In Tenerife

Welcome To Janet Anscombe in Tenerife

In real life, I am an ancient historian, and was a university lecturer in Classics & Ancient History specializing in rhetoric, law and politics before moving to Tenerife. I’ve been here now for an astonishing ten years that has gone in a flash, after finding Higher Education had become little more than a processing factory for successful graduates who would be in debt for decades, or unsuccessful ones who were set up by the system to feel like abject failures after being encouraged to aspire to a level of education that was simply beyond them. Tenerife was our holiday home from home before 2004, and the obvious place to choose to retire. It is a sub-tropical haven with a pretty much year-round Spring climate and a language and culture both exotic and familiar. For anyone who wants to stay in Europe but in a place with a buzz, and who has rheumatoid arthritis, like me, and so needs steady humidity and kind temperatures, it is just about perfect.

I live with my husband in a tiny 200-year-old Canarian cottage on the edge of a mountain village a kilometer above the west coast. Our garden is full of flowers and trees, and lizards who now clearly consider us protection and food source combined. We have to resist constant demands for more egg mayonnaise, and shuffle them out of the way as they run at us for more banana now please! One thing I love about living at altitude is that we have seasons, something I think expatriates’ bodies simply need, and in Spring the air is heady with blossom scent from fruit and almond trees, and in autumn it’s a glorious relief to see autumnal colour and falling leaves while watching the mist rolling up the barranco like a steam train! Here’s a view from up here that I never tire of, looking out over the sea to the light show over La Gomera that is different every day. The “blessed isles”. Yes, indeed!

Over the last decade, I have spent quite a bit of my time indulging my interest in houses and homes, particularly interior design but also architecture – ancient architecture was always one of my favourite sidelines in work. My main fields, however, of rhetoric, law and politics have been the launchpad for considerable research into modern Spanish law and politics. If I see this website as having any function beyond that of personal enjoyment, it is as a source of advocacy for anyone thinking of moving here, or actually living here and struggling with bureaucracy and legalities. Ideally in such a place, people would be stress free and fulfilling their ideal of “living the dream”, but all too often it turns into a nightmare. I hope this site is helpful to anyone looking for accurate up-to-date information about what is happening here as well as a straightforward guide to the legalities and bureaucracy involved for resident and visiting foreigners, and their rights and responsibilities.

Please investigate the tabs across the top of the page. They lead to information and advice on being legal, owning property or living here – there are also a few private sales for those looking to buy property – as well as questions and answers on a wide range of related topcis. There are links to pages on everything from the rights of consumers generally to those of patients in the health service in particular, and from keeping dogs to donating a body to science! Under “Useful Stuff”, you’ll find some Spanish vocabulary, links to jobs available for English speakers, books written about Tenerife, essential places to visit, readers’ photos, how to stay safe in heat and water, and a full calendar of “what’s on” with links to detailed information about events.

Below on this page are the latest of regularly-updated posts about news and events; for earlier items, just look to the right and click on the main news link or on a particular date in the calendar  (just hover over a date and it will show you the posts made on that day). The right hand column also has buttons to “follow me” on Facebook, Twitter or by RSS feed; a search box to help locate news items or information of interest; links to recent comments made by readers (please do express opinions or ask questions – just click on individual headlines to find the comments box); and the latest news from the BBC and in English from El Pais. The final tab at the top of the page is to Links and Laws, a whole range of legal, official, practical and inspirational resources for anyone with an interest in this wonderful island I call home.

COPYRIGHT: Apart from press releases or where expressly stated otherwise, I have written every single word of text on this website myself. The entire content belongs to me and I have the copyright. Readers are welcome to take text without permission as long as they expressly name me as author, and provide a link to this site. If anyone wants to use anything without crediting me in this way, please ask first.


Latest news and events in Tenerife

Click HERE for the What’s On Diary

Torture in Tenerife – is this really the image we want to give as we go “up-market”?

Update 24 April: The Dutch court ruling that was expected next month was brought forward, perhaps in response to the issue’s treatment in the press, and its judgment is that the transfer of Morgan to Loro Parque was legal. To reactions of disbelief and outrage, the court has stressed that it was not able to take questions of Morgan’s welfare into account, and was only permitted to revisit the original ruling of the legality of the transfer to Tenerife. That transfer has now been confirmed as fully legal.

Loro Parque, in response both to the court ruling and the welfare organizations clamouring for Morgan’s release, has held a press conference in which the foundation’s deputy director Javier Almunia said that Morgan’s health was perfectly guaranteed, and that she had integrated perfectly with the park’s other orcas, and that rigorous quality control systems were in place. Javier Almunia also said that analysis indicated that Morgan had a hearing defect which represented a dreadful handicap which would hamper release to the wild.

