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COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Festivals in Tenerife and other large gatherings are still not able to be held with social distancing and other restrictions still in force. Events listed here, therefore, are subject to cancellation or change without notice. Such circumstances are beyond our control.

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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Potaje de berros (Watercress Pottage)

Many and varied are the recipes for Potaje de berros (Watercress Pottage), today we bring you a watercress soup in the style of the populous neighbourhood of Taco.

Ingredients:
500 g of watercress
250 g of beans soaked for 12 hours 
½ kg of potatoes
1 corn cob
1 onion
1 tomato
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
1 green pepper
Saffron
Oil
Salt
Gofio

Method:

1. Put water on to boil in a large pan and add the soaked beans. When they start to boil, “frighten” them with cold water. (To quickly bring the pan down to a simmer?)

2. Add the well-chopped watercress and the corn cob, which is usually cut into slices.

3. Let cook for 1 hour and then add the potatoes, in not too small pieces so that they do not fall apart. Add the onion, pepper and tomato, all cut up. Finally add the crushed or sliced ​​garlic cloves, along with a drizzle of oil and a little saffron and salt.

4. Leave it on the heat for about 30 minutes more until all the ingredients are well cooked.

5. Remove from the heat and rest a little before serving. Serve with Escaldón de gofio.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

As long as there's a pandemic there will be no dances, festivals ... nor Carnival

From the television-only carnival gala held in Santa Cruz in 2021

The decree of law recently approved by the Government of the Canary Islands and which came into force last Monday does not allow for any margin in the celebration of popular festivals in the islands as long as the pandemic is not eradicated.

While waiting for the regional Parliament to decide whether or not this rule is validated (for which it has a period of one month), point 9 of article 25 of chapter II, which is reserved for 'Measures applicable at different levels of alert', it could not be more clear and concise: even at level one, "parties, festivals and other popular events cannot be celebrated", a sentence that is repeated in the aforementioned legal text - as is logical - in the rest of the levels planned for scenarios with a higher incidence of virus among the population.

Although it is true that the aforementioned Decree of Law may be amended during its passage through the regional Chamber (provided that it is processed as a bill by the emergency procedure, as is the case), the rule has caused consternation and not gone unnoticed by the Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council either, where Carnivals are held that celebrate being the best in the world (after those in Rio de Janeiro).

Santa Cruz town hall have limited themselves to stating that it will be October when the Consistory decides whether, in 2022, carnival can take place.

For now, oblivious to the controversy, the Government of the Canary Islands announces meetings with different sectors to explain the content of said decree, which aims to be a regional legal compendium of all regulations related to COVID-19, while the Canary Islands Coalition and the Popular Party have already shown their disagreement with it. 

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2015

Carnaval Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2015, Adtemexi Cruz Hernández

Carnaval Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2015 was Adtemexi Cruz Hernández, with a costume entitled "Aurea" (Golden), designed by Jorge González Santana and representing Fuente Alta bottled water brand and the association 'Tu Santa Cruz'.

In 2015, the court was made up as follows:

  1. 1st Maid of Honour: Lucía González Ortega, with a costume entitled "Desde el cielo" (From heaven), designed by Antonio Santos Arteaga.
  2. 2nd Maid of Honour: Sonia Lechón Hernández, with a costume entitled "Resurgir" (Resurgence), designed by the Inmates of the Tenerife Penitentiary.
  3. 3rd Maid of Honour: Teresa Pitti Barquero, with a costume entitled "Always Forever", designed by Santi Castro.
  4. 4th Maid of Honour: Naomi Álvarez Fajardo, with a costume entitled "Enia, guardiana de una leyenda" (Enia, guardian of a legend), designed by Cavi-Lladó.
The theme of the carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2015 was "The Future". Almost 7000 spectators at the carnival queen gala enjoyed an overture that recreated planet Earth in the future and in which robots, dancers, galactic stilt walkers and beings from other planets paraded on stage. Several trapeze artists flew over the Recinto Ferial and a giant human figure moved among the spectators until it reached the stage, in the style of La Fura dels Baus. Everything was surrounded by the light and the images projected by the large LED screen of more than 50 meters wide that surrounded the stage. 

