Archive for January, 2022
Four Course Feast For CD Tenerife

Many eyes are on the January transfer window to add a potential big gun to boost CD Tenerife´s promotion bid. A 4-0 home demolition of Real Oviedo showed there are match winners all over the pitch this season, Michel Herrero and Ruben Diez were the latest to stand tall in a comprehensive performance with the added killer touch.

Victor Mollejo celebrated his 21st birthday after 6 minutes, he´s always a constant menace and when two shots from team mates had been half cleared he struck a fierce drive to take the lead. Coach Ramis encourages defenders to get involved further up field, Pomares needed little encouragement to push up and feed Bermejo on the left. There was no sitting back, just ten minutes later, Elady rose at the far post to score with a powerful glancing header after a perfect cross.

Oviedo couldn´t turn the tide dspite some generous decisions from the ref, Borja shot wide and somehpw a home goal kick was called as a corner. Soriano made a couple of his usual amazing saves to further confound Oviedo, and a two fisted clearance just after the restart ended the visitors resistance. Jose Leon has grown into a dominating central defender but he raced to the byline to set up sub Michel Herrero to make it 3.0 after 79 minutes. The job was done, just time for a special goal from another sub, Ruben Diez, The midfielder had the vision to pick up the ball far out and with a bit of curl from a side foot he thundered the ball past the unsighted goalie.

The only downside was that only 7,296 witnessed the masterclass live.. Covid restrictions have Tenerife on half capacity at 11,400 but some fans have been put off by the new rules. Up to and including the derby game it had been fairly smooth to get in with the right forms but on this Friday night it was heavy handed and slow, leaving fans still trying to get in as the goals started to flow. Those who made it turned up the volume but this team deserves a packed stadium – we live in hope.

 

 

Downhill Is So Uplifting From La Escalona

Unspoilt blue skies and a crisp clean feel to the Tenerife air. What better way to kick start 2022, and La Escalona, just shy of Vilaflor was the ideal launch pad.

Casa Los Escalones beamed with pride after a recent spruce up, and the local craft mural led nicely round the modern white church to a basic but restful viewing point over the green bowl of Valle San Lorenzo.  My last call to these parts saw traces of forest fire smoke looming up above Vilaflor. Nature is constantly working to recycle the landscape, this time pink almond blossom reached out to the sun.

There seemed to be messages of hope everywhere, even the graded jable top soil looked more like a scribbled declaration of intent. Terraced fields faced the lower volcanic peaks and sea beyond with the look of a auditorium seating for the coming year. The sparse parts of the landscape were punctuated with stretching trees and flowers craning to see over stone walls.

There was a price to pay for all this, a turn along the Camino Altavista led to a steep bridleway of hard angular volcanic rock which tested eager feet as it curled around old stone water channels on the descent to the small hamlet of Tunez with its modern white church identifiable by its tower.

 

Roque de Jama dominated the far ridge as traffic tracked up the road past La Centinela, gateway to more fine walks. Multi coloured versions of old farm houses peppered the rising side of the nearest barranco (ravine), one of several that helped to carve out the valley.

Heading further down and just beyond the football ground and circular Terrero (Canarian Wrestling) sports hall emerged in the main street of busy Valle San Lorenzo in just under three hours at a leisurely pace. The sight of the almond blossom was a big bonus and a reminder of the Almond Blossom Walk from Santiago del Teide, launched on 22, 23, and 24 January with organised groups. If you choose to go independently, the blossom lasts untul about 12 February, depending on weather. The seasons always ensure Tenerife has new sights to see as well as the yearly return of old favourites.

 

Mexican Wave Sails Into Santa Cruz

From neatly furled sails down to a steel hull, the 1,800 ton Mexican Navy training ship ARM Cuauhtemoc was not going to be shaded out by a dust filled calima hovering over Santa Cruz port in Tenerife.

For the Bilbao built vessel it was something of a home coming to Spain, the wood was polished and the brass was gleaming as they invited the public on board to see behind the scenes. Part of the crew of 249 including 25 ladies stood ready to answer questions and help young would be seafarers to pose like veteran sailors.

Entering its 201st year of service, the Mexican navy takes a yearly voyage to spread the word and add experience to the crews CVs. The last year had seen the ship call at Cadiz, Dubai, Malta, and they still had Barcelona and Rio to look forward to.

It was all well ironed uniforms and smiles as the ship gave up some of its secrets. Enticing smells wafted from the galley and mexican music had several visitors dancing around the decks. Two canons showed that noone would be taking liberties as the mighty craft roamed the oceans, a spirit born from Cuauhtmoc, the last of the Aztec warriors.

