Thank the Irish for Santa Cruz and Dry Times in Tenerife News of the Week

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

The Anniversary of Santa Cruz as Capital of the Canary Islands
Ignore the fact that 190 years isn’t exactly a landmark number to celebrate. Ignore the fact that although the anniversary was celebrated on Monday, the date King Fernando VII decreed Santa Cruz de Tenerife to be capital of the Canary Islands was the 27th January 1822. What is really interesting is the politician who is recognised as being the driving force behind it happening ““ José Murphy. Tenerife increasingly looks to its Guanche past for its pride and character yet it was a son of two Dubliners who was responsible for Santa Cruz achieving status in the eyes of Spain.

Progress at Last for Las Gaviotas Beach
It is welcome news to hear that Santa Cruz council have allocated €400,000 to make the naturist beach of Las Gaviotas safe again for sunbathers. The beach has been closed to the public since December 2010, so the funding allocation is a step in the right direction. Now comes the bureaucracy and contracting process to determine who carries out the work. No dates have been suggested for when it’s expected to re-open but with any luck lets hope that by the summer it”ll be more than just the local fisherman on the rocks who’ll be able to get their tackle out at Las Gaviotas.

Spain Enters a Period of Drought
Those people who know Tenerife well will have registered that there has been a lack of rain so far this winter. There have been only a couple of days when there has been anything close to decent rain with little difference between south and north coasts. Whilst an absence of rain is what we all want when we take a holiday, it is potentially disastrous for the island. Scientists acknowledged this week that the pattern of a dry autumn (30% less rainfall than normal) followed by an equally dry December and January that has occurred across Spain is a rare and worrying combination. The conditions have also resulted in a lack of snow on the mountains; another valued source of water when spring arrives. Mount Teide has been noticeably devoid of the white stuff so far this winter. The situation isn’t critical yet but if the seasonal February/March rains don’t fall it could be. Still, it’s Carnaval in a couple of weeks and we all know what that means… there will definitely be a downpour of monsoon proportions.

Where Does a Prince Spend His Birthday?
On an island that is still experiencing an undersea volcanic eruption apparently. Spain’s Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia spent the Prince’s 44th birthday meeting with the people who were most affected by the eruption off the coast at La Restinga on Tenerife’s neighbour, El Hierro. Thankfully the volcanic eruption behaved itself during Prince Felipe’s visit; this was one birthday party that no-one wanted to go off with a bang.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦The University Hospital of the Canary Islands (HUC)
This week the HUC managed to “Misplace’ a patient for 11 hours. Worse, not only did they misplace the patient, a woman suffering from mental health problems and a brain tumour, they informed the patient’s relatives that she had actually left the hospital. The woman’s family, being seriously concerned for her safety, reported her disappearance to the police who advised taxis, buses and trams in the area to be on the lookout for a confused woman wearing a hospital gown. Meanwhile the woman’s sister scoured the hospital whilst another family member stood watch at the hospital entrance… but with no success.
Eleven anxious hours later the family received a phone call to inform them that the woman had been found sitting in a wheelchair in Emergencies where, it was claimed, she had been all the time. It’s a claim that the woman’s sister, having searched the hospital’s public areas, disputes. HUC has admitted that there was a mix up in information between different departments in the hospital which led to confusion to her whereabouts although they still insist she was never actually “Missing’. Could someone let us know the Canarian word for ‘not knowing where someone is” because it’s clearly very different from the English one.

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Carnival Dates in Tenerife 2011

Carnival on Tenerife hit top gear at the weekend. Although the opening round of parties are over, some of the most popular carnival events are still to come.

There are loads of carnival events on Tenerife to look out for over the next few weeks. So anyone with a yen to slip into the fishnets and little black number (men only on this occasion), really vamp it up at an unforgettable open air party or even simply enjoy the spectacle of a colourful carnival parade should take a note of the dates in our Carnival Agenda.

Carnival on Tenerife, Güímar

Güímar has the best carnival poster on Tenerife this year and enough to warrant a visit the town of the mysterious pyramids for their celebrations.

Main Dates: 11th to 26th March. More Information Here

Carnival on Tenerife, La Laguna

Not a lot of tourists seek out this carnaval, or many fiestas in the former capital city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna even though they hold some of the biggest parties there.

Main Dates: Between 5th and 12th March. More Information Here

Carnival on Tenerife, La Orotava

With a theme of the music from the 70s and 80s La Orotava could be a hippy and new romantic haven during carnival.

Main Dates: From 5th to 12th March. More Information Here

Carnival on Tenerife, Los Cristianos

Despite the carnival poster howler, the circus themed Los Cristianos carnival should be a lot of fun.

Main Dates: 25th to 28th March. More Information Here

Carnival on Tenerife, Los Gigantes

One of the best carnivals in south Tenerife, Los Gigantes has a Latino theme this year.