The park had, however, he said, developed a lighting device as a means of communication for Morgan, and that the system would be expanded in the main pool so that Morgan could know at all times what was going on. The deputy director said that, moreover, Morgan’s difficulties have helped research because projects and studies initially intended to locate her family have resulted in advances in acoustic and dialect knowledge, and these will now form a basis for further research with St Andrews University in Scotland.

Loro Parque Vice President Christoph Kiessling said that he regretted the “successive unfounded attacks”, and the appeals by “some organizations that have been based on false and malicious information from those who present themselves as animal defenders”. Mr Kiessling said that the court ruling made it quite clear that campaigns organized by such groups, and their systematic attacks on Loro Parque with false, dishonest and seriously deceitful information, are aimed solely at damaging the image and good reputation of one of the most prizewinning parks in the world.

No doubt this issue will continue. The history of cetacean captivity and campaigning in the US suggests there will be no easy solution, nor victory, for either side here. I’m keeping comments switched off because it serves nothing for this blog to become bogged down in the vitriol. My own personal view is that Loro Parque is a wonderful resource which does a phenomenal amount of good, and that all welfare and other considerations apart, cetaceans are now a distraction that risks damaging Tenerife’s own reputation. I hope that some solution can be found before that happens.

Sky News tweets Sunday People front page

Sky News tweets Sunday People front page

Original post 20 April: From posts I’ve made in the past regular readers will know me to be a great fan of Loro Parque. I admire beyond measure their environmental programmes, and am beyond words for the wonderful work they’ve done with birds, especially in saving species from extinction. All this, however, is now in danger, with the clamour about the Orcas in captivity – and especially the free-born Morgan - increasing to the point, in my opinion, where it cannot be ignored.

Sky News now is reporting on a front page spread in the Sunday People about Torture in Tenerife. Loro Parque’s reputation will be on the line, and that would be a huge shame, but Tenerife’s own reputation is also affected by this and we cannot, surely, have all hands to the pumps to portray our island as a top-notch, five-star, luxury destination for the discerning traveller while the Sunday tabloids are screaming about torture in one of Tenerife’s flagship venues.

I have become increasingly uncomfortable about cetaceans in captivity as the evidence has mounted, but this is no longer only about animals – distressing as that might be. This is now about Tenerife, our reputation and our tourism market. The authorities need to listen or we will all suffer along with the dolphins and whales in Loro Parque and elsewhere.

Wine festival in Tegueste this Saturday

To some people, of all the wines from Tenerife, the best are Denominación de Origen Tacoronte-Acentejo wines. And so they might well be interested in the Festival de los Sentidos Tacoronte-Acentejo in Tegueste from 7pm this Saturday, 26 April. As part of the Tegueste wine month programme, various bodegas in the comarca will be showing and offering tastings of their wines in the town’s C/. Prebendado Pacheco. Bodegas taking part are La Isleta, El Lomo, Viña Estévez, Marba, Domínguez Cuarta Generación, Tabaibal, La Hijuela, Acevedo and Presas Ocampo.

Cyclist dies in horrific fall in La Laguna

A cyclist has been killed after falling from his bicycle and being run over by a lorry in La Laguna this lunchtime. The accident happened around a quarter past one on the Geneto road heading towards the city. The 43-year-old victim was attended by paramedics and bomberos, but nothing could be done to help him and his death from the injuries received was confirmed at the scene.

Search and rescue operation in process for search and rescue helicopter off Fuerteventura

AS332 Super Puma helicopter. Photo: Ejército del aire.

AS332 Super Puma helicopter. Photo: Ejército del aire.

Update 22 April: The Ministry of Defence has said that a robot submarine has now recovered remains which almost certainly belong to the two missing crew from the helicopter. These have also been transferred to Gran Canaria for confirmation of identity and cause of death. Search teams continue to comb the surface area above the rescue site.

Update 21 April: Two bodies and a considerable part of the fuselage have been brought up to the surface today, says the Ministry of Defence, as it confirmed the depth at which they had settled as 2,363m. The Spanish navy is transferring the two crew to  Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Works will resume tomorrow to recover the other two bodies.

Update 20 April: The helicopter has now been located. The discovery was confirmed yesterday, the Ministry of Defence has said, and the families of the four crew inside have been informed. The ministry will now study the best way of recovering the bodies, and the helicopter itself which might be investigated to discover the cause of its crash.

Update 28 March: The director of Robótica Submarina Qstar ROV, José María Sepúlveda, has said on Canarian television that he believes the bodies have been found of the crew who died when the search and rescue helicopter fell into the sea on 19 March. Sr  Sepúlveda said that the four military officers are inside the vehicle at a depth of more than 2,000m. A specific craft such as was used when the Costa Concordia cruise ship sank off Italy is now awaited which can confirm the positive localization made by acoustic waves.