One of the most emotional moments of the gala took place when the Guinness record of 1987 was revived on stage. That year more than 200 thousand people had danced to the rhythm of the queen of salsa, Celia Cruz. The stage was filled with dancers from the carnival groups and the voices of six singers reviewed the hits of the Cuban artist. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

La Rambla de Santa Cruz

Rambla de Santa Cruz Koppchen, CC BY 3.0

La Rambla was ordered to be built by Captain General Gerónimo de Benavente y Quiñones, to show off his brand new horse carriage, the first to arrive in Tenerife.

The Rambla de Santa Cruz had its origin in the section between the Camino de los Campos (Jose Naveiras street) and Santa Rita street (Viera y Clavijo) when, in 1661, it was ordered to be built by Captain General Gerónimo de Benavente and Quiñones, in order for him to be able to show off his brand new horse carriage, the first to arrive in Tenerife, which is why it was known as Paseo de los Coches (literally Ride of Cars).

Captain General Jaime Ortega expanded it in 1854, resulting in a beautiful three-lane avenue, in which 336 trees were planted in its central part. The City Council, in gratitude, then named it Paseo de Ortega.

Plaza de la Paz Santa Cruz de Tenerife Mataparda, CC BY 3.0

In 1917 the section called Rambla XI de Febrero was inaugurated, which ran from the Mandillo bridge Plaza de Toros (Santa Cruz Bullring) to the Cuatro Caminos Plaza de la Paz. Starting from the Plaza de la Paz, a name that commemorates the end of the Great War, the Rambla continued south, along the so-called Camino de la Costa, where the current avenues of La Asunción (1924) and Reyes Católicos would be formed (1932).

On June 23, 1924, the section that ran from Viera y Clavijo Street to the Plaza de Toros, the City Council agreed to name it Marcos PerazaMayor of Santa Cruz in 1912– and Rambla de Isabel II, from Viera y Clavijo to Almeyda.

It would be on October 5, 1936 when the route that runs from the Plaza de la Paz to Calle Doctor Naveiras, was called Rambla del General Franco.

In April 1940, the section that runs from Calle Doctor Naveiras to Calle San Isidro was added and, the following year, it would continue to link it with the San Andrés highway, now Avenida Francisco La Roche. The Rambla de Santa Cruz, as it has been named since 2008 (in accordance with the Ley de la Memoria Histórica (Historical Memory Law), is the city's diagonal road for two kilometers. It has four lanes for traffic, two in each direction, and a central pedestrian promenade, lined with Indian laurels, Lebanese bananas, flamboyants (Framboyán de Madagascar Delonix regia) and palm trees, as well as flower beds adorned with seasonal flowers.

Strolling through it we can enjoy the sculptures that were on display after the 1973 International Exhibition of Outdoor Sculpture in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, as well as the palaces in the district of Los Hoteles, luxurious hotels, etc.

The place chosen by the families to stroll on Sundays and holidays and as a place of social gatherings of retirees Koppchen, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Each section of La Rambla has its own characteristics, such as the space that goes from the Plaza de la Paz to the Plaza de Toros, as it has always been the place chosen by the families to stroll on Sundays and holidays and as a place of social gatherings of retirees.

Emblematic places such as the path that runs parallel to the Parque García Sanabria (García Sanabria park), from José Naveiras street to Numancia street, where eighteen huge clay pots were placed to be used as pots for climbing plants and the popular slang has called Rambla de las Tinajas (Tinajas = Jars).

A place for couples in love to walk Koppchen, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Others, due to their calm and peaceful nature, have been a place for couples in love to walk, as well as for rest and relaxation.

La Rambla also has its meeting point, located at the intersection with Viera y Clavijo street. This place is known as La Estatua (The Statue), because it was the first public representation of a person who settled in the streets of this city, and for many years it would be the only one. The Statue pays tribute to the heroic Infantry Captain Diego Fernández Ortega, a native of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, who died on January 5, 1915, in the war in Africa. His heroic behaviour was so admired by his comrades in arms that to immortalize his figure they opened a subscription and erected this monument, giving it to his hometown on July 25, 1915. Made by the sculptor Enrique Cuartero y Huerta, on its pedestal there are inscriptions with the feats that led to successive promotions and decorations because, at the time of his death, at 26 years of age, he was in possession of seven medals, including the First Class Cross of Military Merit with a red badge and the First Class Cross of the Order of María Cristina, awarded posthumously. 