Main Dates: 13th to 21st March. More Information Here

Carnival on Tenerife, Puerto de la Cruz

Not quite as big as Santa Cruz, but carnival in El Puerto involves tens of thousands of people and rocking street parties.

Main Dates: Between 3rd and 12th March. More Information Here

Carnival in Santa Cruz

The biggest, brashest and most exuberant celebrations are held in Tenerife’s capital city, Santa Cruz.

Main Dates: Carnival really hits its stride in Santa Cruz between 2nd and 13th March. More Information Here

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Carnival on Tenerife, La Orotava

With a theme of the music from the 70s and 80s La Orotava could be a hippy and new romantic haven during carnival.

Main Dates: From 5th to 12th March

Main Events
Carnaval Parade: The Coso Apoteosis takes place on Tuesday 8th March followed by a 70s and 80s inspired disco at 7.30pm
Time: 4.30pm
Location: From Cruz del Teide to Plaza la Paz

Burial of the Sardine (in La Orotava it’s called Quema de Crispín): Wednesday 9th March
Time: 9pm
Location: Calle From the football stadium to Plaza de la Constitución.

Closing Carnival Party: The Baile de la Piñata on Saturday 12th March is the time to wear your best carnival costume in La Orotava
Time: 11pm
Location: Plaza de San Juan Bautista

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Carnival on Tenerife, Los Gigantes

One of the best carnivals in south Tenerife, Los Gigantes has a Latino theme this year.

Main Dates: 13th to 21st March

Main Events
Fiesta Blanca Latina: Batukada performances and Latino bands on Sunday 13th March
Time: From Midday
Location: Plaza Buganvilla

Election of the Carnaval Queen and Gala: Thursday 17th March
Time: 9pm
Location: Plaza Buganvilla

Children’s Parade and Grand Ball: Saturday 19th March
Time: From 5pm
Location: Plaza Buganvilla

Closing Parade: Coso Apoteosis followed by masked ball takes place on Sunday 20th March
Time: From 5pm
Location: From La Pescadora roundabout to Plaza Buganvilla.

Burial of the Sardine followed by Widows’ Ball: Monday 21st March
Time: 9pm
Location: From the start of the village to the Hotel Los Gigantes.

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Carnival on Tenerife, Los Cristianos

Despite the carnival poster howler, the circus themed Los Cristianos carnival should be a lot of fun.

Main Dates: 25th to 28tht March

Main Events
Election of the Carnaval Queen: Friday 25th March
Time: 9pm
Location: Recinto Ferial

Parade and Grand Ball: Saturday 26th March
Time: From Parade 5.30pm, Carnival Ball at 11pm
Location: Parade from Cultural Centre, dance at the Recinto Ferial

Closing Parade: Coso Apoteosis followed by carnival dance on Sunday 27th March
Time: From 5pm
Location: From Paloma Beach Aptmts to the Recinto Ferial.

Burial of the Sardine followed by Widows’ Ball: Monday 21st March
Time: 8pm
Location: From Cultural Centre to Playa de Los Cristianos. The widows’ ball is at the Recinto Ferial

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Carnival on Tenerife, La Laguna

Not a lot of tourists seek out this carnaval, or many fiestas in the former capital city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna even though they hold some of the biggest parties there.

Main Dates: Between 5th and 12th March

Main Events

Election of the Carnaval Queen and Carnaval Gala: Sunday 6th March
Time: 8pm
Location: Plaza Mayor de La Verdellada

Opening Parade: Monday 7th March
Time: 5pm
Location: Calle Padre Herrera, Calle Molinos de Agua, Calle Obispo Pérez Cáceres, Calle El Puente, Calle Vicente Burgo Oraá, Casa del barco, Avenida La Salle, Francisco Afonso Carrillo and Plaza Mayor de La Verdellada

Burial of the Sardine: Saturday 12th March
Time: 8pm
Location: Calle Padre Herrera, Calle Molinos de Agua, Calle Obispo Pérez Cáceres, Calle El Puente, Calle Vicente Burgo Oraá, Casa del barco, Avenida La Salle, Francisco Afonso Carrillo and Plaza Mayor de La Verdellada

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Carnival on Tenerife, Puerto de la Cruz

Not as big as Santa Cruz, but carnival in El Puerto still involves tens of thousands of people and rocking street parties.

Main Dates: Between 3rd and 12th March

Main Events
Election of the Carnaval Queen: Thursday 3nd March
Time: 9pm
Location: Plaza Europa

Burial of the Sardine: Wednesday 9th March
Time: 9pm
Location: From Avenida Colón through the town to the harbour.

High Heels Marathon: One of the unique highlights of Puerto’s carnival takes place on Friday 11th March
Time: 4pm
Location: Avenida de Francisco La Roche y Marítima

Closing Parade: Coso Apoteosis takes place on Saturday 12th March
Time: 4pm
Location: From Avenida Colón to Plaza del Charco and then Calle San Felipe.

