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

The Anniversary of Santa Cruz as Capital of the Canary Islands
Ignore the fact that 190 years isn’t exactly a landmark number to celebrate. Ignore the fact that although the anniversary was celebrated on Monday, the date King Fernando VII decreed Santa Cruz de Tenerife to be capital of the Canary Islands was the 27th January 1822. What is really interesting is the politician who is recognised as being the driving force behind it happening ““ José Murphy. Tenerife increasingly looks to its Guanche past for its pride and character yet it was a son of two Dubliners who was responsible for Santa Cruz achieving status in the eyes of Spain.

Progress at Last for Las Gaviotas Beach
It is welcome news to hear that Santa Cruz council have allocated €400,000 to make the naturist beach of Las Gaviotas safe again for sunbathers. The beach has been closed to the public since December 2010, so the funding allocation is a step in the right direction. Now comes the bureaucracy and contracting process to determine who carries out the work. No dates have been suggested for when it’s expected to re-open but with any luck lets hope that by the summer it”ll be more than just the local fisherman on the rocks who’ll be able to get their tackle out at Las Gaviotas.

Spain Enters a Period of Drought
Those people who know Tenerife well will have registered that there has been a lack of rain so far this winter. There have been only a couple of days when there has been anything close to decent rain with little difference between south and north coasts. Whilst an absence of rain is what we all want when we take a holiday, it is potentially disastrous for the island. Scientists acknowledged this week that the pattern of a dry autumn (30% less rainfall than normal) followed by an equally dry December and January that has occurred across Spain is a rare and worrying combination. The conditions have also resulted in a lack of snow on the mountains; another valued source of water when spring arrives. Mount Teide has been noticeably devoid of the white stuff so far this winter. The situation isn’t critical yet but if the seasonal February/March rains don’t fall it could be. Still, it’s Carnaval in a couple of weeks and we all know what that means… there will definitely be a downpour of monsoon proportions.

Where Does a Prince Spend His Birthday?
On an island that is still experiencing an undersea volcanic eruption apparently. Spain’s Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia spent the Prince’s 44th birthday meeting with the people who were most affected by the eruption off the coast at La Restinga on Tenerife’s neighbour, El Hierro. Thankfully the volcanic eruption behaved itself during Prince Felipe’s visit; this was one birthday party that no-one wanted to go off with a bang.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦The University Hospital of the Canary Islands (HUC)
This week the HUC managed to “Misplace’ a patient for 11 hours. Worse, not only did they misplace the patient, a woman suffering from mental health problems and a brain tumour, they informed the patient’s relatives that she had actually left the hospital. The woman’s family, being seriously concerned for her safety, reported her disappearance to the police who advised taxis, buses and trams in the area to be on the lookout for a confused woman wearing a hospital gown. Meanwhile the woman’s sister scoured the hospital whilst another family member stood watch at the hospital entrance… but with no success.
Eleven anxious hours later the family received a phone call to inform them that the woman had been found sitting in a wheelchair in Emergencies where, it was claimed, she had been all the time. It’s a claim that the woman’s sister, having searched the hospital’s public areas, disputes. HUC has admitted that there was a mix up in information between different departments in the hospital which led to confusion to her whereabouts although they still insist she was never actually “Missing’. Could someone let us know the Canarian word for ‘not knowing where someone is” because it’s clearly very different from the English one.

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