CD Tenerife A Point Nearer Safety – Knock On Wood

A 0-0 home draw is not always the best way to impress but lapsed CD Tenerife fans, lured back by ticket deals, were given plenty of encouragement as form team Llagostera were outplayed for most of this game. Both sides had clear chances and had good cause to thank their keepers but Tenerife hit the woodwork twice and squandered some sitters in an entertaining game.

Abdon Prats started his first full game with Diego Ifran consigned to the bench amid worries about his fitness. Dani teased us all with a little juggle of a Pitu shot just after kick off but it was just a blip and the defence was in top form. Up front Maxi was his usual hustle and bustle but couldn’t quite wrap his boot around a soft 20th minute shot. Llagostera have rampaged through the lower divisions and showed a no nonsense style based on a strong defence built around man mountain Alcala, quick breaks, and a willingness to shoot on sight. Former home forward Juanjo got a generous welcome but didn’t really shine, Rios was keen to exploit the left flank but Moyano did a superb job on him.

 

Vitolo missed the last game because of his fiery temper but it was good to see him back displaying his fiery tackles, he’s a born competitor. When Llagostera did break through Dani was resolute, a strong clearing punch on the half hour made a commanding statement. Abdon Prats is slowly improving and got into good positions only to waste two decent chances, the clearest being a firm header wide. Carlos Ruiz added his effort to thee search for an opener but Sergio Leon gave the visitors the closing attempt of the half, Raul Camara and Dani combined to see off that danger.

 


Abdon showed his worth as a provider early after the break, he fed the ball to Maxi but he didn’t find the target. Modest beginnings and a surge of promotions has brought Llagostera many admirers but they tarnished that image with some farcical theatricals. Samuel deserved a gold medal for artistic impression when he squirmed and rolled like a speared pig after Suso brushed past him. Tenerife were going all out for a goal, Suso did a sweet lay off to the overlapping Moyano, a sharp defender just about snuffed it out. Cristo Martin replaced the subdued Juan Carlos, Llagostera put a free kick high and wide, and Suso made stopper Rene scramble to clear his close range prod.

The 10,475 crowd were urging the ball to hit the back of the net, Aitor Sanz could only find the roof of the net with his in swinging corner as the game ticked away. Diego Ifran took over from Maxi and Aridane lumbered on for Abdon, Diego looked fairly sharp and gave the visiting defence plenty to worry about as he shot at the keeper and forced a couple of corners. Goalie Rene joined the over acting club, dropping with a sudden leg injury and he really milked his spell in the spotlight. Back at the action Diego blasted the ball against the crossbar, Llagostera broke ending with a weak shot from Alcala straight at Dani, and Carlos Ruiz leapt to power a header at the bar. Five minutes added time gave renewed hope but it wasn’t to be and the draw was well received by the sun drenched stadium. The gap from the relegation zone is now six points, there’s more work to do in the eight remaining games and shooting practice will be high on the training agenda.

Easter Egg With A Sour Taste For CD Tenerife

After gorging on the chocolate shell of the first half CD Tenerife had a touch of indigestion after a weaker second half saw them share the spoils in a 1-1 draw with Real Zaragoza. The visitors looked a good football side but their cynical fouls and a poor referee allowed them to grind out a draw despite ending with 10 men.

Dani Hernandez was barely back from international duty with Venezuela and didn’t look his usual sharp self but there was plenty to admire from Tenerife. They took hold of the game once William Jose had posted a first minute warning with a low shot to tickle Dani’s gloves. After that it was almost one way traffic, Cristo Martin was on good form and Vitolo ensured the midfield had plenty of bite. Suso conjured up a magic pass to Cristo that opened up the Zaragoza defence but his shot wasn’t enough to trouble keeper Alcolea.

Tenerife’s opener was a beauty, Aitor Sanz took a corner and floated the ball over the keepers outstretched hands so it hung in the air at the far post. Maxi is a real predator these days and was well placed to add a delicate header that hardly ruffled his crowning glory. The home defence was in a mean mode, especially Raul Camara who back tracked like a whippet and tackled like a rotweiller. Cristo went close again, this time slipping his shot across the goal before Zaragoza ended the half as they started it, with a shot that inched wide of the target.


Coach Ranko Popovic must have lived up to his porn star name during the break by delivering an X certificate lashing to Zaragoza, they came out mean and nasty. Mario set the tone by upending Maxi and picked up a booking, the ref was already missing several other blatant chops. The visitors pushed forward, Cabrera fired a shot in that Dani Hernandez should have grabbed but he punched instead and the ball came out to Vallejo to score from an offside position. It was a cruel blow but Tenerife had to get on with the job. Juan Carlos replaced Cristo, his first touch was a long range effort that just cleared the bar.

Diego Ifran was having a quiet game and picking up a booking that will sideline him next match didn’t help his frame of mind. Mario continued his wild ways but made one lunge too many when he fouled Juan Carlos and was shown a red card, the resulting free kick was wasted. With the man advantage Tenerife swapped Diego for Aridane to push for a winner, he was soon joined by Abdon Prats with Moyano making way. The changes didn’t bring the breakthrough, Zaragoza held tight and stopped Tenerife players by the crudest means as the ref got worse.


