Tenerife Magazine’s round up of our pick of the news stories of the week in Tenerife
Juicy news was a bit thin on the ground this week. People were too busy watching that which can’t be repeated, the ‘F’ word, and enjoying musical and traditional fiestas to do anything newsworthy. But this is Tenerife; there’s always going to be somebody doing something that could only happen here. So thanks to two of the island’s mayors for livening up a quiet news week.
A Night of Magic on Tenerife ““ Midsummer Madness
Despite council cuts and a reduced programmes of events to celebrate the ‘Noche de San Juan‘, thousands upon thousands of people took to Tenerife’s beaches on Midsummer’s Eve to participate in ancient traditions which included jumping over bonfires, bathing in the sea after midnight and consuming shed loads of alcohol. More than 20,000 revellers packed the beach in Puerto de la Cruz, covering the sand in bodies all the way from the town to Punta Brava. The following day saw a tenth of that number (and a few hundred nervous billies) turn out for one of Tenerife’s more quaint traditions; el baño de las cabras (bathing of the goats) in the town’s harbour.
Start Tearing Up Your Maps ““ Tenerife Might be Going Guanche Again
Miguel Zerolo, mayor of Santa Cruz, put the cat amongst the conquistadors by suggesting political reforms that would see Tenerife lose 22 of its 31 municipalities. His plan to radically change the face of Tenerife as we know it would involve going back to the age of the Guanche and reintroducing the nine kingdoms that existed before the conquistadors arrived. These would be Anaga (Santa Cruz & La Laguna), Abona (Fasnia, Arico, Arona, San Miguel de Abona & Granadilla de Abona), Taoro (Puerto de la Cruz, La Orotava, La Matanza, La Victoria, Los Realejos & Santa Ãšrsula), Daute (El Tanque, Los Silos, Santiago del Teide, Buenavista del Norte & Garachico), Tacoronte (Tacoronte & El Sauzal), Icode (San Juan de la Rambla, La Guancha & Icod de los Vinos), GÃ¼Ãmar (El Rosario, Candelaria, Arafo & GÃ¼Ãmar), Adeje (GuÃa de Isora, Adeje & Vilaflor) and Tegueste (Tegueste & part of what is now La Laguna).
Zerolo’s rationale is that it would save 30 million Euros in annual salaries alone. The question is however, how much would the resulting chaos cost? This relatively recent embracing of Guanche heritage is admirable except for one tiny little detail, the people of Tenerife are more likely to be descendants of the people who wiped out the Guanche, rather than the Guanche themselves. Hello irony.
Want Some Gear to Make You Feel Good? – Dealing Gofio on the Streets of La Laguna
Tourists in La Laguna might be a bit bemused when they ask for directions at the city’s tourist offices when they’re given a 25g bag of powder and told ‘try this, it”ll make you feel great”.
In an initiative to promote Tenerife’s gofio industry, 10,000 bags of the toasted wheat are being handed out to visitors. Each bag comes with instructions in Spanish and English and after drinking it, mixed with milk, it seems you’ll be able to climb the tower of the Iglesia de la Concepción, skip up the Anaga Mountains with ease and swim in the Bajamar pools.
Speaking English on Tenerife
A lot of people believe that just about everybody speaks English on Tenerife ““ it’s one of the island’s urban myths. Outside of the main tourist resorts, English isn’t widely spoken at all which is why there were queues outside the School of Languages in Los Cristianos last week. Some prospective students even spent the night in sleeping bags outside the centre in order to secure a place on the next English language course intake.
Watching Someone Beat Someone Else to Death with a Club Won’t Harm Your Child
Good news for fans of Gorgorito, a sort of Spanish version of Punch and Judy, who is a favourite at the May fiestas in Santa Cruz. In an interview with the Diario de Avisos, child psychiatrist Pedro Ródriguez stated that watching Gorgorito batter hell out of people at a puppet show once a year wouldn’t turn children into club wielding psychopaths. He omitted to mention, however, that it would make them believe that they were living in 1965 and that they’d be seriously traumatised when they grew up and realised it was the 21st century everywhere else.
And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to… The incredible Isaac Valencia in La Orotava.
You’re enjoying yourself at the local romerÃa when some inebriated bloke pushes you off the pavement and hurls insults you. This sort of behaviour is unusual at Tenerife’s fiestas, so it would come as a bit of a shock, especially when the perpetrator turned out to be the town mayor. Isaac Valencia, mayor of La Orotava, is no stranger to news headlines, but his latest escapades, as told to La Orotava courts by the woman who was the subject of the alleged assault, defies belief. She described him as being red faced and intoxicated as he shook her and tried to grab the object which seemed to enrage him; bizarrely a Canarian flag.
Sort of makes John Prescott seem like a pussycat. So far there’s no comment from La Orotava’s controversial mayor. The alcohol may have worn off, but I”M not so sure about the red face.