Virgen del Carmen ““ Harbour beach, Los Cristianos

This shrine at the harbour corner is a scale copy of a 600 kilo life size sculpture, submerged 40 metres down to bless the craft that pass overhead. Juan Carlos Martin Diaz, a settler from Salamanca made them both in September 2005.
Look out for the Guimar fountain, and the sculpture of Hermano Pedro at the entrance to Villaflor, both also chipped by the chisel of Juan Carlos.


Tenerife Magazine’s guide to flirting in Spanish

Whilst having a dark-eyed Latino or Latina whispering sweet nothings in your shell-like is the stuff of fantasies for many, many holiday makers won’t be prepared for such vocal seduction. Until now. Use our handy “˜Flirting in Spanish guide’ to make sure you don’t miss out next time Latino love comes a calling.

Flirtatious Spanish compliments are called piropos and they range from the saccharine sweet to the sizzling and spicy.

Let’s start with the sugary sweet. Actually these are cheesier than yesterday’s socks and more likely to set your teeth on edge than make you weak at the knees, but hey, who knows? Whatever rocks your boat.

Oh, for the love of God”¦

Me gustaría ser una lágrima, para nacer en tus ojos, vivir en tus mejillas y morir en tus labios.
I would like to be a tear, to be born in your eyes, live on your cheeks and die on your lips.

Tardé una hora en conocerte y sólo un día en enamorarme. Pero me llevará toda una vida poder olvidarte.

It took me an hour to know you and only a day to fall in love. But it will take me a lifetime to be able to forget you.

Corny but cute”¦

De que jugetería te escapaste…¡Muñeca!
Hey, Doll! Which toyshop did you escape from?

Si la belleza fuera delito, yo te hubiera dado cadena perpetua.
If beauty was a crime, you would deserve life in prison.

Eres como el capuchino: caliente, dulce”¦ y me pones nervioso.
You’re like a cappuccino: hot, sweet, and you make me nervous.

Benny Hill-isms”¦

Mamacita, hace calor… nos quitamos la ropa.
Hey, Babe, it’s so hot. Let’s take our clothes off.

Run that by me again!

Tus ojos son negros y rasgados como mis calzoncillos.
Your eyes are as black and ragged as my underpants.


Culture Shots – A Killer Exhibition

The idea of 18 sculpted killer whales (orcas) might not have had everyone running out to buy a bono bus ticket and head into Santa Cruz, but the exhibition at TEA (Tenerife Espacio de las Artes) held a few surreal surprises and was even slightly disconcerting. Each whale had its own personality and hidden within their painted hides were subliminal treasures; a naked woman in a sea of orcas, an emaciated prisoner, a nightmare-inducing parrot whale and err.”¦ Rolf Harris – well if it wasn’t, it sure as hell looked like him.


Best of the Fests – Festival of the Whale & Moto Rock

Eco Warriors vs Rock Rockers – the battle of the sounds

We suspect there’s a mysterious hippy community lurking around the north of Tenerife that spends most of its time lying naked on some beach sporting rainbow bandanas and getting their consciousness expanded by herbal inducements, man. They only appear in public when a really “˜sound’ fiesta comes along.

Well this month Los Silos staged the “˜Boreal Festival of the Whale’ and out came the beautiful people in their droves; all dreadlocks, patchouli oil and multi-coloured harem pants.
Pastel flags fluttered in the breeze above stalls selling kitsch bags made from recycled plastic, natural un-dyed clothing, juggling paraphernalia and beads ““ naturally.
There were infectiously rhythmic Batucada bands accompanied by a sort of Chinese Dragon whale, jugglers, a dreadlocked hippy on a uni-cycle and paragliders floating lazily above the whale skeleton on the cliff top.
All in all it was a gentle, earth-friendly affair that oozed love and peace.