Update 27 March: Canarian government representative María del Carmen Hernández Bento has said that the Ministry of Defence will provide all possible means to try to locate the bodies of the four military personnel presumed to have died in this helicopter tragedy. Sra Hernández Bento said that she fully understood the pain and impotence that the families of the missing men and women must feel, and that she hoped they would be able to find peace while the search continues. She said that it would be inconceivable to abandon attempts, given that the crew themselves were part of the very search and rescue unit trying to find them, and announced that a bathymetric study would be carried out by specialist international companies to try to find the remains of the helicopter, thought to be lying at a depth of around 3,000m.

Update 21 March: Once again the search has continued overnight with military night search capacity, rejoined this morning by the full complement of search teams.

Update 8pm: The crew, said to be highly experienced, has now been named as pilots Capt Daniel Pena, Lieut Sebastián Galván, and Lieut Carmen Ortega, and mechanics Sgt Carlos Caramanzan and Johnander Ojeda. All apart from Johnander were from the mainland. It is Johnander, from Gran Canaria, who was rescued last night. Of the others, sadly, there is no sign at present. Johnander, like the families of his fellow crew members, is said to be in a state of severe shock, and the ministry of defence, together with the Cruz Roja, has sent psychologists to try to help them.

Update 20 March: Search and rescue teams have worked through the night to try to locate the four missing crew but without success. As dawn broke, more resources were added and the search has intensified this morning. The helicopter ditched off the Jandía peninsula around 10pm last evening during routine practice exercises, on this occasion they were training using a winch.

All that has been found so far is a section of fuselage, and although there are some unconfirmed reports that the helicopter exploded before falling into the sea, the official stance is that no-one knows what happened yet and that an investigation is underway even as the search for survivors continues. The helicopter was from the Gando base in Gran Canaria, and is said to have been an AS 332 ‘Super Puma’, apparently generally known as a Eurocopter. The Ejército del Aire (Air Force) said that all these vehicles are constantly revised so as to be in a perfect state to fly.

Original post 19 March: A search and rescue helicopter is itself the object of a search and rescue mission tonight after falling into the sea some 30 miles south west of Fuerteventura. As of tonight, four crew are missing, with the fifth on board having already been rescued. The vehicle was on training manoeuvres rather than a rescue mission when it ditched. The search tonight involves a Guardia Civil patrol, a navy craft, another helicopter and two lifeboats. Hopefully there will be some good news by morning.

The famous Los Realejos Toste brothers’ fireworks competition fireworks 3 May

Although not a Tenerife-wide public holiday, a fiesta today in Los Realejos draws people from around the island and even further afield. The Exaltación de la Santa Cruz (Día de la Cruz) is known for providing the best fireworks display in Tenerife, and indeed, one of the ten best in the whole of Spain.

The fiesta is famous for the participation of the Hermanos Toste in a competition between two streets in Los Realejos for the best firework display, a tradition that started, incredibly, in 1770. The Hermanos Toste themselves date back to 1788 and have a factory in Los Realejos, the only one in the Canaries that makes fireworks.

This year’s display will be broadcast live as usual, click HERE from 9.30pm, and will once again be a stunning exercise in light, colour and sound. I can confirm that it was completely deafening when I went a few years ago! This short video of 2011′s displays will hopefully give some idea of what to expect.

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Public asked to help as over €100,000 of cable stolen in Adeje municipality in just a fortnight

Adeje Ayuntamiento has published details of a series of robberies in the last two weeks in the municipality that has seen over €100,000 worth of cable stolen, the department of works and services says. This is an appalling average of €6,600 per day, and councillor Gonzalo Delgado Díaz, has asked the public to be vigilant and help. As he  says, these thefts are difficult to police, and so the council is “asking neighbours and residents who see any suspicious activity by people near or at street installations to please phone the local police on 922 747 206 or 112.”

The Ayuntamiento reminds the public that anyone who is officially authorised to handle this cable and open street boxes etc will be wearing distinctive red uniforms with a council logo, so if you see anyone not wearing this uniform behaving suspiciously, please do call the numbers above. The particularly affected areas are Fañabé, Callao Salvaje, Tijoco, La Hoya, Los Olivos, Las Torres, Armeñime and El Galeón, but as the council says, “this is a borough-wide problem, and in some cases cable has been stolen twice from the same location. We will obviously step up the police presence in zones that are considered vulnerable, but we need your help”.

It’s worth remembering that this kind of theft does have direct repercussions on council budgets and replacing the missing cable would require monies to be found from other council projects. As the council says, if these thefts continue they will cause serious budgeting problems. Not only this, but Councillor Delgado Díaz added that these kind of crimes were also potentially dangerous to passers-by and children along affected pavements as it could increase the risk of injury as in many cases, “the cable that has been stolen is the ‘earth’ cable which protects from electrocution”.  Two very good reasons why we are all being asked to keep an eye open for suspicious or criminal activity.

