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Tag Archive | "Loro Parque"

Americans on Tenerife


Everyone has his or her own idea of the perfect vacation. Whether it includes sun tanning on beautiful beaches, hiking, exploring caves, swimming, snorkeling, windsurfing, water parks, getting up close and personal with wildlife, delicious food, clubbing, local culture, or possibly learning a new language… Tenerife offers all this and more!

Americans on Tenerife

This Spanish island is a widely known European vacation destination; also a place few Americans know exists. So, it’s a wonder how three Americans managed to cram every one of these activities into just seven days. We came to the island with no preconceived ideas, we just “Googled” things that interested us and went with what we found. Staying in Puerto de la Cruz, originally we had been on the island for three weeks when our friend Barrett (above, left) came to join us from California to take part in our final week of adventures. We had composed a massive itinerary of everything we wanted to do in the final week. Everything began with renting a car – the island is bigger than most people think – and transportation was key to conquering our larger than life list.

Unfortunately the Wednesday Barrett arrived, Kyle left for London, taking two days away from our week long excursion. After bidding farewell to Kyle, Megan and Barrett headed straight for Playa Jardín, to play in the ocean and soak up the sun. The next day the pair drove to Playa Abades on the south side of the island, to go snorkeling. Easy Blue World made it simple, only €12 for a wetsuit, snorkel, mask and fins; everything you need for a day of blissful underwater exploration.

Luckily Kyle was gone barely long enough to notice; picking him up from the airport Friday, the reunited trio made a break for Playa Teresitas in Santa Cruz, hardly giving Kyle a chance to change into his trunks. Truly living up to its reputation, Teresitas sandblasted us ““ sending us, towels tucked between our legs to Playa Bollullo on the border of La Orotava and Puerto de la Cruz, our favorite beach on the island.

Garachico rock pools

Saturday morning we woke up early to splash around in the naturals pools of Garachico. From there it was only a short trek up the mountain to our next destination Cueva del Viento in Icod de Los Vinos, for €15 a person we were able to tour the largest lava tube in Europe ““ unfortunately the two hour tour left much to be desired. Back on the road again, we sped towards Punta Teno in Buenavista del Norte to see the lighthouses and dive from the point into clear blue waters. After our action packed day, we drove home, dried off and dressed up for a night on the town. Despite what people say about the north of the island, Puerto de la Cruz has a solid nightlife that kept us out long after 4am!

Cueva del Viento

Sunday was more low-key; we took the little yellow train to Loro Parque, a state of the art animal park and aquarium. The facility boasts the best sea lion, dolphin and orca shows any of us had ever seen. As soon as the park closed, we made our way to a local all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet to fuel up for the next day’s hike.

Loro Parque

Monday morning was Masca. The lengthy hour and twenty minute drive from Puerto de la Cruz paled in comparison to what awaited. The strenuous trail took us from the quaint, sleepy, mountain village to the sea (8.5km each way). And what hikes down, must hike back up ““ unless of course you want to take the boat to Los Gigantes, which we did not. Beginning at 9am we were first hikers on the trail, the undisturbed views were breathtaking. The Masca hike was easily the toughest, and most rewarding part of our week.

Masca

The next morning we drove around the island to Siam Park, hoping some fun in the sun would help us recover from our hike. Thrilling waterslides, white knuckled rafting, a shark tank, and tsunami wave pool were exactly what we needed! Although we had to wait through the long lines, we managed to ride everything. The dragon, an enormous toilet bowl, water slide was our favorite of the day. Six o’clock left us standing by our car with daylight to spare, so we ventured to Playa La Tejita and El Médano. Falling in love with El Médano, we stayed to watch the kite surfers while Barrett and Kyle unsuccessfully tried their luck at body surfing.

Wednesday was our last full day on the island, which we spent souvenir shopping, packing and enjoying one final trip to the beach. We had dinner in the town square, and then wandered around Puerto de la Cruz taking in the sights and smells of the city one last time. Of course, we don’t recommend cramming this much into seven days. There are certainly things we missed due to lack of time, but all in all we think the Guanches would have been proud of what we accomplished on their wonderful island!

