Islandmomma

Searching for Stories Around the Islands of the World and the Freedoms of Third Age


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I Love the Smell of Dawn….

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I love the smell of dawn on the Tenerife coast. The air bears scents you don’t smell during day nor during  night – a mixture of ozone, the scrub of the dunes, and a freshness, which melts under the warmth of the sun. The silence, as the first light seeps along the horizon, is vast and exquisite. It surrounds you as the landscape stands on tiptoe, waiting for the new day’ s first sounds, and you hope it be the cry of a bird, or the whispering of ocean to earth,  and not the ugly sounds of men.

It has to have been an awfully good drop of wine which has made me sleep in and not want to get down to the beach.

I am ridiculously happy with this photo, because it’s taken me 3 years to achieve it!  I knew that sooner or later the sun would be rising in line with this pathway down to Playa Cabezo. I’ve taken snaps here before, but never managed to get it quite so framed as this morning. I must have taken about a dozen, but this is also the only one where that wave is trickling in just that way.


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Waiting for the Storm

Phases of a stormy sunrise

Phases of a stormy sunrise

The pictures were taken yesterday. This morning the sky met the ocean in endless grey, and Trixy and I were drenched on our morning walk.

You read that with a shrug of the shoulders perhaps? It’s a common occurence in some climates of course, but not so much in south Tenerife. The last time I remember dog walking in the rain was three years ago. I felt sorry for my neighbor scurrying out with her wee dogs in the half light, dressed only in leggings and sweater, holding another sweater over her head. Looks like she doesn’t have the right clothes for rainy days!

We are momentarily in that weird calm as one swathe of rain clouds have passed over us, and another is fast approaching. The next one is looking denser and is driven by high winds, gusts up to hurricane force are forecast, although that will probably be in the north.

Main beach El Médano mid-morning

Main beach El Médano mid-morning

By mid-morning the first phase past, El Médano’s beach looked almost normal …. except for the absence of people. This is how it normally looks early morning, folk walking and running and exercising, but by mid-morning the sunworshippers are normally out. The market was cancelled, not that many folk had turned up it seemed, the ones who obviously had come for that were wandering aimlessly around, as bars and cafés decided to chance it and set out their tables. These businesses rely so much on good weather, almost all have terraces, and many have nothing but terrace. They wouldn’t make a living from the number of covers indoors.

The two events I’d planned to go to this weekend are postponed until the storm is past, which leaves the usual dilema, what does one do here on a rainy day? Museums are open and free Sundays, but the drive to Santa Cruz and then the walk from the parking to a museum are not appealing. So, it’s looking like a possibly productive weekend.


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February Sunrise

I don't often post pictures just for the sake of it. I think of this blog as more about the writing than the photos, but this morning's sunrise was, quite simpley, too lovely not to share.

I don’t often post pictures just for the sake of it. I think of this blog as more about the writing than the photos, but this morning’s sunrise was, quite simply, too lovely not to share.

It hadn't looked too promising when I first got down to the Paseo Maritimo

It hadn’t looked too promising when I first got down to the Paseo Maritimo

...but as I waited it began to spread and glow. Glorious morning.

…but as I waited it began to spread and glow. Glorious morning……would be so nice if this day fulfills its promise.


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Seizing the Supermoon

Another 24 hours and all our supermoon stories and exchanges will just be another footnote to 2012, moments seized, enjoyed, recorded and then committed to the archives in our minds. This, then, is what I will file away.

We meet at the appointed hour 19.30. The intention is to suss out the best spot and then retire to eat or drink until well before the due time of 21.15 to stake our claim. The early evening is balmy and calm,unusual for this stretch of coast. This is my home turf. It will not be the first time I’ve photographed the moon rising out of the ocean from the sand dunes at the end of my street, but it’s a first time in this spot for Maria and Colleen, and I think they like what they see. There are rocks and sand dunes and junipers, all perfect for framing photos. I think they like the gelato from my favorite ice cream parlor too! We sit by the little harbor and savor the pleasure. They are finger-licking good.

We rouse ourselves and saunter back along the beachside road, chatting companionably and not at all hurried. We step onto the beach, and it’s then I draw a sharp breath. In the lavender and rose  twilight sky the moon is already there, and well on its way to the heights.

