Tenerife Salutes Women With Drive

I didn´t know that the first female driver for the tenerife  bus company (TITSA) was Ana Maria Rodriguez Morales in 1989, but I was aware that 8 March was the International Day Of The Woman.

A smooth trip to Puerto de la Cruz was on my mind, but I did notice the information screen on my green chariot was featuring pics of the comapany´s female staff from drivers right up to the CEO Raquel Martinez Castillo.

Carnaval and many other upcoming events were on my tick list as the blue sky and fresh air eased me from the look out mirador of La Paz, down and beyond the beach to the Plaza of rhe Ayuntamiento (council) building. Violet flags fluttered and speeches were being rehearsed as I purused a wall of 20 profiles of women who were relevant to the history of Puerto de la Cruz. Poets, painters, writers, and public servants had all left their mark, even our own Agatha Christie was mentioned for her brief stay in the city in 1927 when she wrote a short story.

Even more relevance was added to the day at Castillo San Felipe near Playa Jardin. Their display of  traditional crafts like weaving fitted in well with the theme of the day. It was also a good chance to admire the small but sturdy fortress from the inside. A few more calls in La Orotava and Los Realejos, kept the day ticking over before the last stop at Santa Cruz.

The Intercambiador bus station was paying its own homage to the special day on behalf of yjr Womens Sector of Canarian Transport. in the entrance hall. The milestones achieved by the ladies were remarkable. Maria Toledo Torres was the first taxi female taxi driver in the canaries in 1966, and only the 2nd in Spain. Maria Bernaldo de Qyiros became Spain´s first female to hold a pilots licence in 1928.

There was a nice sense of humour at work in the exhibition, with high heels  and lipstick mixing with wing mirrors and wheels at the base of some stands. It was a welcome and unexpected finish to the trip.


No Carnaval Joy As Stage Fright Hits CD Promotion Bid

Despite the best efforts of an 18,587 crowd, CD Tenerife slid to a 1-4 home loss to fast tracking Real Valladolid. The defeat leaves the Santa Cruz team six points behind the two automatic promotion places and six points ahead of the last of four play off positions with 12 games to go.


It should have been the annual Carnaval game but Covid has banished that to the margins until July. Positive midweek tests on regular starters Alexandre, Alex Munoz, and Sergio Gonzalez, and the suspension of captain Aitor Sanz led to a makeshift line up and a below par performance from the hosts. Valladolid exploited the disjointed defence, especially down the left where Pomares struggled. The ref tried to jolly things along with his VAR backed ruling of a 21 minute opener from El Yamiq via a free kick. Replays showed the strike to be offside but the damage was done. Sergio Leon and Vila were powerful spearheads for Valladolid and four first half home bookings including coach Ramis added to the frustration.

Just before the hour, vetern Tenerife defender Carlos Ruiz was turned inside out by Sergio as he dragged the stand in captain back to the goal line before teeing it up for Plata to make it 0-2. Alexandre and Mario Gonzalez took over from Bermejo and Gallego but Valladolid were flying and Javi Sanchez netted a third. There was a spark of hope as Mario´s shot rebounded off the diving keeper and was buried by Andres Martin. Their partnership is starting to deliver and takes some pressure of Gallego and Elady.

It was too little too late, Valladolid showed a killer instinct that rewarded them 10 minutes from the whistle as a breakaway was finished by former home favourite Luis Perez with a free header at the post. The home fans were defiant to the last with chants of Si Se Puede (yes you can) ringing around the ground. Leaders Eibar lost as well, surprises are becoming the norm  at this stage of the season, pressure, nerves, injuries, and over confidence are just some of the pitfalls waiting to trip up promotion hopefuls. Tenerife are still well placed, the dream is alive and there´s much more drama to come.


Mario Reigns As CD Tenerife Keep On Winning Flow

As Santa Ceuz squelched and splashed under torrential rain, Mario Gonzalez left UD Ibiza high and dry with a two goal home debut. Precision finishing made CD Tenerife´s January window signing an instant hit in a 2-0 victory that regained third place in the second division.

Just four minutes after kick off, Aitor Sanz threaded a pass to Mario who spotted the keeper stranded off his line and slotted the ball into the back of the net. The same cool instinct doubled the damage after 18 minutes as Mario dragged a defender wide to his right and rippled the net after squeezyng the ball through the free space. Claims for offside were defeated by VAR, Mario had calculated his move to perfection.

Brollies were rippling along the upper tiers of the stadium and the 13,177 crowd were singing in the rain in pure soggy delight. Ibiza have impressed in their first season at this level, they showed spirit with a fierce shot that ever alert goalie Soriano tipped over the bar. Alexandre Correrdera crafted another home chance but Ibiza weathered the storm to half time.

Ibiza made two subs for the second half including former Tenerife winger Javi Lara but although the white and blues intensity dropped a little, they ensured a fourth clean sheet in consecutive games. Elady had a header thwarted by the visiting goalie just before giving way to the other recent striking addition, Andres Martin who had a crisp shot repelled by the outstreched boot of the keeper.

When Mario was replaced by Michel after 70 minutes he received a thunderous ovation, and at the final whistle, the home players and the crowd lingered in the downpour to exchange mutual praise. Getting soaked had never been so enjoyable.


