The Funfair

Another attempt at just putting pen to paper or should that be fingers to keyboard which I find hard to do but I’m determined to persevere. 

The night is cool but dry when I approach the fairground.  Just walking towards it is a thrill – one that builds with every step as my expectations and the sheer suspense of it all reach a peak.

Before I actually see it, the sounds begin to pour through the air and laser lights illuminate the sky making the clouds seem unearthly and weird. The first thing to assail me as I walk though the entrance is the glorious smell unique to funfairs: a mixture of fried onions, candyfloss, toffee apples and diesel fumes!  Then the sounds – piercing screams of happiness, the revving sounds of rides preparing to zoom away, music booming.

The ground is crowded, full of life, everyone laughing and smiling.  Eager children, tug their parent’s arms as they queue for the Helter-skelter and receive a mat before rushing up the stairs to slide down, only to return, queue again and repeat the experience. Panting, ponies aimlessly drift around the multi-coloured merry-go-round making the riders dizzy with delight. The bright lights pierce through gaps between rides and children are momentarily blinded.  The cacophony of sounds is almost deafening and the queues around the main stalls, form a snake so people can get past.

I hear screams from the Ghost Train, which is clearly being enjoyed by the daredevil groups of teenage boys determined to frighten their girl friends. To the right standing on the corner of the Bumper cars is a tall boy, with dark spiky hair and big brown eyes. He is wearing ripped jeans and an old top and looks bored as he takes money so people can bump, bang and crash as their cars hit each other.

Trapped by cold, steel bars people are locked into rides and pushed against the hard, chipped plastic seats. On the rollercoaster, a young girl screams and whoops at the top of the precipice, her best friend in the seat behind looks slightly green and is ready to go home.

Spinning faster and faster, the waltzers occupants scream hysterically. As the ride explodes with noise, the operator yawns and throws a lever then, climax over, it slows and stops and the flushed people get off the ride. A group of teenagers huddled to the side don’t seem impressed, their faces bored and pale.  One smokes a cigarette whilst another gulps a can of lager, crushes it beneath his foot and lobs it over the heads of the unsuspecting crowd.

Over at the hook a duck stall, prizes are going like hot cakes.  A small child is delighted as he hugs his new novelty bear while one boy, who is less successful chasing a plastic duck that constantly drifts away lazily to the other side of the pond stomps off saying the game is fixed.

Looking round, everyone seemed to be engulfed by the magic we were going to have the time of our lives.

For weather & news updates around south Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets

Posted in Musings ! | Leave a comment

It’s a personal thing – Palm Mar

Several months ago I gave my view on the main resorts on the island.  From those blogs I have been asked about other places that I regularly mention, one of these is Palm Mar.

People wonder what draws me to it and if I am honest I don’t really know. I find Palm Mar a rather mixed up place, a place of contradictions. When we moved to the island 9 years ago Palm Mar was the first place I looked at buying a house.  There is, especially if you are retired and don’t need the high life, enough there for you to live easily.  There are banks, a supermarket, bars, nice walks and for a small village plenty of places to eat.

These cafes and restaurants, I think, fall into three groups. There are a few select and chill out places, such as the Sea Lounge and the Cafe Mencey as well as the Bahia Beach Club with its breathtaking and beautiful ocean views. At the other end of the spectrum you get not only cheap but very cheap. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with cheap, however, the people who appear to not only favoured but rave over that cheapness also seem to scorn and criticise the establishments that attract a smart crowd or feel they are only for that ‘special occasion’. The third group are the places that are mostly overlooked as these are neither dirt-cheap nor chic and trendy, they are just nice quality places like Baobab and Mix.

I am fascinated listening to people talk about their village – it is good to take pride in where you live but there is a minority that when talking about Palm Mar take on a ‘superior’ air. You know what I mean the voice changes from normal to posh and the head sways from side to side.  I am not sure why because the place is prone to petty crime such as burglaries and you can’t walk more than a few steps without dodging dog dirt.

