Casting my far from expert eye over artistic offerings is usually a Santa Cruz calling so it was nice to hear of a new exhibition in Callao Salvaje, a timely opportunity to see if the west coast had escaped the rain that battered the east.
After following the long drawn out rebirth of Playa Ajabo beach I had only been back once since it opened in May 2012. What a pleasure to see sun beds all laid out and no after effects of the lesser rain the previous week brought to this side of the island. One of the keys to funding the running of the beach was the two tier food bar at the back of the sand. Now fully open it looks terrific, a snack bar below and a large terraced restaurant above and they looked well used. I noticed the snack bar prices were very cheap, baguettes 2.90 or burger and chips 1.75, with no nearby competition I might have expected much dearer. The Sansibar Ajabo Restaurante looked well set out with a big BBQ area, I will have to try the food next trip up.
My main mission though was to check out the Tendencias Realistas exhibition at the former Policlinica in Perla Blanca. Eight artists in a spacious series of old consulting rooms on the edge of the rocky coast, there was plenty to appreciate for blog.tenerife.co.uk but I saved some of the more saucey ones for here. Ceramics, black and white photos, portraits, and surreal flights of fancy, plenty for all tastes and prices. It’s open Thursday to Sunday from 2 to 7pm until 26 January or you can see more at www.artistatenerife.com
Back out in the sun I headed around the beach and up over the low cliff top path to Playa Paraiso. It’s a short walk with a shallow barranco to scrabble down and up, no problem for a young gazelle like me, well more of an old goat. The sea was calm and as the path gave way to the smoother promenade I couldn’t see any trace of the previous weeks heavy rain, Playa Las Galgas had a good sprinkling of people and the big hotels had plenty worshipping the fading sun as cloud rolled over. With all this new development it’s a pity to see the Roca Mar commercial centre still abandoned so soon after its creation.
For me it was a Titsa bus to Playa de La Arena and another coastal walk through Puerto Santiago, over Crab Island to Los Gigantes to meet my holidaying friends in The Bamboo. I kept an eye out for interesting Christmas decorations but they were scarce, where are all the mini Santas climbing up walls and balconies this year? Maybe they have been arrested for suspected breaking and entering, I’m sure I will find some more ho ho ho in the weeks ahead.
Stood at the top of the unfinished Tower Of Power on a Monday morning the day after a Dorada and CD Tenerife evening it looked a long way down. Now five years later it has launched many more than a thousand hips down the water slide, but not mine. It’s nice to pop back now and then to see the continued development of Siam Park, with Christmas and New Year coming it’s gonna get plenty of visitors, see how it measured up on my latest visit here.
It’s not just about water rides and thrills and spills, the first of the Beach Volleyball tournaments up at the amphitheatre was a cracker, and not just because of the yummy cheerleaders. Since then it has also housed late night dance music events, martial arts contests, and even Mitch Winehouse (Amy’s singing taxi driver Dad) crooning.
The large beach is a big draw for corporate events and presentations, the last one I covered was hard work, all that nibbling snacks and tasting Mojitos – I think I might get funny looks from the other Armada Sur members if I swapped my pre footie beers for a big fruity bowl of iced Mojito – I could always save that for promotion night. It was of course a Siam Park open top bus that was used for the Santa Cruz victory parade after the promotion to the Primera. That’s a hopeful note to end on.
Monty Python should update the parrot sketch for their reunion. “This is an ex Pio, bereft of life it rests in peace.” Las Palmas may have helped to dig their own hole when goalie Barbosa snapped at Suso’s back leg to give away a penalty but CD Tenerife were well worth their 3-0 home win.
Three years since the last derby and the 18,070 crowd was buzzing, around a 1,000 pios were perched up top at the far end but they couldn’t compete with the tremendous tifo that greeted the teams onto the pitch. Ayoze was straight at them with a volley that wasn’t far off the mark and a goal ruled out for an offside header on from Aridane. The game was only 19 minutes old when captain for the night Suso threatened to go through for a solo goal, Barbosa came off his line and miss timed his dive taking Suso’s back leg from under him. It had to be a penalty and it had to be a red card for the keeper, The first task for sub goalie Lizdain was to pick Ricardo’s penalty out of the net.
What a launch pad for Tenerife, they didn’t waste it and piled the pressure on the pios, Cristo was halted in front of goal by a yellow defender and Ricardo ended the half with a wide shot while Roberto had little apart from the odd cross to deal with. Las Palmas are flying this season and had plenty of danger men but the Tenerife defence was outstanding, Ruiz didn’t put a foot wrong and Camara just gets better and better.
