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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Monday, November 29, 2021

The wineries open for San Andrés in Tenerife

Wine tasting, Icod de los Vinos, Tenerife. Photo: Viktor Kirilko Some rights reserved

This Monday, November 29, Tenerife celebrates the eve of the feast of San Andrés (Saint Andrew's Day). And on the eve the wineries open in a traditional festival, that, at least in principle, has nothing to do with wine. We know that he's the Patron Saint of Scotland, land of whiskey, whose flag, it shares with Tenerife.

Correr los Cacharro (Run the Pots) on the eve of San Andrés: Part of the festivities in honor of San Andrés held in the La Orotava Valley and other towns in the north of the island of Tenerife, but mainly in Icod de los Vinos and Puerto de la Cruz, children and young people, after spending days collecting scrap (cans, even appliances, bathtubs, scrap metal and any old object that makes noise) string them up and at nightfall on November 29, go out to the streets, and make as much noise as possible. This festival is closely related to the opening of the wineries, and it is traditional to accompany the new wine with roasted chestnuts and sardines or other salty fish.

The real origin of this practice is lost in time and most explanations are the fruit of legend. It is said that the object of running pots was to make noise to drive away plagues of locusts, or witches; also that since San Andrés was lame, he arrived "drunk" and loaded with pots days late to his party; or that San Andrés fell asleep and had to be awakened by the noise of the pots ... But the one that has the most weight and reported by researchers is that on the eve of the day of San Andrés, the owners of the wineries, in order to be able to bring in the new wine, would go down to the coast to clean the barrels with salt water, and the noise of the barrels on the cobbled streets as they were rolled down the slopes to the seashore, is the characteristic noise that the children later reproduce with their cacharros.

This festival was most popular at the end of the 70s and in the 80s, but had been lost in many towns, although some neighbourhood associations, with the support of city councils are trying to preserve it. Currently the Ministry of Education of the Canary Islands, offers information about these festivals to that those who wish to celebrate it. They carry out this activity in many schools throughout the island of Tenerife, with the students going out into the streets and encouraging the residents to participate in such an unique event.

In Puerto de la Cruz, the fiesta focus is in the Plaza del Charco, where you can also taste delicious roasted chestnuts with salted fish, sweet potatoes and 'new wine that makes you forget the night cold'.

Tablas de San Andrés are back in the streets of Icod and La Guancha, with limitations

Arrastre de las tablas in Icod de los Vinos Photo: Revista BienMeSabe Some rights reserved

Tradition accompanied by regulations that guarantee health safety, such as the prohibition of installing kiosks and barbecue pits on public roads

Gone is 2020, the year in which Icod de los Vinos and La Guancha were unable to celebrate one of the most anticipated festivalsLas Tablas de San Andrés - the dragging of the boards down the steep streets of the municipalities where San Andrés and the opening of the wineries is a tradition that remains alive and that congregates hundreds of people every year, thousands in the City of the Drago. With the exception of San Juan de la Rambla, which decided not to authorize it again as a precaution due to the increase in cases of COVID-19, the other two municipalities in the region have opted to recover this festival. 

In the Icod it will only be enjoyed on November 29 and 30, on the eve and festivity of the saint, while in La Guancha it will last four days, with a festival of wines and tapas in the Plaza de la Iglesia, with limited capacity and in which a large representation of wineries from the Ycoden Daute Isora and Canary Islands will participate.

In specific roads, such as El Plano, preferred by the youngest due to its steep slope, limited capacity will be established, which will ensure social distancing and the mandatory use of masks, controlled by the members of the Local Police, Civil Protection and private security, confirms the mayor. Los Franceses, San Sebastián and El Sol streets also have their specific plans with a series of specific measures and in all of them the side prohibits the installation of barbecue pits and hot dog stands and the sale of chestnuts and new wine with music in the streets. "This year what is necessary is to defend tradition, so we ask that the consumption of traditional products of our gastronomy be done within bars and restaurants and not in the spontaneous way as in the past", emphasizes the president.

Francis González is not afraid that the situation will get out of control. Until Wednesday there were only seven active cases in the municipality. Even so, he asks for prudence and that the sanitary norms and the criteria established are met.

In La Guancha, a score of streets will be closed to traffic in the old town (La Palmita, El Agua, El Sol, La Caldera, Los Alfareros, La Hoya de Arcos, Las Colmenitas, El Pinalete, San Antonio, Lanzarote, Icod de los Vinos y El Risco), Santo Domingo (La Mayorina, San Felipe and Las Sabinas) and in Santa Catalina (Cañada Baja and Paseo El Parque).

This year residents will be able to shout, louder than ever: “Viva San Andrés”.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Christmas begins in the rain in Santa Cruz

Christmas lights switch on in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The Plaza del Príncipe was the stage, last night, as the Christmas lights were turned on.

It had not struck seven in the afternoon when the rain made an appearance in the Plaza del Príncipe de Santa Cruz, where switching on the Christmas lights was taking place. With a capacity limited to 750 people, the same rain made it far from full. Umbrellas were the protagonists in an event that began with the Gospel Shine Voices choir singing Hallelujah. The mayor, José Manuel Bermúdez, advocated a "quiet Christmas" in which "prevention and precaution" must prevail, "and from the City Council we are going to help to achieve it."

Accompanied by the Children's Queen of Carnival 2020, Violeta García, and the Santa Cruz artist Ariann Music, to the rhythm of 'All want for Christmas is You', the mayor pressed the switch that filled the Plaza del Príncipe with light, while the rain continued to fall, this time mixed with the confetti that fell after the ignition occurred.

