Defenders Keep A Lid On CD Marino Cup Bid

It was a very different line up for CD Marino in their Copa Heliodoro semi final first leg 1-1 home draw with Mensajero. Injuries robbed them of Sergio Aragoneses and Jonathan Sesma, while top scorer Balduino missed out through work for this mid week afternoon clash. Youngsters Jose Carlos, Djavan, and Alberto got the call up and the other Alberto continued his return in goal.

The missing experience looked like being costly against the big guns of the La Palma visitors grabbed a lead after 8 minutes. They broke down the left and a pass from Rayco found 14 goal Dani Lopez with space to tuck the ball in the net. Strike partner Yeray, no slouch with 18 goals to his name, had already warmed Alberto’s gloves and the pair looked ready to reap havoc but Marino showed fantastic defensive qualities from a tight midfield that restricted Mensajero’s creative play to a back four fortress with Mendy and Aridani outstanding in the centre. Just after the goal a three pronged assault threatened to expose Marino but Mendy coolly tidied up to stop the danger.

Captain Amado was doing a fine job in front of the defence and was full of confidence to come back and retrieve the ball before threading his way past Mensajero players as he turned the tide. Aridani found time to support the Marino forwards and wasn’t far off target when he smashed a shot at the reds goal. Pablo is always good for a darting run from right back and he helped to pin back Mensajero, Marino were now enjoying the best of the play. A Pablo cross tempted Djavan but he couldn’t quite get the killer touch to the ball. New boy Alberto nearly got a spectacular equalizer just before the break when he unleashed an overhead bicycle kick from outside the area.

Marino continued to keep a strong hold on the game in the second half but were very aware of the need to at least level the game. Airam replaced Alberto and added his power to the hunt for an opening. Javi Marchena pushed forward more from left back and the chances started to come, Mensajero were just hanging on. In a gamble Nestor was added in place of Amado and he went close to scoring a couple of times. Home goalie Alberto didn’t have much to do but showed his alertness when he claimed the ball cleanly after a red forward sneaked in behind the home defence. Javi Marchena had two powerful strikes repelled by the Mensajero defence and from a corner Nestor put pressure on the away keeper.

Eslava was the next blue sub, he filled a defensive role to allow Aridani to support the search for a goal. With 15 minutes left another Marino raid saw the ball come out to Airam whose well aimed header made the scores level. Ideally another goal was needed for the return leg but it just wouldn’t come, Airam had one last chance in injury time but after shaking off his marker his final touch deserted him. So it ended all square but Marino will be confident that with some missing first teamers back for the 15 April away leg they can book a place in the Santa Cruz final.


The Boys from Uruguay Make CD Tenerife Fly

Slap and tickle, bangers and mash, drunk and disorderly – all great double acts but my favourite of the moment is Diego and Maxi. There was a goal each for them as CD Tenerife saw off Osasuna 2-1 in Santa Cruz to make it six games without defeat.

Much was made pre game of the return of former scoring hero Nino but he was kept quiet by solid home defending. A few weeks ago we couldn’t score for love nor money (I think we only tried one of those incentives) but now it’s so different. Diego Ifran has found his sharpness in front of goal and Maxi Perez was amazing again, covering so much ground in front of goal and fighting for every ball. A wide effort from Sisi after 6 minutes showed Osasuna couldn’t be taken lightly but despite a regular threat from Cedrick down the left they looked blunt at close range.

Diego made good ground at the visitors far post only to see their goalie Riesgo tighten the angle well to squeeze him out. Suso and Moyano combined to open them up again but couldn’t find the net. Merino had a good chance for Osasuna but found that home keeper Dani is just as accomplished with his boots as with his gloves, he got a foot back to ball that seemed sure to beat him on the blindside. Let’s not forget Suso’s contribution to the forward revival, he is back to his hungry best and on the half hour cut in from the right but couldn’t get enough power on his shot.