Aridane opened the second half with a glaring miss and at the other end Deivid didn’t even get his curling free kick on target. Rivero replaced a bloodied Ricardo just in time to see the lead doubled. Aitor Sanz threaded a lovely ball to Ayoze and he pulled wide before slotting the ball in the corner of the net, the pios were looking as sick as a parrot. The Heliodoro was rocking and the players were in party mood picking over the remains of their tamed visitors. Suso was having another fine day at the office and his hard work and pass to Ayoze gave our wonder kid his second goal of the night.
What a magnificent performance and doesn’t the Segunda league table look good now, Tenerife are in 11th place and just a win behind the promotion slots – aspirations of promotion maybe? Santa Cruz was a happy place to be Wednesday night – even the working girls on the road down from the ground gave our coach a few suggestive wiggles of celebration.
Just the name Girona stirs emotive memories in CD Tenerife fans, today’s 2-2 draw at the scene of our 2009 promotion to the Primera was not such a landmark but for the Armada Sur it evoked cherished memories.
Watching from many diverse Tenerife bars thoughts of Karen Andrews one of our “family” who we lost this week, made us smile from that June afternoon where we shared elation and a few beers in good company. Blimey four years on one of our players Juanlu Hens had switched sides and their ground and fan base had definitely grown.
It took just seven minutes for Aridane to grab an away lead, Chechu, captain against his former team, drove the ball in and it broke kindly to our striker to finish off. Chechu looked a little over excited on his return and hit a tame shot wide after some wizardry from Ayoze to make the opening, a few minutes later he scooped his own shot over the bar. The first half ended with Gerard, looking offside, taking a pop but Roberto got down well to cover.
Roberto was having another commanding game so the manner of the equalizer was particularly cruel. Girona were having one of their best spells, Roberto dived low to parry a shot, then dived the other way to save the return, this time it rebounded into the path of Gerard for an easy goal. Coach Cevera had rested ever present defenders Moyano and Ruiz with an eye to Wednesdays derby clash and the defensive unit wasn’t quite as tight as normal, Girona mounted a big charge and Rigo with hands behind his back in that annoying modern manner, didn’t face up to Gerard and he nipped in for a 2-1 lead.
You can’t fault Tenerife’s character, they bounced back and went looking for another goal, a ball over found Bruno running into space to calmly dispatch the ball into the net. A late push for a winner saw misses for Aridane, and sub Borja was denied by a desperate sliding block from a home body. An away draw is always good and the run now goes to seven unbeaten with the Pios at home on Wednesday. CD Tenerife and the Armada Sur keep moving on - but we will always take out special memories with us.
Ricardo and Ros may sound like a couple of 1980’s TV detectives but they nabbed the headlines with goals in another accomplished CD Tenerife win, this time 2-1 at home to Real Jaen. In the clash of the form teams Tenerife had the greater passion and hunger as every player pulled together and worked for the shirt.
Although it was difficult to single out any player, Suso was outstanding, Jaen must have been sick of the sight of him surging down the right, the only way they could stop him was to crunch him down or give him a shove. That last option was what opened the scoring as Servando gave Suso a blatant push as he powered into the penalty area. The penalty was given and Ricardo slotted it home for a 22nd minute lead, the defender was lucky not to get a second booking and a sending off.
It was good to see former Tenerife favourite Kitoko back in town, he looked a bit out of sorts at full back and went off to a generous round of applause shortly before half time with a muscle injury. His replacement Gaitan was hopeless, bet Jaen wish they had such versatile players as Tenerife, coach Alvaro Cervera was spot on again with his selection. Bruno and Aridane returned from injury and didn’t shy away from the action, Aridane was even spotted tracking back and defending.
Jona arrived with a nine goal reputation but some of his shooting was pretty hit and hope, there’s no way he could beat Roberto on his current form. Late in the opening half Cascon had a clear chance to equalize but as he hesitated Roberto took charge and punched the ball away. Ayoze was hustling as usual but was getting plenty of attention, early in the second half he was squeezed out by two defenders as he made a run for goal.
Jaen made the most of their best spell, a break on the left and a sharp inswinging ball was met by the head of Hugo Alvarez to level the scores. A double substitution had seen Ros and Rivero replace Ricardo and Cristo and it produced the goods. Rivero took control of the set pieces and swung in a perfect corner for Ros to glance past the keeper at the near post. It was richly deserved by Tenerife and Jaen fell apart, Alvarez must have been replaying his goal in his head, meanwhile his feet were all over the place and along with Gaitan they gave their goalie the jitters. A sloppy back pass invited Aridane but he couldn’t quite reach the ball and Alvarez gifted the ball to Suso, keeper Rene saved their blushes that time. Even in the final minutes Tenerife were pushing for more, Rivero curled a lovely corner just under the bar and it needed a helping hand over to avoid another goal. More of the same at Girona next Sunday will do nicely.