Americans on Tenerife is a guest post from Megan Gonzales & Kyle Ledeboer from TravelingintheMoment.com

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The Port of Garachico & More Ketchup than Salsa in Tenerife News of the Week


Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

Garachico Will be a Port Again
Just over 300 years after losing its port to the lava that engulfed the pretty north western town’s harbour in 1706, Garachico will welcome visitors from the sea. The official opening of the town’s shiny new port is set to take place on May 12 and will be celebrated by a weekend of events. Let’s hope nature doesn’t spoil the party this time.

Loro Parque is 40 Years Old
Well not quite, but it will be on December 17 this year. To celebrate the anniversary, the park will be updating some of its attractions and adding a few more. First up was the revamp of the parrot show this week. Artificial trees and a sexy new lighting system has been added to help transport visitors from the current Moorish environment into a jungle atmosphere. Three new attractions due to be introduced before the park’s birthday party will be a new lizard and reptile area; an environmental classroom ““ the details of which is not clear except it will be ‘unique’ – and a brand new enclosure populated by various animals that are indigenous to South America. Among the inmates will be giant anteaters; not the best news for any ant colonies in the vicinity.

Definitely More Ketchup than Salsa
A big congratulations to our friend, the author and travel writer Joe Cawley whose book More Ketchup Than Salsa, a laugh-out-loud account of life as a British bar owner on Tenerife, knocked An Idiot Abroad off the number one spot for travel on Amazon Kindle books.
“Amazon update the rankings every hour, so it might not stay there for that long,” says Joe. “But it’s still great to get Tenerife to number one.”
We couldn’t agree more. The good news for fans of the painfully funny account of life and work amongst the bar flies of one of Tenerife’s most popular resorts is that there will be more lashings of ketchup very soon. Joe is currently penning the finishing touches to the follow-up which should be on sale from early July.

Tenerife Comes into the 20th Century
At last one Tenerife municipality is boldly going where no others have gone before (but where other parts of Europe have been for many years). La Laguna is installing devices on its pedestrian crossings to photograph drivers who run red lights having discovered that their introduction reduced accidents by up to 60% in Madrid. Although they are a bit late in arriving at this particular party it’s an advancement that should be applauded. Maybe next someone will ‘discover’ that having ‘no park’ zones on either side of the crossing will cut out most of the other 40% of accidents. However, before that there will be the process of using a red squirrel wearing a blue jacket and yellow pants and then a green cross code man to educate Tenerife’s residents about road safety.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦ Polluted Water in the North of Tenerife
Residents in the northern municipalities between Santa Ursula and Santa Cruz were warned not to touch their water at the end of the last week (by a man in a van with a loudspeaker) after it was discovered water supplies heading to the capital from the upper reaches of the La Orotava Valley had been contaminated. The source of the contamination was said to be around three to five litres of oil that had leaked from a car on a section of private land that the water channel passed through (although there was some scepticism that this amount of oil could have led to such a level of contamination). It’s claimed that the culprit, whilst trying to fix an engine, managed to break both engine and water pipe, resulting in the water being contaminated. There’s no confirmation that the man’s name was Señor Alubia (really bad joke).

Local outrage was heightened by the fact that samples of the contaminated water had to be sent to Gran Canaria to be analysed: A) because it slowed the process down, delaying when residents were told their water was safe for consumption again and B) because it really annoys Tinerfeños when their island neighbours and rivals can do something they can’t.

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Tenerife’s Award Winning Cheese & Morgan, the Killer Whale in Tenerife News of the Week


Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

Winners at the World Cheese Awards 2011
Although it’s unlikely to be acknowledged in the Tenerife based Spanish press, the Eastern Canary Islands left the Western Canary Islands for dead at the World Cheese Awards in Birmingham this week with a total 19 awards in various categories compared to a paltry 3 from the Western Canary Islands.

Fuerteventura cheeses were the big winners with 7 bronze awards, 4 silvers and 1 gold. Lanzarote also performed well with 1 bronze, 2 silvers and a gold whilst Gran Canaria picked up 2 bronze awards and a gold.

Of the Western Islands, only Tenerife made any impact on the cheese world and what they lacked in quantity, they made up for in quality. Out of three awards, 2 were gold; the other was bronze. La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro picked up nothing.

Tenerife may not have won as many prizes but the island’s cheese-makers had the last laugh in the award stakes as the wonderful semi-cured smoked cheese from Benijos in La Orotava was voted the best of all Canary Island cheeses.

The best cheese in the world award 2011 went to France for Ossau Iraty which only just beat last year’s winner, Britain’s Cornish Blue.

