

It’s going to be a season of harsh lessons for the young guns of CD Marino, putting the ball in the net is at the top of the list. Despite their dominance of the first half they clipped the woodwork three times and went into the break level at 0-0 in their relocated home game against Union Viera at Buzanada. The Gran Canarian visitors arrived just a few minutes before kick off, grew into the game in the second half, and ran out comfortable 0-3 winners.

A couple of early breaks tested Marino’s Serbian goalie Cicovic before the blues started to exploit the flanks, Facu Ramirez teased Viera down the left and Marchena overlapped to put in some tempting crosses, while Suso explored the right side with Bradley Mills from the Middlesborough FC academy ready to support when needed. Facu looped a shot over the visitors bar before Marchena set up Kevin Castro for an attempt that missed the target.

Gaizka, a free scoring old school centre forward looked strong in the air, he headed down a Marchena centre that Facu blasted high. Suso chased a through ball that unlocked the Viera defence but his shot was just wide of the target. Bradley Mills could have had a dream debut, he headed a shot over and saw his low pass to Facu veer away from the goal. Their was a let off for Marino late in the half when a Viera player bore down on the goal, Cicovic came out and was rounded by the attacking player who fired wide when it looked easier to score.

The second half opened with more of the same as the Viera keeper was at full stretch to deny Gaizka , and Bradley’s header was short of the power and direction to beat the keeper. Marino were still getting in behind the defence down the wings but swapping Josito for Marchena after 52 minutes let Viera off the hook. Sandro tried a speculative long shot for Marino but play switched ends quickly and Kilian caught Marino cold to open the scoring. A double substitution saw Alexis and Alberto replace Facu and Suso, leaving Gaizka stranded with his supply lines cut off.

A brief spell of pressure forced three corners in quick succession for Marino, the nearest effort brought a one handed push away from the Viera goalie. A Peraza free kick at the other end of the field met little resistance as the ball evaded Cicovic for a 2-0 scoreline. Marino appealed for a way back into the game via a handball but the ref signaled it hit the Viera defenders chest and waved play on. The third goal after 83 minutes was almosrt in slow motion as Peraza strolled the ball into the net. The Gran Canaria forward should have completed his hat trick late on but somehow managed to make a clearing defensive header when a clean nod was the easier option. Lots to work on but plenty of bright spots in the first half performance, only two players survived from the end of last season and with a top age of 23 they will hope to add confidence and experience as the season moves on.







Heavy Metal Heaven At The Goymar Fest

You what? You’ll have to shout at me for a few days as my hearing is shot to pieces after dipping into the Goymar Fest heavy metal festival in Guimar. Another legacy is my dreams being stalked by demonic rock stars wielding guitars like axes, oh yes it was a great return to form as the 12 hour music feast bounced back from last years cancellation.

After over stretching itself in recent years, the Goymar Fest went back to its roots on a large outdoor concrete sports court in El Puertito. The marina was locked up for the night but the shingle beach stretched out, separated from the concert by a maritime walkway. The wind was blowing hot and strong as we arrived and the scorching day was morphing into a sultry night. A wide and varied assortment of geezers, geeks, goths, punks, rockers, and metal heads was mingling around the nearby streets with the odd bottle of happy juice doing the rounds. The stage spotlights were spilling out into the sky and the thrash of guitars and howl of angst filled singers was screeching through the air.

The Goymar Fest began at 2 pm and was set to bash on until 2 am, how much would such a prolonged bill of Canarian bands cost? I’m sure it will rock your world when I tell you entry was a mere three euros for a plastic wristband. Beer stalls inside were selling Estrella beer at 1.50 euros a half with payment made in the form of tickets bought in bulk just inside the gate. We loaded up with beers and found a good spot near the stage just in time to hear Death Above, of particular interest to us Armada Sur members as the lead singer used to be a drummer with terrace friends Oi Se Arma, a top notch punk and ska band.

Death Above were pretty wild, the singer was relishing his freedom from behind the skins, and the guitar heroes were in full flow. The wind was unleashing its own venom, the palm trees were swaying wildly beyond the fence, or maybe they were just head banging. The drummer was on a raised platform at the back of the stage and at one point his cymbals were blown to the floor by a cheeky gust. There was a nice sedate buzz among the hundreds assembled, some jumped into the swirling mosh pit in front of the stage but others browed merchandise stalls or shouted conversations with each other. I was quite bemused by the young ladies to the side of the stage who spent most of the night playing with hoola hoops, trying to spin them around their waists as the speakers boomed out their music of choice.