One of the odd things about living in the Canary Islands is that we are in the same time zone as the UK, an hour behind the Spanish peninsula and most of Europe. The thing is that most information on tv and internet fails to mention this. We had failed to deduct the hour, the “una hora menos en Canarias,” as the ones which do bother to differentiate, say.

I fall to my knees on the nearest dune and fumble my camera out of its bag. The closer to the horizon the bigger the moon seems to be, we missed its hugeness,  but it is, nevertheless, quite breathtaking. The colors are gentle pastels. It isn’t yet dark. Its progress is slow, so we get lots of snaps anyway. Then Colleen suggests going a little up the coast to La Tejita, to see it rising over Montaña Roja, so we trot, quicker now, to her car, which is the nearest, and turn for a couple of last shots over the beachfront wall, as darkness descends and paints the world in other shades.

La Tejita is one of my favorite places on the island, but I know that without a tripod my pictures won’t amount to much, so I spend more time simply inhaling the scene than snapping. The ones I do get are noisy and dark. I have to max the ISO in the absence of a stable tripod, but the effects are a bit unusual.

There is a yacht anchored in the shelter of the mountain, and out at sea there is a string of fishing boats, twinkling like the proverbial diamonds on velvet.

I have no idea what produces that shaft of light, grease on the lens perhaps? But it looks effective. It’s enough. Sometimes in the snapping you don’t have time to take it all in, so perhaps my lack of tripod is no bad thing tonight.

Happy and fulfilled, we retire to what is one of my local bars to admire in comfort and sip mojitos.

The next night, yesterday, finds Maria and I a bit further down the beach, a part which is more rocky and a bit wilder, though it’s bounded by hotels and apartment blocks, you still feel closer to the ocean. This night, of course, we know the time, and we make our way down to the shore as darkness falls. Tonight there is a breeze as usual, and along the horizon a skein of deep purple cloud hovers, but doesn’t touch the ocean. There is a line of light, and we hope that we will see the moon rising before it disappears into the clouds. In the meantime, there are diverting images, as the sun sets way behind us, its crimson is reflected onto the thick, dark clouds, and that reflected light, in turn, is reflected onto the muddy sand, turning it lilac and moody.

The wet beach is a gift of reflections and images, even the ugly hotel on its edge looks pretty, as its lights flicker on and are echoed, and a girl appears soundlessly and seemingly out of nowhere, riding her bike along the shoreline.

It’s getting darker, and the waves are creeping up the beach, the breeze is getting stronger and shearwaters are calling out to each other, their spooky, unreal cry. We talk of famous photographers who spend hours in freezing waters or mountainsides, waiting for that one, perfect shot. We begin to think that we have missed it, that in the dark we haven’t noticed that the clouds have descended to the sea and obscured our moonrise. We are about to reach for our stuff and turn tail, when a mere sliver of intense scarlet emerges, again there is a deep intake of breath and a scurrying for lenses and equipment.

Without a tripod, in this darkness I have even less hope that I did last night. It is impossible. I shoot a couple of frames, and then turn the camera off and stand in meditation. It’s a brief but intense experience. The moon will soon be hidden by the cloud, but it glows from red now to orange, and it is a huge as one expected it to be. I’m posting a couple of pictures only to give you an idea of how it was. They can’t really, but you can see what distinct experiences the two nights were.

This morning, as I walk Trixy, there is a silver shadow in the sky, which is fading as the sun’s brilliance begins to dominate the day. I rush home for the camera and return within five minutes, only to find that I took out the battery last night to charge it, and failed to put in the spare. Ah, well, as a photography experience this supermoon hasn’t been too great, but as an appreciation of this universe, it’s been pretty impressive.

 


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A Dramatic Sunset: My Reward for Procrastination

I’d been glued to the keyboard all day yesterday, all the while gnawing at the back of my mind were chores I needed to do in Los Cristianos. Now this is only a 15 or 20 minute drive, so it’s no big deal, is it?  especially when you consider the distances some of you drive daily without thought, those of you who live on continents, rather than on islands, of course. Island living definitely alters your perspective sometimes. Procrastination can become a way of life.

Finally, I dragged myself out in time for the business day re-opening. Although in the resort areas loads of businesses and many shops now stay open throughout the day, there are probably just as many which resolutely close their doors either at 1pm or at 2pm so workers can lunch and siesta the afternoon away, before returning at 4 or at 5. In Los Cristianos mostly they close at 2, so I aimed to be there for 5.