A Controversial Visitor Comes to Tenerife
This week should see the arrival of Morgan, an orca who has been making world headlines recently.

Controversy has surrounded the fate of the 4 year old female who was rescued from the North Sea in 2010 where she was found apparently starving to death.

Since then Morgan has been nursed back to health in a Dutch dolphinarium and is now in a fit state to move on…and that’s where the controversy comes in. A Dutch court has ruled that to return her to the wild might prove too risky. Subsequently she is being transferred to Loro Parque in Puerto de la Cruz. It’s a decision which has angered animal rights activists who are demanding that Morgan should be released back into the wild.

However, the situation isn’t as clear cut as simply opting for what is the morally obvious choice between captivity and freedom…at least not where the welfare of the orca is the main motivation for any argument for or against release or continued captivity.

Nobody can state for certain what the outcome of releasing an orca that has been in captivity will be. The most famous case to date concerns Keiko the star of the movie Free Willy who, possibly as a romanticised consequence of the movie, was released into the wild to assuage public demand. Keiko died of pneumonia a short time after his release. Life, unfortunately, doesn’t normally tread the same path as that of a Hollywood movie.

This isn’t meant to be a comment on what is right and what is wrong regarding the future of Morgan, just an observation that the right course of action isn’t always as clear as it may seem.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦no-one
It’s got to be a first but we couldn’t find anyone worthy of the TIT of the week award. Sure there’s the usual round of reports about the authorities not paying their debts (this time to pharmacies) and wads of money being invested in projects that either don’t come to fruition or end up being demolished. Then there’s the unsurprising news that in the middle of a financial crisis, the south Tenerife railway has been suspended for the moment due to lack of funding. But we’ve mentioned these sort of situations before so TIT of the week is having a week off.
We’re sure somebody (or some body) will do something that”ll have our jaws hitting the floor again before too long. After all this is Tenerife.

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No Performing Animals & New Tourism Campaign in Tenerife News of the Week


Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

This week’s election results on Tenerife have taken up much of the news over the past few days, but the inexplicable nature of some voting patterns is just too extraordinary to be even begin to try to summarise. We’re still scratching our heads as to why some residents continue to vote for politicians whose motives are quite clearly dubious…but that’s democracy for you. Or is it? There have been quite a few reports of dastardly deeds over the last week as some politicians turned to all sorts of schemes (allegedly) in a bid to attract more votes than the other guy (or gal). But we’ll steer clear of that political mire and have a look instead at some of the other snippets of news that came out of Tenerife this week.

Stay at Home this Summer
But only if home happens to be in the Canary Islands. Next month the Tenerife Cabildo (government) will launch a campaign entitled “quédate en casa’ to encourage residents of the Canary Islands to spend their summer holidays on the islands (preferably Tenerife). The campaign includes posters which show images of famous natural landmarks to which homely items like sofas and lamps have been added (presumably to send the message that staying on Tenerife is as comfortable as being at home). The Cabildo are trying to exceed the 570,000 Canarian based visitors who had fun in the sun on Tenerife last year. With an economic crisis still affecting Spain, the chances are that many islanders might be looking for holiday destinations closer to home, so the Cabildo may just achieve their goal.

The Tram Hits a Milestone
Congratulations to one of Tenerife’s success stories, the Tranvia (tram) which has transported over 50 million passengers between Santa Cruz and La Laguna since it began operating in 2007.

Money for Nothing in Arico
Not quite worthy of the TIT (This is Tenerife) award but close, the fishermen of Tajoa in Arico have had to cough up an annual payment of €800 as insurance for a crane on the village’s picturesque dock. The problem is that the crane, initially designed for a harbour in Gran Canaria, isn’t suited to Tajao and hasn’t been operational since it was installed two months ago since when it’s been sitting uselessly on the dock like a….fish out of water.