Goslar Warrior - Henry Moore with La Estatua (The Statue)

Monday, September 13, 2021

Town Hall of Tacoronte

Town Hall of Tacoronte

Plaza del Cristo, 1, 38350 Tacoronte, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Phone: +34 922 56 13 50

Website | Facebook 

Traditional Fiestas in Tacoronte

Friday, September 10, 2021

Town Hall of Santiago del Teide

Town Hall of Santiago del Teide

Calle la Placeta, 10, 38690 Santiago del Teide, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Phone: +34 922 86 31 27

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

Traditional Fiestas in Santiago del Teide

Thursday, September 09, 2021

The 11 best recipes of Canarian cuisine

Las papas arrugás con mojo, probably so typical it's become stereotypical

Every list of the "best" of something is bound to be highly subjective. This, therefore, is probably more accurately a list of eleven of the most typical dishes of the Canary Islands, which is nowhere near as seductive as headlines go, but still not to be missed. But I agree that the Canary Islands have exquisite ingredients such as its cheeses, its wines and its fish, indigenous and exclusive products such as gofio and its sauces or mojos that make gastronomy one of the attractions of any visit to the fortunate islands. 

1. Papas arrugadas con mojo (Wrinkled potatoes with mojo)


Papas arrugadas is perhaps the best known dish in the Canaries. Cooked potatoes that are saturated with salt - originally it was sea water - to make the skin wrinkle. They are eaten hot with the skin, dipping the potatoes in the green or red mojo or spicy, mojo picón. A true exaltation of a humble ingredient such as potato to make a dish of authentic luxury. 

2. Sancocho Canario (Canarian Fish Stew)


Sancocho Canario is usually eaten at Easter and is a traditional dish on the island of Gran Canaria, although it can be eaten on the other islands. It is a fish elaboration - it is usually cherne (stone bass or bass groper), sea bass or salted sea bass - that is consumed with potatoes, sweet potatoes, mojo and gofio forming a pella or loaf.

3. Conejo en salmorejo (Rabbit in salmorejo)


Conejo en salmorejo (rabbit in salmorejo) is a tasty stew with a powerful flavour, which is eaten accompanied by wrinkled potatoes and is enjoyed with the wines of Tenerife.

4. Queso asado canario con mojos (Canarian grilled cheese with mojos)


Canarian cheeses, mainly made with goat's milk, are tasty, creamy and with a powerful flavour. One of the most peculiar ways to enjoy them is roasted on the griddle (or oven tray), served with the different mojos that are common on the island. (Personally, I prefer the version with the contrasts of spicy mojo picón and sweet miel de palma.)

5. Carne de cabra compuesta (Goat meat stew)


It is a common recipe on the islands of Fuerteventura, Gomera, Hierro and Tenerife. 

6. Potaje de Berros (Watercress Pottage)


Watercress pottage is a Canarian dish, from popular cuisine. It is a simple and inexpensive dish, based on cooking vegetables with pieces of meat or pork ribs (although I've had many a vegetarian version too), with abundant watercress leaves and beans. 

7. Pata asada canaria (Roast leg of pork)


This is a way of preparing pork - usually the leg or ham - that achieves a meat with a delicious texture. Although it can be eaten as a cold meat, in a similar way to ham, it's usual to serve this meat cut into slices and accompanied by a sauce, like any other roast.

8. Ropa vieja canaria (Canarian old clothes)


Ropa Vieja Canaria is a traditional dish using leftovers, which makes them take on new life in a dish that even surpasses the one from which it comes. Although it is traditional in Canarian cuisine, is also made in other regions of Spain with some variations.