The odd thing about it was the lack of live music which had been scheduled to appear at intervals throughout the afternoon and into the early hours. By the time Tenerife Magazine left just after 9pm all we’d seen was two bands taking an eternity to go through their sound checks and no actual live performance.
We suspect the sound engineers had experienced just a little too much consciousness expansion.

Dropping down the coast to the rock of Garachico, the scene couldn’t have contrasted more sharply.
The gentle tinkling of Tibetan Bells was replaced by the guttural roar of 1000cc motorbike engines; floaty pastel shaded cotton was replaced by black leather and studs, and a large stage bereft of musicians was replaced by a small one bouncing with screeching punk and rock guitars.

The Moto Rock festival was a fusion of biking and rock and filled the harbour with sexy, dangerous looking beasties and their bikes. In-between bands, the Kings of Leon and Kasabian blasted from the speakers urging performers waiting in the dressing tent to ever greater fantasies of rock stardom.
What the fest lacked in numbers it made up for in heart as one lead guitarist, clearly enthralled by his one-night rock stand, smashed his guitar to pieces at the final chords of the set.

Long live rock n roll indeed.


The Big Cheese

Did you know that Tenerife was Wallace and Gromit’s favourite holiday destination? No? I’m not surprised as I just made it up. But there’s one moon sized chunk of cheese reason why it’s a claim which wouldn’t be too wide of the mark.

In 2008, Queso Arico curado pimentón was crowned World Champion Cheese out of a field of over 2,400 cheeses at the prestigious World Cheese Awards in Ireland.
Winning the title of World Champion Cheese is an incredible accolade and well deserved as it has to be said that the cheese makers in Arico produce a damn fine cheese.

Their Queso Arico curado pimentón is a beautifully delicate tasting matured goat’s milk cheese with subtle, smooth flavours which positively seduce the taste buds. An attractive rusty paprika coating is more than window dressing, adding a deliciously smoky tang to the pot. In restaurants around Arico, on Tenerife’s eastern slopes, the “˜big cheese’ is served sliced and drizzled with rich, golden local honey ““ a simple combination, but one that definitely deserves a place on the list of “˜things that make you go mmmm’.

Tenerife’s finest went up against the World’s tastiest again during October 2009 when the World Cheese Awards took place outside of the UK for only the second time in their history, on Gran Canaria.

However, Tenerife’s cheeses didn’t win any prizes this year; the top award went to a Canadian cheese.
Hang on ““ world beating Canadian cheese? Does such a thing exist? You don’t think the judges accidentally wrote down the letter “˜d’ when it should have been an “˜r’?

(Arico’s award winning cheese can be picked up at most Tenerife supermarkets for around €6 a wheel. For other good Tenerife cheeses, try a taste of semi-cured smoked goat’s cheese in gofio from Benijos in La Orotava, or goat’s cheese flavoured by wild fennel in Teno Alto.)


Style Counsel – Stradivarius

Autumn has arrived at Stradivarius with their Back to Black collection.

Black leather, studs and chains matched with silk scarves, slouchy boots and bomber jackets pick up this season’s aviator look. The waist makes a return with 60s meets 80s style featuring the miniest of skirts over leggings, slinky tops belted at the waist, killer heels and faux fur and animal prints.

The Stradivarius label brings the constantly changing face of fashion to affordable street wear. Collections team avant-garde with basics making their clothes hugely accessible and desirable to a broad range of ages. Unlike some outlets, Stradivarius dares to be different and brings a touch of originality to those who want to create their own style. Always popular, when the sales come around you can guarantee the longest queues will be at Stradi’.

Jackets range from €30 to €60; jeans and trousers average around the €20/€25 tag; tops and dresses fall into an affordable €10 to €20; and shoes and boots will set you back €50 to €70.
Quality is good for the price tag and sizes get up to 46 (US size 16/UK size 18).

If you want to try out this season’s styles without leaving the comfort of your keyboard, go to the website and play with the neat “˜fitting room’ feature which is the digital equivalent of cut out clothes. Mix and match the basics on the “˜virtual you’ until you get the look you’re after and then hit the calculator icon to price up your new image.