The Money-Making Santa Cruz Tourist Bus
Statistics for the new Santa Cruz tourist bus suggest that it might be a winner despite a decidedly shaky start. Over 14000 visitors caught the tourist bus in its first 6 weeks in service; a figure that equated to an average of over €3500 in tickets sold daily. As expected most of the bus passengers (75%) were cruise visitors. The statistics didn’t reveal any information regarding customer satisfaction, but we can only assume that the service has improved a lot since its hilarious first outings.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to…Puerto de la Cruz
This week the council in Puerto de la Cruz declared that the town would no longer tolerate the exhibiting of animals for commercial purposes. In future, circuses featuring animals won’t be allowed to set up their big tents in the town. It seems a commendable decision and would appear that the council is actually starting to take heed of what is happening in more advanced parts of Europe – apart from one vitally important factor. Puerto de la Cruz is also home to Loro Parque; one of Tenerife’s biggest tourist draws with its popular dolphin, sea-lion, parrot and orca shows. It”ll be interesting to see how the council gets round that one, if the irony of their decision has even occurred to them yet. Of course they may be fully aware of the implications of their announcement and have plans to close Loro Parque…Oh yeah?

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Resort Report, Puerto de la Cruz


Puerto de la Cruz Overview
Banana plants, palm trees, laurel, bougainvillea, frangipani, hibiscus… like Alice in Wonderland after a swig of the ‘Drink Me’ bottle, they all grow at an alarming rate in Puerto de la Cruz giving it a lush, tropical identity that separates it from the south of Tenerife by more than just distance.

Resolutely Canarian in character, Puerto de la Cruz was Tenerife’s first tourist resort and original destination of those wealthy and adventurous enough to visit the Canary Islands back in the 1960s and early 1970s. But when the south airport opened its runway and package holidays came within the financial reach of a vast untapped market, millions of Brits headed south for the holy grail of a guaranteed suntan.

On its little promontory at the foot of the La Orotava Valley, Puerto gets the best of the north’s sunshine and just enough rainfall to keep it as green as the bananas that surround it.

Beaches in Puerto de la Cruz
The town’s main beach of Playa Jardín is a beautiful, black sand beach backed by extensive landscaped gardens designed by César Manrique. The beach shelves steeply into the Atlantic rollers which for much of the year make swimming an extreme sport and a no-no for everyone but the jackass addicts. To compensate, the swimming and sunbathing paradise of Lago Martiánez has tropical gardens, oodles of sunbathing terraces, restaurants, kiosks, seven swimming pools and a vast lake beneath which the town’s Casino is located.

Where to Stay in Puerto de la Cruz
Pamper Yourself ““ Hotel Botanico (5*). Everything about this hotel says “quality, luxury and attention to detail’. From its three a la carte restaurants to its Oriental Spa, the experience is unbridled indulgence of the mind, body and senses.
(0034) 922 381 400; www.hotelbotanico.com; double room with breakfast from €190

In the Thick of it ““ Hotel Monopol (3*). One of Tenerife’s oldest hotels situated in the heart of the town whose lobby is a balconied Canarian courtyard which is simply stunning. Try for one of the 15 rooms overlooking Plaza de la Iglesia.
(0034) 922 384 611; www.monopoltf.com; double room with balcony from €63 per night



Restaurants in Puerto de la Cruz

Special OccasionMil Sabores (C/Cruz Verde, 5; (+34) 922 36 81 72, closed Wednesday): A foodie’s nirvana where the menu is so mouth-watering it could provoke a Meg Ryan, “˜When Harry met Sally’ reaction.
Going Local – Always packed with locals, Tasquita de Min (Mesquinez; (+34) 922 37 18 34; closed Monday) beside the harbour, serves fish and seafood dishes as fresh as an Italian waiter. Their vieja (parrot fish) has to be one of the tastiest fish you’ll ever sink your teeth into.
Family Friendly - El Pomodoro (Punta del Viento; (+34) 922 38 13 28) overlooking Atlantic rollers which crash below the restaurant’s open arches, has a menu which will appeal to all the family – pastas, steaks and pizzas.
Meat Free – Barcelona and Madrid comes to Puerto in the guise of El Maná (C/Mesquinez, 23 (+34) 922 36 85 23; closed Monday) a modern, organic restaurant. Opt for the degustación and discover that mana doesn’t really come from heaven but from the restaurant’s chef/owner.

Nightlife in Puerto de la Cruz
For night owls and savvy visitors, bar hopping in Puerto begins after midnight. Get in the mood with some cool cocktails at Elements in the Ranilla District or Colour Café overlooking Plaza Charco until the midnight hour has well and truly bid adieu. Then head to Limbo Bar on Calle Blanco to take in the night air and busy atmosphere before moving over the road to the uber cool Blanco Bar for some excellent live bands. Just when you think you might hear the sandman calling, notch up the adrenalin to Cuban volume at loud and sultry Azucar where you won’t hear his whispers until way into the early hours.