9. Escaldón de gofio (Scalded gofio)


Gofio, toasted and stone-ground grains to which a pinch of salt is added, is an intrinsic part of Canarian cuisine. One of the most interesting preparations is the Escaldón de gofio, made by adding gofio to fish stock and stirring until a thick cream or puree is obtained. 

10. Tortillas de calabaza (Pumpkin tortillas)


Pumpkin tortillas are a traditional Canarian dessert, which is usually prepared around Carnival time. Made with pumpkin, eggs and anise, it is a very popular, simple sweet, reminiscent of torrijas or Rebanadas de Carnaval (French Toast), when finished by sprinkling the tortillas with sugar and cinnamon. See also Tortitas de Carnaval.

11. Frangollo


Frangollo is one of the richest desserts in Canarian gastronomy, along with quesillo, a variant of flan that is usually prepared on the islands and is also highly appreciated. The frangollo recipe is a thick, unroasted cornmeal-based dessert.

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2014

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2014, Amanda Perdomo San Juan

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2014 was Amanda Perdomo San Juan, in a costume entitled “Poderosa Amazona” (Powerful Amazon), designed by Daniel Pages and representing McDonald´s and newspaper, La Opinión de Tenerife.

In 2014, the court was made up as follows:

  1. 1st Maid of Honour: Rocío Benítez Pérez, with a costume entitled "Mi Gran Noche" (My Big Night), representing Asecu and Radio Club Tenerife and designed by Santi Castro.
  2. 2nd Maid of Honour: Yolanda Mendoza Reyes, with a costume entitled "La esencia de Santa Cruz" (The Essence of Santa Cruz), representing Crearte and designed by Daniel Pagés.
  3. 3rd Maid of Honour: Noemí Hormiga Almenara, with a costume entitled "Samba", representing the Federación Canaria del Ocio (Canarian Leisure Federation) (Fecao) and designed by Jorge González.
  4. 4th Maid of Honour: Gara Ramos González, with a costume entitled "La joya de la Corona" (Crown Jewel), representing Academia Modas Mayjo de Tacoronte (Mayjo Fashion Academy) and Ferrretería Chávez de Guamasa and designed by Expedita Hernández and Rodrigo Piñeiro.

The theme of Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival in 2014 was "Cartoons". It was the first year that the carnival poster was voted on by the public, although there was controversy due to various voting problems and, in fact, the results were annulled and the organizers of the contest were the ones who finally decided the winner. 

The stage once again used an LED screen, although the one used this year, brought from Belgium, had a wraparound effect, which made it look older. A second screen was also incorporated, which showed, in addition to the names of the groups that performed and scenes from the carnival itself, some cartoons made for the occasion, including a 3D robot similar to EVA, from the movie WALL-E

Due to the problems of the gala the previous year, the stage was prepared with greater security. The gala began with a singer dressed as Cinderella descending from a carriage and singing a carnival version of a song from the film. The opening basically consisted of songs altered for the occasion. After this, a tribute was made to "The Little Mermaid", Jessica Rabbit, from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?", The Pink Panther, Inspector Gadget, the animated series of Barbie; Tadeo Jones, from "The Adventures of Tadeo Jones" and the Familia Telerin (a Spanish-Mexican preschool animated television series). 

After this, Snow White's stepmother asked if she was the most beautiful queen of the carnival, being she answered with a resounding no, since during the gala a more beautiful and kind queen would be chosen. Accompanying her were various animated villains, such as the joker. The evil characters dispersed as the lovable protagonists of "Monster High" entered the scene. Then characters from Warner Bros and Hanna Barbera entered, such as Silvester, Tweety and Scooby Doo, to the tune of "Merry Melodies". They were followed by the characters from "The Flintstones". When they left the stage, the film "Rio" was honoured to the rhythm of a samba from the film itself. This initial act ended with a tribute to "The Lion King" performed by singer and actor Tenaro Rodríguez. 

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Güímar suspends the Bajada El Socorro

Bajada Virgen de El Socorro 2018 RelinoticiasTenerife2019 / CC BY-SA

In July a meeting was held, with the Council, the Church, neighbourhood associations, Guanches de Güímar, cultural and folkloric groups, at the end of which, it was announced that the Romería de la Bajada de la Virgen del Socorro, normally held each 7 September, will not be able to be carried out for the second consecutive year

The municipality of Güímar, together with the groups, were working on a program of events that can be held adapting to current health circumstances.