Pick of the night for me was the next band up, Neomaniac arrived with a theatrical bang as the lead singer attacked his microphone to produce a spray of sparks . They were all made up like extras from a horror flick and their music was suitably dark and brooding with hints of The Prodigy. It’s always nice when a band reaches out to its audience, Neomaniac teased, taunted and cursed their fans and the lead singer waved a demon doll at them before feeding a few front rowers with strands of gloopy, blood red morsels from a plastic pot. One of the big features of the night was encouragement to the next metal generation, some very young fans got chances to join the bands on stage to sharpen their youthful vocal chords.

I had a good few wanders around the festival area to enjoy the unusual sights, many people had come prepared with their own adapted fashions and drinking vessels. There was a good sprinkling of rock chicks with the next band, ODIO well supported. Their green haired guitarist and body surfing lead singer caught the attention of the head bangers. By now it was getting well into Sunday and our time to make the trip back down the TF1 motorway. It was good to see the Goymar Fest back on the musical map, roll on next year.

More Than A Splash Of Colour On The Adeje Canvas

Staring at brick walls night not sound the most interesting past time but it depends on what they are covered in. I always find myself drawn to street art, the bolder the better, and Adeje has some fine examples of how to crash into people’s minds when they least expect it. There was an early bonus for me on my latest walk up the Calle Grande in Adeje town centre, a new arts space La Musa de Adeje, only a few weeks on from its opening and full of delights by 11 artists from Tenerife and La Gomera.

Their first exhibition is called Musas and featured paintings, sculptures, and works in metal and stone. Each artists area had a brief written introduction in Spanish and English to their inspirations and choice of materials and the gallery hosts had plenty of knowledgeable information for browsers. A few of the artists names were familiar to me and one was to feature again later on my Adeje tour. It’s a commercial gallery and all the works are for sale, there is a shortage of outlets in the south of Tenerife for local talent and exhibitions will run here for around six weeks before they ring the changes. You can find a full run down of the works on the website but it’s so much more rewarding to pop in and browse, Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm.

Onward to my planned calls, both murals, Adeje Ayuntamiento has encouraged a series of large artistic tributes to the traditions of the area and I passed between some in Avenida de la Constitution and Piedra Redonda before reaching La Postura where a giant red and white communication mast has dominated the eyeline – but now it has competition. Artist Matias Mata has transformed an ugly wall in Calle Telefonica into a bright, flowing display of positive faces with calls for freedom, humanity, and liberty. The detail on the facial expressions brings them to life and the bold colours reach out and grab you. Matias may have already tweaked your attention with his multi coloured bus stops on the TF1 motorway as you head into Santa Cruz.

Las Nieves was still left on my tick list but I needed to remind myself of the suburbs exact position so I took an overview from the modern church Plaza Antonio Moreira Bua. Even with a glorious view out to sea and a clear outline of La Gomera, the 240 square metre homage to Adeje’s agricultural past hit me straight between the eyes. It looked even more impressive close up, the church like central arch, common to the neighbouring modern pink blocks, was offset perfectly by the scenes on the brick canvas. The artist Conrado Diaz had already impressed me with his smaller works at the La Musa De Adeje exhibition but the sheer scale of this was awe inspiring. If you want to see some more of Adeje’s triumphs here’s a previous crop but do yourself a favour and take a wander through the streets of Adeje for the real thing.


A Seagulls View Of Los Cristianos

Searing summer temperatures have put my high mountain walks on hold but it wont stop me from visiting a few shorter routes where I wont need a fully stocked fridge and a hosing down every few minutes. So there I was a trifle sweaty and on top of Montaña Chayofita overlooking my favourite sizzle spots on the beaches of Los Cristianos.

With schools closed and the annual search for sunshine well underway packages for Tenerife holidays were filling the hotels and apartments that fanned out to either side of my downward vision. It only took a cautious 20 minutes to take the smaller track up the side of Chayofita, I could have followed the old road base to the white markers and peeled off there but decided to do a full circle from the opposite direction. The usual unanswered questions flashed through my brain, how did anyone get building permission or start without it and not get noticed. Chayofita is supposedly protected land and the half finished grand home has been frozen in time for at least 15 years, people are squatting in there, the previous evenings torrential rain must have shaken them up a bit.