The Puerto de la Cruz WOW factor
There’s a reason why visitors have been coming to Loro Parque in their droves for so many years. From acrobatic dolphins and performing sea lions to parrots on bicycles and penguins on ice, the breathtaking moments arrive thick and fast.

Who would like Puerto de la Cruz?
This is the resort for anyone who wants to experience Canarian culture, cuisine and hospitality in a stunningly beautiful setting. Popular with more mature British and German visitors during the winter months and buzzing with Spanish mainlanders during the summer.

Star Ratings
Accommodation: 3 stars ““ Puerto simply doesn’t match the accommodation choices of Playa de Las Américas and Costa Adeje.
Restaurants: 5 stars ““ Around 200, including a few truly excellent, restaurants to choose from with predominantly Canarian menus but a wide choice of International cuisine.
Beaches: 4 stars ““ Black sand beauty and the iconic Lago Martiánez provide perfect settings without regimented sun loungers.
Nightlife: 4 stars ““ If you’re looking for tribute bands, cabaret and karaoke, you’ll be disappointed.

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Animal Baby Boom and Snow on Mount Teide in Tenerife News of the Week


Tenerife set for a White Christmas
After storms and strikes, let’s put aside the week’s woes and try to dunk ourselves in some Christmas spirit. Christmas lights are being erected and turned on across Tenerife’s towns, nativity scenes are springing up in shops and town halls and Santa Cruz and La Laguna councils are planning hours upon hours of festive entertainment to help make life for residents and visitors that little bit more jolly. But the icing on the cake and a sight that made us mouth a silent “˜wow’ was the vision of Mount Teide covered in snow following the storm. With snow forecast for the summit of Spain’s highest mountain for most of this week it looks as though a white Christmas is on the cards for Tenerife.

After the Storm
Anyone who’s seen Santa Cruz or Puerto de la Cruz the morning after an all night carnival street party will already know that street cleaners on Tenerife can perform the impossible. There’s little or no evidence that a couple of hours previously carnival hot spots looked as though a bomb had hit them. Similarly new arrivals at Plaza del Charco in Puerto de la Cruz, one of the areas hit hardest by the recent storm, would have been amazed to learn that 24 hours earlier the area had looked like a war zone with fallen palms and wrecked cafeterias. Even as the wind was still howling, blocked roads were cleared and re-opened quickly and efficiently. The authorities and the Tinerfeño public in general should be applauded for the incredible job they made of clearing up nature’s mess with the minimum of fuss.

Baby Boom at Loro Parque
Who knows what they’re feeding the animals at Loro Parque, but the second half of 2010 has seen a veritable baby boom in one of Tenerife’s most popular tourist attractions. Sea lions and titi monkey Miko in August, sloths Luca and Chuca at the beginning of October followed by an orca just over a week later. Then it was jaguar cubs Pimbo and Yagi, and last week it was the birth of four meerkats, one of the most popular creatures on the planet thanks to those fascinating BBC documentaries. It’s clearly a credit to the breeding programme at the park that there’s been such a boom in births. However, if there are any new parents-to-be out there looking for inspiration for a name for baby, I’m not sure Loro Parque is the best place to look.

Cruising in Santa Cruz
In a week full of headlines about chaos at Spanish airports it’s worth remembering that air travel isn’t the only way to journey to Tenerife.
It’s estimated that by the end of 2010 more than 383 cruises will have sailed into Santa Cruz Port bringing more than 674,000 passengers; a 16% increase on 2009. Santa Cruz de Tenerife’s ports are the fourth most visited by cruises to Spain after Barcelona, the Balearics and Malaga. After days of lounging by the pools on their floating hotel, what’s the first thing that a lot of passengers want to know on arrival at Santa Cruz? Where’s the nearest beach?

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to Spain’s Air Traffic Controllers
The TIT award almost went to those people on Tenerife who, despite reports of devastation to the island’s agricultural sector, still insisted that the storm of the previous weekend didn’t warrant a red alert. Maybe not from whatever bubble they reside in.