Suso wasn’t about to be put off and surged through again, his sweet looping shot over the defence had their keeper flapping, he patted the ball down and Diego was on hand to fire it in the net for a 1-0 lead. The torrential rain got worse and in the break a few of us started to build an ark, thankfully it wasn’t needed so we could concentrate on enjoying the second half. The Uruguayan pair teamed up with Diego setting up Maxi whose shot flew across the face of the goal. These are troubled times on and of the pitch for Osasuna and they had little enthusiasm for the fight, even Cedrick fizzled out.


A second goal was needed, Cristo Martin, on for Juan Carlos, grabbed his chance to impress by putting in a strong run followed by a delightful cross from the left which Maxi met with a well timed header. The game looked over but a late penalty gave Osasuna some faint hope, Nino went down in the box after a tackle from sub Cristo Diaz, the spot kick was a soft decision and Nekounam stroked the ball into the net. The ref found four minutes of added time from somewhere but it made no difference, the only bad aspect of the latest win was the poor 7,308 crowd, they missed another well drilled, professional performance from CD Tenerife.

The Boyfriend Is A Red Hot Date

Take the carefree days of the roaring 20’s, mix in some stylish songs, dazzling dancing, and flamboyant costumes and love is bound to blossom. That’s the basis of The Boyfriend, the hit Sandy Wilson stage show and later film musical, lovingly revived by the Tenerife Swallows Drama Group at the Sol Princesa Dacil in Los Cristianos.

The course of true love doesn’t run smooth and there are plenty of misunderstandings and family obstacles to overcome for the characters assembled at the Cote d’Azur in 1920’s France. The light frothy mood of the show fits the spirit of the bright young things from Madame Dubonnet’s Finishing School For Young Ladies, and there is plenty of humour weaved into the plot over three acts. This was a more ambitious project for the swallows after last years success with Oh What A Lovely War, lots of costume changes, big ensemble numbers, and much more lines between the songs.

Director Michael Huntington’s team did him proud, the chemistry between the characters is what drives the show and the players, mainly amateurs, brought out all the warmth and vulnerability of the hopeful lovers. Luke Carey as Tony (The Boyfriend) had just the right balance of shyness, awarkness, and innocence, while the object of his desires Polly was enchanting, pretty, and emotionally fragile thanks to Karen Holcombe. In contrast Bobby (Dominic James), the brash and self assured suitor of Maisie (Tracey Cutting) was a good match for his confident intended bride. All the shows dance numbers were excellent but Bobby and Maisie were particularly good in Won’t You Charleston With Me?

Director Michael Huntington was glowing with pride after the first of the three night run and filled in some of the background for me. “We chose The Boyfriend because it fitted nicely to our small cast of 15 and it has good memorable tunes. About half of our cast were new to public performance but we had a good team with musical director Paul Lowe and choreographer Jenny Grayston guiding them. “

I had to ask about the costumes, they were outstanding. “ In all we needed 45 costumes, Janet Roberts with Barbara Young and Janice Banks worked hard on them, they were all sourced from local rastro markets but needed lots of cutting and sewing to adapt them.”
I hadn’t seen The Boyfriend in any of its previous forms but several of the songs were familiar like “I Could be Happy With You” and the title song. The original stage show stormed London’s West End back in 1954 but there were some nice modern touches added for this production especially in the humour. It’s a joyous, uplifting show and that was certainly helped by the enthusiasm of the cast, they were all clearly enjoying it as much as the audience. Profits from the shows are going to Cancer Research Tenerife, last year they raised 1.700 euros but the slightly larger venue has raised this years return to 3,100 euros.

Balduino Hat Trick Steers CD Marino Through Choppy Waters

Team form has been a little brittle lately for CD Marino but striker Balduino is having his best season in the blue shirt and took his tally to 18 goals to fend off their determined 10 man opponents Santa Brigida with a 3-2 home win.

