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Rumours, traditions, fiestas, sport and that bus station again! 

Rumours of recent changes to the law abound, yet the town council has been quick to state that they were not going to ban swimming in the fishing harbour, at least, not yet, I suspect.

There would be a public outcry; people have always swum there, it is an age old tradition. Quite why, I struggle to understand, it is far from the cleanest stretch of water especially when the local fishermen jettison fish guts and entrails straight into it, but perhaps that simply adds to the authenticity of the whole experience.

Still I am hardly qualified to comment, having just learned to swim at the ripe old age of fifty plus, I stick to the relative safety of swimming pools, my only forays into salt water to date being the ripple free calm of Las Teresitas.

Perhaps that’s the reason it is so popular, the harbour walls provide protection from the Atlantic tides. And it is popular, becoming more so. Where once it was the preserve predominantly of local people, now its appeal has widened and more tourists can be seen taking the plunge.

I do see the appeal of swimming in sea water and with the town’s beaches more often than not flying red flags, there is the little alternative, apart from the saltwater pools of Lago Martiánez, I guess, but to swim there comes at a cost, so not for those who holiday on a budget.

Local tradition aside, isn’t it is ridiculous that people are allowed to swim in what is a working port. Boats are coming in and out at all times of the day; it really is an accident waiting to happen, and a costly one I suspect.

There, we have got to the crux of the problem and the local council should take heed. Unfortunately we now live in a claim culture society and there are plenty of no win, no fee companies, even in slightly behind the times Tenerife, happy to fight your case. There are no warning signs, there are no roped off, boat free, areas, there are no Socorristas (lifeguards, not football fans as I once thought). Is the town council leaving itself wide open to a claim?

Fiesta month

July was billed as a month of fiestas, so what exactly did we get. Carmen, of course, it is without doubt a spectacular event and one with an almost unique atmosphere, but why do they get so emotional. I put it down to cultural differences. We Brits, given the same scenario, would, I’m sure adopt the stiff upper lip resolve. There will be no tears in public, it is simply not the done thing, old boy, but then again perhaps that’s only me.

Another beauty pageant, this one to choose a Puerto Princess just for the month’s festivities (I nearly wrote to find ‘Miss July’, but that gives the wrong impression, more calendar girl or centrefold than beauty queen). San Telmo Sardine Night, a popular event, one which for the second year running had to be held in Plaza Europa. Yes, the works at San Telmo are still ongoing, but, as I have said before, they are nearly finished and one day I am sure they will be!

Baile de Magos, a traditional event, a night of dance, not quite a black tie and gown sort of event, but local national costume was obligatory, oh, and you had to take your own food. There was a three day Artisan Fair, the usual sort of thing, this one was organised by El Cabildo and to be honest was nothing to write home about, too few stalls, and far too close together. There have been, in my opinion, far better fairs recently in the neighbouring towns.

Sport played a significant part in the festivities. Xtreme Challenge, a gruelling 10km race, run over rough terrain combined with twice over a very challenging obstacle course, with a fair bit of mud and water thrown in for good measure. It was a fun event, very enjoyable, especially for the spectators.

Beach volleyball at Punta Brava, there has been two tournaments within the month. Road races through the streets of Puerto, a 5km, twice around a town centre route and a 10km over the same route, both well attended. Oh, I nearly forgot, though it is hardly qualifies as a sport, but there was also the Domino Tournament, a very intense affair, fiercely competitive and strongly contested.

I am told there was also a cycling event and a beach football tournament, both of which, I have to say, I have no details of because I missed them, wasn’t even aware that they were on, didn’t see them advertised , which is sadly the case, more often than not, for many events that are staged in Puerto. Sport is not just about the winning, but about the taking part, which has been plain to see, and our new mayor is no slouch either, having taken part in the volleyball ,the 5km race and the beach football, apparently.

El Tren

Not Puerto specific, but one which affects the whole of the island, El Tren has featured in the news again recently and this time with a new twist for those of us in the North.

It is now being suggested that as the works would create such an upheaval the TF5 should be widened at the same time. My opinion on the project as a whole is one of, I’ll believe when I see it, and besides, it is many years away from coming to fruition.

There is a school of thought and one which I support that suggests the project and all talk of it should be put on hold and that the first priority and all effort s and resources should be brought to bear on completing the ring road.

Even that is not cut and dry, the last piece of the jigsaw, including what is being called the Erjos Tunnel, has come under renewed scrutiny recently with suggestions that they should revisit the routing with a view to possibly reducing the tunnel length and no doubt the cost of it. To renew plans at this late stage would undoubted cause delays.

Bus station

Just one Puerto project to mention this month, the new council has announced that all the correct paperwork has now been submitted with regard to the new bus station and there is no reason why work should not commence before the end of the year. I must be having a bit of a déjà vu moment as I am sure I have read a very similar statement before. That’s right I have, it was at the beginning of last year!