22/11/2013

RECYCLING ROCK

We see this sign all over Tenerife and usually drive light-heartedly past it.
As I blogged last week, we should not be quite so blasè, for although there was no warning sign here, on November 11th a rock face fell and almost crushed a young couple in their car.

Since then we locals have been following the progress of repairs with interest, because anyone wishing to go south on the motorway from here has to take another, more convoluted route, and the sooner it's fixed and re-opened, the better.

I walked up there this morning, and stood under the bridge to watch while a workman wrapped a canvas belt round a rock as big as he was. He then stood practically underneath it while a machine lifted it into position in what appears to be a retaining wall built from the rocks that fell. Recycling at its most basic.

Oh yes - and someone has covered "Los Cristianos" on the road sign. I looked round the back and it's just several strips of black bin liner tied together, but I suppose it's better than nothing - perhaps I should take some parcel tape with me tomorrow?

14/11/2013

AVALANCHE!


These two pictures appeared on the website www.newsinthesun.com this week - the young couple just escaped being crushed when tons of rock fell from a vertical cliff-face on the road from our village - Parque de la Reina - to the motorway on Monday 11th. Luckily the driver reacted quickly enough to swerve onto the other side of the road.


The Cabildo put a barrier across the tunnel, but failed to warn drivers leaving the roundabout in Parque de la Reina that they couldn't get through -


a Men Working sign and a Falling Rocks sign is not enough information. The traffic during the rush hours since has been chaotic. Cars wanting to access the southbound carriageway of the TF1 drive up, stop and look, and then do a three-point turn in the road and go back to find another route.

Cars wanting the northbound carriageway have to wait until the 3-point-turn is completed, and cars rushing OFF the northbound carriageway have to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting them.

I walked up there again this morning and in five minutes I counted 23 cars, one truck and three motorbikes maneouvering to turn round.
Oh yes - and three near-collisions.

There were workmen clearing more of the rubble, but they couldn't tell me when the road would be re-opened - presumably the cliff must be made safe first, although the banana plantation worker on top of it didn't seem concerned as he chopped back cacti within inches of the edge.


08/11/2013

24 HOURS IN PUERTO


 To anyone who lives in Tenerife, and to knowledgeable visitors, ‘Puerto’ can only mean one thing – Puerto de la Cruz.
Don’s son treated us to a night there on Tuesday, and although the drive up took little more than an hour, it felt like a holiday.
Puerto is on the north coast, and its exuberant verdancy is in stark contrast to the arid south where we live. Both are beautiful in very different ways, but a change is always refreshing.


We stayed in Hotel Marquesa – one of the old hotels in the centre of town, with wooden balconies overlooking an internal courtyard - 


– so much more atmospheric than a tall modern block.
Having checked in – the rooms have been modernised and all are en suite - we walked around the town and harbour. 





Tourists for the day, we admired the castle and the old houses, 













 a bronze statue of a fisherwoman on the quay 









the Fishermen's Fraternity building with some seriously dangerous-looking external stairs,

and a couple of nice young men swimming among the boats.   
We ate lunch and then ice creams and had a siesta, then went out in the soft evening to eat again –dinner this time - listened to Spanish songs over a brandy, 


and then slept, despite the rumble of cars over the cobbles and the chiming of the quarters from the church in the square.
I was up early in the morning to stroll through the old streets alone, admiring the houses, 
some beautifully preserved, others in desperate need of some TLC.


After breakfast in the main square we spent a couple of hours in the Botanical Gardens. I do love trees and added many photos to my album,


but here are just a few of the more exotic ones.

Then it was coffee in Garachico – the last town on the island to have suffered from a volcanic lava flow – and lunch (more food!) in Los Gigantes, home of these gigantic cliffs,
and back to Parque de la Reina.


We seemed to have been away for much longer than 24 hours, but even so there simply wasn’t time to take in the Agatha Christie Festival which I saw advertised in Puerto.


02/11/2013

BLACK NIGHT IN TENERIFE!

This ball of fluff and hundreds of its cousins have been growing over the past few weeks from this. . .











. . . . .. to this

and are due to make their maiden flights this full moon, after which these large, magnificent birds will live at sea and only return to land to nest and breed.
But they will only reach the sea unharmed if the inhabitants of the coastal regions of Tenerife put their lights out between 10pm and 1am tonight, November 2nd.

According to the local paper, the Corey's Shearwater is an endangered bird that breeds on our cliffs, but the new fledgelings can become confused by electric lights and crash-land. We are asked to turn off our lights during those crucial hours, and there's even a list of numbers to call if you find a grounded chick.


The authorities are calling it "Noche en Negro" = "Black Night" 
It's not much to ask, is it?