Albizua had a half chance, Abdon Prats was marginally too slow to run through onto a good ball and time was ticking down. A draw was still a good result against the promotion chasers, especially after they fluffed a relatively easy injury time opening. Tenerife were far from happy with the ref and Vitolo let rip at him in the tunnel, his loose lip earning him a red card and a place in the stands with Diego at Alaves next game.

Candelaria And Guimar Unfold Beneath La Mesa

Even the oil refinery and the motorway into Santa Cruz looked attractive viewed from my lofty perch in the hills above Candelaria. It was breather time a couple of hours into the La Mesa walk from Igueste to Araya and after a false start I was having some doubts about the trail I was following.


After trying the Samarines coastal route last year I was keen to try another suggestion from the Candelaria Ayuntamiento leaflet, this time it started in an inland area I was not familiar with. An early toddle around the basilica town and I caught the 131 Titsa bus to Igueste, a local advised me to head for the cemetery thankfully it wasn’t a veiled insult, just a helpful nudge down from the final bus stop at the church to the Plaza Dimas Coello with its wine press. I thought it would be a small village but it stretched and wound along several steep streets and had a nice combination of old and new buildings. Local pride was clear from notices urging a fight against any cut back in their bus lifeline, and announcements of the Good Friday morning procession at 6 am.

The walk signs got me to the start point but I picked an old looking downward trail through a barranco and had to come back to follow the tarmac road up to the right before I could connect to the old path heading up La Mesa mountain. The multi language council leaflet was only launched last year and the route showed little sign of regular visitors. It only takes a few weeks for the plants and flowers to encroach on the trail so I had to guess a little but used the overhanging rock ahead as my direction guide. Looking back I could now see the coast winding its way up to the Tenerife capital and the city outskirts were appearing over the horizon. Once past the rock I found more shade as pine trees began to share my progress, looking out to sea Gran Canaria was prominent on the skyline.

The next landmark was the partially ruined Casa de La Mesa, one of the few original dwellings that had defied the years. The path led up and round the pine trees and was now skirting the sides of a series of barrancos, quite tough on thee legs but easy on the eyes. Scaling the brow of a hill it was reward time, the Guimar valley fell away below me with the tower of Candelaria basilica a distant coastal landmark. It was a glorious sight, low whispy cloud was like a transparent dome over the terraced hills and I could see why the valley had inspired tales of mysterious and haunted trails. After plenty of admiring I started the descent down the track, there was much more greenery here and I was soon up to my armpits in flowers and shrubs.

Araya should have been calling me but at the lower level I was strolling through vineyards and almond orchards on farm land nurtured by a strong gushing water channels. La Florida was marked on the modern service road and a quick enquiry at a garden gate told me I had veered off to the side of Araya. The motorway was in sight so I walked downwards along the TF 247 saving a lengthy wait in Araya for the sporadic bus service and I was soon on the Titsa 111 heading south. Even with the detours and snack stops it had only taken me around five hours but my feet assured me I had burst through the official 6.5 km rating. That still leaves another five Candelaria routes to try, they will have to be very special to match La Mesa.

 

Adeje In Awe Of The Passion

Roman soldiers shuffled their boots, goats bells jangled, and an air of expectancy hung over Calle Grande in Adeje. It was Good Friday in Tenerife and around 20,000 people had flocked to see the annual performance of The Passion with a cast of hundreds and an eye for detail that transformed the main street into a highly charged canvas for this colourful masterpiece.

I go along most years to experience the raw emotion of the story of Christ’s crucifixion, I have no strong religious beliefs but appreciate the significance it holds and as a piece of street theatre it is hard to beat. Just after the church bells struck noon the procession of soldiers, horses, religious leaders of biblical times, and assorted livestock turned into Calle Grande where people had staked out their favourite viewing positions since early morning. Café and restaurant tables spread onto the pavements while artisans, traders, and townsfolk created the feel of bustling streets. The detail always catches my eye, post boxes and rubbish bins covered in sacking so they don’t shatter the illusion, even the film crews relaying the event to television audiences wore traditional dress.

The story unfolds via a series of stages as the amateur actors (only Jesus is played by a professional) perform key scenes with their words and actions broadcast over giant speakers and screens en route. It seemed to be more stretched out this year and didn’t flow quite as easily, The Last Supper took place as always down at the smaller plaza but afterwards the progression of story and action went back and forth a little and it seemed at times to lose some continuity. The betrayal, arrest, and trial of Jesus hopped between the court and the emperor’s palace and the Garden of Gethsemane didn’t feature this time. Those are just small quibbles, on the plus side they added extra big screens including one at the top of Calle Grande that was a welcome addition, and there were more songs and even some dancing.


It’s always a squeeze to follow the action but past visits had taught me some handy vantage spots and a quick detour via a couple of side streets helped me to get around the jams. Calle Grande is a perfect setting for spectators but the armour clad soldiers on the sunny side of the street must have been sweltering in their uniforms. The shovel patrol were doing brisk business clearing up the leftovers from the horses while police and stewards managed to stop young children from squirming under the ropes. By the time Jesus had been sentenced, whipped, and made to carry his cross everyone was funneling up to Plaza de España for his crucifixion. The stone steps on the church side were packed and hundreds swelled into the plaza as guards forced Jesus onto the raised stage with the Barranco del Infierno as a magnificent backdrop.