But Spanish air traffic controllers were head and shoulders winners for making an epic error of misjudgement from their lofty ivory towers.
Popular holiday destinations were amongst the worst affected by the wildcat strike according to the president of the Spanish agencias de viaje (travel agents), AEDAVE with the Canary Islands and the Balearics being singled out. In Tenerife alone 239 flights were cancelled as a result of the strike.
Whether anyone believes the air traffic controllers had good reason to strike or not, picking one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year to stage their protest not only brought misery to hundreds of thousands of travellers but also put the boot in at time when Spain is in the midst of a crippling economic crisis.
In a country where unemployment levels are at 20%, public sympathy for air traffic controllers, who earn around €200,000 a year, is unsurprisingly thin on the ground.

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Spain’s Best Chef and a Load of Old Rubbish in Tenerife News of the Week


Tenerife Magazine’s round up of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife

Company Directors Are Getting Younger…
In an innovative scheme to raise animal conservation awareness amongst the youngest members of society, Loro Parque are recruiting two directors aged between 8 and 12 for a period of 6 months. During that time the young directors will be encouraged to work closely with the park’s management team and furry residents to contribute proposals about how children especially can do more to help wildlife conservation. The lucky two and their families will have unlimited free access to Spain’s premier wildlife park for a year. The closing date for the scheme is the end of this month and applications should be made through Loro Parque’s website. So far 50 children have applied. Only 50…who says the young here have no ambition?

Cho Vito Hunger Strike Called Off
Cho Vito’s six hunger strikers have ended their protest after 11 days following the Spanish government’s decision to postpone making a ruling about the fate of the remaining houses in Cho Vito in Candelaria until the end of November. Whilst Tenerife President, Ricardo Melchior argued the case for Cho Vito at the meeting in Madrid, Candilaria’s mayor was noticeably absent prompting accusations that he wasn’t interested in the plight of his little coastal community. Although the postponement of any decision about Cho Vito isn’t a victory, it does allow the residents more time to argue their case. It might seem like cynical thinking, but it also seems a convenient way of getting the hunger strikers to stop their protest without anyone actually doing anything to move the situation forward. Cue a case of déjà vu come November.

It Really is the End of Summer in Santa Cruz
After being partially open for three months over the summer, Parque Marítimo in Santa Cruz is closed once again. With work to the swimming pool complex still to be completed, political shenanigans getting in the way, legal disputes unsettled and questions over who will be responsible for managing it, it is unlikely that it will re-open in the next six months. Back to Las Teresitas it is then for the poor old Santa Cruceros.

Hands Up, Who’s Heard of the Centre for Intepretación del Teide?
Stumped? It’s a huge exhibition centre dedicated to Teide National Park with interactive exhibitions and botanical gardens. Ringing any bells yet? Well it exists, in fact it was completed two years ago and it sits in the middle of the La Orotava Valley…unopened. A couple of weeks ago we reported about the Humboldt Mirador in La Orotava ““ a tourist attraction that had taken so long to complete that it needed renovation work even before it opened. La Orotava council seem to be making a habit of building tourist attractions that never seem to open. The work in this case began seven years ago with the Spanish government ploughing 8 million Euros into its construction. And the reason it hasn’t opened yet? The gardens are fields of weeds and the electrical systems aren’t working properly. 8 million Euros invested and you get dodgy wiring and weeds. Somebody, somewhere is chortling all the way to the bank.

Spain’s Best Chef is from Tenerife
The title’s a bit misleading as Chef Andrea Bernardi originally hails from Italy. Andrea, chef at the elegant Sinfonía Restaurant in Santa Cruz was chosen as Spain’s number one at the Adecco Best Chef competition in Madrid, wowing judges with a selection of chic dishes which included smoked duck and caviar. Andrea will represent Spain at the finals of the competition to find Europe’s top chef in Luxembourg on 27 September. Buena suerte Andrea

The Interactive Generation
A survey of 800 young Canarios revealed that 71% of them used social networks like Facebook and Twitter, preferring spending time on the net to watching TV. The report found that young Canarios were increasingly becoming an interactive generation, using the web to communicate and find out information. And yet businesses with websites on Tenerife remain in the minority. One day the penny just has to drop.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to…those involved with the restoration of La Laguna’s Cathedral.
In an incredible piece of news that raises disturbing questions about Tenerife’s ability to be protector of its own heritage, residents in Tegueste alerted the Guardia Civil to some quite unique rubbish dumped in a ravine near the town.
Sections of elaborately sculpted stone pillars that looked as though they should be in a museum turned out to be from La Laguna Cathedral. The discovery that important parts of the city’s heritage were being treated like common or garden rubbish caused uproar. The real worry is the mentality of those who sanctioned the dumping of the pillars. Didn’t it occur to them that a) people were always likely to spot huge sections of historic columns amongst the ubiquitous wrecked fridges and washing machines and b) they shouldn’t be destroying important historical artifacts in the first place.