The visitors from Gran Canaria were more direct and always looking to test Sergio Aragoneses while Marino always wanted one more pass before letting rip. Just seven minutes into the game Santa Brigida broke and with some good passing got the ball through to Trujillo who skillfully juggled the ball to beat the advancing Sergio. Winger Javi Marchena was playing at left back and his speed going forward was starting to pressure the yellows, a second trip on Javi resulted in a free kick that wasn’t far shy of the bar.

Marino could have succumbed again when Alvarez flashed a shot across the face of the home goal but this was answered with a quick break that released Nestor, goalie Raul managed to take the ball off him and winded him at the same time. It had the makings of a well matched thriller but the balance changed after 18 minutes when Raul clattered Airam to the ground and got sent off. With no back up keeper on their bench, Fermin was volunteered to go between the sticks and there was a tense wait as the sub donned the shirt and gloves. Balduino wasn’t ruffled and stepped up to beat the replacement to tie it at 1-1.

Javi continued his good work after the break forcing a hasty defensive clearance and setting up Nestor for a half chance that the rookie goalie took well. Marino couldn’t make their man advantage count and never really put the second keeper under pressure, Santa Brigida were still game and Trujillo drew a full stretch stop from Sergio. Marino went close as Nestor’s diving header caught the ball a little low and sent it over the bar. The referee seemed a bit clueless at times, during one Marino attack there were two balls in the penalty area and when a visiting player loudly pointed out the obvious the ref booked him for dissent.

Kevin Castro came on for Barrios on the hour and inspired a speedy attack that found Balduino in the thick of the action and ready to head his team back into the lead. The attacking instinct was still strong in Santa Brigida and with another surge forward they got a penalty after Aridani was adjudged to have handled the ball. Carreno converted the kick to keep all options open for the closing 25 minutes. Defender and captain Aridani tried to redeem himself with a wild long shot and Kevin needed another inch on his leg to reach a tempting cross in front of goal.

There was only one man who could seal the win for Marino and that was Balduino, in the final minutes he was in the right place again to head another fine goal for his hat trick and his team’s salvation. With the win assured the blues managed another couple of late efforts, Nestor looped a shot high, and a Santa Brigida defender made a strong clearance just in front of his net. Once again it should have been much easier but the points keep piling up and Marino still sit two points clear at the top of group 12 of the Tercera division.



Coso Fever Scorches Through Los Cristianos

Some people turn their nose up at the sardine, some prefer their slippers to late night dancing shoes, and some haven’t got the patience to sit through the spectacular stage shows. But every year when Arona Carnaval looms up on the horizon, everyone wants to know the details of the big Coso parade on the final Sunday.

Certain elements hold true every year, parking spaces are like the Holy Grail, prime viewing spots start to get bagged from mid day, and the sun cranks the heat up a few notches. This year 60 groups took part in the parade, I joined the preparation down by Paloma Beach ten minutes before the advertised off, that’s an hour and ten minutes before the eventual wagons roll. It looks chaotic but there is a system, assembly points were chalked on the road surface and organizers with clipboards rounded up and checked dancers and other performers in various states of transformation. The sky was clear and the drinks were pouring, crafty drags on ciggies were calming nerves, and face make up was setting within seconds of being applied.

The Arona Carnaval theme, Olympus this year, was just a rough guide, there are always annual favourites like Elvis, Michael Jackson, and Freddy Kreugar – now that’s a supergroup I would buy tickets to see. For the dance schools and groups Carnaval is the culmination of a year of hard work, just a quick glance at the costumes shows the amount of hours that are put in to ensure they don’t just look brilliant, but also synchronized. The drummers at the front set the pace and once they strike up their rhythm everyone falls into line and the slow process of turning the corner onto the main stretch of road begins.