Güímar suspende la Bajada de El Socorro por la pandemia

Monday, September 06, 2021

The departure of Christopher Columbus from the Island of La Gomera to the ‘New World’

Iglesia Matriz de la Asunción (San Sebastián de La Gomera)

La Gomera celebrates Christopher Columbus' departure for the New World, each year on September 6. Today we can trace his footprints on the island through various monuments 

Mythology wanted the Canary Islands to be baptized as the Fortunate Islands. In the Atlantic, like the seven hills of Rome, seven volcanoes emerged and among them, the island where the journey that changed the course of Modern History began: La Gomera.

Christopher Columbus arrived in La Gomera after having departed, on August 3, 1492, from the port of Palos, in Huelva. Aboard three ships, he intended to reach the Indies through a novel route accross the Atlantic Ocean. In those times, the capital of the Canary Island of La Gomera, San Sebastián, was known by some sailors as Villa de Palmas for the extensive palm grove that welcomed all who arrived on this island.

Its bay was considered the best of all the islands and, in addition, it was the safest port. Christopher Columbus was aware of these qualities and must have known the Lady of the island, Beatriz de Bobadilla, from when they both resided in the Peninsula with the Reyes Católicos (Catholic Monarchs). On La Gomera, the Admiral found everything he needed to feed himself and take the water with which to replenish both his ships and his men on board. The warmth of the island's inhabitants and the mild climate were decisive for Columbus, who returned to La Gomera twice more, in 1493 and in 1498.

Finally, on September 6, 1492, Columbus left La Gomera left for the Indies, arriving on October 12. He had discovered a new continent: America. Since then, La Gomera has been named in history as the Isla Colombina and today we can trace Columbus' footsteps on the island through various monuments.

San Sebastián today is a city of just 9,000 inhabitants that continues to live in the shelter of its bay and between deep ravines of extraordinary beauty. Walking its streets is to relive the times in which Christopher Columbus lived with its inhabitants, contemplating its historical monuments raised in those times of legend where, according to tradition, the love story between Columbus and the Lady of the island, Beatriz de Bobadilla, was forged.

Torre del Conde jtoledo, CC BY-SA 2.0 El Gato de la Torre

The Torre del Conde is the oldest preserved military fortress in the Canary Islands. It was built around 1450 by the first Lord of La Gomera, Hernán Peraza, and was intended to defend against possible revolts by the indigenous people of Gomera. Its walls were witness to the refuge of Beatriz de Bobadilla in 1488 after the uprising of the island natives and also, it is said, of some furtive encounter between the Lady and Christopher Columbus. Today it is one of the most visited monuments on La Gomera and it preserves an interesting exhibition of historical cartography. A good place to start this particular journey of discovery.

Casa de la Aduana (San Sebastián de la Gomera) Javier Sánchez Portero, CC BY-SA 3.0

Very close to the Tower, at the beginning of Calle Real or del Medio, is the Casa de la Aduana or Customs house. Originally, this historic house was the house of the Lords of the island. Inside there is a well, whose origin dates back to the 15th century, along with a placard that reads: "America was baptized with this water." Indeed: Tradition tells that it was from this well that Christopher Columbus drank the water that he took to the New Continent on the Journey of Discovery. Be that as it may, the aguada well is one of the most important witnesses of San Sebastián's Columbian past.

Just 200 meters from here we find the Iglesia Matriz de la Asunción (Church of the Assumption), a true museum of sacred art where, according to tradition, Columbus prayed. It is true that the Admiral knew the primitive hermitage erected in the same place. Sculptures from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries coexist with important paintings and altarpieces and where, if we approach the Pilar chapel, we will discover a fresco that tells the story of the pirate attack by Englishman, Captain Charles Windham, on San Sebastián in 1743.