Disciples and supporters were held back by a row of Roman soldiers and behind them more modern security held the back the main tide. There were not many dry eyes as Jesus was nailed to the cross and then hoisted into position with his cries of forgiveness to his punishers followed by his wrapping in cloths before his body was carried away. The whole performance had taken two hours but the work put into costumes and rehearsals had started as soon as last years spectacle had finished. Adeje certainly knows how to put on a performance.

CD Marino Knocked Off Their Perch

There were few highlights in a shocker of a game as CD Marino salvaged a home 1-1 draw against bottom placed, 10 man CD Laguna. The electronic scoreboard wasn’t working for the first half, it must have sensed the oncoming display of high balls and speculative long shots that had the meagre crowd wishing they could put their clocks forward a few hours early.


After the midweek cup game the forward line had a more familiar look with Nestor Trujillo and Balduino back in the blue shirts. Laguna had the first break and Marino were thankful for Mendy hooking the ball away from their goal. Pablo forced a home corner that came to nothing and early sub Kevin Castro made some inroads down the right flank but too often the ball was just hoofed hopefully up into the night sky. Airam saw a long shot clear the Laguna bar while at the other end Alberto was never really tested between the sticks.


Things got marginally better after the tedious first half, Javi Marchena pushed forward and delivered an inviting ball across the goalmouth but there were no blue shirts waiting to cash in. It wasn’t pretty to watch, the silence was broken several times by the frustrated slap of Marino coach Sosa Espinel’s hand on his dug out. The unthinkable happened after 58 minutes when Laguna had a rare attack and found the home defence napping, Kirian strolled though to score.


Finally Marino woke up and tried a more direct approach, Balduino nearly capitalized when Laguna keeper Edwin missed the ball. The visitors were now pinned down and the equalizer came from a slick move as Eslava chipped in the ball from the left of the box for Balduino to sneak in and beat the goalie for his 19th goal of the season. Marchena tried his luck with a rasping shot and Nestor tucked the ball in the goal but had already been called offside. The ref tried to encourage Marino by showing a red card to Airan, and the Laguna physio, with 10 mintes left, Balduino couldn’t get enough power on his free kick and saw the keeper save low down.


The blues defence tried to support the attack as they searched for a winner, Mendy rose for a powerful header but it missed the target. Lamine arrived from the bench in the final minute as a last throw of the dice. With the whistle poised at the refs lips there was a final shot at redemption for Marino as Javi Marchena had a clear sight at goal steaming in down the left. The shot was wild and so wide it nearly hit a ferry out at sea, that just about summed up Marino’s form on the night. Mensajero won the next day and jumped to the top of the group with Marino a point behind in second spot.
There were few highlights in a shocker of a game as CD Marino salvaged a home 1-1 draw against bottom placed, 10 man CD Laguna. The electronic scoreboard wasn’t working for the first half, it must have sensed the oncoming display of high balls and speculative long shots that had the meagre crowd wishing they could put their clocks forward a few hours early.
After the midweek cup game the forward line had a more familiar look with Nestor Trujillo and Balduino back in the blue shirts. Laguna had the first break and Marino were thankful for Mendy hooking the ball away from their goal. Pablo forced a home corner that came to nothing and early sub Kevin Castro made some inroads down the right flank but too often the ball was just hoofed hopefully up into the night sky. Airam saw a long shot clear the Laguna bar while at the other end Alberto was never really tested between the sticks.


Things got marginally better after the tedious first half, Javi Marchena pushed forward and delivered an inviting ball across the goalmouth but there were no blue shirts waiting to cash in. It wasn’t pretty to watch, the silence was broken several times by the frustrated slap of Marino coach Sosa Espinel’s hand on his dug out. The unthinkable happened after 58 minutes when Laguna had a rare attack and found the home defence napping, Kirian strolled though to score.

Finally Marino woke up and tried a more direct approach, Balduino nearly capitalized when Laguna keeper Edwin missed the ball. The visitors were now pinned down and the equalizer came from a slick move as Eslava chipped in the ball from the left of the box for Balduino to sneak in and beat the goalie for his 19th goal of the season. Marchena tried his luck with a rasping shot and Nestor tucked the ball in the goal but had already been called offside. The ref tried to encourage Marino by showing a red card to Airan, and the Laguna physio, with 10 mintes left, Balduino couldn’t get enough power on his free kick and saw the keeper save low down.


The blues defence tried to support the attack as they searched for a winner, Mendy rose for a powerful header but it missed the target. Lamine arrived from the bench in the final minute as a last throw of the dice. With the whistle poised at the refs lips there was a final shot at redemption for Marino as Javi Marchena had a clear sight at goal steaming in down the left. The shot was wild and so wide it nearly hit a ferry out at sea, that just about summed up Marino’s form on the night. Mensajero won the next day and jumped to the top of the group with Marino a point behind in second spot.

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.