A friend of mine gets really cross when the north of the island is described as cloudy, cool and always raining. Similarly, I bristle when I hear the south depicted as nothing but man-made beaches, cheap beer and full English breakfasts. There seems to be a misconception that if you want to find anything remotely traditional you have to travel to the north. I sometimes wonder if the people that say these things are actually speaking from personal experience because I rarely recognise the image they paint.
Last week in the town of Arona, less than 15 minutes from the southern resorts each day was filled with fun and games for all the family as the local people celebrated in true Canarian style the Arona Festival in Honour of Christ the Healer and Nuestra Señora del Rosario.
Similarly this weekend, has been a whirlwind of activity as Adeje starts celebrating the Fiesta Patronales de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación. Every day between 12th and 21st there will be something going on. Whether it is dancing in the street, cattle fairs, musical concerts, or traditional folklore parades and processions. These invariable include the giving and receiving of food and drink and are followed by firework displays and naturally, everyone is in traditional dress.
This event coincides with the opening of Oktoberfest in Las Americas. It may not be traditional but we will certainly make a visit if just to try the roll mops and Apfelstrudel and we have until the 21st to squeeze it in.
The weekend started with a national holiday, Friday 12th Dia de la Hispanidad is when the rich heritage of Spain is celebrated at various venues around the island. We wandered down to Los Abrigos where the town folk were celebrating “Autumn in Los Abrigos”.
We arrived early evening and wandered past the small church to the harbour. Here we found booths displaying local crafts, as well as produce for sale. A short distance further on there were stalls selling beer (I actually had an ice cold Dorada) as the evening was so warm and despite not being a beer drinker it was delicious.
The town is famed for its fish restaurants so naturally many of the tapas on offer were fish based. Oh what a bind having to tuck into freshly grilled prawns and experience seafood the way it should be, straight out of the ocean and onto your plate.
Music was playing, people were singing and dancing and young and old were enjoying the party atmosphere.
This small Canarian town is just a 5-minute walk from the ‘man-made’ resort of Golf del Sur, so if anyone couldn´t be bothered to get off their bum and cross the short stretch of waste ground they deserved to miss a treat. However, don´t turn around afterwards and say everything is artificial and geared to the tourist because it just isn´t so!!