I was very conscious when visiting a bar to listen to music, that I kept receiving surreptitious glances. It’s a bit like those old movies – who can remember the bar scene in Straw Dogs?  I remember when the bus service started residents were outraged as they thought it would attract tourists and these were the ‘wrong type’ and I have heard ‘but they only rent’ as if the renters are less worthy than those who own. Whilst that might be understandable if you own one of the magnificent villas, I find it rather supercilious coming from part-time residents or those who live in what can only be described as a 70s high-rise. Perhaps this attitude is because everyone is a stranger in town, the place is purpose built and there are no long established Canarian roots to ground it.

So for me Palm Mar is like a mixed up teenager, confused and contradictory. Not sure what it is or where it wants to be in life. Until it grows up, I am more than happy to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there because two halves don’t make a whole.

log Ping
Hostgator promo codes
Posted in Tenerife Towns | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

There is always something going on!

Sunday morning and I am catching up on what has been happening in and around the resorts.  It is one of the things I love about the area there is always something going on to suit all tastes.  In my last blog I mentioned the Hindu Ganesha Festival and today I have enjoyed looking at the images of two totally different experiences organised by the local council.

Yesterday was the first day of the Arona Urban Festival being held the outside of the Sports Pavilion in Los Cristians. Among the activities carried out, are Basketball Tournaments, BMX, Parkour, that amazing sport introduced from France in the late 1980s by David Belle the French actor and stunt coordinator. And a battle of MC’s, the winners being first Tazz-Yeah and second PR. Psycho.  The festival continues today from 12.30 and continues until 10.00 this evening with parkour displays, championship skateboarding, break dancing competitions and graffiti exhibitions all the while accompanied by music of some of the top DJs. So if you happen to be at a loose end, you might want to see what is going on or even join in. More pictures can be seen on the Ayuntamientos page HERE

Meanwhile last night the Auditorio Infanta Leonor in Los Cristianos hosted Miguel Angel Mesa’s XX National Folk Festival.  To see  more fabulous photos click the LINK to go to the Anyuntamientos Flickr album

 Images /  Cultura del Ayuntamiento de Adeje
log Ping
Hostgator promo codes
Posted in Tenerife Towns | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Ganesha Festival – Adeje

Despite many believing the majority of ex-pats living in Tenerife are Brits, here in the south we have a large Indian community, which means that multicultural events are common. The Hindu community recently celebrated the Ceremony of Divine Light on the beach at La Caleta and the Hindu festival Ganesh Chaturthi ended earlier this week when statues of the elephant-headed god were immersed in the sea.

According to Hindu lore, Ganesh, the son of god Shiva and goddess Parvati, was created from the dust on his mother’s skin. When Shiva beheaded his son — most believe by accident — Parvati was devastated with grief. To revive his son, Shiva replaced Ganesh’s head with that of an elephant.

The processions draw huge crowds not only of the local community but also visitors to the island who want to witness the immersion of the statues of Ganesh into the ocean. The idols are adorned with flower and other offerings and as they approach the sea, crowds chant, “my lord, return soon.”

Like all festivals on the island it is filled with joy and the massive attendance confirms that people from different countries and with different ways of viewing the world can live together peacefully, making intercultural life an enriching mutual element of everyday life.

Images /  Cultura del Ayuntamiento de Adeje
log Ping
Hostgator promo codes
Posted in Tenerife Towns | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sher E Punjab – Los Cristianos, Tenerife

Jim and I love Indian food and have a curry most Friday nights.  We became regulars at the Sher E Punjab in Los Cristianos when we moved here over 9 years ago and despite having drifted away on the odd occasions we always return because the food is consistently good.  The location is also very good because there is always space in the harbour or underground car park and on the occasions when we have a take-away it is just a short distance with the insulated bag back to the car and then home and on the plate in approximately 10 minutes.

07-DSC04551The staff have got to know us over the years.