The thunder of hooves, the clouds of dust, and the intricate skills of horse riders added a new chapter to my sporting memories as I enjoyed the Sortija de Caballos on the side of Montaña Chayofita.
For many it’s just that small mound above Los Cristianos beach with the unfinished building, many others like myself have used it as a nice warm up walk when the urge to go hiking comes knocking. But on this Saturday afternoon I wasn’t quite sure what I would find as I took the track just above the ring road. I imagined a parade and the odd race of a few horses but it was much better organized than that and backed by Arona Deportes.
A paddock area had been set up with horse boxes containing 20 horses eager to get out and stretch their legs. A few people I spoke to told me these events happen a lot in the north of Tenerife, the last being in Arafo. A partially built road was the track and on a frame set up over it there were small coloured ribbons to be plucked off in mid gallop. This was the main competition to be followed by straight forward races, riders registered at the announcer’s box where trophies awaited. It was more about the challenge than any big rewards but there was plenty of food to be won for the horses – well it was a big day for them too. A large snack and drink van was set up and helped the relaxed, friendly feel to the competition,
After plenty of warm up gallops the riders went down to the lower end of the hill and charged up as the riders tried to snatch the ribbons in that brief spell they were reachable. It looked very difficult but some made light work of it. The horses looked wonderful, a mix of power and beauty and clearly well looked after.
There was a decent crowd, many of them obviously knew each other from similar events, a few curious walkers hung around to enjoy the spectacle, and hopefully some of the others had responded after seeing my preview in The Tenerife Weekly. I should imagine there was a good few drinks enjoyed later on as stories were swapped, for me it was a new experience and I will be looking out for future meetings.
Maybe 3-0 at home to UD Realejos was a little kind to CD Marino but it put them right back in the promotion frame. A clean sheet and another small but steady increase in the crowd made Sunday dinner slip down nicely.
For a bottom three side, Realejos from the north of Tenerife, were one of the best visitors so far this season – well at least until the ref sent off their playmaker Armiche late in the first half. The Marino forwards Balduino and Murci looked a bit slow in the first half, Realejos used the offside trap well and the linesman made it easier by giving them the benefit of the doubt again and again. Pulido did well down the right, an early run opened up the visiting defence but Coper was able to head the loose ball over.
Mendy was a new addition to the centre of the home defence and he looked good picking up any runners that got through. Realejos had their best chance from a break down their right, a good shot brought a sharp response from keeper Matias who stuck his boot out to clear. At the other end Murci was through as the goalie made contact and he went down, the ref wasn’t impressed enough to give a penalty and was just about right. Josito snatched at a good chance late in the half, his shot went straight to the goalies hand, just a little wider and it would have beat him.
The turning point came when the ref pulled a second yellow for Armiche, he was gone and so was any chance Realejos had of springing a shock. Pulido started the second half with a shot across the Realejos goal and Murci was too casual with a clear chance that he put over the bar. Fair play to the visitors for spirit, they forced Matias to make a full length push wide but it was one of only a few efforts on goal. Aaron Darias slipped into the right back slot from the bench and prompted plenty of raids down that side, it gave Murci a big boost and he drew a low save from Sosa.
The breakthrough had to come but it caught everyone out as Murci’s long range free kick left defenders and goalie standing. That was all the encouragement that Marino neeeded, a few minutes later Darias was again the provider as he drove in a hard cross that Murci met well with his head to double the lead. With barely a minute left defender Gil tackled Balduino in the box and although the striker went down it was difficult not to feel sorry for the keeper. Balduino showed no mercy and cracked the penalty high over the goalie and into the net.
Over in Numancia a coating of snow had to be cleared before the game against CD Tenerife. It looked perishing cold but that and the absence of injured players Aridane and Bruno didn’t detract from a well deserved 0-0 draw. Borja Perez was the target man and he did a good job and actually looked like a forward allowing Ayoze and later Suso to hassle the home defence and Rigo filled in comfortably for Bruno. Former Santa Cruz flops Natalio and Julio Alvarez whinged well but did little else and Roberto was again commanding in goal. Raul Camara was about the only player not to wear gloves or a long sleeved under shirt – he must have a bit of Geordie blood in him. Ayoze had several clear chances and Loro hit the bar but that’s five games now without defeat.
What is winter in Tenerife? It’s one of those days when a few dark clouds float around and I leave the beach for a bit of a wander. Las Galletas was calling with the promise of a coffee with the lovely Karen – who could refuse.