There are street parties every night from 5th to 12th (except Thursday 10th) in Plaza Charco, Calle Perdomo and at Casa Aduana.

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Carnival on Tenerife, Güímar

Surely the best carnival poster on Tenerife and enough to warrant a visit the town of the mysterious pyramids for their celebrations.

Main Dates: 11th to 26th March

Main Events
Las Burras de Güímar: Friday 11th March sees the town’s unique battle between shape-changing witches, demons and angels followed by the cremation of the sardine and a fancy dress ball.
Time: 9pm
Location: Plaza de San Pedro

Drag Gala followed by Disco: Saturday 26th March
Time: 9m
Location: El Puertito

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Carnival Dates in Santa Cruz 2011

The biggest, brashest and most exuberant celebrations are held in Tenerife’s capital city, Santa Cruz.

Main Dates: Carnival really hits its stride in Santa Cruz between 2nd and 13th March.

Main Events
Election of the Carnaval Queen: Wednesday 2nd March
Time: 9.30pm
Location: Recinto Ferial

Opening Parade: Friday 4th
Time: 7pm
Location: Avenida Asuncionistas, Ramón y Cajal, Galcerán, Plaza Weyler, Méndez Núñez, Pilar, Villalba Hervás, La Marina, Avenida de Francisco La Roche

Closing Parade: Coso Apoteosis takes place on Tuesday 8th March
Time: 4pm
Location: Avenida de Francisco La Roche y Marítima

Burial of the Sardine: Wednesday 9th March
Time: 9pm
Location: Calle Juan Pablo II, Méndez Núñez, Pilar, Villalba Hervás, La Marina finalizando and Avenida Francisco La Roche

There are street parties every night from 4th to 12th (except Thursday 10th) in Plaza Europa, Plaza Candelaria and on some nights Plaza Principe.

The big event to look out for this year is the Ministry of Sound concert in Plaza Europa from 11pm to 6am on Saturday 5th March

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Painting the Town Red – Tenerife’s Urban Graffiti Artists

Ever since primitive man first scratched a matchstick picture on a cave wall which said in caveman language “˜Fred loves Wilma’, he has found it difficult to pass a blank wall without leaving his mark on it ““ in other words what we call graffiti has been around for a long, long time.

To some, graffiti is simply vandalism; to others it represents a form of anarchic artistry. At worst it’s an ugly scrawled mess like the “˜Baz is a grass’ type messages I used to see around Manchester. At best it transforms unsightly walls into urban works of art like those of Britain’s politically motivated über-graffiti artist Banksy, which come complete with poignant social comment.

On Tenerife there are plenty of the annoying examples of Neanderthal brained graffiti on show, but equally there are vibrant works of unique and imaginative art which add colour and whimsy to dour facades.

This week I headed to the capital, Santa Cruz to check out some of Tenerife’s most outstanding urban art in an area designated specifically for graffiti artists near the Noria district. It’s a place where budding Banksys can spray and paint away to their hearts content without having to keep one eye out for the “˜rozzers’.

Having a legitimate area to work with sort of takes the anarchic element out of the equation and presumably some of the fun, but it has created a zone of quite eye-catching urban art. A stroll around the block where it’s located reveals a bear fighting a lumberjack, gorilla faces, huge manic eyes and a whole surreal range of pop art characters. It’s a living canvas that evolves and changes on a daily basis ““ if I return in a week the urban masterpieces will be replaced by other larger than life images. The art of the graffitist is a transient one.

East Strikes a Pose

I turn a corner and in the dappled shade of a tree ““ a good choice given that the temperatures are in the upper 20s and the sun is relentless ““ one of the local artists is finishing off a spaghetti junction image of interlocking pink curves and lines topped by what looks like a Masonic eye. I point my camera and the artist covers his face with his hand, lampooning the fact that he doesn’t have to be anonymous here, before going in completely the opposite direction by striking an exaggerated flamboyant pose.

East is one of the regular contributors to this urban art scene. He illustrates his name by spraying it on a nearby lamppost ““ not, I suspect, one of the designated graffiti spots, but hey there’s got to be some anarchy involved. He’s been painting the town red for twelve years. Interestingly, he uses the English spelling for his nom de plume and I notice that a number of the phrases around the walls are in also in English ““ an indication of where inspiration comes from.

I spend a few moments chatting with East before leaving him with his urban artist’s tools – a lightweight aluminium ladder and a collection of spray paint cans – to complete my circuit of the street artists’ block.

The last painting is one of the most interesting. Not because it’s the best, but because it has a website address; apparently even anarchists advertise their work these days.
It turns out to be for Eloy Fernández a street artist who has progressed from graffiti to commercial designer; his distinctive works breathing life onto the interiors and exteriors of many businesses around the island.

It’s a classic example of how the anarchic can quickly become accepted into the mainstream when talent is unmistakeable”¦and when you’ve got a government approved wall on which to display your skills.

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