Things to do in Tenerife in October 2014

What to Expect

The weather starts to cool down in October and  the average temperature in the south of the island is around  26°C, with highs of 30°C during the day and evening temperatures of around 20°C. In the north of the island the the temperatures range from 22°C  as an average dropping to around 14 C  at night.

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October Highlights

Summer might be coming to an end, but it doesn’t mean festivities are over. The following is a round up of some of the best cultural, sport and music events to help you extend the summer vibe.

4th IV Festival Malvasía This festival will feature performances by the Association of Folk Igonce Candelaria and Malvasia. Organizers describe this as “a very emotional evening that will be marked by the tradition of the Canarian people, and we have worked to make many efforts to succeed.” Hours: 20:30 pm Plaza de Cañeño. Free admission.

Other Celebrations in October

6th Holy Christ of Health – Arona
13th Feast of St Ursula – Adeje
15th – 20th Celebrating Feast of the Holy Christ of Calvary – El Tanque
21st Day of Saint Ursula, patroness of the municipality – Santa Ursula
24th – 25th Feast of Our Lady of Remedies – Buenavista del Norte

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

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El Corazón – Chayofa

It is a long time since I had a meal at the Chayofa Country Club.  Consequently, this week our quiz group thought we would give it a try. We arrived at around 8.00pm and there were quite a few people around.  We had unwittingly chosen the night when the village regulars partake of karaoke Once I realised, I did get a little frisson of entering a private space but they were all very friendly and we were not made to feel excluded even though we did not intend to sing or even lip-sync to the karaoke.

03-DSC04608The owner told us that the restaurant’s name has changed to “El Corazón” meaning The Heart in Spanish. The styling isn´t particularly Spanish, in fact I don´t think the decor has changed much since I was last there.  There’s nothing about the menu that makes you feel particularly enveloped by “Besame Mucho” or “La Cucaracha” which did make me wonder why they chose the name, but that is only puzzlement on my part and not a criticism.

04-DSC04609The food was better than I remember from the early days. We went for the BBQ at €13.95 per person including the first drink, which in my opinion offered impressive value. There was in Christine’s words ‘an overload of meat’ certainly nobody would ever go hungry and the vegetables were good too. The rest of the menu included some no-compromise fare for adults and a sensible range of dishes for children. In fact, in its unpretentious way, this is a something-for-all-the-family place to eat.

The staff were very friendly and could not do enough for us.  Talking to a regular, it seemed the new owners went out of their way to accommodate the wishes of their customers by getting opinions as to what they would like from the restaurant. It seems that they were told exactly what we have had in the past but better…. so they re-employed the old chef and continued with a similar menu but at a higher standard.

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We certainly enjoyed our food and it was only when the singing got underway did we feel it was time to make a move. Now I thought I had a bad voice but …there were occasional breaks in the singing, but only to be replaced by some not bad but not great keyboard playing so if like me you are not into this type of entertainment then give Thursdays a miss, otherwise I would recommend as somewhere worth adding to your ‘give it try list’.

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The Legend of Guayota

The Canary Island are rich in Spanish culture but before the Spanish Conquest the original inhabitants, the Guanches had their own cultures, beliefs, and myths.

Despite the passage of time, we know that the Guanches worshipped several gods. Achuhucanac was the god of rain, Magec the god of sun and light and his other half, Achuguyo the god of the moon.

The principal god worshipped by the Guanches was Achaman. He created the land, water, fire and air and all creatures derived their existence from him.  His name translates to ‘the skies’ and was used to refer to the heavens where he lived and where from time to time he would come down to the island to check his creations.  However for every yin there is a yang, for everything good, there is a flip side and representing the deity of evil was the devil, Guayota the adversary of Achaman.

Guayota lived inside the volcano Teide that was seen as one of the gateways to the underworld. He was always accompanied wherever he went by Tibicenas, mythical creatures that had the bodies of large wild dogs, blazing red eyes and long, black fur. These demons lived in deep caves inside the mountains and represented darkness and evil.

The best known Guanche myth tells of how one day Guayota kidnapped Magec, and imprisoned him in the volcano. This plunging the world into darkness. Not knowing what to do the Gaunches people prayed to Achaman.

Achaman and the devil started to fight and because he was losing, Guayota caused Teide to erupt.  But the power of good is always stronger than the power of evil and Achaman won the fierce battle locking Guayota inside Teide then to make sure he couldn´t escape he plugged the mountain with his body.  Nevertheless whenever Teide erupted the people set fires on the mountain to keep the devil from coming back and it obviously worked as he has been in Teide ever since.

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

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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

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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.

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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
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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
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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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