The Carnaval Queen, Dames of Honour, Infantil Queen, and other runners up wave from on high on the back of big trucks, well it takes a big stage to hold their magnificent outfits. This year Andrea Barriero Monroy was elected Queen in a pink and white blaze of splendor and Cynthia Padilla was a close second in her teal and silver creation. It’s all very impressive but my favourites are the ones that interact with the crowds, a close up wave or a blown kiss to a small child soon lights up their faces and a few mature ladies squealed with surprise when given a cuddle by Harpo Marx or a German general.

It was a bit of a squeeze at the finishing point behind the cultural centre and a logistical nightmare for the police and stewards but as always it went pretty smoothly and participants were able to peel off their costumes and cool down. There was just enough energy left for the last big night of dancing by the main stage. Well done to all who put on such a great show and of course the council clean up crew who follow the parade to purge the streets.


Soaring Upwards At Roque Del Conde The Guardian Of South Tenerife

Maybe it’s the sheared summit effect that earns Roque del Conde the nickname of table top mountain but I like to think it’s due to the feast of views offered from the top, either way I was ready for another serving. Sitting in a café in Los Cristianos gazing up is one way to enjoy the folds and shades that change hourly and seasonally but there’s nothing like the bite in the leg muscles as you curl your way around the popular route.

It was nice to show off my favourite stroll to my visiting friend Francine, the morning couldn’t have looked more perfect as we caught the 480 Arona bus and emerged a short hop from the Plaza del Cristo de la Salud. It’s quite a gathering point for walkers with four main routes well sign posted, and a nice little leaflet (Arona Rural) available from tourist offices, both in several languages. Striking out across the main road and down the dirt track to the El Vento area we came to the path down through a small gorge and up over the old iron water pipes. What a greeting, the landscape spread out far ahead with a old viaduct spanning the horizon and several other smaller mountains offering homage to our destination. Ahead of us little groups of walkers were noticeable in the distance as the sun poured its warmth over us.

The first big test was the Barranco del Rey, a deep ravine, we took the steep winding pathway down to the dry river bed. Hidden from the sun it was cool with a little bit of echo that carried the clanking bells of a herd of goats. Looking up it was just possible to see them making light work of a precarious trail just below the lip of the barranco. Taking the steep ascent up the other side we emerged with a disused threshing circle in our sights and above that an old wreck of a stone cottage. The path we followed was well worn not just by modern walkers but also by ancient farmers who grew cereal crops, not a good place to forget your watering can. The coastal scenery unfolded below us as the path took us around the mountain to a halfway outcrop of rock that made a suitable resting spot to catch up on water and snacks.

The top of the mountain looked within quick reach from here but it was deceptive as the path tightened and twisted and the summit remained elusive. Looking back the views of Los Cristianos, Playa de Las Americas and westward were very rewarding. A few other walkers passed us on their way down with smiles of satisfaction and a renewed spring in their step. Finally the light grass ahead gave way to the plateau, time for a deep breath and a scan of the panoramic views. Remnants of past farming had left a landscape of shallow terraces between low stone walls, tufts of dry grass and thistles were being used as a playground by small birds. Walking around the perimeter brought differing views, Adeje town spread out on one side, Mount Teide shimmered in the distance on another, and plants clung to the side of splintered rock stacks as Barranco del Infierno snaked its way around smaller mountains far below.

Perching back at our entry point we were entertained by para gliders swooping serenely and some cheeky lizards helping to finish off our sarnies and crisps. There were quite a few other people on the plateau, some we had seen earlier in the journey, the different nationalities reflected the international reputation that Arona has as a walkers delight. Return journeys are usually faster but that was offset by the need to not let the incline force our pace, especially on the shifting loose dusty earth. We were being shielded from what little breeze there was so the sun made its presence felt, the halfway stop brought a welcome wafting of cooler air. The cactus plants with their prickly pears became more plentiful as we got lower and there was always the white water trail of the pleasure boats and ferries etching their progress on the sea to distract us.