I had plenty to think about as I made the short descent, the views keep changing, Parque Santiago 6 shopping centre was a recent addition below and I could just make out the Tower of Power at Siam Park in the distance. Cresting the crown I had a lovely view up the bypass to the centre of town and beyond to the side of Montaña Guaza and the ridge sloping down to the sea, that’s a more serious hike that I have done many times. I was surprised to see the wooden bench on the top of my mini mountain was no longer in place, not that I was planning to take root.

The marina and the ferry port looked quiet as the Armas ferry slumbered before another inter island crossing, even the old beach look fairly sparse for such a hot day. Las Vistas was busier, I was already anticipating a cooling swim in the sea as I started to descend down the other side into the collapsed centre of the volcanic cone. There was a little rough shack nestled in the lower fold of the track down, a lot of people are scraping by as and where they can these days.

As I passed through the white markers to the early attempt at a road, I thought about the Sortija de Caballos I had seen nearly two years ago as mounted marksmen on horses galloped up the road and tried to grab small metal rings suspended on overhead arches. Oh well this old horse was back at ground level and took a short cut through to the beach for a long dunk followed by a nose bag at a local bar.


Polished Silver And Polished Displays For CD Tenerife


A hand on one pre season trophy and a winning grip of another were just rewards for two more impressive CD Tenerife displays. Newly loaned forward Choco Lozano from Honduras is waiting in the wings and even a pea souper fog in La Orotava couldn’t obscure the hopeful signs.

Can it ever be a friendly against Las Palmas? Well the 4,325 crowd for the home leg of the Mahou Cup hinted that this wasn’t expected to be the full fire and brimstone of a league derby, but it had its moments. Performance was more important than the result but we got both, Nano got the nod ahead of Cristo Gonzalez for the main strikers role and looked lively, after 17 minutes he was chopped down by Culio when through on goal. Maybe this, and some verbals, led Javi Moyano to flat hand slap him on the half hour near the touchline, the pio went down theatrically and team mate Viera ran in and grabbed Vitolo by the throat as it got heated. The ref showed good sense to just book an offending player on each side, the police were less restrained and went onto the pitch to intervene – surely fines and suspensions for them?


Apart from that Tenerife comfortably shaded the first half, a neat Carlos Ruiz back heel went just wide prior to the break. The second half saw the pios struggle to produce a decent shot, Tenerife looked steady, Abel replaced Nano after 58 minutes and again pressed his claims for a league start. Subs flowed with the biggest cheer reserved for Suso’s first pre season appearance. A 0-0 looked certain but sub Nadjib scored on the rebound in the final minute after first hitting the post, the Barcelona born youngster was signed from Lanzarote youth football as Las Palmas weighed up a move. A good all round performance, especially as the touring 24 man pio squad won 0-5 at Mensajero the previous night and 0-3 at La Laguna the night after.

Onto La Orotava for the annual Teide Trophy, this year against Primera side Eibar. Heavy fog shrouded the pitch and a shipping forecast seemed more appropriate than a team list but both sides played some good football with Tenerife looking the more decisive. Jorge got a start in the centre of defence in place of Carlos Ruiz and Cristo Gonzalez got another chance to shine in attack. Dani Hernandez must have radar or Spider sense, he picked out two long shots that he can’t have seen coming. Abel made some clear chances and Cristo tested the Eibar keeper with a long drive. Pedro Martin was again a class act, playing a support role on the right he carved out a few openings, Nadjib nearly finished off one but it cleared the bar.

The opener came after 35 minutes, Cristo robbed a defender and drilled in a precise pass for Pedro to finish clinically. Just before the break Eibar leveled with a dipping free kick shot that beat the outstretched reach of Dani. Nano was on for the second half and was unlucky to get squeezed wide as he lined up a shot. Suso relieved Abel, Alberto swapped with Jorge and the Tenerife dominance continued, Nano chested the ball down for Pedro but the keeper did well to smother the ball at the base of the post. Eibar could have nicked it with a late free kick but hooked the ball high. Four straight penalties from Vitolo, Suso, Nano, and German, were too much for Eibar as Dani saved with his diving body and with his foot to give Tenerife the trophy.


Publicity Falls On Its Arts In La Laguna

Looking forward to an art exhibition and then finding it closed was not a good start but my exploring days are never wasted in Tenerife, La Laguna and Santa Cruz gave my little pea brain plenty of stimulation on a cracking summers day.