There are Stradivarius outlets in all the major commercial centres on Tenerife.


GB Six pack serve up volleyball boost

John Garcia will be covering all sides of the volleyball net at London 2012. Playing the beach variety for GB on Horse Guards Parade, he will also be keeping an eye on the 6 indoor GB players, who play for him at CV Tenerife Sur.
At the Pabellon Jesus Dominguez Grillo, tucked between the swimming pool and school on the main Las Americas road into Los Cristianos , the squad took a break from one of two 4-hour daily training sessions, to clue me in.

Here Come the Brits

It was quite a coup for CV Tenerife Sur when they snapped up 6 GB internationals for the new season in Spain’s professional Superliga Mascalina. National captain Ben Pipes, from Hull, is used to honing his skills abroad “Two seasons ago we put a GB team in the Dutch league, and last year I played in Belgium and Spain to push my game at a semi pro level. In Tenerife we have accommodation provided near the sports hall and our expenses and living needs are covered, thanks to Arona council and sponsors.”
Coach John Garcia is the key link in this deal, a mother from Nottingham and father from Mallorca meant he had plenty of options. “In 1998 I came to Arona with Spain’s junior beach team, all their teams train in Tenerife, later after a 2 year break I was allowed to switch to GB. Last season I was player and assistant coach here at Tenerife Sur and watching GB in the World Championships at Sheffield I spotted the 6 new players and arranged with the British federation to sign them on.”

Today Tenerife, Tomorrow Serbia

Andrew Benson, Nathan French, Paul Glissov, David Hamilton and Joel Miller join Ben to sharpen up, not only against the best in Spain, but also the cream of Europe in the knock out cup, they join the competition in December with home and away clashes against Ribnica Kralievo of Serbia. The Brits and Canarians will be joined by a Bulgarian and a Paraguayan as they aim to rise above last seasons joint 5th finish.
Coach John is ready to squeeze more sweat out of his squad before the serious action starts. “We are quite a young squad and need to gell as we work on our fitness and tactical play. The Spanish league is one of the top 4 in Europe and we always want to keep improving.”
For the GB players, being in Tenerife is an ideal step on the road to the Olympics as Ben explains. “It’s tough back home getting the training time and the leagues are not very strong, some of the guys are still at college so trying to keep everything together is a struggle. We get top coaching here with John, and Jaime Fernandez Barros, our technical director, has worked with the Spain squad.”

Your Invitation

Tenerife Sur attract around 200 fans to the sports hall but John Garcia wants British sports fans to come and add their support and has offered FREE entry for the first 3 home league games, 6pm on Saturdays is the usual start time.

  • October 10 CV Tenerife Sur v Vecindario
  • October 24 CV Tenerife Sur v Barcelona
  • October 31 CV Tenerife v Murcia

Bumpy La Liga landing for CD Tenerife

Hot dogs and burgers they may be, but the Heliodoro stadium in Santa Cruz now has cooked food to go with the rock hard ham rolls. Also the electronic scoreboard, missing in action for nearly a decade, is pumping out information, even if they missed those 2 momentous events, there are few people on the island that don’t realise that CD Tenerife are back with the big boys in La Liga.

Away Bankers

Six games in and despite struggling for goals, only 3 so far, CD Tenerife have clocked up 2 home wins and even held Real Madrid 0-0 at half time in the Bernabeu, before losing 3-0. Tenerife’s pre season outlay of less then 3 million euros was dwarfed by Real’s 250 million spending spree, so the boys from Santa Cruz are relying heavily on their tight knit community of players and their passionate supporters, it’s a formula that worked so well in last seasons promotion campaign.