After the event in the Plaza del Príncipe, the mayor, together with the first deputy mayor, Guillermo Díaz Guerra, the councillor for fiestas, Alfonso Cabello and other members of the government, made the traditional tour of the streets already decked out for Christmas.


As for the lighting, with a total of 3.5 million LED bulbs, for this Christmas campaign the City Council, through the Department of Public Services and the offices of the five districts, will light 162 streets of the city, 22 more than last year; the installation of 207 arches, while in 2020 there were 176; 908  Christmas motifs on the street lamps; the city will have 29,000 meters of garlands and 90 meters of tunnels, with approximately 30,000 LEDs.

For the last week the five districts of the city have already been adorned with about 50,000 poinsettias, in the traditional Christmas planting campaign. On this occasion, some 28,000 red and 9,000 white poinsettias have been planted, and, in addition, 2,000 red units, 1,500 fuchsia, 4,700 white, 1,000 pink and 1,300 variegated poinsettias will be planted of the princetia variety.

With last night's event, the Christmas period is considered inaugurated, and it does so coinciding today with the celebration of the day of Black Friday (although in Santa Cruz it's Black Week), which is the starting gun, commercially speaking, for Christmas.

In the coming weeks, depending on how the pandemic evolves, Santa Cruz has prepared a fortnight of events distributed throughout the city, which include from Christmas markets, parades with Christmas carols, or the placement of real mailboxes in schools that the little ones can send their letters to the Magi.

The reception of Their Majesties at the Heliodoro Rodríguez López stadium and the Parade through the streets of Santa Cruz (usually Jan 5) are still on the air, awaiting a decision on authorization from Public Health for their celebration. It is hoped that it will be next week when it is known, if finally, these mass events can be held in the capital.

Tenerife Sur RallySprint 2021 Suspended

The Organizing Committee of the RallySprint Tenerife Sur and the Escudería Villa de Adeje deeply regret to announce the SUSPENSION OF THE 2021 EDITION of the RallySprint Tenerife Sur, originally scheduled for November 27 and 28.

After intense weeks of negotiation and search for alternatives to holding the event, considering, among others, going from a single section to the combination of several specials around the municipality of Santiago del Teide (although without exceeding the kilometres allowed for the championship) and even change the scene to another area in the south of the island, it has been impossible, to guarantee that the event could go ahead.


However, all this work has resulted in the confirmation that, for the 2022 season, the municipality of Santiago del Teide, will host a newly created rally competition.

Poli Delgado, president of the Organizing Committee, stated that “it is a great shame for us to have the obligation to announce the suspension of the Tenerife South RallySprint, but, at the same time, we are excited to confirm that we have very a new rally that will be added to the island calendar in the municipality of Santiago del Teide next season”.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Arona launches its Popular Fair during the Christmas holidays in Los Cristianos

Arona Council has inaugurated its Popular Fair, located next to the municipal swimming pool in Los Cristianos, which will be open until January 9, with limited capacity measures in place to guarantee COVID security.

Since last weekend, residents and visitors to Arona have been able to enjoy the Popular Fair, a large area of ​​2,000 square meters of leisure and entertainment for the whole family during the Christmas holidays, with children's and adult's attractions of all kinds; shooting galleries, toy and candy stalls, and 'the typical restaurant stalls of any fair worth its salt'.

The opening hours are Friday and Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., and from Sunday to Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., except for December 24, 25 and 31, and on January 5 and 6, which will open from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., while on January 1 the schedule will be from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Carnival Main Parade in Santa Cruz 2015

The Coso Apoteosis del Carnaval Tenerife (Carnival Main Parade) in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is usually held on Shrove Tuesday, which was Tuesday, February 17th, 2015.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Floods in the Canary Islands in 1968

Castle and area of San Felipe in Puerto de la Cruz
Oliver Abels, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the floods of 24 November 1968, the most affected islands were those of El Hierro, La Gomera, Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Through the Barranco de Las Goteras, in the east of Gran Canaria, the water ran after 20 years of total inactivity, and in the Guiniguada, the waters reached two meters in height as it passed through Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Likewise, the rains collected on the peaks caused the Caidero La Niña and Parralillo dams to overflow. But the town that suffered the greatest human and material damage was Puerto de la Cruz, in the north of Tenerife, since strong winds that descended down the slope were added to the intense rains, which at times acquired the character of torrential, from the summit towards the La Orotava valley. The flood in Puerto de La Cruz destroyed 40 homes, most of them on the banks of the San Felipe ravine. One person died. There was much damage in northern municipalities, with flooded streets and houses, blocked roads, landslides and power cuts. Access to Punta Brava was cut off, part of the Calzada de Martiánez and the Puerto de la Cruz beaches were under water.

In Gran Canaria, winds of 118 k per hour, a strong swell and a southerly storm were the causes that, on November 25, 1968, two ships anchored in the port broke their moorings and ended up at Las Alcaravaneras. The small boat, Dumbo and her companion Kallipateira, could not escape the fury of the sea on that winter night, where the first ended up on the shore of the capital's beach and the second, of Greek nationality, trapped in the reef. 

Efemérides meteorológicas en Canarias del siglo XX y XXI

(The video below shows flooding in the San Felipe ravine in 2009.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Festival Mueca 2021 in Puerto de la Cruz

Festival Mueca 2021

The International Festival of Street Art - Mueca - celebrates its 2021 edition between November 25 and 28, organized by the City Council with the support and involvement of collaborating entities and, especially, the public that supports the event every year.