 

Ruigomez Detour Enriches Erjos To El Tanque Stroll

Rattling like a spoon in a tea cup, the awning of Fleytas Cafe bar had ambitions of becoming a hang glider. Within five minutes of swapping the wind swept corner just north of Santiago del Teide for a plunging Etjos track, the sun was radiating off bursting buds and springing sprouts of  leafy spreads.

Early January rain had raised hopes of seeing some rare birds in the pools left by many decades of soil excavation. Alas it was still defiantly dry, although the long term small birds were flitting along the hedgerows as the green corridors guided us along to the centre of Erjos. After that we just kept walking. Ruigomez had flashed by on previous Titsa bus trips to Icod, this time we stuck with a smaller lane that ran parralel and had some modern refurbs to old traditional houses.

A steep upturn and we were at a crossroads with the tell tale sign we needed and a neat bus stop emblazoned with the local name for the bus – guagua. There was clearly more footwork ahead ro reach El Tanque and we were happy to plod on. Ruigomez showed signs of flirting with tourism in recent years, the Pueblo Aborigen Guanche Park had long given way to a go kart ytack but even that was silent in these Covid times.

The nearby Camel Centre was doing its best to lure people in, from camel rides to freshly cooked steaks in their restaurant. Lets hope the camels couldn´r read all the signs. The church next door was a beacon of defiance, with or without the festive touches. That still left a fair old trot down into El Tanque by a series of meandering roads and paths. The Holy Cross church welcomed us to the centre of El Tanque , and a food and drink stop was very welcome.

Icod and Garachico are the big stars in this elevated rural corner of Tenerife, but the surrounding towns all have a story to tell that helps the appreciation of this north west outpost with its hidden delights.

 

 

 

 

 

Half Full Half Hearted But Fully Punished

Could it have been any worse? The first home Canarian derby defeat in 20 years for CD Tenerife, and to rub salt in, the winning goal was scored by Kirian, originally from Candelaria, a short drive down from the Santa Cruz home of the hosts.

Covid restrictions meant just a restricted half full capacity of 10,756 with no Las Palmas fans from Gran Canaria. Tenerife never recovered from a weak first half where Bermejo showed the best ideas going forward for the white shirted hosts. Las Palmas looked comfortable and their superiority of the first half was only uncrowned due to an outstanding defensive display from Sergio Gonzalez, and a pre break quality save from Soriano in goal.

More of the same followed in the second half and with barely 20 minutes left, several static defenders failed to clear danger, leaving Kirian to lob the ball past Soriano. Tenerife didn´t respond strongly enough, they looked light weight up front. Emmanuel came on and had a few soft headers but it was never going to be enough. At least one new forward player is the priority in the January transfer window.

The deafening silence of the missing Las Palmas fans mocked Tenerife, but they could have no complaints as the yellows were comfortably the better side. Tenerife must shrug off the blow to their pride and continue the chase for promotion. Maybe the teams will meet again in the promotion play offs and Tenerife can have the last laugh, but a lot of work remains until then.

Curiouser And Curiouser In La Laguna Wonderland

 

Innocent, endearing, but darkly haunting. It´s 160 years since Alice In Wonderland tumbled into a rabbit hole full of trouble. I was grinning like a cheshire cat when I discovered the Oxford written  creation of Charles Dodgson (under the name of Lewis Carrol) had emerged at a Caja Canarias Fundacion exhibition in La Laguna. Appropriately, the setting was a university town, but in this case, just outside Tenerife capital city, Santa Cruz.

As a child I was familiar with the tales that wandered from the academic path of Dodgson with his chosen staid diet of maths and science. Let´s be honest, I was more familiar with the frothy milk shakes and cream cakes at The White Rabbit cafe in nearby  Cowley Centre, although a little less familiar with the full meals upstairs at The Lewis Carroll Restaurant.

Quarrelsome twins Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, the savage Queen Of Hearts, Mad Hatter, and potions that shrunk and expanded Alice to giant size, hinted at dark forces. These underlying surreal twists are the focus of the exhibition. Salvador Dali and Max Ernst caught the bug in later life and added ideas to their paintings ans illustrations. The two storey building contains references to all this and more surprises. It´s even suggested that the ground breaking Hadron Collider particle acelerator was referred to as A Large Ion Collider Experiment or ALICE for short. Some of Alice´s universe has spread into other disciplines, the Jabberwocky poem from Through The Looking Glass established the bizarre creature as an iconic figure. maybe 90s post rave band The Mock Turtles were spurred on by the turtle featured in Wonderland.

Alice Liddel, the 10 year old child of a family friend of Dodgson, is said to be the inspiration for the fictional Alice. A surreal coincidence rounded off my trip ro the exhibition. Aster mentioning my Oxford connection, I was introduced to a young British family viewing the works. The father told me his interest was drawn to the display because they live in Lyndhurst in the New Forest, where the body of Alice Liddel is buried. How very curious!