The advantage is that the parking is much better in the afternoons. Deliveries seem to be concentrated into the morning hours, and generally if you think about making an appointment with your lawyer or accountant or any other professional you think “before lunch”.

The other advantage is that you get everything done much more quickly because there are fewer folk around, not only are less locals doing businesses, but in Winter at least, the tourists are ambling back to their hotels and apartments to clean up for dinner. Yesterday, in fact, there were a few visitors mooching about the shopping area, because we have winter right now. That is, it’s the few weeks of the year we get at some time between December and March, when temperatures drop a bit, so not exactly beach weather then, we even had a few drops of rain over the last couple of days.

Fred, my faithful, old car, not being in the best of health these days, I was aiming to be home before it was too dark, but as I drove out of town the skyline caught my eye. Brooding, purple clouds were hovering over the horizon, and the sun, not far from its setting, was playing hide and seek with them. I pulled over, and sat and watched for a while, and the allure proved too much. It’s clouds which make those dramatic sunset pictures, and who knew what these fleecy beauties might do.

Playa El Callao’s 400 m or so of bedraggled sands mark the terminus of Los Cristianos, most of it is pebbles with a few parched-looking junipers surviving here and there.  Although it is within the resort it certainly isn’t a tourist beach, and its scraggy-ness isn’t unappealing. It’s close to where I lived in 2009.  It’s tranquil, last night only the slapping of the waves on rock from the wake as the ferries came and went could be heard, other than a couple of dog-walkers calling or whistling their pets.

I trudged down to the scrubby beach, on the approach dodging the dog poo, plastic bags and other fast food detritus, wondering whether the photos I knew would make this forlorn beach look like paradise were fair.  There are so many times I scratch my head over things which seem to me obvious: why isn’t this beach “adopted” and prettified? There is a smart hotel right next to it, The Arona Gran – what do its residents think about this beach? If there is some reason (and right now if you asked the town hall will tell you there’s no money, obviously) it isn’t being developed, at least why isn’t it kept clean? There were quite a few folk around, walking down to the beach or headland to watch the sunset.  I’m very much in favor of “wild” beaches myself, but how can the filth be allowed?

Fact is, the Canary Islands in general have benefited enormously from the Arab Spring, from rioting in Greece and other problems which have made people think twice about holidaying in other places (not that the queues at the employment offices get any shorter), and whilst enterprising and imaginative promotion is done in some quarters, in others it leads to complacency.

So I have to say that whilst these photos represent Nature’s passion and splendor, and it’s very true that sights like this are the norm here, what lay behind me was mankind’s disgusting mess.


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Dreaming of Lazy Lunches

Just a couple of weeks ago this beach would have been full of children enjoying the last days of their summer break. This is the little village of Tajao, about ten minutes up the east coast from El Médano, and as different from El Médano as that resort is from Playa de las Americas.

On the weekend it will be busy again.  If you ever wonder where local folk go for their family Sundays, this is one of them.  The beaches of Arona and Adeje are for the young if you’re a local, and the beaches of these small, coastal villages throng with families enjoying their leisuretime.

Now, weekdays, you could have the beach to yourself, (there wasn’t a soul there the day I went last week), and afterwards you can feast on fresh fish in one of the nearby restaurants,at a price which won’t break the bank. This is the sort of place I think of when I think about lunch.  Usually it’s fresh fish and papas arrugadas, or lapas or calamari to start with.  I have to admit that the salads often leave something to the imagination, but almost make up for it by their freshness.

A few weeks ago I was lolling on a rock in a little village similar to Tajao, when a small fishing boat gingerly approached the rocks on the other side of the bay.  Some local guys went down to hold the boat’s line, and help one of the two crew onto land.  The second crew member handed up a very large tuna, which was then carried up to one of the restaurants nearby. You can’t get much fresher than that!


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Of Big Swells and the End of Summer

It’s strangely quiet outside my window today.  A few kids are splashing about in the pool, but nowhere near the hooting and screaming of the past few weeks.  This morning in the silent supermarket there were still lettuce and tomatoes left on the shelves – granted a bit tired-looking, but for the last four to six weeks the shelves have been bare on a Monday morning after the weekend rush, (well, even on a Monday afternoon – it takes them a while to restock here).  It’s a sign the summer residents are gone or about to go, and life is on the cusp of change.

To an outsider it may seem as if everything is the same year round in El Médano, but if you live here the changes are obvious.  There will be parking again.  Once the annual fiesta is passed in another couple of weeks, the stage which occupies a corner of the main town square, will be dismantled and put into storage for another year.  Although there are always tourists, there will be fewer, and they will be mostly people here for a purpose. The spirit of El Médano, certainly for visitors and foreign residents, is very much sports-oriented. We come at the very least for the good dog-walking, and then, depending on your level of fitness, for windsurfing, kite surfing, running, cycling, swimming or power walking and more. Mix this with the folk from the old fishing community, throw in a few “hippies,” and you have the odd blend of people who rub together easily to give the town its quirky character.

In August, however, it turns into a family resort, as does just about any stretch of beach on the island with a few houses nearby.  When I strolled into the center with a friend to enjoy a glass of wine or two the other night, we were surprised to see the  climbing frames and equipment of the little playground in the square swarming with kids at midnight. Like so many indefatigable ants they were climbing, running and, of course, screaming to their hearts’ content. El Médano isn’t known for nightlife, more often than not, arriving home after dark, I’m surprised by how quiet it is, but not in August!

The other great precursor of the season in the south  that the landscape has turned to desert. Oh, the well-watered public areas of the resorts are lush and colorful as always, but the natural landscape is parched and thirsty, dying for some rain you might say.

From the approach to Montaña Roja it looks as if nothing could survive, vegetation is wilted if not skeletal.  It’s an easy walk up to the top, which is about 170 meters I think (from memory), and the views from up there are extensive along the coast, over the airport, and to the mountains beyond on a clear day.  Saturday, when I went with the photo group, it was clear-ish, and the views revealed a harsh landscape, seared by the summer sun, and apparently devoid of life, except some scrubland between the beach and the road.  Nothing much was growing other than the resilient tabaiba.

Wave beginning to build

From the times I lived near the beach in La Tejita I remember the big waves seeming to mark the end of the season too. From the hilltop on Saturday we watched for around an hour or so as the waves built and came crashing down onto the sands, the crests already being blown back out to sea by the strong winds, sometimes forming brief rainbows along the peaks of the wave.

La Tejita isn’t a surfer’s beach, although there are always waves as ocean meets the shore.  The waves break far too close  for surfing, but yesterday, when I went with Maria to take a closer look at the beach, there were a few bodyboarders out there catching a ride, and even a couple of hopeful surfers.  Not very long rides maybe, but definitely exciting. Waves rose, glittered like jeweled, turquoise glass, dragged sand from the shoreline and tossed it up in their foam, before creaming onto land.  They say that the waves come in sets of seven, every one bigger until they die away and you wait for the next set.

You can see from the color of the rock how the mountain got its name.  Anyone wonder why this, despite the barrenness at the moment, is my favorite beach in the south of Tenerife??


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Spring Moonrise

In common with thousands of people the world over (and most of them members of Flickr it seems) last night at sunset found me scanning the horizon for the “super moon”.  Having seen some spectacular moons here I was expecting something really stunning as I paced the shoreline, and poked about a bit in rock pools to pass the time.  A random, wet dog befriended me for a while, and I watched a couple of guys messing about in the ocean, one with a boogie board and the other with a surf board and a paddle.  It all seemed a bit chilly to me.  I thought of jogging a bit, like other folk on the beach, the moon seemed to be a bit on the late side.

When I spotted it I realized it had had to rise out of some cloud cover on the horizon, and it was already a pale, scarlet orb, hanging on the skyline.  It was pretty.  I’ve never seen the moon just that color before, and the setting was magical, over the steely ocean and the gentle waves running at the shore, but it wasn’t nearly as huge as I’d expected.  I’ve seen the moon here on occasion rise over a mountain as if it was bearing down on planet earth, and once I saw it immense and pure silver, casting a path almost to my doorstep.  So this one was, on my scale, not so impressive, but, then again, not so bad for not so impressive is it!

Not great photos I know.  No excuses, my stupidity.  But a nice memory anyway…..and the very best thing is that I only had to walk for two minutes to get to the beach :=)


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Postcards from the Island

I have a certain mental lethargy at the moment.  Recent days have been full, and dictated by events and necessities other than exploring or writing or photography.  My son, Austin, has been in hospital (successfully and he’s now recuperating at home), and boring stuff like dental appointments and car checks are driving my life, so for now here are just a few glimpses of the island I’ve had in recent weeks, things I want to know more about, places I want to revisit and some food for thought.


Las Teresitas. Probably the most photographed beach on the island, because of its beautiful, golden sand, imported many moons ago from Western Sahara. Something which is now forbidden, I understand. Often overlooked by the run-of-the-mill tourists who favor the more predictable weather of the south of the island. Las Teresitas lies about ten minutes from Santa Cruz, and was quite breezy on the day we passed by, killing time between appointments.

From the same vantage point, overlooking the coast on the other side from Las Teresitas, where you can see almost to the tip of the island.

Las Teresitas lies just a heartbeat outside of the village of San Andres, and this, so far as I can make out, is the local graveyard.  It’s quite a contrast with the one in Santiago del Teide which I photographed last month, which was colorful and pristine, but it looks as if it has a multitude of stories it might tell.  Many of the graves were unkempt, even tumbledown, and some were unmarked.  I’ve asked some questions about it, but not as many as if I were going to write something in detail about it, so it remains a bit of an unsolved mystery for me, although one fact which has emerged is that it was used by U2 on an album cover.  A quick search didn’t find it, but maybe someone who’s more of a U2 fan than I can tell me more?

I often remark on what a fascinating little city Santa Cruz is.  Of late the city part has seemed more “real” to me, being there for business or appointments I’ve felt something of that  city vibe one gets in London or Madrid, but having an hour to spare on day I strolled a bit in Parque García Sanabria in the heart of the mini-metropolis, and found that same sense of peace one finds in pretty city parks the world over.  This one is especially tranquil, and, of course, in this climate, always green and shady.

Finally, just to prove two things:   (1) That even a pretty city has its ugly side, and (2) that there is some drama and beauty even in that ugliness, I snapped this picture from the roof of a shopping mall the other day.  Over the top of the smelly Cepsa refinery on the very edge of the city, the sun, almost ready to bid  goodnight to the earth, breaks through the clouds a last time.


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The Fiesta Where Two Worlds Collide

According to the official website of the bishopric of  Santa Cruz de Tenerife, around 30,000 people took part in or observed Thursday’s celebration of the feast day of San Sebastian in Adeje.  I’m hopeless at judging numbers, but it was clear that there were already several thousand there by the time we had scoffed the empanadas after our short pilgrimage, which I described yesterday.  The picture below shows the beach in only direction, with people perched on every vantage point the rocky shoreline presented.  It was the same in the other direction, along the beach and up steps to the road beyond.

The fiestas of late summer can be compared to harvest time in the northern countries, but I don’t know how to compare this season.  Last week in Santiago del Teide it was San Antonio Abad (Abbott), this week in Adeje it was San Sebastian, and next week sees more celebrations involving San Antonio in Los Silos and Buenavista del Norte.  The connection is animals, and perhaps knowing that San Sebastian is the saint in charge of warding off pests and plagues, and that San Antonio is the patron of domestic animals explains it.  Seems to me if they worked together it might help, but hey, what does an old agnostic know!  The idea is that the animals are blessed and hopefully fruitful (in one way or the other!) in the year ahead.


This horse was my absolute favorite.  He almost took away my breath with his shiny coat and his elegant stride, and what seemed to be pride and enjoyment emanating from him!

I’ve always kind of liked San Sebastian.  He’s always portrayed as being so young and handsome for one thing (check out the painting by El Greco, ladies), not to mention that he was a soldier, and I’m a sucker for a man in uniform (especially back in the 3rd  century when they displayed their well-toned legs too).  For another, years ago I visited the catacombs outside of Rome, where his body supposedly lay for some time, and whatever one believes there is an extraordinary atmosphere there.  What I thought was the manner of his death, portrayed as he always is, pierced by arrows, seemed a bit different to most too, but checking him out online (aren’t they all there now!) before the fiesta, I found out that he didn’t die from those wounds, but was rescued, nursed back to health, returned to taunt Diocletian, who then, of course, furious, had him beaten to death.  What any of that has to do with plagues and pests I don’t know, but it all makes for an excuse to fiesta.

On Wednesday night he’d enjoyed his annual trip to see the fireworks, which I missed, and Thursday his job was to follow the procession of animals from the elegant hermitage in La Caleta de Adeje, where a mass was conducted,  down to the shore to make sure they all had a dip before his blessing.  I’m not sure that I ever touched on religion here before, other than simply talking about the different fiestas, but by now you may have guessed that I am not a fan.  I do wonder, however, what would happen to local traditions if the entire population overnight came to think as I do.  So many of them were based originally in religion.   Would they be rejected, or would they continue just for fun?  Carnaval, after all, has nothing to do with a pre-Lent cleansing any longer.  The fact is that I’m perfectly ok with the idea of people like saints; persons, living or dead, who may have closer links to the universe than the rest of us, but I’m not ok with the misinformation about them, nor the power of organized religions, so if I ruled the world this would, actually, still go on.

We took a peek inside the churches, the pretty new one, built in 1961, and the tiny old one, which had fallen into disrepair, but is now beautifully restored, before heading down to the beach.  Although I’d seen pictures of this fiesta from previous years I was surprised at the number of people so early, waiting for the action.  We checked with a local policeman, who was struggling, charmingly to answer questions in at least four languages that I overheard, and he indicated the route of the procession, and we found a shady spot to wait.  It was then that the contrast between the fairly simple celebrations in Santiago del Teide the previous weekend, and what was happening in La Caleta struck me.  It wasn’t the sincerity of the proceedings or that they were not genuine in any way whatsoever, but that so many tourists were attracted to them.  It seemed like two worlds colliding.

The tourists waited impatiently in their spotless white shorts, clutching their cameras; locals sat patiently on the pavements and clutched their cameras too.  It was a longish wait.  Very little here happens at the appointed hour, and it occurred to me that with the huge crowd the priest might have run out of wafers, but in due time we spotted the procession coming down the street, and the nice policeman indicated that we should move out of its way a bit.

It was a wonderfully mixed group of riders who approached first, some dressed in traditional Canarian vests and hats, others looking like polo players, and yet others looking as if they were just there for fun in jeans and vests, and there was the inevitable guy with a cellphone to his ear,  but all in great good humor, and seeming to be relishing every minute.  There was a cute donkey with a sunhat, looking as if he belonged in an old western, and immaculately groomed steeds with plaited manes.  There were graceful women riders, and those who looked like businessmen on a day off, farmers, punks and some seriously cute children.  The riders were followed by a couple of pony and traps, and then came the shepherds and goatherds with their flocks.  Many of them carried the traditional long staffs which were carried by the Guanches long before the Conquistadors set foot on this island.  You’ll see them in the pictures below.  Not only were they used for keeping steady on the rocky terrain, but also used to launch the goatherd as he jumped from rock to rock.

The rear of the procession was brought up by San Sebastian and the mayor, priest and other local dignitaries, and we followed as they made their way down to the beachfront.  Dexterous use of elbows and not being afraid of the water got us views of the fun as horses, goats and sheep were pulled, coaxed or willingly trotted into the water.  It is, I think,  the most fun festival I’ve witnessed, and having done the “pilgrimage” it felt quite cool to be a little part of it, but by the time all the dunking was over we were starving and headed straight for the hotdog stand.  That the procession was then winding its way up to El Humilladero didn’t mean we escaped the queues, half the world, it seemed, had decided the same.  Roughly the queue and one hotdog later they returned to the roadside in front of the church, where animals, riders and keepers received a sprinkling of holy water to protect them from the plagues and pests of the coming year, and in all seriousness I hope it works.

For Cristina and me there was now the challenge of an hour to hour and half walking back to Adeje.  We were on the beach, and Adeje lies at 280 m above sea level.  My boots were falling apart.  The sun was hot, and I’d been on my feet since 9am.  Even so, the walk was fun (at least until we reached the road, then not-so-much), and it had all been well worth it.

I couldn’t begin to guess just how many of that 30,000 crowd were tourists, and I don’t begrudge the popularization of the fiesta one bit.  We are in crisis, and tourist euros are essential to the economy.  In fact, it’s a good thing that so many people realize that there is at least one whole other aspect to life on this lovely island.  Still, it seemed incongruous, the sheep and goats bleating, the horses prancing and the stalls selling hotdogs and ice cream as well as sardines and turrón, and in the background the swish hotels of Costa Adeje.  This festival is still able to happen because the beach there is still stones, and hasn’t been blasted with golden sand stolen from the seabed, and because there is still waste ground, not yet built on.  I suppose one day grand hotels will rise on that waste ground too, and I wonder what will happen then to this tradition.

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