More details from http://www.festivalmueca.com

Monday, November 22, 2021

Both men and women will be able to compete in the galas of the Carnival of Santa Cruz 2023

A carnival gala in 2020

The Autonomous Organization of Fiestas and Recreational Activities (OAFAR) of Santa Cruz de Tenerife approved, unanimously, last Thursday, the creation of a working group with the aim of making the carnival galas in 2023 inclusive: so that those who compete in them can be both men and women. Councillor for fiestas, Alfonso Cabello, explained at the end of the Oafar Governing Council, “The Governing Council approved the convocation of the three Queen's Election Galas for next year, and at the same point on the agenda, an agreement was adopted so that the celebration of the following year, 2023, at least in the children's section, to make it possible to have a more inclusive Gala.

The work group is to find a way to make this full inclusion effective. The political parties of the opposition, the designers, as well as the Equality area of ​​the City Council will all be represented in this working group. 

“Gender or sex should not be a variable when choosing a winner”, added the councillor. Cabello admitted that it is a complex matter because the designs, which until now are obviously feminine, need to change to another type of fantasy. In any case, "I think that this is something the Carnival has overcome, because on some occasions a candidate has come forward who on her DNI was a man, and it has not posed any kind of problem."

In addition to this agreement, the Governing Council approved the tender for seven contracts, including those for chairs, scenography, security or cleaning. "The City Council is working so that the legal and administrative aspects are a given to celebrate the Carnival and that only the doubt that remains is the evolution of the pandemic", defended Cabello. 

Poster for Carnival 2022

Also Thursday, Fiestas announced the contest for the poster for Carnival 2022, inviting any person, artist or designers, individually or as a team, to submit a single work. The winner will obtain a prize of 2,500 euros and the ownership of the work will go exclusively to fiestas.

Fabada lagunera (Bean stew, La Laguna style)


Fabada or Fabada asturiana, traditionally from the northern Spanish community of Asturias, is another classic for cold weather. This version from La Laguna, can be tasted in any house, restaurant or guachinche, in the city and in other parts of the municipality.

  • 250 g of white beans
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 leek, washed and left whole
  • 100 g of chorizo
  • 1 blood sausage (morcilla - black pudding)
  • 100g bacon
  • A ham bone
  • 100 g of pig's ear (or tail)
  • Peppers
  • a pinch of salt

Soak the beans in cold water the night before. The ham bone and the piece of pork ear or tail are also soaked in warm water.

The next day, in a large pan, place the beans together with the carrot and leek, bacon, the ham bone and the piece of ear or pork tail. [Latter optional for the squeamish.]

Cover with cold water and place in on the heat. Bring to the boil, skim and cook over low heat (until the beans are done, which varies depending on the bean), ensuring that the beans are always covered with water. Add cold water in small quantities, as needed.

Add the whole morcilla (blood sausage) and chorizo ​​at any time but bearing in mind that you have to let them cook together with the beans for just 20 minutes. Once the blood sausage and chorizo ​​are stewed, remove them from the stew and reserve.

The broth should be thick; to achieve this, mash some beans along with the cooked vegetables and return to the pan.

Once the beans are cooked, remove from the heat and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Once rested, season and serve with the meats and sausages divided into pieces. 

Sunday, November 21, 2021

When will the La Palma volcano stop erupting?

La Palma lava flows into the sea. European Space Agency, CC BY-SA 2.0

What must happen for the eruption to end?

When will the volcano stop erupting? Two months after the start of the eruption of the La Palma volcano, this is the question most people ask. Experts, from the first day, have insisted that Strombolian volcanoes are unpredictable. It is, therefore, impossible to guess when it will end, but there are some parameters that will give us clues when the beginning of the end begins. Our colleague, María Moreno, tells us how many and what they are: 

Seismicity, tremor, deformation of the ground, sulphur dioxide emissions … These are the terms that will determine what many are waiting for: the moment when the volcano can be declared 'off'. The geologists of the National Geographic Institute (IGN) Rubén López and Stavros Meletlidis tell us what the process will be like and when we will know that we are in a situation equal to before everything began, on September 19.

Clipper – strawberry soda brand from Gran Canaria, that sells only in Canary islands

The La Palma volcano is like a soft drink opened two months ago: it is losing gas, but bubbles are still rising. “Below there is still imbalance and it continues to inject magma. What we call 'systemic music'. And while there is music, there will be dancing,” explains López.

When will the volcano go out?

There are several clues that indicate that the volcano is fading. These are the parameters that volcanologists measure every day and one of the most important is seismicity, the earthquakes that wake up almost everyone on the island and now seem to be relaxing.

The tremor is included within the seismicity and is described as the vibration. "There will come a time when no material comes out and we can say that the eruption is ending," says volcanologist Rubén López. The tremor recently reached zero, but it recovered.

Deformation is another parameter that can indicate that the volcano is getting tired. To understand the concept, it is possible to imagine the volcano as a balloon into which the lava enters from below, swells and deforms. And so it can be a long time, as it happened in El Hierro. The crucial thing is not that it loses weight, but that it stops gaining weight. Something that, according to the expert, is being fulfilled: "We are in fairly stabilized parameters."

On the other hand, gases are a good indication to take into account. The volcano not only expels lava, but also sulphur dioxide. Right now up to 20,000 tons a day, but it has to go down to 500 before we can talk about the beginning of the end.

It will not disappear either linearly or progressively. The volcano will have comings and goings until one day the levels stop short. That, currently, is an impossible date to establish.

But something that can be anticipated is that we will not know that it has stopped its activity until much later, maybe even weeks. "It will have to be a consensus among scientists on which day we can determine that the day of extinction was," adds López.

"I'd like to predict the winning number in the Christmas Lottery", shares volcanologist Stavros Meletlidis, in a reflection of the desire of many of the people of La Palma.