09-DSC04554

Whether we are eating in the restaurant as we did on Saturday with friends or having a take-away they know our order will be a Chicken Malay, Chicken Jalfrezi and a Pilau rice to share and a side dish of Mushroom Bhaji. We also share a Peshwari Naan, and either samosas or a Sheek Kebab which both come in twos. I agree it may sound boring but I have yet to find any restaurant that does it better.  So at least on one occasion a week we stick with what we know.

The price is good when you consider the size of the portions which are enormous,  a meal of the above dishes serves the two of us twice so we usually have a curry sitting in the freezer for the week we stay home rather than eat out.  The restaurant is usually busy and on our last visit with friends which was a very hot night, we had to start off inside, but eventually when someone left we managed to get a table outside where we spent the the rest of the evening enjoying the atmosphere, people watching and chatting to the looky looky men.

Blog Ping
Hostgator promo codes
Posted in Restaurant Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Festival of the Virgin of El Socorro, Güímar

One of the oldest festivals in the Canary Islands is the Pilgrimage of the Virgin of El Socorro held on September 7th in Güímar.

The ceremony represents the appearance of the figure on the beaches of Chimisay to Guanche shepherds. The fiesta starts early, with a contest to choose the best floats then moves on to the Iglesia Matriz de San Pedro Apóstol for mass.  After which thousands of people, walk to the top of Montaña Grande.

On descending into the town, where there are food and drink kiosks, craft stalls and games for the young, the pilgrims move to the beach where a group of Guanche performs a ceremony in honour of the Virgin of El Socorro.

The following day, the virgin is returned on the shoulders of the Guanche shepherds to the Ermita de El Socorro y en el Llano de la Virgen.  The day ends with a classic game “pares o nones” Even or Odd and the dance of the ribbons to the municipal band.

For weather & news updates around south Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets

Blog Ping
Hostgator promo codes
Posted in Fiestas and Pilgrimages | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Virgen de los Remedios and La Librea – Tegueste

Every year the people of Tegueste celebrate the feast of their patron, the Virgen de los Remedios. The story goes that in the mid 16th century, many communities in Tenerife became victims of the Black Death brought to the island through the numerous trading ships that stopped off on their way to and from the new world. The people of Tegueste prayed to the Virgin, to save them from the plague and the community by some miracle was spared.  As a result, every year since, to show their gratitude, the village celebrate on Our Lady of Remedies feast day, which is 8th September.

However, this story is two-fold, part of the week long celebrations includes a performance of the “Librea,” which was revised by Tegueste in 1997 and only performed once every three years.

At ‘La Librea’, the residents turn the clock back to 1850 by re-enacting a symbolic battle representing the defence of the town against the continuous attacks by pirates and of course the British that were carried out during the 17th century.

 

The spectacle starts around 9.00pm on 5th September and lasts for about 3 hours. During that time, the audience are treated to tableaux and short plays depicting life as it was then, by locals in Canarian dress of the 17th century.  Dancing, singing, canons and huge boats, pulled by oxen are on show and the highlight is the town hall converted into a fort which is the main scene for the battle.  As the local militia overcome the pirates there is an impressive sound and light show and the pageant ends with sparklers, the singing of Ave Maria and of course fireworks!

If you cannot get to the Plaza de San Marcos in Tegueste on September 5th to watch the enactment, “La Librea de Tegueste” will be broadcast live from the municipal website of www.tegueste.es so people all over the world can see the event.

For weather & news updates around south Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets

Blog Ping
Hostgator promo codes
Posted in Fiestas and Pilgrimages | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

What’s on offer in Los Cristianos

Many say Los Cristianos is quiet, too quiet especially at night. Well in a sense that is true, it doesn’t attract the party crowd you find in Ibiza, Mykonos or Ayia Napa. You won´t find any drunken yobs urinating and vomiting in doorways or booze binge fights taking place, you won’t have dance music pounding in your ears or the place messed up with discarded takeaway food. That sort of activity is left to those who prefer the clubbing area of Las Americas.