Barranco del Rey seemed a little easier going back, the walk is well maintained particularly in this barranco where rope and wood rails help to guide walkers down to the floor of the ravine. Painted markings at key points of the route also help to usher the wayward onto the true course, we still nearly missed the crossing point for the small gorge. We hit Arona plaza just over four hours after our start, that was at a leisurely pace, the cold drinks at a small bar were very welcome, Roque del Conde did us proud.

Arona Day Carnaval Flows In The Streets

Have you ever seen locusts dressed as superheroes, drag queens, cowboys, and cartoon characters? The supermarkets in the centre of Los Cristianos saw plenty as the young party crowd for the Day Carnaval in Arona stocked up on every conceivable type of alcohol they could buy. As the dance music kicked in at noon the stage DJ was not the only one doing some mixing.

The big Saturday event has become a popular addition to the southern Carnaval scene and features an array of Spanish chart acts that whip the crowd into a swaying, bopping frenzy. The showground wasn’t as good this year as the Ayuntamiento (council) hiked the food and drink stall rents up, they normally form a perimeter barrier but absentees meant the crowd and the rubbish spilled out into the nearby side streets. The stage itself was mammoth as always and had recovered well from a collapse in the previous weeks gusty calima winds.

The costumes are always crazy, rude, and very inventive. The sun was belting down and some of the bulkier outfits must have made their wearers sweat like rivers, at least there was plenty to quench their thirsts. The boy bands made me feel like a dinosaur but there were plenty of older people, locals and visitors, getting drawn into the throng of dancers. It’s one of the busiest days of the Arona Carnaval and down by the old beach groups of colourful murgas were drawing a large crowd to the Plaza del Pescadora and even the statue of the fisherwoman was tapping her toes.

Later in the afternoon the fancy dress competition took place, it was quite a sight as parents and children struggled into their foam rubber, tinsel, and feathers and then applied liberal amounts of make up. I didn’t stay for the judging but as far as I was concerned they were all winners. Back at the showground the volume and pace was picking up with a second smaller stage due to kick in outside the cultural centre. The music went on into the early hours of the morning and I could feel the beat all the way up the hill. When I returned later that night the main supermarket had a security guard on the door to dilute the constant wave of youngsters looking to top up supplies.

Being an old codger from an early era I was happy to just dip in and out of the days celebrations but the great thing about Carnaval is everyone gets a chance to let their hair down. There are always a few moans about parking, noise, litter, and drinking but the whole anarchic atmosphere of Carnaval is a great tourist attraction and dam good fun.

Getting Under The Skin Of Tenerife At Cueva Del Viento

Sampling just 200 of the 17,000 metres of volcanic tubes at Icod is always a privilege, it’s like lifting the bonnet on the engine of Tenerife. Outside the lush green plants, trees, and a dusting of snow on Mount Teide painted a picture of natures calm beauty but a few metres underground layers of history had been ripped open by a violent eruption dating back 20 million years.

This was my fourth visit to Cueva del Viento but there’s always more to discover, my friends Dave, Annie, and Francine were first time visitors in our English speaking group of 15. The tubes are the third biggest in the world but in terms of complexity the three layers of tunnels can’t be touched, they are a magnet to experts from around the globe, our knowledgeable guides were Dragan from Serbia and Monica from Poland.

The visitors centre is a steep 10 minute drive (or five euro taxi) up from Icod town and we were given a detailed video history of the creation of the tunnels via an eruption from Pico Viejo on the slopes of Mount Teide.
Our minibus took us up further to the edge of the pine forest to start the approach to the cave on foot. Our guides pointed out the different terrain along the walk, the pahohoe smooth lava that quickly forms a surface crust and then forms tubes underneath had cut a swathe through the pine trees.

