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

Stormy Weather
The change in seasons brought more than rain, cloud and wind to Tenerife, it also brought high seas resulting in an orange alert over the weekend. Waves were so ferocious in Punta de Hidalgo and Bajamar that steel rails were twisted out of shape by the force of the Atlantic rollers and a boat was destroyed in Puerto de la Cruz harbour. Worst affected seems to be Garachico which was unreachable during Sunday morning as huge waves battered roads in and out of the town as well as engulfing the seafront causing damage to shops and restaurants.

Tenerife’s North Train
The latest specification for the proposed train link between Santa Cruz and Los Realejos was published last week. The document stated that the line would be 37.3 km long, of which 17.3km would be through tunnels. So half the time, residents would be in the dark…pretty much par for the course. The proposed budget would be 1.146 million euros to create a line that would be used by an estimated 13.5 million people per year. The spec also included the journey times on the 220kmh train between Los Realejos and Costa Adeje (67 mins) and from Los Realejos to Santa Cruz (34mins). Okay mathematicians out there might be wondering why a train travelling at 220knh would take 34 minutes to cover 37 kilometres, but presumably that’s because of stoppage time. Interestingly, the journey by car from Los Realejos to Santa Cruz can be done in 25 mins.

Police and Thieves on the Street…Oh Yeah
Whilst the rest of the developed world moves forward at breakneck pace, Tenerife seems to be bucking the trend by returning to the days of Dixon of Dock Green (might seem a dated reference, but that’s the point). Police officers in Playa de las Américas have ditched their cars, or more accurately their cars have ditched them as most are in the garage waiting to be repaired. Apparently there is still one working patrol car, but the gears are a bit dodgy, so the boys in blue, grey, navy or whatever colour uniform Tenerife’s numerous police forces wear, have had to take to pounding the beat until the situation improves. Might not be a bad thing.

Food for Nought
Restaurants in Candelaria might see some of their profits drop as the council have just opened a food hall for residents aged over 60 where they can enjoy a three course meal for only €3.50. The comedor in the municipal swimming pool serves as a training ground for catering students; whilst Candelaria’s mature residents get cheap meals, students get to hone their skills. It’s also open to people under the age of 60, but they have to pay a still reasonable €6 for the privilege of being guinea pigs.

Thomas Cook V Canary Islands
Tenerife’s forces may have seen off Admiral Nelson, but can they stop travel giants Thomas Cook from plundering the land? Against overwhelming and unanimous opposition, Thomas Cook have begun implementing their plan to knock five percent off monies owed to Canary Islands hotels to compensate for losses caused by the Icelandic Volcano disruption. Hoteliers claim that the tour company is in breach of Spanish, British and European law and intend to take legal action. Whilst the Canarios may have tasted victory against Sir Francis Drake, Robert Blake and Nelson, somehow I don’t think that they’ll be celebrating after this particular battle.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to… Eco websites calling for the closure of Loro Parque
Over the last couple of weeks we’ve noticed that a couple of eco-websites have launched an online petition lobbying to close Loro Parque.
One site explains… “In the Atlantic Ocean are some Paradise islands especially for Northern European tourists. Canaries Islands. One of them is Tenerife. Here are many Orcas and Dolphins in captivity to entertain these visitors in a place called Loro Parque.” It goes on to say. “We all know that Orcas and Dolphins are the animals who are least able to be in captivity. They suffer so terribly. I want this park closed.”

The reason we’re giving it and sites like it the TIT award is not because of the sentiments, but because it reduces animal conservation to a Free Willy level. They don’t appear to have done any background research on Loro Parque and seem unaware of the conservation programmes that the Loro Parque Foundation are involved with.
Saying ‘I don’t like this” isn’t exactly a strong, reasoned argument and calling for animals born and raised in captivity to be released into the wild ““ something which research has shown is more than likely to lead their deaths – is naive at best.

Furthermore, classing the Canary Islands as being ‘especially for Northern European tourists ‘ is simply being dismissive and disrespectful of the resident Canarian population.

Maybe we should start a movement to have a petition removed that is much more harmful than beneficial to animal conservation.

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