America And Tenerife – Already No Strangers

When the first United Airlines Boeing 757-300 touches the tarmac at Tenerife South airport in June 2022 it wont be an entirely new link with the New World. Cristopger Columbus blessed American soil in 1492 with water drawn from a well on La Gomera, the nearest Canary Island neighbour to Tenerife. That stop off influenced the rise of Playa de Las Americas, the biggest of the 1970 tourist boom resorts on the south coast of Tenerife, with a direct gaze to thee landing port of Cristobal Colon. The American legacy has spread around the south coast, Los Cristianos is almost knee deep in name dropping homage to the states. From the first view of Mount Teides´s peak through the clouds, Tenerife offers exotic landscapes coupled with rich history and culture.

The JFK (New York) to TFS air route will initially carry 13,400 passengers on three weekly flights in the first three months. Cruise liners have made fleeting visits to Tenerife, stopping off in the northern capital of Santa Cruz and famous US footsteps have passed through and are now imortalised among 60 tributes at the port. Herman Melville, a New Yorker and author of Moby Dick, Earnest Albert Hooton, an anthropologist from Wisconsin, and Paul Bowles, a New York composer and writer all sampled island life. American Sporting stars and actors have also beaten a path to Tenerife in recent years. Shaq Moore from Georgia is in his third season with CD Tenerife football team (soccer) and he is also a regular for the USA national team. For 2022, Shaq has two big aims, promotion to Spain´s elite Primera league, and the four yearly World Cup finals for the stars and stripes in Qatar.

The movie trail to Tenerife goes way back to Raquel Welch filiming 1,000 Years BC up in the national park of Mount Teide volcanic peak in 1966. More recent stars include Matt Damon (Jason Bourne) in 2016, and Sylvester Stallone (Rambo 5 in 2019). Current TV productions include Foundation, the Apple Plus science fiction epic with one series in the can and the second taking shape  now. There´s also a continuous stream  of advertising films for international  high range productsand and musical promo videos enjoying some Tenerife time.

More formal ties include a twinning link with the University of California via the states side Santa Cruz and the Tenerife capital of the same name. The art faculty even sent some of their works over to exhibit on the volcanic island. Even with such popularity, Tenerife still has a wealth of secluded corners and natural treasures all awaiting to impress our new visitors.

Yearning And Yawning As Leganes Park The Fleet In CD Tenerife´s Harbour

Enric Gallego´s injury time shot hit the Leganes post and rebounded to safety across the goalmouth. That capped a frustrating 0-0 home draw for CD Tenerife against a negative Leganes team trying to squirm away from relegation danger. The home side wasn´t as fluent as usual and relied too much on high hopeful balls into the box. Leganes showed their intent from the start. Goalie Riesgo laboured every touch and goal kick, and defender Nyom added slow to clumsy in his plodding play. After 10 minutes Tenerife were still awaiting the arrival of a Leganes player in their half of the field. Arnaiz was first to cross the barrier but Mellot timed his intercepting tackle to perfection.

Home changes were needed in the second half, Andres Martin, a January window loan recruit from Rayo Vallecano took over from Bermejo whose weak header had failed to trouble the keeper. Samuel Shasoua was the logical next replacement and took over from Mollejo. Sam ´s ability to hold the ball up and channel play in a more centra zone encouraging direct attacks on the nervous defence, offered a different strategy. Leganes sat tight and killed time. Coach Ramis made a last double gamble after 78 minutes, Michel for Alexandre, and the second newly arrived striker, Mario Gonzalez for Elady.


The new target man from Braga in the Portugal league announced himself with a header that cleared the bar. The game ended in farce with three medics and a stretcher called on for a phantom injury to leganes player Garcia as added time dribbled away. Leganes held on for their point much to the disgust of the 11,058 reduced capacity crowd. The single point for Tenerife may be vital when it comes to promotion play off or automatic promotion time. Tenerife have the best away form in the division and with 16 regular games to go they are still in 4th spot,


Tenerife Is Multi Screen Centre Of Filming Boom

Never camera shy, Tenerife is ready for its close up with aliens, gangsters, and even the BBC. Three international productions are swapping millions of euros for Tenerife technical expertise and out of this world locations.

Keeley Hawes (ex Ashes To Ashes) has been busy on both sides of the camera during filming of Crossfire, a three part drama with the BBC, Keeley´s Buddy club Productions, and RTVE (Spanish Channel) combining resources. Barcelo San Blas, between Golf del Sur and Los Abrigos, provides the holiday hotel where ex cop Keeley`s family holiday is interrupted by a revenge seeking gang of armed criminals. RTVE have called upon Spanish TV stars Hugo Silva and Alba Brunet to play the beseiged resort security chiefs, adding to the tense mix.


Up in Tenerife capital, Santa Cruz, Foundation, a sci fi drama based on the stories of Isaac Asimov, has landed just behind the iconic seafront auditorium. The golden palace is taking centre stage as Apple TV build on the preparation of 10 episodes of an hours length, made in 2021 at the Recinto Ferial exhibition hall just over the road. Jared Harris (son of Irish actor Richard) heads the cast that includes locally sourced extras among a 1,000 participants, including 150 technical boffins. A small town of mobile homes has sprung up behind the set for convenience and safety, a Covid screening unit had already proved its worth in the initial filming.

Coming soon, A Town Called Malice is about a crime dynasty that relocates from South London to the Costa del Sol. Lenient tax rates helped to lure the production away from the setting in the Nick Love script, Jason Flemyng (Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels) is among the cast of the Sky Original Drama. Not only will The Jam song of the title revive those 1980 memories, many other anthems of those times will help to make it brutal and compulsive viewing.

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.