We stopped at the Old Womans Chasm where a local lady was lucky to survive falling down a pothole, a metal gate protects it now but we were warned that the surface rock should be trodden on lightly. Taking the old Camino Real traders path we soon arrived at the stone steps down into the tunnels and strapped on our helmets, power packs, and lights. The cool, dry air that greeted us in the entrance tunnel was eerie and loaded with promise. Some further nuggets of information as we sat on the rock ledges and we were off walking slowly downwards with out light beams bouncing off the low roofs and encroaching sides.

The mission of the Cueva del Viento team is to educate and preserve about this insight window on history. Our visitors section of the tunnels had been inspected, subtley strengthened in places, and had metal grids added to aid walking but the rest of the labyrinth is still slowly giving up its secrets. Handicapped parties are encouraged to do the tour and Dragan told us how a young blind visitor had surprised him with the amount of information he was able to glean from a heightened sense of touch. At one point we turned all lights out for a minute to appreciate the total darkness and lack of any sound. The slight magnetism in the rocks cuts out phone and radio signals and would prevent any bats from using their natural sonar, rats and other creatures are also absent, the many species living here are tiny insects relying on plant roots and drips of moisture.

One aim of the project is to buy agricultural land above the tunnels to stop pesticides seeping down into the caves. Public exploration is growing, a caving club regularly visits from the UK and on Saturdays they can arrange more extensive caving trips that include full equipment to explore some of the many offshoots including a 14 metre downward link to the lower level. The end of our stretch brought us to the underside of the Old Womans Chasm where daylight streamed in through the grill above, after that we retraced our steps back to the entrance point. We had a good two hours below ground, the sunlight refreshed us as we emerged and our guides were able to answer the questions triggered off by our amazing journey as we returned to the visitors centre. It’s a very different and rewarding way to appreciate what a remarkable island Tenerife is.


Maxi On Target Again To Drive CD Tenerife Revival

Lightning does strike twice, when it has curly hair and answers to the name of Maxi. The born again CD Tenerife forward executed an almost carbon copy of his goal at Las Palmas to see off CD Leganes 1-0 in a calima shrouded Santa Cruz. The win was a further triumph for new coach Raul Agne, faced with late selection problems he produced a winning formula.
Suspended Moyano meant a switch to right back for Camara with Albizua moving to the left after planned replacement Victor picked up a training knock. Hugo Alvarez partnered Carlos Ruiz in the centre and we all shuffled along a few places on the terracing just to feel part of it. There was a different look up front as well with Juan Carlos trying the right and Suso exploring the left wing, all this left Maxi with a central striking role just ahead of Diego Ifran, and he reveled in it.

Chuli, a Janaury target for Tenerife, had a speculative long shot in the first minute but Dani Hernandez is a formidable keeper to beat and started another impressive game with an easy take. The Suso switch worked well, there was plenty of encouragement down that side and Tenerife pinned Leganes down with a series of corners, Suso shot just wide from the last of the flurry. After a close call from Diego, Juan Carlos slipped a measured pass to cut out tree defenders and set up Maxi who pounced pulling the ball wide and rounding the keeper in style.

Maybe Tenerife eased off a little in the second half but a double substitution for the visitors ten minutes in gave them a boost and they were always willing to take a pop at goal when their chances arose. Juan Carlos departed for Cristo Martin and Suso was back on familiar ground on the right, he flashed a shot across the Leganes goal which Serantes did well to deflect away with an outstretched hand.

Eraso for Leganes sent a cross field ball to Velasco who let rip, his shot eluded Dani and pinged back off the post before being cleared. Raul Camara was alert to head a dangerous ball away just in front of the goal but Dani was inspired in goal. The home keeper greets high balls with more relish than a female giraffe and he produced a stunning late save arching his back to reach a shot that threatened to go in just under the bar.

Guarrotxena got a welcome run out for the last ten minutes in place of Suso, more options are opening up to the coach each week and it’s good to see him getting something extra out of the lesser used players. We should still have wary eyes on the relegation zone but there is belief among the fans again, Santa Cruz may have been a weather induced blur but the 9,504 left the game with a clearer vision of the last third of the season.




