Los Hermanos Bowled Over By The Carnaval Spirit

All this dressing up and having fun is not just a young persons game. This week the Santa Cruz bus stop has been knee deep in revelers in all manner of costumes but down near Las Tarajales beach in Los Cristianos nations were throwing, or more accurately bowling their own fancy dress party.

Los Hermanos Petanque Club always attracts a crowd with their daily afternoon games and big international tournaments. The flags were fluttering, the bar was lubricating, and the metal balls were rolling, and all in the company of jailbirds, sultans, and even a big stripey bee. If the incoming ferries could have seen the explosion of colour they could have been forgiven for drifting a little off course.

I have had the pleasure of meeting this enthusiastic and well organized group a few times before, they regularly get 100 to 120 people competing on the split level site and are always welcoming new converts, they have just added a Danish section to their numbers. Some 20 years ago it started with Belgians and just one Brit, the waste land was rough and they had to mark it out in lanes etc as best they could.

Times have changed, women are now welcomed, well Los Hermanos means The Brothers, and they have over 600 members. The club is registered with Arona council, a few years ago the council even added concrete borders to measurements supplied by the players. Members pay their regular fees with a levy on top for an annual donation to a local childrens charity. The name petanque comes from the French for “feet anchored” as they have to bowl from a circle of up to 50 cms in diameter, they use rubber mats to mark it out. The scoring is quite similar to green bowls with the nearest to the jack scoring with any balls that are nearer than their opponents best shot, 15 points wins a game.

Despite the keen rivalry, it’s all played in a relaxed spirit, and you couldn’t get much more relaxed than playing in an outrageous costume. There’s a lot of measuring shots and mid lane conferences before they change ends, I love their gadget to save bending to pick up balls, a magnet on a string does the hard work for them. The click of metal was destined to carry on all afternoon as the competition reached its climax, the technique may not have been vastly different from the Winter Olympic curling but the scorching Tenerife sun was a million miles from the snow and ice of Russia.


carol parker
September 18th, 2017 1:03 am

Hello, I would love to play Petanque in Tenerife, we are a UK based Petanque club, kindly, how do I find out more details, great article, but we dont need to dress for the games do we ? Thank you. Regards, Carol

September 21st, 2017 5:04 am

Hi. Thanks for your interest. I will pass your email on to one of the organisers when I am down that way. It´s ok, they are normally very informally dressed. Colin

Jeanette Dilly
July 16th, 2018 1:46 am

Hi myself and my husband enjoy playing petanque here in the UK and would love to play when we’re on holiday in Tenerife, next one 12th September 2018 for 3 weeks. Is it possible to play on the Los Christianos pistes and is there anywhere that boules could be borrowed?

Thank you for your help I look forward to hearing from you
Regards Jeanette Dilly