Casa de Colón Javier Sánchez Portero, CC BY-SA 3.0

Our tour ends with two significant buildings: the Ermita de San Sebastián (hermitage or chapel of San Sebastián) and the so-called Casa de Colón. The origins of both date back to the 16th century and are a faithful witness to those times when the capital was one of the main social and economic centres in the American journey. The hermitage guards the image of the patron saint of the city and the Casa de Colón is an exhibition centre where art and tradition come together. Welcome to La Gomera: this is where Columbus departed. 

La Gomera: de aquí partió Cristóbal Colón

Friday, September 03, 2021

Tenerife Summer Carnival 2021, to be held from Sept 6 to 12 in Puerto de la Cruz

Summer Carnival Poster 2021
The work of Lara Marrero from Puerto de la Cruz, it is an adaptation of the poster from the last winter edition, also by the same author, and dedicated to Mythology and Fantasy. As an anecdote, it is the first poster in the history of the carnaval that includes elements referring to the exchange with Düsseldorf, as represented by the communication tower that is seen in the central rear of the poster, or in the couple of fairies who wear the traditional costume used by the kings of the aforementioned European carnival. 

In June the Department of Festivities announced the dates of the next Tenerife Summer Carnival 2021, to be held from September 6 to 12 in Puerto de la Cruz. Necessarily, the preparations are being carried out with caution, knowing the sanitary regulations that are in force by the declaration of level 4 to avoid possible COVID contagions.

Therefore, as last year, there will be no mass events.

However, after the hiatus of last year, Puerto de la Cruz recovers the celebration of what will be its second Carnival King Gala, elected for the first time in 2019 and Televisión Canaria, has just committed to broadcast the gala, to be held at the Lago Martiánez on September 10. Organisers announced that there are sixteen contestants for the King of Summer Carnival this year, double the number from the first edition.

Spanish singer Marta Sánchez is the first of many artists whose participation has been confirmed for the Tenerife Summer Carnival 2021. The famous singer will be one of the artists who will participate in the Gala for the Election of the King of the Summer Carnival 2021, which will be held on September 10 from the Martiánez Tourist Complex and that will be broadcast on TV Canaria and streamed on the official carnival social networks

Summer Carnival Program 2021

  • On Monday, September 6, its inauguration will take place with the raising of the Carnival flag and the inauguration of the Carnival of Tenerife exhibition in the hotels of the tourist area of ​​Costa Martiánez. That day will also start the Ruta Gastronómica del Trampantojo (Trampantojo Gastronomic Route).
  • Tuesday, September 7, will be the day designated as Germany Day. For this, an official reception of the delegations will be welcomed, the inauguration of the medal exhibition and a gala dinner.
  • On Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th of September, it will be the turn of the “Carnival Trends” Forum with performances by some of the carnival groups.
  • The official presentation of the Carnival will take place on Friday, September 10 with the long-awaited and unique "Gala del Rey del Carnaval" (King of Carnival Gala), with the participation of the most emblematic groups of the northern carnival and Marta Sánchez, among other artists.
  • Saturday, September 11, has been the day chosen for the celebration of the Summer Carnival Parade that will take place inside the Lago Martiánez and will be broadcast on television.
  • Sunday September 12, the closing ceremony of the festivities will take place.

Marta Sánchez estará en el Carnaval de Verano de Puerto de la Cruz

From the first Carnaval de Verano Parade in Puerto de la Cruz 2016

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2013

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2013, Soraya Rodríguez Castro

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2013, was Soraya Rodríguez Castro in a costume entitled, "Volare" (Fly), designed by Saliarca Creativos and representing Centro Comercial Carrefour – Meridiano.

In 2013, the court was made up as follows:

  1. 1st Maid of Honour: Chloe García Poole, with a costume entitled "Memorias de África" (Memories of Africa), representing Barbacoa Tacoronte Fiesta Canaria Carnaval and designed by Expedita Hernández.
  2. 2nd Maid of Honour: Regina Ramos Darias, with a costume entitled "Mármara" (Marmara), representing newspaper La Opinión de Tenerife and McDonalds and designed by Daniel Pagés.
  3. 3rd Maid of Honour: Leticia Ramos González, with a costume entitled "Suspiros de Invierno" (Sighs of Winter), representing Manualidades Grial and El Rincón Extremeño and designed by Dámaso Ramos.
  4. 4th Maid of Honour: Irene Martínez Trigueros, with a costume entitled "Que lo disfrutes…que lo aproveches" (Enjoy it ... take advantage of it), representing Zona Comercial Tranvía and designed by Santi Castro.

