Archive for April, 2021
Los Cristianos Is Back On The Entertainment Beat

Silence isn’t golden, it’s an annoying rusty colour that has hung over Tenerife’s events during Covid. Gradually things are awakening, so it was so good to get back into the Auditorio Infanta Leonor in Los Cristianos to hear the work of the Arona School Of Music And Dance. The free concert opened with a traditional four piece rock band, under the supervision of guitar teacher Rafael Batista. Their set was a mix of Spanish themes with members interchanging between tunes. A teenage guitarist played a wonderful cover of the Gary Moore classic “I’ve Still Got The Blues For You” and the band departed to loud applause.

Doubling up as high speed roadies, the musicians cleared their instruments and the curtain rose on the full spread of the stage. An orchestra of Canarian timple and traditional folk guitars sparkled as they worked through an impressive range of styles and composers. Flute playing soloist, Carlotta Llarena Aisa added an atmospheric high to a parade of numbers, and Dario Diaz popped onto the stage to add his own vocal treats. The variety of music on offer showed the depth and range of talent produced by the school.The 90 minute concert ended with some rousing, upbeat classics, firstly Colonel Boogie (the theme from Bridge Over The River Kwai) which suited the light tempo of the orchestra. The last tune of the night was Johan Strauss seniors Radetsky March.

The Auditorium is a valuable and versatile asset to Arona. It was good to see it in such good condition after its lengthy closure, unlike the outside, that needs an update and the return of the bar café. Seating for 800 people was vastly reduced by the anti Covid social distancing, alternate rows were sealed, but there was still around 300 people attending. For this free show, tickets had to be booked and picked up in advance from the lobby of the Los Cristianos Cultural Centre that backs onto the Auditorio in the centre of town. There is a growing schedule of shows to follow, hopefully with less restrictions as time goes on. Many events are FREE, and others as cheap as 6 euros. Bookings can be made at or at the Cultural Centre from 10 am to 2 pm, and 5 pm to 8 pm from Monday to Friday. Below are some of the forthcoming events.

30 April. A Few Colours, a jazz group for International Jazz Day. Starts 7.30 pm. Tickets 6 euros

14 May. Bailame Amores, Ballet inspired by a Leonard Cohen song. Starts 7.30 pm. Tickets 6 euros.

15 May. Tina Turner and George Michael tribute show. Starts 7.30 pm. Tickets 15 euros.

21 May.     Puppet show. Starts at 6 pm. Tickets 6 euros.

22 May. Tango Show. Starts 7.30 pm. Tickets 6 euros.





Squaring The Circle To Unite San Miguel And Aldea Blanca

Not so much a fork in the road, more like a full set of cutlery. Contradicting signs on the track down from San Miguel  Arcangel church demanded a return visit to descend to Aldea Blanca, not far from Las Chafiras in the south of Tenerife.

Mix and match seemed a good idea so this time I started from the La Centinela mirador (viewpoint) high above Valle San Lorenzo in Arona. Volcanic cones popped up on the  lower horizon but sadly the La Centinela restaurant with its panoramic views had been closed for several years. At least the wooden cross above it stood firm as a rough dividing line between the municipalities of Arona and San Miguel, as well as a hard work destination to carry the statue of the Virgin for the top spot on the annual fiesta.

The downward trail into the bowl of the valley showed off some great natural features., Wild ferns and grasses popped up between stacks of cracked stones, crop terraces clung to hills, and a stone viaduct bridged a plunging ravine. Above all this, the modern road curved along with the fragmented El Roque standing guard over the drop below. The big attractions to settlers and travellers were two old springs for drinking and washing, most of the water now stays below ground, leaving the eroded concreye troughs a little green and mossy.

A steep concrete ramp led up to the restored Caserio  de la Hoya and a recent dipping tarmac road . Another sign for Aldea Blanca pointed down to where I had just come from, and looking up, I could see the previous dual dilema from the earlier walk. This time my aim was true, and was rewarded with the sight of a classic two tier tile kiln. The road had no pavement but soon delivered the encouraging view of a football ground below, it had to be the Aldea Blanca pitch. Other tell tale signs were the distant buildings of Las Chafiras and the turrets of the modern breeze block castle, built for Medieval Banquet shows – but even bold knights are on hold for Covid for now.

Let´s not leave San Miguel as a bit part player in this walking saga, The walk from San Miguel church is an exceptional uncovering of layers of building history. Great designs, well looked after, and with in depth history panels in a range of languages. With friends on the original trip we took the top path at the identical signs and reached the gurgling water channels before the path faded. Including La Centinela and Aldea Blanca as options make the area even more tempting and well worth the effort.

After about 30 minutes of walking down the tarmac road from the tile kiln, the tightly packed dwellings of the hamlet of Aldea Blanca opened up to reveal the dainty plaza and church showing pride in the 500 year history. Beyond this point there were a good selection of cafes and bars and a relaxed, sedate atmosphere. A wide, overgrown water source offered more possible answers to the confused sign posts. It promised upcoming work on theree barrancos (ravines) although there was no date on this intention. There are a few bus links through Aldea Blanca and a short divertion leads to Buzanada with a busier Titsa bus service. I took the longer route out through Las Chafiras to the motorway and a wider choice of buses.



Pools, Pitches, And Sporting Pride In Arona


You wont find Tenerife sports venues named after, crisps, credit cards, or male grooming products. It´s more about honouring influential local figures. Take the busy Centro Deportivo Jesus Dominguez Martin “Grillo”, in Los Cristianos..Built in  1958, it´s eight 25 metre lanes of the swimming pool are churned up by swimmers of all ages, local and international. The tennis courts and multi use outdoor hard court with a suspended roof, are just as popular as the indoor sports hall where volleyball and boxing are among the many activities that take place.

