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 ten years that have gone in an astonishing 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 therefore belongs to me or the source I quote and the copyright is protected and reserved. Readers are welcome to take text without permission as long as they expressly name 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

Weather consolidation

Photo: Teleférico del Teide

Photo: Teleférico del Teide

Update 5.30pm: And now the TF-24 (La Esperanza) access road has also been open. Teide and its snow is open to the public!

Update 4.30pm: The Cabildo has just announced that the TF21 La Orotava-Boca Tauce access road has been reopened. The TF-24 (La Esperanza) remains closed to traffic.

Original post: The Tenerife Cabildo has said that after a night of significant rain and wind, particularly in the north and at altitude, all access roads to Teide have been closed as a result of snow and ice. The Teleférico has issued the above photo of the white-out at the cable-car station, and announced that of course the facilitiy is closed. They advise walkers not to try to reach the Refugio.

Meanwhile, the island will be getting back to normal – it’s incredible sometimes how one area can feel unaffected when storms cause chaos just a few kilometres away. This last temporal hit the north of Tenerife most particularly, and La Palma, La Gomera and Gran Canaria above all. Meteorologists say, however, that another weather front is coming in and should be with us on and from Thursday. More information about that in due course, I’m sure.

Cape Verde’s equivalent to Teide, the Pico de Fogo, in eruption this morning

A major eruption started this morning on Fogo in the Cape Verde islands. The island is in the south of the archipelago which is itself south of the Canary Islands, off the coast of Senegal. The pico de Fogo is often compared to Mt Teide, being the highest volcano in the Cape Verde islands. The eruption has been confirmed by the Canarian Vulcanological Institute (Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias: IVC), which promises more information shortly. There is a private video of the eruption which has been promulgated by the IVC but I can’t see how to upload it to this blog: it is HERE on my Facebook media page, though.

Do you know anything that could help Tamo, a dog who was mutilated, hanged and left to die?

I’m grateful to Siobhan Ferguson who runs the Live Arico charity shop in San Eugenio for bringing to my notice an animal story that is so unbelievably appalling that the only thing that redeems it is the fact that the animal is still alive, and has a future that may itself yet be redeemed. All that is clear for the moment is that Tamo, above, is blind, and that his sight is not all he has lost. As of now he has also lost his ears and tail, cut off before he was hanged above a road in the Los Realejos area, and left to die.

Tamo was emaciated and only weighed 11kg, but has been nursed back from the brink of death and is now a healthy weight. He is somewhere between 5 and 7 years old, vaccinated and neutered. As someone has posted on the Paws4thought Facebook group HERE, “somebody out there knows who this dog belonged to”, and it will take someone to identify this person because the dog was not chipped. One can only presume that a person who can do this is a danger to more than just dogs. I’ll update as and when I hear anything more, and there is certain to be more about this, because no-one will be unmoved by such callous brutality to a blind dog. 

After initially being taken to the Refugio Internacional de Animales near Puerto de la Cruz, Tamo was then cared for at home by a German woman who frequently helps the refuge because his injuries were so extensive that he needed personal care. If anyone knows anything about this case, please report it to the police, or to the Refuge direct HERE. Any refuge or group would pass information on, however, so alternatives are MADAT (FB page HERE), or the Paws4thought group, or Siobhan in the shop or on Facebook. If you know something and want to report it anonymously, contact me and I will pass on the information on your behalf with absolute guaranteed secrecy as to your identity.

The important thing is for Tamo to find a secure home, and for his sadistic would-be killer to be apprehended. Money is not the issue because it seems that vets bills have been paid – HERE is the information to donate direct if anyone still wants to give money. There are images of Tamo when he was first admitted, however, so if you don’t want to look, you can check direct via the Puerto de la Cruz refuge as to whether any money is actually needed specifically for Tamo. The real issue, however, is finding the culprit, and a secure home for Tamo.

Forecast for borrasca approaching Canaries to bring heavy rain and high winds next week

Graphic: Aemet

Graphic: Aemet

Update 4pm: With the weather starting to clear up, as of 3pm the Tenerife Cabildo has deactivated its Plan Insular de Emergencias, and the Canarian Government has declared its alert for rains in La Palma, El Hierro and La Gomera finalized. Aemet’s yellow alert remains in place for the whole of Tenerife until midnight, and in north Tenerife tomorrow. On Sunday there is a yellow alert in north Tenerife for both rain and rough seas (costeros).