¿Cuándo se apagará el volcán de La Palma? | 2021 Cumbre Vieja volcanic eruption

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2022 scenery inspired by the orbits of the solar system

The orbits of a solar system

The design, by Carlos Santos Cabrera, will be 2,100 m2 with 160 m2 of led screen

The stage for the contests and galas, in the Tenerife International Centre for Trade Fairs and Congresses, of the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2022 invites you on a space trip to the parallel universe of the fiesta and is inspired by the orbits of a solar system.

"The effect of the stage with lighting is going to be fundamental considering the theme of this edition is science fiction, and this stage could not work without this lighting," added the mayor. The format also allows a different setting in each contest and each gala.

The presentation ceremony also included the participation of the councillor of Fiestas, Alfonso Cabello, and the artistic director of the Carnival, Enrique Camacho. The mayor announced "that to reach the month of February we have to meet a series of milestones, such as this one we are celebrating, the bidding for the construction of the stage will begin in the next few days and this gives a very important starting signal to carnival”.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Canary Islands received more than 997,000 international passengers in October, up 580%

Arrivals board Carlos Fernández Some rights reserved

The Canary Islands received a total of 997,517 passengers from international airports in October, 580% more than in the same month last year although it is 11.2% less than in October 2019, before the pandemic, according to data from Turespaña.

So far this year, the accumulated arrival is 3,370,505 passengers, 3.3% less than in the same period last year and still 68.9% below the figures for the first ten months of 2019.

In total, Spain received 5.5 million passengers from international airports in October, the best record since the beginning of the crisis caused by the Covid pandemic.

The Minister of Industry, Tourism and Trade, Reyes Maroto, recalled that today the airlines have scheduled to fly to Spain between November and January with more than 90% of the seats as in the same period of 2019, "a sign of confidence that Spain, as a destination, is managing to generate".

"At least since 2000, October was a month with less passenger movement than September. That this year the trend is broken shows that the recovery continues to advance gradually, driven by the success of the vaccination process in Spain and a management of the pandemic that places us as one of the safest countries in the world and with the least restrictions in force. It is clear that when travel is facilitated, as is the case of the disappearance of the British traffic light system, the demand responds", has added.

The October data reflect for the first time the full recovery of a priority market for Spain such as the Danish. Passengers from Denmark, 145,818, increased by 2.3% compared to the same month in 2019, when there was no pandemic.

In addition, the Netherlands, with 399,800 passengers, recovers 98%; Belgium, with 235,646, is already at 84%; Switzerland, with 247,125, 83%, and Germany, with 1,040,000 passengers, 77%.

The United Kingdom was the top issuing country in October, with 1,107,954 passengers, 20% of the total, which mainly benefited the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.

It is followed by Germany (18.8% of the total), with more than a million passengers who went mainly to the Balearic Islands; France, with 448,329 travelers, is the third issuer, representing 8.1% of the total. Passengers from France came mainly to Madrid, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. On the other hand, 435,516 people arrived from Italian airports (7.9% of the total), who went mainly to Catalonia and Madrid.


The Community of Madrid was the main destination for international passengers, with a 18.9% share, followed by the Balearic Islands (18.6%) and the Canary Islands (18%).

Comparing the data with October 2019, in the absence of a pandemic, the Canary Islands have already recovered 89% of international arrivals; The Balearic Islands, 79%; Andalusia, 75%, and the Valencian Community, 74%.

By airports, Madrid Barajas led the arrival of international passengers (18.9% of the total), followed by Barcelona (15.5%) and Palma de Mallorca (14.6%).

Of the total of 5,528,624 international passengers arriving in Spain in October, 59.1% flew on low-cost airlines, while the remaining 40.9% opted for traditional airlines.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Popular Crafts Fair in Santiago del Teide

Santiago del Teide Town Hall has organised for Sunday, November 21, the XXXIX (39th) edition of the Popular Crafts Fair of the municipality 2021, as part of the the programming of activities for the commemoration of the 112th anniversary of the eruption of the Chinyero volcano, and that will take place in the Plaza de Santiago del Teide, from 10:00 a.m. at 6:00 p.m.

This new edition will be, as in previous years, a special occasion for this traditional encounter with the crafts and traditions of our land (observing sanitary and capacity measures at all times), where artisans of different modalities, such as ceramics; indigenous products; needlework; metalwork; basketry; openwork; pottery; artisanal woodwork; etc., will meet.

As has become customary, a display of stands has been prepared where the works, made by hand by each and every one of the artisans, will be displayed, In addition, there will be complementary activities and workshops - which will require face-to-face registration - with a musical performance of the group Simbeque Project - a group composed of 11 musicians that mixes Canarian folklore, jazz, rock, electronics, funk or drum and bass.

☎️ Those who wish to enjoy the aforementioned musical show must register in advance by calling 922-86-31-27, Ext. 113 and / or 301 or via WhatsApp through 696-88-38-56.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Anniversary of the of the Chinyero eruption

Chinyero volcano with view to Mount Teide on Tenerife dronepicr, CC BY 2.0

Every year the town of Santiago del Teide commemorates the last eruption of the Volcán de Chinyero (Chinyero volcano). Compared to the current eruption on the island of La Palma, Tenerife's last eruption, which started on November 18, 1909 and lasted 10 days, forming a small pyroclastic cone and a large network of lava flows, was a small one. 

Santiago del Teide council, on the occasion of the commemoration of the 112 years of the Chinyero volcanic eruption that occurred in 1909, will carry out this Sunday, November 21, the VI Guided Route of the Volcanoes. It is an activity that has limited places and a symbolic price of €5. The meeting point is the Plaza de Santiago del Teide (next to the Town Hall), at 09:00 hours. Later, there will be transport to the TF-38 road in Boca Tauce, specifically, next to the Boca Cangrejo Mountain where the trail begins that after 4.5 hours of walking and a medium difficulty will end in Santiago del Teide, enjoying the Special Natural Reserve del Chinyero and a magnificent panoramic view of El Teide and Pico Viejo.