An embarrassing situation was made worse by the Dean of the Cathedral who, after the story broke, seemed to suggest that the columns were just being ‘stored’ in the ravine for the time being. ‘storing’ historical pieces of architecture under a ton of a rubbish is certainly unconventional at the very least.

The pillars have now been retrieved from the ravine and placed in gardens in La Laguna. However, it does make you wonder what other remnants of Tenerife’s history have been lost because of the actions of unenlightened (diplomatic term) people like this.

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All The Family Feel That Animal Magnetism At Loro Parque


You know it’s going to be a bit of a giggle fest when your knees are wedged between the large hairy legs of a German stranger on a cramped wooden train chugging through the streets of Puerto de la Cruz. My obvious itchy discomfort was a source of great amusement to Amy, aged 11 and Chloe aged 12, over on holiday with my friend Sarah, their infectious chuckles had already been fired up by our journey up from Los Cristianos on a TITSA bus.

Loro Parque’s well oiled publicity machine grabs most family’s imaginations as soon as they touch down in Tenerife and based on my past visits, I never hesitate to fuel their interest further. As we arrived at the grand entrance to this animal themed box of delights, I tried to share the first impressions of my guests and to see if it lived up to its billing as a family favourite. Estate agents would call it kerb appeal, and Loro Parque scores early with the imposing pagoda entrance backed by large metal parrot statues and even hedges trimmed into the shape of a pack of elephants linked trunk to tail.
On a very hot and busy day we spilled inside delayed slightly by the huge multi coloured Koi Carp as we were funnelled over the lake bridge and snapped with two pretty polly’s on the way into the main body of the park. With three good women to organise me we set our sights on ticking off the four big shows first and headed for the performing birds at the Loro Show in a tall central hall. With 10 minutes to the start of the show we got some of the last seats and barely had time to appreciate the standing room behind us that allowed child buggies good parking spots. With a whoosh multi-coloured parrots swooped overhead and landed on their stage perches below to perform counting tricks, bell ringing and other cute turns. Amy and Chloe were engrossed and even slightly bird phobic Sarah was won over.

Twenty minutes later we were back on our mission and heading for the Sea Lions” show. Their small amphitheatre was stocking up well as one large, shiny, whiskered star was draped lazily over the performance area. Quite a few late-comers were kept at bay by a rope but as the park staff shuffled people to fill any gaps, we again had a good view, this time standing at the back. The music struck up, the trainers and the other sea lions slithered out and we were all caught up in a whirl of slipping and sliding as the sleek stars clapped, dived, rolled over and kissed their way into everyone’s hearts. The girls” smiles confirmed the general feeling, another hit.
Next stop the dolphins. Although baking hot the park is designed with plenty of shady paths linking the attractions, Amy and Chloe led the charge as we did our best to keep up with their youthful enthusiasm. The venues were getting bigger now but the demand still called for sensitive stewarding. As new arrivals were fed up to the higher seats the front rows were filled with buggies and their eager passengers. The animation girls kept the mood light as they built the anticipation with competitive clapping between the various sections.

The dolphins wowed everyone with high leaps and general playfulness and one lucky child was selected for a close encounter at the pool side, that special memory of stroking a dolphin will stay in her memory for years to come. The only disappointment of the day for Amy and Chloe was not getting soaked at the Orca Whale show, we sat a few rows behind their places at the edge of the splash zone. After a build up of catchy music and cheeky video close ups of the crowd, the whales announced their arrival with a few jumps and tail flips to send waves lapping over the pool side. Even those who had bought 3 euro plastic coveralls had a refreshing wash and Amy and Chloe giggled as their legs got sprayed. The creatures and the thrills don’t come much larger than the Orcas, their size contrasted by their intelligence and sheer beauty.
Regrouping in a café, expect captive audience prices, we took a vote on the next stop, luckily Planet Penguin got the thumbs up, saving me from stamping my feet and having a bawling fit. I’m a penguin addict and was glad to see the girls also delighted in their waddling on ice antics and majestic gliding under the ice and water floes of their huge snow dome.
Always leave them wanting more would be a good motto for Loro Parque, there is so much to cram in, the second visit 10 euros ticket is a good idea. We flitted by many of the enclosures ogling otters, admiring apes and treasuring tigers before heading for home. It was tough trying to get the girls to name a favourite, they loved everything but Amy was smitten by the penguins and Chloe chose the dolphins and whales. When it comes to family appeal Loro Parque is still serving up enough holiday memories to cram Noahs Ark.

