Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife
Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot
The big news of the week was the heat wave which pushed temperatures above the 40C mark across much of the island. As the hot calima winds turned Tenerife into a tinderbox, the Cabildo issued advice prohibiting any kind of fire in the hills and we kept an eye on the skies, listening for the ominous sound of helicopter blades – usually a sign of a fire somewhere at this time of year. And so it proved to be the case with thirteen fires reported in the space of one 12 hour period. Six were in La Laguna, three in Arona, two in Granadilla de Abona and one each in San Miguel de Abona and Santa Cruz. Thankfully the island’s fire services were able to extinguish them all. As residents worried about forest fires, tourists revelled in the hot temperatures. Every coin has two sides.
No Partying Here ““ This is a Tourist Resort
Some members of the council in Costa Adeje want to impose fines on those involved in the practice of enjoying a botellón in the resort. A botellón is a practice carried out throughout Spain which basically involves youths meeting in open air spaces to socialise and drink. It’s a cheap way of having a party without paying inflated bar prices. Botellóns can be messy affairs and areas where they take place look like a tip afterwards”¦but it is part of the culture. However, not a part of the culture that some politicians want tourists exposed to. There’s a certain irony that in an area designed for drinking, being merry and having a good time, there’s a chance that rules will be imposed to stop young locals doing exactly that, albeit in their own way.
Watching the Detectives
It doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in the sleuthing abilities of Tenerife’s boys in blue when you learn that the council in GÃ¼Ãmar hired a private detective agency to do a bit of detecting instead of using its own police force. The situation became even more bizarre when it was revealed that the private dicks had been hired to spy on the GÃ¼Ãmar police. In a “˜you couldn’t make it up if you tried’ scenario, the private eyes followed eight officers who had a reputation of pulling sickies on fiesta days. One officer allegedly suffering from a bad shoulder was seen carrying heavy blocks whilst another with an arm in a splint was spotted cleaning a car using the injured arm. Not so much a case of the long arm of the law as the wrong arm of the law.
If You Go Down to the Woods Today”¦
You might just meet a procession and we’re not talking about pilgrims returning from their annual jaunt to pay homage to the Virgen de la Candelaria.
Part of the pine forest in the upper La Orotava Valley around the stone rock rose has become temporary home to a quite serious little pest called the pine processionary caterpillar, so named because groups of them travel around the forest in a line. This little fellow is quite a nasty piece of work. They can decimate pine trees, leading to a higher risk of fires due to the increased level of pine needles they leave on forest floors. The authorities have advised that the pine processionary caterpillar is a seasonal visitor and the threat they pose to the forest should disappear when they do. If anyone stumbles across any of these caterpillars, don’t touch as they are dangerous. In fact run in the opposite direction as their hairs, which can be released into the air, are toxic and can cause painful rashes and itching which lasts for up to three weeks.
For Whom the Bells Don’t Toll
One of the nicest churches on Tenerife, the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de La Luz in Los Silos was at the centre of a row which had the townspeople up in arms.
There has been a long tradition of the church’s bells sounding throughout the night for generations, but that was in danger when a resident who lives right behind the church complained about the noise and demanded that the bell ringing was stopped.
Initially the bell ringing ceased during the hours of darkness, but an impassioned outcry by the townsfolk soon had them ringing proudly again. We say well done to the people of Los Silos for standing up for your town’s traditions. The man who tried to silence the bells turned out to be a Spanish mainlander who had been living on the outskirts of the town before recently moving to a house behind the church. It never goes down well when a newcomer moves into a town and then tries to force people to change their traditions just to suit, but for a Godo to try it on Tenerife…
And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to… the Humboldt Mirador in La Orotava
This beauty spot which wooed explorers, scientists and adventurers is a white elephant of classic proportions. It was reported last week that after four years of waiting, the Humboldt Mirador would finally open at the end of September”¦maybe.
The four year waiting is nothing unusual; it’s the story behind it that earns it the TIT award.
Construction of the Humboldt Mirador began in 1999 and in theory it was completed in 2005. However, bureaucratic shenanigans have delayed its opening for so long that the building fell into disrepair and required renovating”¦even though it had never been opened or used. So far the mirador-that-never-was will have cost around 2 million euros. It is so Tenerife – brilliant, but also criminally wasteful.