Streaming hot sunshine broke through as I headed down the hill into Los Cristianos, looking west to Roque del Conde it was all clear but further inland a few of the grey clouds huddled together to discuss events of the day. The big downpour the other weekend had certainly perked the flowers and plants up and topped up the reservoirs. The short bus trip to Las Galletas delivered me into a short passing shower, quite refreshing, the beach still had a scattering of people and the restaurants of Marina del Sur were busy as King Neptune stood guard with his shell guarding his modesty. I met Karen and we took a stroll out onto the marina walkway, the tide was low but plenty of boats were bobbing in the water.
Back along the promenade the bars were busy and onto the edge of the shopping area we found a nice spot for coffee in the full glare of the sun. Cutting through to Costa del Silencio the bathing statues made me laugh, I normally see them from the bus and poured scorn on Karen’s suggestion that they move around – too much strong cheese I thought. As we past by again the stoney faced bathers began their slow aquatic dance as water sloshed over the side of their pool, my chuckle muscles were in overdrive.
I grabbed a bus back to Los Cristianos with the late afternoon sun restored to its best and headed home, the newly planted poinsettias on my complex were a blaze of colour and a reminder that Christmas is racing in – aah mince pies in paradise, can’t beat it.
What a versatile squad we have at CD Tenerife, Raul Camara continued to stamp his authority on his new left back role, Aitor Sanz plugged the centre of defence with ease and we were even able to overcome the tremendous drag factor of Borja Perez coming in for injured Aridane. But the biggest pleasure of all was to see Ayoze Perez shrugged off the transfer speculation of the week to set up the first and score a wondrous second in a 2-0 demolition of Eibar.
By all accounts Baden Powell is the only scout who is not beating a path to the Heliodoro door to drool over the skills and finishing of our 20 year old prospect, and he showed again that he is the ging gang goolies of the jamboree. As early as the 5th minute Ayoze unleashed a shot at goal that wasn’t far wide, Suso was starting, always a popular sight, and Tenerife settled into a nice rhythm. The loss of Bruno with a twist of his right ankle could have derailed the whole show but Inigo Ros came on to join the midfield as Aitor Sanz took his place alongside Carlos Ruiz, an inspired move from the coach.
Raul Navas was seething after his headed goal for Eibar was ruled out for a foul on Sanz – we breathed again. Suso was ready to take on the whole defence, there proved to be just one defender too many in his 38th minute run but it didn’t put him off. The flying winger brought the ball inside and a nice touch from Ayoze allowed Ros to tuck the ball in the net for his debut goal for CDT.
Eibar didn’t react well, their play became rough and angry as they tried to barge their way back into the games second half. Eizmendi missed the target but even when his team mates got a clear sight, Roberto was in top form in the air and on the ground. Ayoze produced his party piece in the 59th minute, the ball came to him just outside the box and he took his time to measure his shot perfectly over the hesitant defence and into the top corner of the goal – worth the entrance fee – and certainly another big hike on any possible transfer fee.
That was the game sewn up, it didn’t matter that the ref had gone card crazy or the Eibar players just plain crazy – Vera tried to pick a quarrel with a ball boy and Yuri blatantly caught a Sanz clearance as if he was an aspiring goalie. There was still time for Roberto to show a safe pair of hands to several hopeful shots but the final whistle brought a huge cheer from the 10, 198 crowd. Tenerife are out of the relegation zone and upwardly mobile, as for Ayoze, his star is still rising.
Remember in the first Austin Powers film Dr Evil, recently thawed out after decades in suspended animation, threatens to destroy the world unless he gets – dramatic pause – one million dollars. All his henchmen and the NATO chiefs fall about laughing at his stupidly outdated valuation. That’s how I felt when hearing that CD Tenerife wouldn’t accept less than – dramatic pause – one million euros for Ayoze Perez.
It seems that Real Madrid are willing to give us minnows half a million euros and a few trimmings for Ayoze – hey throw us a fricking bone will you. It’s a shame to see Tenerife setting their sites so low, remember Sergio Canales a few seasons ago, he went from Racing to Real for 4.5 million euros and he was more of a midfielder. Then there was our former forward Frankowski (the Pole with no goal) who shortly before joining us had signed for Wolves for one million pounds, and he was bad, I mean very very bad and so short he had to stand on a chair to reach puberty. Goal scorers are the Holy Grail and you don’t sell that for chump change at the local boot sale.
Ayoze is 20 years old, has a fantastic scoring record in the youth and B team, and lest we forget he has jumped up 2 divisions in little over 6 months but is now showing his class at Segunda level. Speed, a great touch, and an eye for goal, just beef him up a bit and he will be even better – West Brom put the young Bryan Robson on a Mackeson diet to build him up.
Anyway, it’s probably inevitable that Ayoze will leave sooner or later and I don’t begrudge him more money and international prospects but let’s just make sure we get what he is worth and don’t just bow down to the big money boys – or President Concepcion may be cast as the biggest villain of all time.