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Monday, July 28, 2008

How Tenerife avoided another conquest


Recreation of the Gesta of 1797

"Actors re-enact on Friday, July 26, 2008 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife the naval battle and disembarkment in which the infantry of the Canary islands prevented the conquest of the Canary islands in 1797 by English hero Horacio Nelson. Horacio Nelson lost his right arm in the battle."

Rosa Rodríguez, writing in Canarias 7 suggests that, if Nelson had travelled through time 211 years, he wouldn't have dared try to take Santa Cruz this time, because on Friday, not only were General Gutiérrez' men waiting for him, but also an enthusiastic (bloodthirsty, maybe?) crowd of 3,000 spectators.

Nelson probably shouldn't have tried to take the city 211 years ago, but it's a good job he couldn't time travel, because he might have been able to go back and stop himself before making such a huge error and then there wouldn't have been anything to re-enact ... which seeing how it all turned out in the photos would have been a shame.

The best bit is where one of the readers commenting here says that this same Oracio (sic, he appears to have lost and H now, as well as an arm) Nelson defeated the Armada. There's another wee point of logic I could pick up on in their statement, in that it couldn't have been a very "Invincible Armada" if it got defeated, but never mind that part ...

The commenter could have meant the Other Armada of 1779, I suppose, except I'm pretty sure that isn't what they were referring to. And they probably didn't mean the Armada Sur of expat football supporters either. Anyway, if Nelson had trounced the Armada (of 1588) and then lost in Tenerife (in 1797), rightly, says the following comment, not only would Santa Cruz be celebrating victory, but also the longest known life of a human being!

What the reports failed to mention is that Nelson also got his own tram in Santa Cruz, to mark the 211th anniversary of his defeat. Wonder what he'd make of that if he time travelled forward 211 years? Colin Kirby was out, in an anorak, spotting that and he was there on Saturday morning too, to see the period costumed, military parades.

At the end of the day, Santa Cruz was, once again, saved from the tyranny of British rule (at least for a couple of hundred years until the "invasion of the beaches") and they all lived happily everafter. It's all 'armless fun, isn't it?

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