Gala de Elección de la Reina del Carnaval 2013

The theme of Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2013 was "Bollywood: India" and it was the first time that the theme of the carnival is chosen by online voting. 

The stage was inspired by those used in the Eurovision Song Contest, with a large LED screen (much wasted, since it was nothing more than a screensaver) the largest in Europe. Among the jury who chose the Carnival Queen, were journalist, Miguel Ángel Daswani; the Bollywood actor and choreographer Sunny Singh (born in Bombay) and the president of the jury was the Indian consul in the Canary Islands, Gope Boagwandas Mahtani. 

The 2013 carnival was marked by a disastrous accident that occurred during the queen's election gala, in which one of the costumes, which had a device that released a form of firework, set fire to the adjacent one and caused serious burns to candidate, Saida Prieto, the next candidate and six other people, including her assistants, the designer of Saida's costume, and the designer of the costume that caused the fire. The organizers did not want to cause alarm among the attendees for fear of a panic reaction that would have caused deaths, as in Madrid Arena, despite the fact that the fire was about to reach the stage, which only did not happen due to the rapid intervention of the firefighters. 

Saida's burns were so serious that the political authorities made the snap decision to suspend the Friday night's opening parade as a symbol of respect, provoking many reactions, both from carnival goers who wanted to enjoy themselves and from tourists who had paid a lot of money to see the party, as well as from the fair operators, people that rented kiosks and people in general who had the party as their main source of income. Some suggested something perhaps more logical, dedicate the parade to the affected girl, instead of simply suspending the act. However, these voices were not heard, probably due to the chaos  and the attempt by those in charge to finding a solution as rapidly as possible. 

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the first La Gomera – Tenerife swim by David Meca

20 years have passed since the La Gomera - Tenerife swim crossing

The day chosen for the feat that entered the Guinness Book of Records was September 1, 2001. At the hotel in San Sebastián where they were staying, at six am the peace of the night silence was broken by the bustle of numerous journalists, photographers, television cameras, skippers, sailors and members of the Asociación Mundo del Silencio.

They ate breakfast while the sailors were still discussing the ideal course or the forecast of the sea, while others prepared their cameras and instruments to immortalize the feat. 

Uncertainty and nervousness were palpable in the atmosphere: they were going to witness an unique adventure in the sea in the world. Swimmer David Meca, world record holder and protagonist of the event, came down from his room at 7.00 am. He knew the difficulty of what awaited him. He walked over to the hotel dining room and literally gobbled down an enormous quantity of bananas and yogurts. He needed a significant reserve of calories to support the nine or ten hours that he would have to spend swimming at sea. 

The journalists, along with the sailors and skippers, went to the San Sebastián dock to board the boats that would accompany the swimmer along the 44 kilometres between San Sebastián de La Gomera and Las Vistas Beach in Los Cristianos. While the engines of the boats were being started on the dock, David Meca and his assistants went to La Cueva Beach, which was the chosen starting point. It was beginning to dawn and the day was gray, rain was suspected and with it came the first difficulty, the water temperature could be below forecasts. He put on the thin neoprene suit and adjusted his glasses, the moment was approaching and he clearly heard the rumours among the older residents who predicted failure: "It is impossible to swim to Tenerife", "They don't know what they are doing, no one has ever been able to swim so far”... A channel with huge currents, strong winds and a hard and short wave period, which need to be surfed by boats and which can scare you by reducing speed drastically and catching you out, were the general comments. 

At 8:20 in the morning the boats were in front of the beach and David was hugging one of the members of the Association and promised to hug him again at Las Vistas Beach ten hours later. He approached the shore and dived into the sea to the sound of applause from the more than five hundred people who wanted to witness the feat. About a hundred meters away, the inflatable boat was waiting for him, which would sail alongside him all the time with the aim of providing him with energy drinks and, above all, in case something unforeseen happened to him. In it, only two people, his father and Sergio Hanquet, the official photographer of the trip and member of the Mundo del Silencio Association. 