Jesus Dominguez Martin “Grillo”, the nick name referred to his  constant energy which reminded people of a cricket, would have approved of the facillities. Born in 1926 to a local Arona fishing family, he excelled as a swimmer, becoming a 29 times champion for Spain with honours in crawl, breast, and butterfly strokes. Competing in 60 international competitions, he held 56 Spanish records and swam for his country in the 1948 Olympic Games in London.

And what of the imposing Antonio Dominguez Alonso stadium, home to CD Marino football club. Named after a local lawyer and politician born in 1849. Fourty years of civic service included six stints as Deputy for Tenerife, and twice as Senator for the Canary Islands. In later years Antonio moved to the Phillippines whre he became Governor of  Manila.

The stadium on the border of Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Americas, was built in 1969 and holds 7,500 for football and 27,000 for concerts. Originally Marino played at a now demolished ground nearer their fishing foiunders port in Los Cristianos. The smaller Anexo stadium next door didn´t join the family until 1998. Athletics clubs thrive around the running track and they welcome many international competitors, particularly for the annual Arona Combined Events two day event, on 12 and 13 June in 2021.

The Povedano gym has produced some top boxers and a big upgrade is due to see an expansion of training areas. Twenty years ago plans were drawn up to stage Spain´s Davis Cup tennis competition on with several courts on the football pitch area.That would have been a major serve for Tenerife sport. Maybe those plans could be dusted down in the future .

Praising The Other Peak Of El Medano

Refusing to be upstaged by a red mountain overlooking a surfers paradise, Montaña Pelada is well worth the wander to the east of El Medano. Where else can you experience a flattened volcanic cone born out of an epic tussle between red hot magma and the deep cold sea. Even a gallery of misfit neighbours can´t reduce the impact of nature.

Taking the wooden boardwalk around the headland to Playa del Cabezo, we passed the concrete look out bunkers and the Hotel Arenas del Mar. Veering off we answered the lure of the  Playa de la Pelada with its secluded cove of dark sand. There was plenty of contrast from the yellow tinted base of the mountain, and the sea had sculpted big rocks into altars for the less shy sun worshippers to sit astride and bare all.

Going for a more frontal assault on the crater, we crossed pock marked rock and ash like earth deposits. The diversity of the ground called for  maximum attention, the wider circular track would have been a far easier ascent. Even in the throes of a calima dust cloud, we could pick out an old satellite station down below, all rusted with age. Hitting the plateau we caught our breath. A dep rumbling, a metallic shimmer, and a burst of power proceeded the take off of a large plane from Tenerife South airport. A rare sight in these Covid restricted travel days.


Following the marked path around the edge of the crater, we took in more small coves below, linked upwards by more slender tracks. ITER renewable energy centre boasted an array of wind turbines and a field of solar panels. Next to them, Granada portdwarfed the oil rig and Africa Mercy ship, both looking forlorn and abandoned in the seldom used modern addition to the coast. The sandy coves were quite remote but had a steady stream of visitors, some popping in on jet skis.

Completing a circle of the crater we tried a couple of unmarked steep descents rather than the far path that fed of the marked area. It was quite testing but brought us down by a small ravine that guided us back to the entrance point. It was good to get a different viewpoint on the south east coast and it was rounded off with self indulgent paddling along the shore of the La Jaquita beach.


Late Lapse Gives CD Marino A Relegation Mountain To Climb

Clawing back an early deficit, CD Marino failed to convert long spells of dominance into a victory. The price of a 1-2 home defeat to Recreativo Granada could be a heavy one in the relegation phase of their Segunda B division season. Dimas roasted the visitors defence in the opening minutes with crosses from the right. N´Diaye headed one on past the stranded goalie but just outside the post, and caused mayhem with a second bomb into the reds defence.

Emerson cut loose and made a hopeful hand ball appeal for a Granada penalty after his rocket shot canoned off a home defender with no response from the ref. The same attacker tried again, taking the ball wide down the left before skewing a shot over the bar. Nami was full of running for blues, he latched onto a long free kick and beat Montoro before goalie Costa claimed the ball to deny a home lead. Towering Torrente couldn´t cope with the smaller Marino forwards, Nami rose above him to set up another close call from Dimas.

Emerson was the visitor to fear, having failed from a short corner, he was more lethal with a near copy that beat Galvan in the home goal just before the half hour. A low shot from Lopez just after wasn´t good enough to extend the lead. N´Diaye was influential for Marino so it was a huge blow to loose him just before half time with a head injury that saw him stretchered off to receive a Tenerife hospital check over. The Dimas-Nami combination produced two more chances before the half time whistle gave the home team time to refocus.

A win was vital for Marino in the first of eight games in the mini league to try to secure another season in Spain´s third tier. A double change for the second half saw forwards Borja Llarena and Rodrigo join the chase. Granada had their tails up and Arencibia and Jurgen had to clear two good attempts to stretch their lead. There was renewed hope when Dimas floated in a shot from the edge of the box while the Granada defence and goalie froze as the ball nestled in the back of the goal. Marino kept the pressure on by adding attacking right back Nikki with 20 minutes left on the clock. The speedy player troubled Costa with two powerful strikes, it could have been third time lucky when Nikki raced clear of his marker only to be pulled back by the refs badly judged offside call.

It was a thrilling finish as Borja blasted a shot wide in the 90th minute. Marino minds were on attack but when the ball broke to Rodriguez on the left, he sped inside and tucked the ball past Galvan. It was the second time in two consecutive home games that Marino had fallen to a last kick winner. Empty handed in their empty stadium, Marino were left hoping for away points and another return for their home fans to help save their season.