Julio Nieto is a master of metal art and after being wowed by his earlier giant works in Santa Cruz, thoughts of his new exhibition Kamasutra del Aire made my mind boggle. An early morning Titsa and tram combination from Los Cristianos had me in La Laguna before my corn flakes had time to settle but the tourist office gave me directions to the venue and the bad news that it was shut probably for the whole of August. I went to see for myself and sure enough it was locked up but no mention of why and for how long, the local papers still have it running until September 18. Calm Colin, calm, you know how bad publicity is on the rock.

Time for an old stand by, the former Convento de Canarias and its Instituto San Agustin welcomed me to their latest free exhibition by Santa Cruz artist Felipe Hodgson. A bit of a sexual theme was emerging to my day as the two halls featured sketches and paintings of nudes, some abstract, some surreal, but all with not so much as a vest on. A lady was showing her young son around, he had that mixed expression of delight and embarrassment and my mind sped back to trying to fish my comic off a newsagents shelf without disturbing the glossy artistic publications.

Back on the street I cast my eyes over the restored cathedral, there were quite a few squawks when the ducks were evicted from their ancient pond and stone shelters outside in favour of a new water feature. Finally the new version was complete and was pretty poor in my opinion, a few exotic fish gobbled crisps thrown in by some young tykes, at least I have seen the ducks new home across the city. I popped into the cathedral, it was as stunning as when I visited a few weeks after its resurection, if you get a chance, feast your eyes. Outside there are three plots of barely disturbed ground awaiting an archeological search for historic remnants of the original cathedral.

Santa Cruz is always regenerating, down at the port that was very evident. A large new welcome hub for cruise liners is well under construction, ironically today was one of the few days with no floating palaces moored up. Out by the marina area further improvements are under way, I usually have a nose around to see what floats my boat, nothing too wild this time except another floating oil exploration ship.

On the way back to the bus station I checked out the newly restored Puente de el Cabo bridge over the Barranco de Santos. It was once a link between the port and commerce but had become a rusty wreck. There’s no real need for it now as two bridges cross over by La Noria and the main road crosses a few yards away, but it is an iconic piece of history and looks good with its wide ramps and sturdy tructure. I must return soon and see what other changes are in the pipeline.


El Porton A Gateway To History In Costa Adeje

It took the jolly sculpture of a banana farmer to make me revisit one of the shortest but historically important walks in the south of Tenerife. Some ten years ago I last passed under the stone archway of El Porton on the TF1 slip road below Adeje old town but a decades absence of my feet was hardly a blip in the ancient scheme of things.

For most visitors to Tenerife, Fañabe means modern shopping centers and a lengthy golden beach but a little further west the old original town rises into the hills behind the bridge over the motorway. The sculpture is a recent addition and I have been itching to see it up close, sadly there are no details of the sculptor or subject ( possible a nod to Fyffes who brought commercial banana farming to Tenerife), just a very lifelike and kindly presence complete with a sleeve of bananas. Crossing the road bridge and heading down over the Barranco del Agua a large swathe of the cloth protected fruit spread down towards the coast, a small, tatty scarecrow stood on guard.

El Porton marks one end of the Camino de la Virgen, an important track allowing fishermen to get their catch up to Adeje town and when pirates showed up they were able to transfer the statue of the Virgen from the tiny La Enramada to the safer inland church of Santa Ursula. The track of the pathway is etched with the constant flow of the years and despite the modern intrusion of the motorway, power lines, and the five star hotels at the bottom end, it still has a comforting serenity. The old water channel has long since dried up but the tabaiba, and cardon plants still thrive and defy the bone dry old reservoir.

It’s just a 2 km stroll but several stop offs along the way are set aside for worship, La Tosca Colorada is the first on the way down, the big focal point is El Humilladero where a natural altar has been carved out under a limestone outcrop. The second Sunday after Easter marks the big pilgrimage as the statue of the Virgen is taken down the route and onto the Playa La Enramada in La Caleta. Just across the modern main road at the bottom end is the old original church and it’s imposing modern replacement. I was greeted by a melodic peel of bells as the clock struck noon. It’s quite a contrast from the modern tourist hotels to the pathway up to Adeje with the added attraction of Roque del Conde in the distance. I was very pleased with my short journey and I’m sure the banana loving sculpture at the other end will still have his benevolent smile next time I see him.