Those interested in participating should register through the following link:

This video of the Chinyero volcano, filmed over Santiago del Teide, on the summits of Abeque at an altitude of 1,560 meters, shows the footprints left of the eruption.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Potaje de espinacas y garbanzos (Spinach and chickpea pottage)

Potaje de espinacas y garbanzos juantiagues Some rights reserved

Today we present you a traditional homemade stew, a recipe with chickpeas that is ideal for autumnal weather full of fog, rain and cold. 


  • 500 gr of chickpeas
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon of Pimentón De la Vera (smoked paprika)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 350 g clean spinach
  • Water


The day before, put the chickpeas in warm water with a teaspoon of bicarbonate or a handful of salt and let them soak overnight, or for at least 12 hours. It is important to wash them afterwards to remove possible impurities. Then drain and set aside.

Chop the onion and garlic into very small pieces so that they dissolve during cooking. The texture of these of the ingredients will be hardly noticeable, but their flavour will be.

Peel and cut the tomatoes.

In a saucepan add a good glug of oil, the onions and the garlic cloves. Sauté for 10 minutes so that the flavours mix well. Add the tomato and the bay leaf and fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add a generous spoonful of Pimentón De la Vera (smoked paprika). Stir with a wooden spoon and add the drained chickpeas. Stir again so that everything comes together.

Cover with cold water (important so that it comes to the boil slowly) until the casserole is almost full. When it starts to boil, lower the heat so that it does not break the legumes.

After half an hour, add salt and pepper to taste. Leave it to cook slowly over a medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Check and adjust cooking time.

In another pan, blanch the spinach to remove some of the bitterness. To blanch, immerse the spinach in boiling water with salt for a few seconds, then remove. On a board, chop the blanched spinach with a large knife and add them in the last 10-15 minutes of cooking the stew, over low heat, testing from time to time in case they do not need more cooking.

Potaje de espinacas y garbanzos

TIP: If you're in the UK, you'll find the tinned chickpeas available in mainstream supermarkets are much harder than their Spanish counterparts and too hard for this purpose (or any, if you ask me), so it's best to cook this from scratch with dried ones. If you do want to save time, use the chickpeas in jars that can be found in international food stores.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Puerto de la Cruz presents the dates of its Carnival and Tenerife Summer Carnival 2022

Carnival 2022 in Puerto de la Cruz

The tourist city is already preparing for the celebration of one of its hallmarks, the International Carnival of Puerto de la Cruz in 2022. From February 17 to March 13, a new edition of a carnival that aims to restore normality after overcoming all the uncertainties of a pandemic that have especially punished the normal development of the activities of the carnival groups, the heart of this festival so ingrained in the city.

Along the same lines, the dates from September 5 to 11 are reserved for the next edition of the Tenerife Summer Carnival, a commitment that will allow the enjoyment of one of the most innovative events of the year: the Election of the King of the Carnival.

The dates underlined in red on the carnival calendar are, among others, the Gala for the Election of the Queen on February 24 and the inimitable Mascarita Ponte Tacón that will take place on March 4th, an event that arouses the interest of thousands of people, in addition to the Main Parade on March 5th. "This year we will be more creative than ever for the Mascarita not to lose an iota of its appeal in which the young and not so young give free rein to their talent and good vibes in a city which has always been characterized as the cradle of great entertainers”. This year, and after the suspension of 2021, the Extra edition of the Carnival will return, which will take place on March 11, 12 and 13.

In addition, 2022 is an important date for the International Carnival and it's the 50th anniversary of the twinning with the German city of Dusseldorf.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Santa Cruz International Marathon

Maratón de Tenerife

Taking place on Sunday, 14 November 2021, is the Maratón de Tenerife - or to give it its full title, the Maratón Internacional de Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz International Marathon). 

Runners in the marathon and half-marathon start at 08:30 hrs and those in the 8K at 11:30 hrs. With the prizes being handed out in all three categories from 13:00 hrs, everyone can then put their (tired) feet up in the afternoon. It's too late to participate in the race, but some socially-distanced cheering on from the side lines might well be appreciated. 

There'll be some disruption to roads, busses and trams for the duration of the event. 

Tranvía de Tenerife say that on Sunday from 8:00 am, until around 12:30, they will only operate between Trinidad and La Paz, leaving the stops of the Plaza Weyler, Guimerá Theater, Fundación and the Intercambiador Tenerife (Interchange) OUT OF SERVICE

Contestants will race through the streets of the Island's capital city, never roaming far from the sea. (map)

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Thousands of bees survive 50 days buried under ash from the La Palma volcano

Bees archive image by PollyDot from Pixabay

Thousands of bees have been rescued alive after spending 50 days in hives buried under a blanket of ash from the La Palma volcano, only about 600 meters away from the same area of ​​Cabeza de Vaca, where on September 19, a gaping hole opened in the earth.

Elías González, president of the Agrupación de Defensa Sanitaria (ADS) Apicultores de La Palma (La Palma Beekeepers), tells news agency EFE that five of the six hives that a beekeeper had in that area were intact and only the bees of the sixth died, perhaps "not because of the volcano, but because they were already weak" before the eruption.

In the rescue, which took place last Saturday, the Local Police of El Paso intervened, one of whose agents is a beekeeper, with the support of the Military Emergency Unit (UME) and the Civil Guard. Three hives were partially visible and the other three buried under the ash. The agents had to dig to locate and rescue them, not without getting stung occasionally! 