Los Cristianos is more the sort of place where culture and folklore coexists with what a certain type of holidaymaker seeks in an established resort – tradition without the tat. It is more suited to families, those of more mature years and those who consider they have more refined and discriminating tastes. Of course, there are plenty of bars that have popular entertainment and umpteen restaurants that cater for all palates  and whilst there is no full in your face, aggressive partying there is always something going on albeit usually of a traditional nature.

Take this week – I knew that over the past few days Cultur Joven was in full swing. This is a project to keep the young amused with different sports, cultural and artistic activities as well as dance competitions and music concerts. It makes them realise there is more to life than to spend their time watching TV or mixing with the ‘wrong crowd’  and it seems successful as over 50 kids joined in the Break Dance competition earlier in the week.

Last night, X-Factor started and Jim wanting an excuse to escape (he hates these type of shows) so he took the girls for a walk in town. I asked him to take the camera and go to the old harbour as there was a fish fair going on.

He said as soon as he entered town he could tell it was very busy after another scorching day. He went to the beach area first all bedecked with bunting and took a nice picture of some boats moored up, before heading to the harbour. Sure enough, Feria del Pescador had arrived. This is a lead into the Virgen del Carmen celebrations to honour the patron saint of fishermen and is running in Muelle Viejo, Plaza de La Pescadora and the Culture Centre from the end of August to 7th September (for anyone wanting to go along)

05-DSC04588It is the second time this has happened thanks to a grant from the European Fisheries Fund to help finance “Sustainable Development of Fisheries Areas”.  The idea of the fair is to illustrate the history and lifestyle of the industry that gives Los Cristianos its unique character.  As well as exhibitions, (there were photos of the catches being landed, charts showing the different fish and models of fishing boats) the Los Cristianos fishermen offer the public the opportunity to taste their catch.

By the time Jim and the girls got there the air was filled with smoke and the intoxicating smell from what look like large paella pans used to cook the freshly caught fish, mainly tuna, bonito, sardines and mackerel. Many of the visitors had noticed the cooking area and the queue stretched back a fair way along the port. Unfortunately, our girls hated the crowds and Caña slipped her lead so instead of them all getting a tasty nugget they retreated to the edge of the beach where a stage had been set up and traditional musicians were in full swing.

Jim apologises for the quality of the photos, they were mostly taken with one hand while the other was used to carry a frightened dog. Still he said it was a wonderful way to spend a summers evening and as there is always room for another celebration it won´t be long until the next one – In fact probably tonight as X-Factor is on again!

10-DSC04594

 

log Ping
Hostgator promo codes
Posted in Tenerife Towns | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Things to do in Tenerife in September 2014

What to Expect

Whilst most places in Northern Europe begin to cool down September in Tenerife, is still a sizzler.  During the month, the average temperature is a pleasant 27°C with highs in the low 30°Cs and summer nights in the south never dropping below 20ºC.   It is a few degrees cooler in the north, thanks to the trade winds and daytime temperatures are in the region of 23°C with nights of 17-18°C.

The balmy air beckons you outdoors and even as the sun goes down there is a whole range of outdoor activities to enjoy under the stars. Add to this the beaches, excursions and the wide range of sports and outdoor pursuits plus local events, with their traditional and eccentric activities there’s always something going on.

10376269_540467969416149_6038125202868224727_n

September Highlights

1st – 8th The festivities in honour of the Virgen del Carmen in Los Cristianos is a week of music festivals, cultural and sporting events, religious acts, fireworks and street parties. Definitely the most exciting event is the sea procession. The image is taken to the dock where it boards a boat and go in procession along the bay, accompanied by dozens of boats.

5th “La Librea” is described as one of the most important celebrations of Tegueste which has can trace its origins back to the year of 1600. As part of the festivities in honour of Nuestra Señora la Virgen de Los Remedios the event returns to the plaza de San Marcos and all those who join in are asked to wear typical 19th century costume. It will take the form of a fiesta of 1850 and will include  plays and echo the customs of country people and their religious roots, culminating in an impressive sound and light show to celebrate a famous battle between boats and the castle.