Realistically, this season will see a lot more defeats, staying up is the target, but British based fan club Armada Sur will as always stick to their mantra of Pride, Passion, Loyalty, and take 2 full coaches up from the south for the home games. The club is very much a family and when injuries strike, the goals dry up and the Canarian media sharpens it’s pens, a siege mentality helps to bind the fans and players closer.

Aiming High

Club president Miquel Concepcion shocked the media a few weeks into the season by stating that in 15 years he wants to see Tenerife clear of debt, 30 million euros at last count, and in Europe. Just for good measure he announced that the club has plans for a 45,000 capacity stadium in the mid to long term. It may sound like madness but he promised promotion and delivered it.

Local talent will play a key part in the future of CDT, Ricardo who wowed Sky TV viewers with a wonder goal against Osasuna, is well established in midfield, and 20 year old Omar has been given a senior contract after impressing with his speed and goal touch in pre season friendlies. Coach Jose Luis Oltra likes to give young players their chance, especially if they fit into his attacking outlook.

Short On Squad Numbers

The latest game, a 1-0 home defeat to Deportivo was typically frustrating, 4 key players missing through injury and CD Tenerife still had the better of the first half chances but squandered them. The old problem of not defending strongly from set pieces let the visitors score from a corner. Free scoring forwards Nino and Alfaro ran rampant through the Second Division last season but are finding the step up a pretty big one. Captain and right back Marc Bertran is out for 4 months after a horrendous tackle from Real’s Drenthe broke his ankle, but new heroes will emerge from the squad as the season goes on. One thing that remains constant is the wall of noise and committed support of the home faithful, a vital ingredient as home form should go a long way to ensuring survival.

Keep The Faith

The 23,000 Heliodoro will be near to bursting all season, and although tickets for Barcelona and Real Madrid are already commanding huge prices on auction sites, there is a trickle of tickets up for grabs for most home games. You can scrum down at the Santa Cruz stadium a few days before each game or in the south go to Libreria Raquel in El Camison. Come the end of season, survival will be greeted with major parties, mission accomplished and the foundations laid for a march up the table.


Scene on the Beach: Playa de Las Teresitas

Is Playa Las Teresitas Tenerife’s Perfect Beach?

Exotic. That’s the word that springs to mind as I put a frosty bottle of Dorada to my lips and survey the surroundings. In 30 plus degrees heat the cerveza is the only cool thing in the vicinity”¦ excluding the three beautiful strangers with sickeningly good beach fashion sense lying next to me.

The palm trees lining the back of Las Teresitas waft in the light breeze making a sound which sounds like a sigh. I take a sip of my beer and involuntary make a similar noise. In front, soft golden sand spreads in a perfect crescent, merging with water tinted a vibrant aquamarine. If this was a photograph, I’d swear someone had worked some Photoshop magic on it.

A lumbering tanker shimmering on the horizon adds to the sensation of being on foreign shores in a far flung land. To complete the assault on the senses, the aroma of grilled sardines and calamari from the beach bar joins in with the mugging. I’m pretty sure the beautiful strangers can hear my stomach rumble in response. It’s a totally tropical setting apart from one thing”¦ Michael Jackson’s “˜Thriller’ and other assorted 1980s hits belt out from the bar.

I finish my beer and plod to the water’s edge where tiny tropical fish dart amongst the feet of fellow paddlers. A man-made breakwater calms the lagoon and people float lazily in the warm, still waters while tiny fishing boats bob gently in the seductively sparkling sea.

The whitewashed fishermen’s cottages of San Andrés cling to the steep hillside on one side of Playa de Las Teresitas while the soaring Anaga Mountains add a heady dose of drama to the pretty backdrop.

Although most people indulge in traditional beach activities others are treating it as an open-air gym. Despite the heat, some masochistic souls jog along the water’s edge while others perform sweat-inducing callisthenics on the sand. Halfway along the beach a topless girl is doing “˜sit ups’. It’s a sight bordering on the bizarre.