Each hive can house between 30,000 and 40,000 bees in spring, and between 20,000 and 25,000 when there are fewer flowers, on whose pollen they feed.

Elías González believes that if they survived so long, first it is because what falls in that area so close to the volcano is lapilli, rather than fine ash, which due to its thickness allows air to pass through, and secondly because the owner of the hives had not removed the summer honey harvest, so they "had food reserves."

"Even so, they are resentful, but alive", points out the president of the Agrupación de Defensa Sanitaria (ADS) Apicultores de La Palma.

Dulce de Membrillo (Quince Preserve)

Dulce de Membrillo (Quince Preserve) Ambrose Little from Hamilton, NJ, US, CC BY 2.0

Dulce de Membrillo (Quince Preserve) is typically eaten with Manchego cheese, as well as being used as a filling for truchas de membrillo (quince turnovers), both especially around Christmas. Home made quince preserve is unbeatable and is nothing like the stuff you can buy in the supermarket. And you need just two ingredients: quinces and sugar. 
  1. Before you start, wash the quinces well. Place them in a large pan, cover them with water and bring it to a boil, at which point, drop the temperature to medium and leave the quinces to cook for 40—45 minutes, depending on the size of the fruit. 
  2. When the time's up, remove the quinces carefully and allow them to cool until they can be handled safely. Peel and core them and then cut the flesh into small pieces. 
  3. Weigh the quince, as you will need 80% of this weight in sugar. So for every 100g of quince, you'll need 80g of sugar: for a kilo of fruit, 800g of sugar. 
  4. In a large pan, add the quince pulp and all of the sugar. Stir and cook over a low to medium heat. Little by little the sugar will integrate with the fruit. It should take around 10 minutes for the sugar to completely dissolve.  
  5. Blend the mixture with a stick blender or food processor, then continue cooking the mixture for around an hour, depending on the weight. Stir from time to time with a wooden spoon (never metal) so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan and cooks evenly. The mixture will become thicker and darker as time passes. When the spoon will stand up by itself in the mixture, then you have the desired texture. At this point, if you require it to be still finer, give it another pulse of the blender. 
  6. Turn the mixture into a suitable plastic container, cover with the lid and leave the paste in the fridge for 24 hours so that it obtains the consistency and texture needed. 
Quince preserve will store in the fridge for up to 3 months or longer. For longer storage membrillo can be frozen well-wrapped for up to a year.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Plaza Weyler in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Monumental Fountain in the Plaza Weyler in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The square in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which bears the name of General Valeriano Weyler, was formerly known as Campo Militar (Military Field), because the troops from El Cuartel de San Miguel (San Miguel barracks), which were in its surroundings, carried out their exercises there. On the site that today is occupied by the Palacio de la Capitanía General de Canarias (Palace of the Captaincy General), a Military Hospital had stood since 1778, ordered to be built by the General Commander Marqués de Tabalosos.

As this was on the outskirts of the city, it was used as a rest stop for horsemen and carriages, and the Castillo and La Luz streets - now Imeldo Serís - then only reached San Roque street (today Suárez Guerra), until the City Council carried out redevelopment of the area, extending Calle Castillo to the square, which was inaugurated on July 25, 1875, and quickly surrounded by new two-story houses where, until then, there were orchards.

On January 5, 1879, when Captain General Valeriano Weyler received authorization from the Government to build the Palacio de la Capitanía General de Canarias (Palace of the Captaincy General) and a new Military Hospital on Calle Galcerán, residents celebrated it by gathering in the Plaza de la Constitución (today Plaza de la Candelaria), in front of the Palacio de Carta, which then housed the Captaincy General (1853-1881).

With this construction, the area would begin to gain momentum, since it led to the new opening of Calle Méndez Núñez and Avenida Veinticinco de Julio and, which would give rise to the stately neighbourhood of Los Hoteles, as well as the Maestranza street (today Galcerán), which would promote the development of the Duggi neighbourhood.

That same year, the Captain General requested that trees be planted on the embankment in front of the Hospital, known as the “military field” to serve as ornaments. The levelling works, following the design of the architect Vicente Alonso de Armiño, were carried out by migrants from Fuerteventura and Lanzarote who had arrived in Tenerife fleeing the droughts and famines on those islands. On February 7, 1879, the City Council agreed to give the name of Weyler to the new plaza that today serves as an elegant prelude to what would be the noble and monumental Captaincy General building.

The square was inaugurated on Sunday, May 6, 1883.

That day, bazaars were set up to raise funds to carry out the construction work of the ashlar walls that closed the perimeter, works that would not finish until 1909. The harpist Esmeralda Cervantes even offered a benefit concert at the Municipal Theatre of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, with funds given to Valeriano Weyler so that he could finance the works.

The square underwent various works within the municipal works plan of 1938 and 1944, the latter by the municipal architect Antonio Pintor, but the great remodelling that gave it its current appearance was the work of the architect Enrique Rumeu, in 1955.

Today, being located in one of the areas with the greatest pedestrian movement, the square is used as a thoroughfare; however, its landscaped flower beds are very well cared for and preserved, which makes it one of the most beautiful public squares in Santa Cruz.

Weyler Square Fountain

In 1883 a small circular pond was installed in the centre of the square in which a fountain stood as a simple ornamental fountain, but councillors Luis Candellot and Isidro Miranda proposed, in 1891, to request different plans for fountains from Francisco Franchini's company, in Genoa (Italy), its installation being carried out in 1899.

As the cost of such a luxurious fountain, 11,380 lire, exceeded the financial possibilities of the City Council, it was necessary to resort to local contributions, organize dances, sale of raffles, and install tómbolas and bazaars. The wood from the barracks that had been installed in the bullring to house the troops repatriated from Cuba were even sold.