Update 21 November: The Cabildo has said that the TF21 Teide access road via La Orotava is completely closed to traffic due to ice and snow: it’s the only road that’s completely closed. The Teide national park itself has a good covering of snow, said to be the earliest in at least the last five years. The met office says that there are various minor problems with overrunning drains but in Tenerife, no major issues. The islands which have come off worst in this temporal are La Palma and Gran Canaria; in Tenerife, the north has mainly been affected. Schools are open.

Update 10pm: The weather alert remains in place for tomorrow, though it has been downgraded to yellow. Some heavy rain is still expected, particularly in the north, though lessening as the day goes on. Schools remain open.

Update 4pm: Adeje Ayuntamiento has announced that following a meeting of Cecopal, the emergency coordination body, the weather-affected suspension of after-school activities has now been lifted. The council still advises the public to take great care in any outdoor activity, and to avoid long journeys. There will be another meeting of Cecopal tomorrow to look ahead to the weekend as a weather alert remains in place. As before, different councils will have their own measures in place, so local checks need to be made.

Update 12 noon: It shouldn’t really need saying, but clearly it does. Weather systems such as we have at present really do include rough seas. Even if it’s not logical, it’s just visible to the naked glance! Please take care with the sea, not least for the emergency services who have again been in action this morning rescuing someone swimming in Playa Paraiso … and the three kindhearted individuals who went in the water to try to help and who themselves got into difficulty. All are well. They could so easily have not been.

Update 20 November: Aemet says that this afternoon’s rains are likely to be very heavy, particularly in the north, and that there should be a general noticeable drop in temperature, particularly in the medianías. A south-westerly wind will pick up, again more noticeably in the medianías, and particularly at altitude. The Cabildo has confirmed that the TF31 Puerto de la Cruz access road via Martiánez has been reopened. Schools remain open.

Update 2pm: Aemet has given an update, in which the met office says that the period of marked instability will probably be with us until Sunday 23rd. Today’s front bringing rain and low temperatures is quite active, resulting in scattered heavy showers, being persistent in some areas. The front is currently displacing eastwards.

The major depression that is still forming near the archipelago will maintain this instability over the next few days, which means it remains highly likely that there will be scattered rainfall, locally heavy in some places, with high winds. Aemet says that the uncertainty over how and where the depression develops means that it cannot predict more specifically the areas which will be affected.

The situation should start to stabilize from Monday.

Update 19 November: After the rains overnight, continuing this morning, the Cabildo has confirmed the situation in Tenerife is relatively normal, with just the TF31 closed, the Puerto de la Cruz access road via Martiánez. Other roads are affected by surface water and rockfalls, so the Cabildo requests drivers to proceed with caution, and ideally not to travel unless essential. Rainfall is described as “moderate”, more intense in the north than the south. Schools remain open. More rain to come as the week progresses.

Update 8pm: The Tenerife Cabildo has activated its Plan Territorial Insular de Emergencias de Tenerife (PEIN). The emergency plan is being put in place on a preventative basis in view of the Canarian Government’s storm alert. Tenerife president Carlos Alonso signed the decree at 8pm, and so all open-air activities, like excursions, tourist visits, and sports activities, are suspended, and recreational and camping areas are closed.

The plan also allows for special protection measures for any public works being undertaken by the Cabildo, and for the security of structures at risk from high winds. Insular services  are being reinforced in preparation for the weather front which is said to be affecting La Palma already.

Update 18 November: Aemet’s alert has now been raised to orange from midnight tonight for rain of up to 30mm an hour in Tenerife and the north of Gran Canaria.

Update 17 November:  The Canarian Government’s Dirección General de Seguridad y Emergencias has now issued an alert for rains in the western islands from 4pm tomorrow, Tuesday for the western islands, extending to the whole archipelago from midnight.

Aemet’s own alert is for heavy rain and high winds from 4pm tomorrow, saying that the coming weather system comprises successive fronts of a deep depression. The Met Office’s forecast is for generalized rain, and lots of it, accompanied by very strong winds. Aemet says that of the first two fronts, the first is “very active”, with persistent and locally torrential rain. It will affect the Canaries from tomorrow afternoon until Thursday night, moving slowing west to east.

The second stronger front will start to affect us almost immediately, but with the depression forming near the islands it is as yet unclear where it will be centred. As such it is not yet possible to know exactly how severe it will be, or where exactly it will be centred. Aemet said, however, that it is very likely that we will get a storm, with at the least locally torrential rain and very strong winds.

Update 16 November: Meteorologists are now saying that they can virtually confirm that the main front expected on Tuesday will be with us on Wednesday, and that there will be “substantial” rainfall. They also say, though, that the second part of the borrasca which could remain with us to the weekend will be a “copybook storm”. They stress that they do not wish to cause alarm, and say that the forecast is subject to some development because things can change somewhat over the course of the whole week. None the less, if things remain as they seem at present, Wednesday will be bad, but Friday and Saturday will be much worse.