Just when I’m convinced that Las Teresitas is the perfect beach, a gust of wind rushes across the sand creating a mini sandstorm. In seconds the hereto friendly grains have turned nasty, sandblasting exposed flesh. I’ve just discovered paradise’s one little flaw.

I head back up to the beach bar trying to rub rogue grains of sand from my eyes. A-Ha are singing ‘the Sun Always Shines on TV’. Maybe it does; however if you swapped “˜Playa de Las Teresitas’ for “˜TV’, that wouldn’t be far off the mark either.

Playa de Las Teresitas lies 8 kilometres outside Santa Cruz. The 910 bus service runs every 5 to 10 minutes from Santa Cruz to the beach. Las Teresitas has sun loungers, changing cubicles, toilets and plenty of parking spaces.


Santa Cruz rings the bell for pedal power

Of course there was lycra, it was inevitable really. The 30th annual Fiesta de la Bicicleta in Santa Cruz had to include at least a few serious cyclists squeezed into brightly coloured uniforms.
As the near 5,000 entrants packed the plaza and street around El Corte Ingles, it soon became clear that this was a family based fun ride, after all the 15 km return trip to San Andres would hardly test a budding Boardman or ambitious Armstrong.
Some bikes and owners showed their age, I felt suitably old when confronted by a Chopper, state of the art when I was at school, and an antique Fatboy. A few entrants looked like they had been as well oiled as their bikes last night, but were surfacing well for the 11am Sunday start.

The enthusiasm of the children was inspiring, whether helmeted and mounted on the mini bikes, hooked up in tandem, or cocooned in baskets. The 12-strong Lopez family from La Laguna were radiant in yellow outfits, named and numbered as Team Culos Inkietos (“˜moving bottoms’ if we are being polite).
A little gentle jostling beneath the inflatable arch, and they were off, slowly rounding the corner and sweeping down to the Avenida de la Constitucion as cars passed on the other half of the port skirting road. Stewards kept an eye out for slipped chains, loose pedals and bunching, and the policia local’s wheeled officers combined work with pleasure. There were a few grazes, frantic bell ringing and anxious parents shepherding their youngsters, but it flowed pretty well as they passed the Auditorium and Cabildo before hitting the north east road past the docks to San Andres.

More cycle lanes for the south

Santa Cruz sports department promotes the event to encourage exercise and promote alternative transport. It seems they are not a lone voice, down south a few days before the big pedal, the Tenerife tourism councillor, Jose Manual Bermudez, announced a plan to link Los Cristianos to La Caleta by cycle lanes. The 11 km coastal stretch through Arona and Adeje would also include a series of bike stations, where a code or swipe card would allow people to pick up and drop off bikes at either end of their journey.
It took barely an hour for the leading pack to turn around and head back to the start point, the conga of bikes was a little more spread by now but all were in good spirits as they passed back under the arch and dismounted in the plaza.

International family affair

The international appeal of the fun ride attracted Hans Braun and his 12 year old son Marco, originally from Holland but settled in Puerto de la Cruz, they were joined in the saddle by Nathalie Osterwalder from Switzerland and Hans told me about their cycling pedigree. “We are all keen cyclists, that took us just under 90 minutes today, my only criticism is that the lead cars set the pace a little slow, it’s a great idea though. Marco and Nathalie hired bikes locally, “Marco’s is fantastic, a 1,000 euro bike and it only cost 20 euros to hire. We often take off to the rural areas, the TITSA bus drivers will let us load our bikes in the luggage hold, but only if we are doing the full bus journey, otherwise it means disturbing other peoples baggage.”

Holding a Raleigh

Meanwhile in the plaza 30 new bicycles were being given out as prizes to those with lucky numbered registration forms. Most people though just relaxed and caught breath, the water stall couldn’t give away bottles fast enough, and the bins overflowed with freshly emptied energy drink cans. Hopefully a few more converts will be dusting down their bikes and hitting the Tenerife roads over the next few weeks.