The ensemble made from Carrara marble, with neo-Renaissance characteristics, made in Genoa by Achille Canessa, is made up of two different bodies: the central pillar, and the basin or bowl. The central pillar, 5.8 m high, which rests on a cylindrical base, has a great decorative development on the three levels in which is divided. It is topped by the statues of two putti holding a garland of flowers; on the central section, four putti, one in each corner, hold a dolphin that spews water from its mouth, which falls into the shells at the bottom.

In 2009, following the project of the architect Alejandro Beautell, a general cleaning was carried out, with sandblasting to eliminate stains produced by environmental pollution, pigeon droppings, excess of lime in the water, rust, bacteria, fungi and algae.

Plaza Weyler in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The Plaza Weyler (Plaza del General Weyler) in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain), owes its name to the Spanish general Valeriano Weyler, a military man who was Captain General of the Canary Islands, under whose command the Palacio de la Capitanía General de Canarias (Palace of the Captaincy General of the Canary Islands) was built, which is next to the aforementioned square.

Valeriano Weyler y Nicolau (Palma de Mallorca, September 17, 1838 - Madrid, October 20, 1930) was a Spanish military general and politician, mainly known for his position as Captain General of Cuba during the Cuban War of Independence. He was famous for his reviled policy of Reconcentración in Cuba. One of his measures would be to confine rural inhabitants in concentration camps in order to deprive the rebels of the support of the peasantry. As a result, an estimated 100,000 Cubans were left to die in these concentration camps due to hunger and disease.

The square was built in 1893 by Vicente Armiño, promoted by the Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council, by the General Captaincy of the Canary Islands and by the Urban Building Construction Company. With an area of ​​3,600 m², this square is located in the heart of the city, leading to Calle del Castillo, which is the leading commercial street in Santa Cruz.

Originally, this square was designed as a forecourt to the neoclassical building of the Captaincy General, being also framed by a wall. At the beginning, it had a circular fountain, which was moved when the City Council acquired the current central fountain. 

Monday, November 08, 2021

Exposaldo returns to Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Exposaldo returns to Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The Cabildo de Tenerife opens the doors once again of Exposaldo, the annual fair of discounts and sales, at the Tenerife International Centre for Trade Fairs and Congresses, after the break produced by the pandemic in 2020. The fair opens on Wednesday, November 10 at 11 a.m. and runs until Sunday 14, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Counsellor Carmen Luz Baso has indicated that "in 2019 this fair received more than 40,000 visitors", which indicates the level of interest. “Last year, as we all know, it was not possible to hold this event, so we've put every effort into the 2021 Exposaldo edition, to reunite with shopping for the Christmas period, in a controlled and safe environment”.

This edition of Exposaldo has 90 companies and 150 stands, distributed throughout a total of 10,000 square meters, in which various spaces are differentiated for the exhibition and sale of textiles, accessories, footwear, electrical appliances, hardware, furniture, kitchenware, decoration, toys, motorcycles, second-hand vehicles and thousands of other products and services from a wide variety of sectors, with the aim that customers can acquire everything in a single area and at very reduced prices.

Entrance to Exposaldo will cost 1 euro and the hours will be from 11 am to 9 pm.

Friday, November 05, 2021

Carnival 2022: The Queen's gala will be held "with or without Carnival in the streets"

Carnival in the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Councillor for Festivities in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Alfonso Cabello, says, "We have plan A, plan B and plan C that we will activate depending on the evolution of the health situation. For now, I can guarantee that for Carnival 2022 galas and contests will be held".

The councillor pledged to the sponsors to "organise the Carnival at the limit of the conditions that are imposed", and then briefly revealed his three approaches. The first, the celebration of carnival under the format prior to the pandemic; the second, with contests and galas and a parade and group performances in venues with capacity limited, and a third, more restrictive option adapting the number of spectators to the conditions allowed according to the evolution of the health crisis. And, in an attempt to reassure the audience: "we will bring back the [Carnival Queen] gala, with or without [carnival in] the street". 

Fiestas is currently working on plans for Los Reyes (January 5) - although it has already been announced that there will be no parade of the Three Kings again next year - "and on that date we will face what can be done on February 25, which is the date marked as the beginning of the carnival in the streets, scheduled for the Opening Parade."

Fiestas garantiza que se celebrará la gala de la reina «con o sin Carnaval de calle»

Icod – La Guancha Hillclimb 2021

Subida Icod - La Guancha

The 26th Icod-La Guancha Hillclimb, on November 5-6, closed registrations with 90 drivers in Speed ​​and 15 in Regularity Sport, it was announced at the presentation held in the Plaza Luis de León Huerta, in Icod de los Vinos, with the assistance of Francis González, mayor of Icod de los Vinos; Verónica Domínguez, Councilor for Sports of La Guancha; Iván Sánchez representing the Inter-island Automobile Federation of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and Celestino Díaz, president of the Escudería Daute-Realejos, organizer of the event.

The ascent, valid for the Provincial and Inter-island Mountain Championships, will take place on its usual route of 5,110 km, TF-342 road, between El Empalme de Icod and La Guancha. The program begins on Friday 5 Nov, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with the delivery of documentation and technical verifications, in the parking areas of San Marcos beach. 

At 07.00 hours on Saturday the track will be closed, two hours later, the practice will begin and then follow the two passes for the final classification. The trophy delivery, scheduled for 4:00 p.m., will take place in the Plaza de la Iglesia, in the town of La Guancha.

XXVI Subida Icod-La Guancha: 105 inscritos y 38 reservas

Thursday, November 04, 2021

Is palm honey better than bee honey?

Phoenix canariensis native to the Canary Islands.