Meanwhile, at Las Vistas Beach, the preparation of the stage to celebrate the event began, maintaining continuous contact with the boats in case everything had to be dismantled. The Güisa, the ship where the authorities had embarked, left the formation to disembark them at the San Sebastián dock and on its return to the meeting point it did not see the mast of the guide sailboat captained by Antonio Redal. It was incredible that in just one hour the swimmer and inflatable would already be in the open sea, but they were.

At nine o'clock in the morning, Fernando, one of the members of the Association, boarded Fred Olsen's ferry to arrive in Tenerife at ten o'clock and coordinate the reception of the swimmer. He travelled on the bridge with the captain of the boat and then the first upset came. Fifteen minutes after setting sail, everyone, binoculars in hand, scanned the sea looking for the swimmer, but he was not in sight, he must be behind the ship and it was concluded that something had happened. It was practically impossible for him to be ahead of the ship, but then someone on the bridge shouted: "I see him, he is ahead." Nobody could believe it, he had passed the ship and was swimming towards Tenerife. 

At sea David had a pace and speed much higher than expected, his strokes remained strong and energetic, he had managed to get more than 20 kilometres away from La Gomera and it was only 11.30 in the morning. Incredible! He was swimming at a speed of almost five kilometres per hour, the same as a person jogging on land. 

At twelve thirty, the doctor from the Mundo del Silencio Association, Dr. Niño, got on the boat to talk to David and ask him how he was doing while doing a blood sugar test. Perfect result, the world record holder swam full of strength and mentally convinced of achieving the feat. In the boats, however, there was another problem unrelated to the swimmer. Many of the journalists had been suffering for hours with the ups and downs of the boats when sailing at low speed, terribly shaken by the waves and the dizziness and physical discomfort. Some had to lie down. The doctor had more work on ships than at sea.

And then the pilot whales appeared and joined David as a harbinger of success. They swam for several miles accompanying him, while in the boats the fear arose that they could get too close to the swimmer and he would panic, but they did not. First the pilot whales and then the dolphins behaved wonderfully and uncertainty gave way to obtaining the most beautiful images of the union between man and those beautiful animals. 

At that moment everything was going perfectly. 

The surprise came around two in the afternoon. David Meca was on the perpendicular of the Los Gigantes Cliffs and that was not planned, he was three hours ahead of the estimated arrival time and on land the pace of preparation of the planned infrastructure would not finish until 4:00 p.m. It had been calculated that he would arrive at Las Vistas Beach at 6:00 p.m. and as it he was progressing, would arrive at 3:00 p.m. 

The southern highway was clogged with cars coming from all over Tenerife and they weren't going to get there in time to see him arrive. A decision had to be made and David was consulted. He had to slow down enough to reach the beach at least at 4:00 p.m. or change his course to increase the distance to the beach, that is, lose two of the three hours he had gained on the journey. David accepted the new challenge, to abandon his rhythm and swim slower. Absolute silence on the boats. The boss of the Güisa, Juan Francisco Reverón warned the land that, although David accepts it, he does not, that he must be exhausted and it is a danger to keep him in the water. Santos and Jóse Rodríguez, who were traveling on another boat, agree with Juan Francisco and line up the boats to Las Vistas Beach, where at 4:00 p.m. more than 10,000 people were waiting with as many others on the way.

Boats appeared from Las Vistas Beach on the horizon, an excellent sign that everything was going well. The question then was to prevent the public from getting into the sea and in the euphoria touch the swimmer and cause an accident. There was no reason to worry, David headed for the shore with even more force, drawing his relief on the sea and the vast surface of the waves. No one dared to approach. He came out of the sea reeling from the incredible effort, but he still had the strength to reach the stage and raise his hands in victory. He had just joined La Gomera and Tenerife by swimming for the first time. That night, during the celebration dinner, someone asked David, "What if we made the crossing from Tenerife to Gran Canaria?" There was a silence as in the ocean itself. But that's another story ...

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