Santísimo Cristo is a month-long event held in La Laguna – a Unesco World Heritage Site. During this celebration there is something going on almost every day, with elections for the fiesta queen, music festivals, fireworks displays and processions. The programme of events is never announced until the last minute, so keep your eyes peeled for posters.

1340105057632_cl20120617_182542_489 (Small)

Other Celebrations in September

7th – Pilgrimage of the Barrens, La Laguna.
7th – Pilgrimage of La Milagrosa in El Alto Ortigal, La Laguna.
7th – Pilgrimage of San Agustin and San Roque in Vilaflor.
7th – Pilgrimage of Socorro (Bajada de la Virgen) in Guimaras.
7th – Pilgrimage Relief (Ascent of the Virgin) in Guimaras.
7th – Pilgrimage of San Isidro Labrador and Santa Maria Head in Benijos, La Orotava.
8th –  NS de Remedies, in Tegueste
14th – Pilgrimage of San José in San Juan de la Rambla.
14th – Bajada de San Carlos, Pilgrimage on the stage, Guimaras.
14th and 15th Our Lady of Sorrows in Icod
21st – Pilgrimage San Miguel Arcangel in San Miguel de Abona
21st – Feast of the Holy Christ – Tacoronte
21st – N S Light – Guia de Isora
28th – Pilgrimage of San Miguel in Geneto, La Laguna.
Last Sunday in September Holy Christ of Calvary in Icod

For weather & news updates around south Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets

Continued Page 2

Posted in Current month - Things to Do | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s a personal thing – Golf del Sur

When we decided we would like to live in Tenerife the first place we stayed was the Palms in Golf del Sur.  We thought it was lovely; we looked around and were impressed with the superbly maintained landscaped gardens and beautiful villas but the high winds and low flying aircraft put us off.  We decided that was not what we wanted and it got a black mark in the box of desirability.

Golf del Sur (15)

That first impression has stuck with us all these years and it is such a shame because we went recently to visit friends who were staying in the Santa Barbara and the whole of this area has been transformed.  What used to be just a one way system has been extended and you can now easily cross to Amarilla Golf.

04-DSC05187 05-DSC05188

Don´t get me wrong, I have been to the Golf in the intervening years mainly around San Blas for a meal or drink and a walk along the seafront but usually in the direction of Los Abrigos. This time we left the Santa Barbara by the ‘back door’, which led straight onto the seafront walkway.  We headed in the direction of Amarilla Golf and the views were breathtaking.  I’m not a beach person so there being no beach is not a problem for me although some may find it off putting. There is however easy access to the sea and a few people were swimming on the day of our visit.

11-DSC05194
I was surprised at the number of restaurants along the short coastal strip.  There were certainly enough to satisfy most tastes, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Spanish and the one we stopped in a Pancake house where the staff were welcoming and nothing was too much trouble.

The views down to the harbour were lovely and during our 3 to 4 hours there I didn´t hear one single plane!  Previously I was of the opinion that those who lived there just said this to justify their choice of location – I couldn´t imagine anywhere in such a relatively small area that the planes could not be heard as when we first went they were coming in so low you could see in the windows!  However, I was wrong, it really must depend on your location in the Golf or perhaps on the wind direction. There was still a breeze but on that particular day, it was welcoming because although the day had started overcast the heat was stifling.  In all senses it turned into the perfect setting on that occasion.

I don´t think my preferences have changed over the years I just think I hadn´t learnt enough about the Golf and assumed the whole was the same as the small part I had experienced.  A bit like peoples’ perceptions of Tenerife when they think the whole island is summed up by Veronicas.  I really should have known better. 

16-DSC05199

log Ping
Hostgator promo codes
Posted in Tenerife Towns | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments