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First Aiders from Tenerife leave for Peru

Posted by dolly diver on August 21, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

First Aid WorkersFirst Aid workers from Tenerife, and other Canary Islands have been sent to Peru to help with the aftermath of the recent earthquake.

Many parts of the south of the country are still without water or electricity and emergency food supplies are gradually reaching the worst hit areas.

A fund has been set up in Fuerteventura to raise money to help victims of the earthquake.   

11 feared dead as migrants continue to arrive

Posted by dolly diver on August 21, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

Yesterday saw another flood of over 250 African migrants arriving in various ports around the Canaries.African migrants

The largest boat with 120 males on board, including 9 children, arrived in Los Christianos with another 2 boats expected to arrive this morning which will raise the total to over 350.

Survivors from one boat who were rescued at sea 80 miles south of Fuerteventura on Sunday say they had to throw overboard 9 men and 2 children who died during the week as they drifted without food or water. 2 other occupants of the same boat have since died.

The claims are being investigated by the authorities. 

New Chill our bar near Los Gigantes: La Amazona

Posted by dolly diver on August 20, 2007
Posted in Local News 

There have been many nice compliments on the forum recently about a new bar La Amazona which has recently opened www.losgigantes.com/board/index.php?topic=629.0so I decided to pay them a visit to find out for myself.

La AmazoniaLa Amazona, a chill out bar, opened on Friday 6th July to offer residents and visitors to the area a place to go to relax, there are no tv’s, no sport, no pool tables and no karaoke. Just luxury comfortable furnishings, wooden tables, sofas, candles and soft lighting; so it’s not difficult to chill out, listen to good music and enjoying the views.

La Amazona, formerly an Austrian restaurant Sissi’s, is above Tránsito supermarket, San Francisco. Turn off at the roundabout near the police station.

Glen and MargiGlenn Salt, from Essex, and Margi (Margarita) from La Laguna have taken over the bar together after each running their own businesses in Tenerife. For two years Glenn owned Ritmo, the disco pub in Puerto de la Cruz and Margi, for 17 years, was the proprietress of a restaurant Los Abrigos.  They specialise in a good selection of tapas cooked fresh daily by Margi.

There’s no shortage of parking, especially in the evening when the supermarket is closed. The bar and terraces comfortably seat around 70 people.  

The bar is open from noon to around 02.00 seven days a week.

DD

The limits of the point-system driver’s license

Posted by dolly diver on August 20, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

The rise in fatal road accidents during August and the 121 people who died on the roads in the first 12 days of this month is 28% higher than in the same period last year. These figures are sufficient reason for renewed doubts about the efficacy of the new point-system driver’s license. It is also cause for renewed criticism of the national Traffic Department’s advertising campaigns aimed at heightening drivers’ awareness of elementary rules, such as respecting the speed limits, keeping a safe distance between vehicles while on the roads, and wearing a seat belt when driving.

August has been especially discouraging, with more accidents and a higher mortality rate. When viewed in perspective, the statistics are not so bad — the number of traffic deaths has fallen by 10% so far this year — but the feeling emerges that we are not going to achieve any substantial reduction in traffic deaths. However, there is no real surprise in the decreasing efficacy of the point-system license. It has followed the same process as in other countries: a very favourable initial effect in the first few months, levelling out to a modest decrease in accident levels. The problem is not in the point system itself — certainly a coercive one on paper — but in its poor capacity for dissuasion. The processing of fines is time consuming; the withdrawal of points disqualifies you from driving, but you are informed of this fact poorly and late; and there is not even any effective control of people who drive without a valid license. In short, drivers do not have the feeling that their infractions will be discovered. On the contrary, they count on a high probability of impunity. The success of the point-system license depends on the coercive capacity with which it is implemented; this capacity in turn depends on the administrative will to implement it, and on the resources allocated to this end.  

Resources that include, for example, prompt breathalyzer checks, more radar to graphically demonstrate the infraction committed — on four-lane and two-lane highways — and a system for the processing of sanctions that will not take months or years. There is abundant evidence that, while the law exists, the will to enforce it does not. It is unacceptable that there is no prosecution of those who drive motorcycles without a helmet, or that it is not harder to obtain a motorcycle license, given the increasing power and speed of two wheeled vehicles. The responsibility of drivers is only part of the solution to this chronic problem. 

The public will better accept the restrictions of the law if they see that the national and regional governments are spending the money needed to improve the dilapidated state of many Spanish highways, and particularly of the right-hand slow lane on most of our four-lane divided highways. It would also be helpful if driving schools taught learner drivers more than just how to turn the wheel and press the pedals, and if the renewal of driving licenses was tightened up considerably from its present permissiveness.
Spain and the Canaries seems to be treated as a serious matter only when deaths and injuries occur.

Source: El Pais

Discard your mobile phone, whistle a Silbo message instead!

Posted by dolly diver on August 20, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

SilboEl Silbo, Gomera’s unique whistling language is undergoing its biggest revival in centuries and will soon come to the attention of people and places all over the globe.In the next few weeks, UNICEF will decide whether or not to grant world heritage status to La Gomera’s whistle. If approved, it would be an enormous boost for all those who are trying to save the island’s historic whistling language and ensure it is learnt by generations to come.

Silbo is already a compulsory part of schools curriculum in La Gomera but UNICEF’s grants would allow the message to be spread throughout the Canaries and beyond – quite literally.

Ten years ago, the art was dying out and only the very old had mastered its complicated technique. Now, children as young as five are beginning to whistle while they work, play and chat. Forget the mobile phone! Silbo has become the secret code of the playground, ensuring that the ancient tradition will live on.

Based on only four consonants and four vowels, it involves shaping a finger into a u and inserting it into the side of the mouth. It might seem simple but it can take up to three months just to learn that first step and then years to master how to whistle a conversation with more than 4,000 words. Some never achieve the art.

To the uninitiated, it sounds very much like birds chattering with trills and chirps. The language is thought to have originated in ancient Guanche times, more than 2,500 years ago and was brought to Gomera by the Berbers of Morocco.

The tones of Silbo can be heard from up to two kilometres away, it was used by farmers and residents to communicate to each other when it was impossible to travel quickly across the many ravines and mountains. It’s said that the silbo message can be heard from one end of Gomera to the other if passed on from one person to another, and that could involve a chain stretching 26 kilometres. Whistling not only travels further than shouting it is also less of a strain on the throat.

The language is unique because it has adopted the Spanish speech pattern and is not just disjointed words. It flows the same as a proper conversation.
Users are called a Silbador, or Silbadores in the plural. There are whistling languages in areas of Greece,Turkey,China and Mexico but none have developed as much as Silbo which has spread to Venezuela,Cuba and Texas
through Gomeros who have moved there.

Most of the older residents who know Silbo learnt it on the streets but now school-children have at least 25 minutes of tuition each week.
It’s a language which certainly proved very handy before the advent of mobile phones. La Gomera didn’t have main roads until 1935 and one village was without a public phone box until 1993.

Tenerife Airports beat million mark for July

Posted by dolly diver on August 17, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

Tenerife’s two airports had a bumper July with a combined total of over a million passengers.

Tenerife South (Reina Sofía) was used by more than 700,000 people, with almost an exact 50/50 split between scheduled and charter passengers.

Tenerife North claimed its best figures for some time with 350,000 passengers, the majority of them on scheduled flights and including 20,000 on flights from EU countries.

New wall for climbers in Los Realejos

Posted by dolly diver on August 17, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

New climbing wallTenerife is now in the forefront when it comes to artificial climbing walls in Spain.

Top30 won in competition with other wall manufacturers a tender for a huge climbing installation in Los Realejos and was commissioned by the local council to undertake this project.

The new wall has been built near the Playa del Socorro (beach) and the highest part of the wall is 15 meters above ground. The width of the wall is 12 meters and on the back of this free-standing monster there is a bouldering wall stretched the width of the wall and with a height of 4 meters.

The delivery included no less than 2800 bolt-on holds and a safety floor below the bouldering section, as well as a lot of climbing gear for the future establishment of a municipal climbing school.

Alcala Fireworks with lots of Sangria

Posted by dolly diver on August 16, 2007
Posted in Local News 

FireworksWhilst thousands of tourists flocked to Candelaria yesterday to take part in the celebrations in honour of the patron of the Canaries, the Black Madonna, our own celebrations were taking place in Alcala and last night was the big night – the fireworks. 

One of the best places to view the fireworks is offshore by boat and the Lions Club Santiago Del Teide had chartered the Glass Bottom Boat for the evening.

The buzz started in Los Gigantes Marina around 9pm. Every bar was packed. The Lions took over Offshore 44 and the excitement mounted. People started to move onto the boats shortly after 10pm. The Glass bottom Boat was ready for us with sangria, beer and snacks.

A short pleasant trip to Alcala followed, the sangria was flowing well, and we were soon moored up to a buoy in Alcala bay. Those fireworks waiting to be set off did seem very near! Other boats, too numerous to count were bobbing around all over the sea. The party was underway. 

There had been a bit of a swell all day making it difficult for the fireworks to be set, but it all went according to plan and the show was as spectacular as ever.

Many people were swaying on the return trip to the marina I think it was more from the effects of all the sangria rather than the motion of the boat!

Big wave washes unsuspecting sunbathers off jetty in Los Gigantes

Posted by dolly diver on August 16, 2007
Posted in Local News 

Our own Web Master, Christopher Punton has brought our new style news its first local story. 

Oasis jetty Los GigantesYesterday was a bank holiday and Chris, with several friends were swimming and sunbathing at the popular jetty down the steps from the Oasis pool facilities. (See photo right).

The sea was possibly a bit choppier than normal for a summer’s day in August but despite that, many bathers were enjoying their day.

Suddenly Chris spotted 3 huge waves approaching, having lived here for 17 years and knowing the dangers of the Atlantic he started shouting at everyone in both Spanish and English to run fast. He grabbed his clothes and towel and ran fast still yelling at everyone to move.

The Spanish fisherman on the jetty saw the danger and obeyed Chris’s shouts and ran. A family of British tourists just looked in amazement and despite Chris’s shouts of warning just sat there, oblivious to the oncoming danger.

The waves came washing the family aprox 20m over the rocks. Fortunately for them they were wedged in the rocks and not washed out to sea. Mum was taken away in an ambulance suffering from a broken toe, broken ankle, cuts and bruises. The rest of the family were all badly shaken but only suffered cuts and bruises. Bags and shoes were all lost to the sea.

Notice to bathers

Picture left is a warning notice at the Oasis in 3 languages.

The Atlantic is a vast Ocean and freak waves of this type catch tourists out time and time again not just in this area but all around Tenerife.

Thousands visit Candelaria to see the Black Madonna

Posted by dolly diver on August 16, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

Black MadonnaIt was estimated that 20,000 people from all over Tenerife descended on the coastal town of Candelaria yesterday to take part in the celebrations in honour of the patron of the Canaries, the Black Madonna.

Many had walked throughout the night from points as far away as Icod and Adeje to be in the main square when the procession carrying the statue of the Virgin emerged from the basilica.

Despite the huge crowds, no incidents were reported by the police. The mass in the basilica was officiated by the Bishop of Tenerife, Bernardo Alvarez, and attended by the regional president Paulino Rivero, who represented Spain’s King Juan Carlos.