Archive for July, 2023
Armada Sur Ignite A Tasty New Season For CD Tenerife

Unbeaten, full of hope, beer, and burgers, all things are possible in that dream land of pre season. The CD Tenerife players had just started taking tentative steps onto scales and hoping any out of term over indulgencies would not show. Meanwhile high up in San Miguel, the Armada Sur fan club were limbering up appetites and voices at Cho Pancho barbecue park.

Sandwiched between heat waves that teased at 40 degrees, it was a misty, low cloud setting that greeted our coach from the south as it cork screwed up steep, tight roads. The advance party had been busy since first light to ensure chilled drinks, a stoked up fire, and a liberal sprinkling of banners. These well maintained picnic zones feature in key spots around Tenerife, with sturdy roads for vehicles, but most of us enjoyed walking the last part to sharpen the anticipation. A party of just graduated young students were celebrating just above our welcoming hollow.

There were good reasons for the Armada Sur to look forward to the new campaign. The appointment of a new coach, generous season ticket prices, the return of some island born players, and five new signings to date, plus a much needed revamp of the Heliodoro stadium facillities.

The pine forest was a fitting setting for our pre season reunion. Armada Sur are entering their 31st season of supporting CD Tenerife, and still welcoming new friends all the time. Some well worn barbecue features had to be observed for our “nearest and dearest” rivals from across the waters. as we raised our beers and gave their mascot the warmest of welcomes on the grill. Bring on the season, more good times in the company of good friends…and hopefully plenty of wins. Vamos Tete!


Stairways To Heavenly Views On Rambla De Castro Walk

Cathedrals of rock rose steeply from secluded beaches, and the few people chosing to dip their toes certainly earned their reward by threading their way through old plantations, and past mirador viewing points, defended in the past with canons. My starting point for the Rambla de Castro was only a small trial and error challenge through entry points close to Puerto de la Cruz but worth every step. Notices warning of rock falls were nearly all breached at various points just beyond Playa Jardin, Punta Brava, Loro Parque, and two old tall pastel coloured hotels. The best entry route was between the two modern La Romantica housing complexes.

Playa Los Roques spread out below as the foaming tide tickled the secluded rock stacks, the insistent roll of the waves was almost like nature itself breathing. My feet didn´t quite share that notion as I followed the twisting track down to a large protrusion with a tight walkway wrapped around it. On the far side, seagulls dived and swirled as I ducked my head to pass under an archway carved out by the tide. Retracing my steps up to the higher road, a modest commercial estate soon gave way to the resumption of the high coastal ledge.

The long view ahead soon revealed rising green terraces inland, and more secrets below. Despite these competing charms, it was the bizarre ruin of the Gordejuela water pumping station that caught my eye. Dating back to 1909, it had seen better days, and had been partly stripped, a compact modern water station mocked the remains from a high perch. A small mirador viewing point was a good point for reflection, a smart, modern walkway, complete with safety rails led up and beyond into Los Realejos, and up the other side of the ravine and beyond up the coast.

The carpenters devotion to the wandering staircases served me well as I ventured further up the coast where more miradors sprouted at key points. These were great to view the small coves below. Mirador El Fortin was one of the smaller look outs but packed a punch in its day from some small but potent canons. It was a baking hot afternoon and several groups of young people were answering the call of the waves. I was moving along the cliff tops and then back inland to a point where several paths converged just by the leafy shade of a plantation.

The grand old house , La Casona, stood proud but in need of some attention, that was granted a few days later in the form of a 8 million euro, 2 year restoration programme announced by the Tenerife government and the local municipality, Los Realejos. A multitude of paths veered off from this point, I was looking to move on into San Juan de La Rambla but emerged quite a way short on the main road linking La Orotava and Puerto de la Cruz with Icod de Los Vinos. My Titsa bus ticket allowed me a few other stop off on a unhurried return to the south, there were plenty of variations left for another trip soon.




Delving Into A Tenerife Barranco That Coloured Commerce

A 460 metres drop from a modern concrete bridge gave me a tempting reminder of the Barranco La Orchilla ravine as it snaked its way down from Granadilla to San Miguel. It was a relatively cool June day as the Titsa bus delivered me further uphill to the basic Granadilla bus station from my Los Cristianos start. Now for the fun part as I retraced the bus wheels before begining a spiralling trek into the ravine,  pushing the bridge to the edge of my vision as my feet tried to be nimble among the loose stones and trailing ferns.

The top half of the walk was a split of modern concrete and an untamed growth of long grass and remains of cereal crops trailing away to the sun kissed coast of El Medano. Charco del Pino provided a delightful interuption as I walked up to the mirador view point behind the small church of San Luis Rey de Francia. The spread of stone dwellings and a steep walkway down to a smaller point of reflection over the largely unchanged views harked back to the importance of the Camino Real royal route that spread commerce between Granadilla and the south.

The barranco a few yards beyond was the big draw for me. A well worn path teased me along at a gentle descent before opening up to the steeper sides and  and uneven surfaces. Even the air seemed to change, warmer and full of the buzz of insects, many flies took a closer interest in me in small swarms – fair play as I was disturbing their world. Lichens are a big star in the Tenerife barrancos, clinging to precarious rocks in an array of green and yellow shades. Cochineal insects living on cactus plants put the Canary Islands on the rag trade map in the 19th century, secreting natural colour dyes, but lichens weren´t far behind and also boosted trade.

The small plant like life lichens clung to every rock and bush, and around me down in the bowl of the barranco. Their value has long been replaced with artificial colourings but they still live in happy retirement in the more remote areas of Canarian land. Cactus flowers speckled my progress down the steep side before I hit rock bottom where soft echoes of bird song added to the serene feel. Having done the walk before, my eyes soon found the outline of the upward trail to the lip of the ravine. This ascent brought its own challenges as powder dry earth filtered away under foot. Looking back from the other side of the track confirmed my appreciation of nature´s alluring mix.

Meanwhile up top, the modern road curled the long way through high sided rock faces which were drilled out mechanically in recent time of expansion in Tenerife. The barking of dogs told me that there were small farms at the top of the ravine side, rural areas still feature many variations on old pursuits. Cresting the hill, a choice of gravel tracks leading to the modern main road meant my feet would soon get some rest. The margins are tight for walkers using these driving routes so caution and agility are useful. Even in this final stretch there was another joy in the sculpted shape of hunting dogs, a fitting link to a still popular past time.

San Miguel was just a few more strides away with its choice of bars and cafes to quench the first from the two hour escapade. As always, it was a pleasure to dip into the heritage of Tenerife to discover how hard work propelled the local economy.