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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Brits and Microclimates in Tenerife

Derelict DwellingThe weather in the El Palmar valley, compared to say just a couple of miles away, sucks largely, but these quaint and crumbling houses may have their own kind of beauty, even if bad weather doesn't. Normally, I wait (often for a quite long time) to go out on days with sunshine and blue skies, in order to show you this area at it's best.

What prompted me to show this and some other cloud pictures was partly because we do have some weird and fascinating weather phenomenon that only occur locally and, partly after reading a PDF report recently that quotes local people saying that in the next 20 years the valley will be populated only by British and Germans. I had to laugh.

That, I think, is an erroneous assumption, based on the little and incomplete information they get, though I can understand why. Locals know how populations of foreigners have grown in other parts of the island, of course, from the media. Well, from TV, because we don't have anywhere at all in the valley that sells newspapers.

Added to the problem that creates the erroneous assumption is that the next door municipality is Santiago del Teide, which has gotten a fair bit of coverage for the fact that it the Tenerife district with more foreigners (51%) than locals.

That must be worrying, on face value. However, you have to look a bit deeper to get the full picture. Many foreigners in Santiago del Teide are Venezuelans, Columbians or other South American nationalities. Perhaps locals don't actually see those people as being "foreign" in quite the same way, because some will be family and and in any case speak the same language, because I know that the ones they do see as being "foreign" are the Brits and Germans.

But if the media says 51% "foreigners" in Santiago del Teide, to some folk in this valley that probably sounds like a majority of British "soccer hooligans", in the mountain village that is the seat of the town hall, ready to jump over the mountain top at a moment's notice when it gets too overcrowded or expensive there.

Oh, we know there may be a few "odd ones" (in both senses) up in the mountains, but it is not the majority. Most of them stay down in the resort area of Los Gigantes. And most Brits who come to Tenerife, as we all know, mostly come for Little Britain with sun, not for mountain landscape with a British climate, which is what we almost have here in this little corner. Don't get me wrong, it is beautiful to see and, visitors who come for just a short while may catch lucky with a few sunny days to walk around it, but no "normal" Brit would live here!

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