Miel de palma (Palm honey or Palm syrup) is a unique food both for its flavour and for its nutritional composition. It is one of the flagship products of the cuisine of La Gomera and yet, even among people in the Canary Islands, palm honey is sometimes unknown. 

This food obtained from the sap of the Canary palm tree (Phoenix canariensis) is completely natural, very rich in sugars and trace elements, as well as other minerals. In fact, a recent study shows that it is even better than bees' honey. 

What is special about this substance to make it "better" than honey? 

Guarapo, the origin of palm honey

"Every day, a good palm tree can give around twelve litres of guarapo"

The Canary Island palm is famous for its great ability to adapt. Like all living things, the plant cells that make it up need nutrients to grow. Unlike animals, plants have a vascular system, as if they were veins through which the sap is transported. This substance is, roughly, the blood of plants; and it is full of nutrients, sugars, proteins ... The sap of the Canary Island palm contains a remarkable amount of nutrients that are especially concentrated due to its physiology. That same sap is the guarapo.

To be able to collect it, the guaraperos work for days, after as many months of preparation, and cut the new shoots from the palm leaves and the bud. The process leaves the palm tree ready to expel the guarapo, which is collected with a gutter. Every day, a good palm tree can give around twelve litres of guarapo. The less irrigated, the better the quality of the guarapo will be, as the more concentrated the sap will be. The technique used in La Gomera allows the palm trees to be preserved, which are allowed to be recovered later, so that it is not necessary to kill the plant.

Once the guarapo is obtained, which is traditionally collected in the morning, it is boiled almost at the same time, otherwise it begins to ferment due to its rich composition. When it is boiled, the substances it contains are concentrated, especially sugars, so that microorganisms cannot act. This causes the guarapo to become Miel de Palma (palm honey), sweet and rich. To get an idea, for every eight litres of guarapo you get one of honey. Once cooked, you just have to package it. 

The nutritional properties of palm honey

"The composition of guarapo is much higher in elements such as calcium, copper, phosphorus, potassium or zinc"

The recent study carried out by the professors of the University of La Laguna, Alberto Castilla and Pedro Abreu González, shows that the nutritional properties of palm honey are even better than those of bee honey. Specifically, this concentration is much higher in elements such as calcium, copper, phosphorus, especially potassium or zinc, which are not found in honey. It is not surprising either, since almost all the analysis showed that cane or plant-based honeys are nutritionally more complete.

Although they are still analysing the amount of proteins and vitamins in palm honey, we can say without too much fear of being wrong that the concentration of these substances will also be higher than in honey. And, as we said, despite the laborious bustle of these insects, the "blood" of plants is even more complex, so they find more nutritious and beneficial substances in it.

Honeys and nutrition

"The WHO recommends not to exceed 5% of the caloric intake in sugars, and in no case to exceed 10%"

But let's answer a question, is palm honey more worth consuming than bee honey? The answer is yes. The WHO recommends not to exceed 5% of the caloric intake in sugars, and in no case to exceed 10%. That means that from the food we eat, the energy it contains should come from the food itself and, at most, between 5 or 10% of added sugars. For this reason, refined sugar, cane sugar or honey are normally superfluous products, only recommended in special cases.

And it is that the nutritional profile of sweeteners does not serve any purpose beyond providing energy. Many times these foods are considered as carriers of "empty calories", due to their lack of nutrition. But in the case of having to choose between refined sugar or honey, honey is a slightly more beneficial choice. And, obviously, between honey and cane or palm honey, vegetable honey is much better.

But do not forget that nutrition is a complex thing. Nutritionists do not recommend sweetening foods unless necessary. Therefore, honeys, in themselves, cannot be considered as something inherently good for health. Now, yes, if we just want to indulge ourselves, palm honey is probably the healthiest way to satisfy our whim. That's without mentioning how delicious it is. 

¿Es la miel de palma mejor que la de las abejas?

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Carnival Main Parade in Santa Cruz 2012

The Coso Apoteosis del Carnaval Tenerife (Carnival Main Parade) in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is usually held on Shrove Tuesday, which was Tuesday, February 21st, 2012. An avalanche of color, rhythm and joy that people can enjoy for the second time in this Carnival, after the announcing Parade, and that brings together a multitude of people who, in the case of visitors, are ecstatic at the atmosphere that is breathed, since each group offers the best of their dances, their music, their lyrics, their costumes, their imagination and rhythm.

Photos from the Coso Apoteosis del Carnaval Tenerife 2012

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2012

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Puerto de la Cruz presents the 8th edition of the Agatha Christie International Festival

International Agatha Christie Festival 2021

The eighth edition of the Agatha Christie International Festival, which commemorates the writer's visit to the city in 1927, will take place from November 5 to 14, 2021. The event also serves to celebrate the birthday of the British crime writing genius, when a bouquet of flowers will be placed at the bust to her memory at the viewpoint of La Paz.

The festival organisers, with the involvement of countless entities and educational centres and with the sponsorship of Puerto de la Cruz Council and Tenerife Tourism is, without a doubt, its most participatory edition, with a program full of activities being prepared for all ages and nationalities, which include literature, music, history, photography, painting, mystery, routes, gastronomy and many more.  

Dr. Mark Aldridge, professor at Solent University, Southampton, will also join the think tank this year to discuss Poirot and Agatha Christie. His book ′Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World′ is an animated story of the character and his creator based on the author's original research.

This fascinating festival is named after the legendary British writer Agatha Christie in honour of the fact that she chose Puerto de la Cruz for its wonderful weather as a place where she could enjoy peace and calm. During the festival, there are film showings based on her novels, theatre plays in Spanish, English and German, as well as exhibitions and discussions. The event is held once every two years.

Festival Internacional Agatha Christie