Original post 14 November: We had the first real rains of winter last month (link), and if forecasts remain as they are, we will shortly have the first “borrasca”. The position will no doubt become clearer over the next several days, but the low pressure front is currently looking set to approach the Canaries from the west next week, with high winds and heavy and persistent rains from Tuesday 18th. As things stand, the weather could settle until Sunday 23rd. More info and clarity in due course, I’m sure.


Tijoco dairy wins Tenerife’s best cheese award

Photo: Adeje Ayuntamiento

Photo: Adeje Ayuntamiento

Update 21 November: Adeje dairy Montesdeoca goes from strength to strength, as in addition to being named Tenerife’s best cheese 2014, it has picked up two more prizes at this year’s World Cheese Awards held recently in London, the only dairy from the island to win. Adeje Ayuntamiento says that the local producers won two bronze medals for their smoked goats cheese and cheese aged in wine. Altogether over 2,600 cheeses from 33 countries took part in the competition.

Alberto Montesdeoca said that winning was “extremely satisfying. This year we decided to enter our wine cheese and we are delighted with the result”. He added that the priority of the company is always the production of “a quality product which people will recognize for its taste and texture”.

Montesdeoca makes various kinds of cheeses including white fresh, smoked, semi cured white, pepper and gofio, cured and the wine aged. Anyone interested in buying these cheeses can visit the dairy in Tijoco Bajo, just by the road to Llano de las Flores, 50 metres from the petrol station. You can also buy from the stand in the Adeje farmers market open every Saturday and Sunday, from 8am to 2pm.

Original post 14 April: Recently Tenerife’s cheese producers met during the III Pinolere Fair in the Parque Etnográfico de Pinolere in La Orotava, and the winner, named best Tenerife cheese 2014, was Adeje cheese maker Montesdeoca, whose one-year-cured mature cheese was chosen for the award. The dairy is a family business, and Daniel Montesdeoca said that “this is an important award for us as it is the result of hard work and effort. We have always given priority to producing cheeses of high quality which people will select and enjoy for their flavour and texture”. He added that he was delighted that their cheeses were appreciated by so many people and promised that they would continue to work to improve the product and ensure that the island’s cheeses were known both here and outside Tenerife.

Adeje councillor for Agriculture Esther Rivero Vargas explained that the “Pinolere fair is the perfect setting for displaying all of the island’s natural produce and of course promoting the cheese making industry and culture which has been recognised with this award”. The Montesdeoca dairy makes a variety of different cheeses including smoked, semi-cured, cured, gofio and pepper cheeses and, of course, this now prize winning mature cured cheese. I’m sure I’m not going to be the only one who would like to try it, and we are lucky that it’s locally available either through the dairy itself in Tijoco Alto, or perhaps more conveniently, at the dairy’s stall in Adeje Farmers’ Market every Saturday and Sunday, 8am -2pm.


Windsurfer dies at El Médano

A windsurfer died this afternoon after suffering a heart attack at Playa de El Médano, Granadilla de Abona. Emergency services received calls just after half past four about the 64-year-old man, who had been pulled out of the water by fellow surfers. Protección Civil undertook initial resuscitation, which was then taken up by paramedics, but all efforts were fruitless and the poor man was declared dead at the scene.

School situation during the storm

Update 19 November: Confirmed tonight that schools remain open tomorrow even though the weather situation remains unstable with rains forecast until the weekend, and even though the alerts are still in place.

Update 10pm: The Tenerife Cabildo has tonight confirmed the Canarian government’s position that schools remain open tomorrow. Tenerife president Carlos Alonso said, in the face of the usual repeated incorrect rumours, that official advice is not to undertake unnecessary travel, but that schools and work places remain open. Alonso said that if there were any change to this position, it would be announced on official media. I will update if that happens.

Update 18 November: Adeje council has announced that in view of the Canarian Government’s weather alert, all after-school classes and activities, including sports and cultural activities organised through the council, are cancelled until further notice from 4pm this afternoon. Other councils will no doubt be taking similar measures, so it will be best to check locally about any extracurricular activities.

This does not affect schools themselves, with decisions on school closures made only at government level (except where a particular local emergency, e.g. roof damage, requires specific action, in which case a council will make an announcement). The education department says that at present there are no plans to close schools. 