Meteor showers in the Canaries in 2014

Update 22 April: Just a reminder that the Lyrid meteor shower should be visible tonight if cloud cover allows. Experts say that although the peak was last night, it is the thinner moon tonight that makes viewing towards the north east optimal late tonight.

Original post 2 January: The first meteor shower of 2014 will be the Quadrantids, which should be visible best between midnight on Thursday and dawn on Friday. Astronomers say that this shower might be the best of all those we can expect to see this year. The full list of this year’s meteor showers is:

  • January 3, 2014 Quadrantids
  • April 22, 2014 Lyrids
  • May 5, 2014 Eta Aquarids
  • July 29-30, 2014 Delta Aquarids
  • August 10-13, 2014 Perseids
  • October 7, 2014 Draconids
  • October 21, 2014 Orionids
  • November 4-5, 2014 South Taurids
  • November 11-12, 2014 North Taurids
  • November 17-18, 2014 Leonids
  • December 13-14, 2014 Geminids

Click HERE for full information on them all.

Books, flowers, signatures and workshops, all part of the XII Adeje Book Fair 25-26 April

Photo: Adeje Ayuntamiento

Photo: Adeje Ayuntamiento

Adeje Ayuntamiento’s departments of libraries and economic development have organised the XII Book and Flower trade fair which will also see a number of book signings, theatrical presentations, and flower sales points. The fair takes place on 25 and 26 April in the car park of the Municipal School of Music and Dance (EMMA). Libraries councillor Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz, said, “with these types of activities we want to achieve a number of things. On the one hand we are working to help book shops and florists from a sales points of view, and on the other hand we are working to help writers to promote their work.” He added, “this is the 12th book fair and we always have a good response from people in the borough. This year we are introducing something new with the florists, so we are linking Spring with the book fair in this way.” As well as the fair itself there are a number of parallel activities taking place in Adeje.

On Wednesday 23 April there will be a puppet show in Armeñime Cultural Centre at 9.30am and again in Tijoco Cultural Centre at 11am, sponsored by the Fundación CajaCanarias. Later on the same day at 8.30pm there will be an inauguration of an art exhibition by Carlos y Raúl Ortega. On Thursday 24 April there will be a film on the poetry of Pablo Neruda in the Adeje cultural centre, (€5), and on Friday 25 April, the fair will be open to the public from 10am with schoolchildren from the borough visiting from 11am. Students from the Actívate work scheme will organise a number of different animation workshops, and there will be story telling, puppets and book presentations as well as performances by groups from the Adeje School of Music and Dance. On Saturday 26 April activities begin at 10.30am, with stories in song, performances by the Municipal School of Rhythmic Gymnastics, book presentations and signings and the III Shared Verse Recital presentation.

A number of different florists will be taking part, combining the natural beauty of flowers with the written word. The book shops taking part are Todo Hobby La Clave, Centro de la Cultura Popular Canaria, Nymeria Comics, Moragalibros Facsimiles, Editorial Bahai, Librería Tabernáculo, Ifara Libros, Librería Dragobah, Librería el Candil and Librería de Mujeres.

Alcalá Feria de Artesanía 30 May

Guía de Isora Ayuntamiento has announced an artisan fair in the Plaza del Llano in Alcalá on Friday, 30 May. Registered artesans with a carné de artesano who would like a stall can apply between now and 20 May by submitting THIS form together with ID and a photo of their product by email to or by fax to 922 85 378. For the rest of us, it is another date in the diary to look forward to.

3rd cross solidario – charity run – in Guía de Isora

Update 19 April: Just a reminder that this race takes place this afternoon and evening, if anyone is interested in turning out for a bit of support for the runners.

Original post 20 February: The third running of the cross popular solidario will take place on 19 April. This is a charitable run coordinated and sponsored by Guía de Isora Ayuntamiento, the Hotel Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora, Santisora triathlon club, and Fonteide, among others. Proceeds will go to the needy in the municipality. Inscription is open until 14 April, and costs €10 plus an optional kilogram of non-perishable food. Children can take part, and the cost for their inscription is that kilo of food.

The children’s race starts at 4pm on the 19th, while the adults begin at 6pm. There are different circuits, a 5km “rapid” run mainly on the flat starting at the reception of the hotel to Calle La Plaza and ending at Alcalá plaza. This circuit is also doubled for the 10km run. Children, depending on ages, run set distances from 100m.

Prizes donated by the sponsors are 2 nights in the hotel for 2 for the first prize, and 1 night for 2 for the second prize; third prize is a dinner for 2 in Restaurante Pangea. All the information is on the programme HERE; there is also a website HERE. You can also click on the poster above to see it full size.

Janet Anscombe
Tenerife News
April 2014
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