Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife

Mount Teide on Spanish Stamps
The Spanish Post office, Correos issued a new range of stamps this week celebrating the country’s national parks. One of the stamps features Tenerife’s Teide National Park. The island’s president, Ricardo Melchior marked the event with an unveiling of the stamp at the Parador at the base of Mount Teide. Hopefully he hadn’t checked out the official Correos website which featured an image of a wolf next to the text for the Teide stamp, whilst the section for another of the chosen parks, El Parque Natural Lago de Sanabria featured an image of a familiar looking mountain and the tajinaste flower. You’ve got to laugh, but at least the Correos are consistent. The stamps are on sale now for 45 cents.

Hunting for the Mayor of El Tanque
Faustino Alegría, the mayor of El Tanque in the north west of Tenerife has come in for a bit of stick because at this time of year he likes to swap the office on a Thursday for the forest. With the hunting season in full swing, the mayor likes to join the rest of the boys to go and shoot some bunnies when opposition politicians argue he should be working. His defence is that he works on a lot of Sundays when other people have time off and that he hasn’t taken the standard month’s holiday in seven years, so he’s entitled to the odd Thursday in the hunting season.

The Tourist Office in the Taxi
Fifty Tenerife taxis are due to be fitted out with touch screens so that from the 1st November passengers are able to access all sorts of useful information about the island including events, beaches, museums, restaurants, bus lines etc (bus lines? Can’t see the taxi drivers being happy with that one). Information will be provided in 5 languages and official publicity claims that by the end of a fifteen minute taxi journey, visitors should be able to find out all they need to know to have a great holiday…if they haven’t vomited all over the screen by trying to read as the taxi weaves wildly in and out of the TF1 traffic.

A Bit of Monkey Business
The Casa Amarilla in Puerto de la Cruz has such a fascinating past that it was declared to be of cultural interest in 2005. The house was the site of some ground-breaking work by psychologist Wolfgang Köhler who used chimpanzees in his research there in the early 20th century; work thought by some to be the inspiration for Planet of the Apes. A bit of spice is added by the belief that the scientist was also a German spy and he chose Tenerife as a base for his research so he could keep an eye on English ships. The Wolfgang Köhler Association want the house and grounds to be returned to its former state and made into a tourist attraction. Reports say that last year property developers unsuccessfully tried to have the cultural interest tag removed ““ and people wonder why some are so eager to claim that historical monuments on Tenerife aren’t authentic. Pyramids anyone?

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to…Thomas Cook

The holiday giants Thomas Cook announced that they were withholding 5% from invoices owed to Canary Island hotels in an attempt to recoup some of their losses caused by the effects of the Icelandic ash cloud. During a period of economic crisis for the Canary Islands, Thomas Cook’s actions are ostensibly putting the boot into a sector that is just showing signs of getting back on its knees. The announcement provoked a response from the Tenerife Cabildo requesting strongly that the company reverses its decision to pass on some of its losses to Canarian businesses. Later in the week Canary Islands hotel Associations issued an ultimatum to Thomas Cook warning that if the company didn’t reconsider their position within 48 hours, legal proceedings would be started. Good for them. Some tour companies are getting far too big for their boots and their bully boy tactics – threatening to pull out of resorts and now this ““ are unacceptably and distastefully unethical.