Original post 17 November: The usual rumours when a storm is approaching are running riot about school closures. The Canarian government is the only source for information in this respect, and in view of the forthcoming storm (see HERE) they have just announced that there are NO closures at present anywhere in the Canaries. I’ll update from the education department’s direct feed as and when there is any change.

English Time is back!

Popular presenter and Adeje communications officer Clio O’Flynn is pleased to announce that her weekly radio slot English Time is back!

This season the programme will be closely following the Adeje Convivencia/Adeje Together programme and hosting a series of round-table discussions on tolerance, multicultural identity, religious beliefs in a modern world and respect.

The English Time radio programme returns to Adeje’s municipal station, Radio Sur Adeje tomorrow, Thursday November 20th, at 1pm. The programme, in English, can be heard live on 107.9fm locally or online at

English Time will now be broadcast once a week, on Thursdays, from 1-2pm, and Clio O’Flynn returns to the presenter’s seat and is looking forward to the changed format and longer programme. “We have been building up English Time since it began two years ago, and now the hour-long slot will give us more flexibility to feature a diverse range of items and spend more time discussing matters of importance and interest to Adeje and Adeje’s resident population”, she said.

English Time works to bring local news from Adeje and environs to local residents and tourists who might not speak Spanish. But the programme has also attracted many Canarian listeners who enjoy the opportunity to listen to English on their local municipal station. Adeje council are delighted too that the programme is a direct information link to the ex-pat resident population for news and important announcements from the council offices.

This season the programme will be closely following the Adeje Convivencia/Adeje Together programme and hosting a series of round-table discussions on tolerance, multicultural identity, religious beliefs in a modern world, respect and many other issues the campaign is focussing on. English Time will also be bringing listeners news of local business and employment developments in the borough as well as sporting and cultural events. “We will also, when it’s relevant, focus on major international news stories from around the world, particularly if they affect the ex-pat community in anyway”, says Clio O’Flynn. And of course music will play a part in the programme, playing classics, favourites and the week’s No 1 in Spain and the UK. “We are also planning a Christmas Day Special with classic Christmas hits so would love to hear from listeners who might have request – a special song for a special someone perhaps”.

Tune in and check out the new English Time this or any Thursday, 1-2pm, on Radio Sur Adeje, 107.9fm, or online

Man dies in La Orotava gas bottle explosion

Emergency services say that a 61-year-old man has died in an explosion and subsequent fire in his home in La Perdoma area of La Orotava. The incident occurred shortly after 11am and although the cause has not yet been finally confirmed, it appears that it was a gas bottle which exploded since ti happened in the house’s internal courtyard where gas bottles were stored. Bomberos extinguished the fire and ventilated the property, but nothing could be done for the poor man who was gravely hurt in the explosion and who was subsequently pronounced dead  at the scene.

Autumnal Tenerife – November’s chestnut fairs

Update 18 November: Arona’s San Andrés celebrations will be part of the municipality’s Walk for Life programme (website HERE), and will be held in Valle San Lorenzo on 28 November between 5 and 10pm. Tapas will also be available, and there are more details HERE about the establishments taking part.

Update 17 November: San Miguel has announced its San Andrés event, 29 November from 7pm in Calle Constitución opposite the school.

Update 11 November: Adeje has announced its own San Andrés event, with “Castañas, Vino ..y por supuesto buen folclore” in the rear plaza of the town’s cultural centre on Thursday 27 November, at 7pm. 

Original post 5 November: Just as in the UK it’s conker time, November in Tenerife is a cosy and wintry month with chestnuts roasting over live coals in the streets in a series of autumnal fairs in honour of San Andrés. HERE is a link to last year’s post about them to give an idea of how we get a wonderful taste of autumn in the island of perpetual spring! San Andrés is, of course, the saint whose feast day, in Scotland, is on 30 November! Here in Tenerife, however, it’s celebrated on the 29th, though the fairs can start on the 27th, or spill over into the 30th.

All these autumn fiestas and fairs are all different, and often involve different ways of making as much noise with metal objects as possible, or even racing downhill on kitchen trays, but however they’re celebrated, they all involve wine and, particularly, chestnuts. Most of Tenerife’s chestnuts come from the Acentejo region of the north, and the area always has a series of events to mark the period. This year’s full programme from the north-east Tenerife chestnut association - involving the ayuntamientos of Santa Úrsula, La Victoria, La Matanza and Tacoronte - is HERE .

As last year’s post will show, however, there are many events in south Tenerife too, and the first to announce this year is Arafo, whose Ruta de los Castañeros will start at 8.15pm with the bodega degustación trip detailed on the poster above. I’ll update this post with other San Andrés events as I become aware of them.

Janet Anscombe
Tenerife News
November 2014
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