British Consulate Shines Light On Tenerife Living

Like my Tenerife hill walks, life here can sometimes be confusing and prone to false trails. Clear signposts are the key in both cases and that’s where the British Consulate provides such a valuable service to us relocated Brits living the good life on our sunshine island. The latest road show was held at the Auditorio Infanta Leonor in Los Cristianos and just over 100 people attended, a new guest this time was Tess Wencelblat from the Consulate Healthcare Team In Spain. Tess in on the far left of the top photo, and also below, followed by Clio Flynn representing Adeje Ayuntamiento (council), British Vice Consul Helen Keating, and Consular officers Penny Gomez, and Mary Suarez.

The first part of the meeting dealt with the advantages of being registered on the Padron. Registering as a resident of your municipality (Arona, Adeje etc) helps the councils to assess community needs. It gives you the right to vote in the council elections (coming up May 2015) and the big carrot is the 50 % travel discount between the Canary Islands and to mainland Spain, you even get discounts on theme parks and events. The British Consulate offer practical support and advice in many ways in times of stress, illness, and misfortune. Much of this was covered at the previous meeting and you can revisit that via this link and a list of useful contact points at the end of this article. Rules and guidelines often change so social media can be an invaluable tool, the change in driving licence requirements was barely a month old when this meeting was held so there is a link for that update too.
Many of the audience were older ex pats and visitors of limited, regular visits and very concerned with health issue and some of the grey areas that are constantly bandied about in the local media and in bars with wildly differing degrees of accuracy so it was good to hear from Tess on her specialist area and from the other team members who have many years of practical experience. Registering on the Spanish health system is a wise and easy move to make for those settling in Spain, the process can be started in advance of your move and visitors with special needs like oxygen and dialysis can smooth the way with an S2 Pre plan Card.

The biggest concerns among the audience were the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) for visitors included on the UK health system, and possible confusion at the point of treatment, especially in stressful emergencies. Tess and the team covered some key points. The Hospiten hospital in Playa de Las Americas (known as The Green Clinic) is a private facility but they will treat patients on their EHIC, there have been problems when people use their holiday insurance instead. Once accepted, there is a gap of up to a few days to check the insurance covers the treatment needed (insurance companies do like their get outs and people often leave out some medical details to get a cheaper cover) and it is not possible to switch to the EHIC if the insurance does not cover you, by then a large private bill can already have been run up. The EHIC is your best friend, be loud and proud with it as your first choice. The Consulate team are aware that the system has had its critics and on the morning of this road show they had a meeting with the Hospiten management to remind them of their commitment to the EHIC scheme.

Another important point is the Clinica El Mojon up the hill from Los Cristianos is not a hospital and doesn’t have overnight beds, it’s more like the health clinic in the Valdes Centre, a good first point of call if you have a non emergency illness or injury. Many people also voiced concerns over being taken to a private hospital in the case of an emergency. There are many private ambulances for private hospitals, and a restaurant, bar, or hotel may call one of these if there is an emergency. Engrave the number 112 on your mind, phone, and notes, this is the Spanish version of 999 and will access the mainstream services. The British Consolate recently arranged a helpful visit for the British media to the 112 HQ in Santa Cruz, read this link and you will be pleasantly reassured.
There are always some golden nuggets that emerge at these Consulate meetings, the hero this time was the Convenio Especial. This little known star is for people with no UK health cover who have been on the Spanish Padron for a year or more, they can then pay 60 euros a month (under 65) or 157 euros a month (over 65) to access the Spanish healthcare system. Our night ended with a lengthy question and answer session with Consulate Officer Monica ensuring her roving microphone made things loud and clear. Big thanks to the British Consulate team, get pumping these contact details around those who didn’t attend and sign up for updates on social media.

Tel 902109356

Tel 902109356

Advice Line 0044 300 222 0000