FACT FILE

  • Loro Parque ““ Puerto de la Cruz
  • Website ““ www.loroparque.com
  • Open daily 8.30 am to 6.45 pm
  • Adults 32 euros, residents 19.50 euros – includes all shows
  • Children (ages 6 to 11) 21 euros , residents 13 euros
  • FREE trains from Plaza Reyes Catolicos, Puerto de la Cruz seafront

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No Nudes on Tenerife’s Beaches & Psychic Octopus at Loro Parque ““ The Tenerife Week in News


Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

First of all congratulations to the Spanish football team for doing their country and football proud in the way they conducted themselves throughout the World Cup. They were deserving winners and gave the youth of Santa Cruz another excuse for holding a water fiesta in the pool in Plaza España.

One of the stars of the World Cup also provided Loro Parque with an opening to make an audacious request.

Is Paul, the World Cup’s Psychic Octopus Coming to Tenerife?
El Dia newspaper reported last week that Loro Parque in Puerto de la Cruz offered to give Germany’s psychic octopus and Spanish national hero, Paul a new home in the sun on Tenerife. It seems appropriate that now the World Cup’s over and he’s got a lot of spare time on his tentacles, the German cephalod relocates to the north of Tenerife where he could spend his watery days amongst people who worship him and his many fellow Germans who also live there. Call me psychic, but I”M predicting it isn’t going to happen.

Tenerife; a Barrier Free Paradise ““ Countryside Routes for People with Mobility Problems

Thumbs up to the Tenerife Cabildo for continuing to open up Tenerife’s countryside to people who might otherwise miss out on the island’s natural beauty spots. The popular walking route
Llano de los Loros in the Anaga Mountains is going to be transformed into three different paths of varying lengths designed to suit walkers and people with disabilities. Tracks, bridges and walkways will make the area’s stunning viewpoints accessible to everyone, whilst interactive panels will provide information about flora and fauna to create this “˜Sendero de los sentidos’ .

Beaches on Tenerife ““ Doing the Doggy Paddle in Santa Cruz

It’s a blatant case of dogged discrimination ““ whilst Santa Cruceros can enjoy cooling down in the sea over the sizzling summer months, their furry pets aren’t allowed in the water anywhere along the coast. It’s a state of affairs that is driving the capital’s canines barking mad. With the backing of Tenerife’s College of Veterinarians, who say bathing in the sea is good for the dogs, thousands of dog lovers in Santa Cruz signed a petition last week to demand that their pets be allowed to enjoy the water like everyone else at the small beach near Parque Marítimo. Rumour has it that the city’s cats vehemently oppose any action aimed at making it easier for owners to take their pets for a swim.

Going Naked in Tenerife ““ The Big Cover Up

One Spanish language newspaper reported last week that there was a crisis on Tenerife’s naturist beaches ““ not enough people are getting their kit off. On some of the island’s seven official nudist beaches, where once there was hardly space to park a bare buttock in their heydays in the 80s, there’s hardly a white bit to be seen. One of the few die hard naturists left at Las Gaviotas near Santa Cruz bemoaned the fact that young people had become more conservative, opting to stay covered up rather than go for that all over bronzed look. There didn’t seem to be a shortage of naturists around the base of Montaña Roja last time I was there; there was a plague of naked men scurrying about the undergrowth -I couldn’t face a dinner of meat and two veg for weeks afterwards.


And Finally”¦

Appropriately considering the last item, there is no TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award. This week we’ve decided to have a HOT (Heroes of Tenerife) award instead. Last weekend wheelchair user Elena Martínez, helped by twenty two men and women of Montaña Para Todos (www.mptodos.org), reached the summit of Spain’s highest mountain, Mount Teide using a specially adapted chair called a “˜joëlette’. It was a remarkable feat and another example of what can be achieved with determination and a little help from your friends.

Enhorabuena España, Elena and Montaña Para Todos

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