What a stirring tune the CD Tenerife anthem is, and Tenerife Adelante was blaring out as we entered the blue and white wonderland of a dining hall for the clubs pre christmas meal for the peñas (fan clubs) including the Armada Sur.
Our small but select band of ambassadors for the Armada Sur arrived at the Parque Maritimo pool complex in Santa Cruz for 8pm, only to find out it was a 9.30pm start. The solution was easy, we adjourned to a nearby bar, Voque Bar, rather posh but we soon lowered the tone. Suitably refreshed we headed back to the venue, I had been to the pools before to do a review, that time it was a hot afternoon and the pools were splashing. We were guided to the outside terrace of one of the big function halls, waiters circulated with drinks and aperatifs of ham and cheese croquettes, sweet nibbles of lemon and honey, and other tempting treats.
TV cameras were in attendance so naturally we burst into a rousing chorus of the Armada Sur song to the Hawaii Five O theme. The players were away on the mainland having played Espanyol with Almeria to come in two days, but captain Suso was in attendance as he was injured. Entering the hall was a visual feast, all the tables had been set out with peña name plates, a Mahou beer hat, and a CD Tenerife scarf. Side tables groaned with Tete themed cakes and there was a buzz of anticipation. Any thoughts of it being a slightly stuffy, formal night were soon blown away as terrace songs started breaking out across the tables. We were sharing with the Cesar Gomez peña, mature ladies but they were party animals.
Club President Miguel Concepcion was in relaxed mood and very much the genial host, I was quite taken with the waitresses black outfits, they made me think of the Robert Palmer video Addicted To Love. The background music was a strange mix of 80´s pop songs like Careless Whisper but there was no whispering as the noise level rose as the beer and wine flowed from the free bar. Then the food started to arrive, an intro of carrot soup would hopefully help my aged eyesight, and I had pre ordered the hake in the hope that fish might improve my befuddled brain. It was love at first bite and the service was very impressive with a full hall to cater for.
No sooner had we finished the caramel and chocolate sweet when the stage was taken over by a magic act, maybe the next coach in waiting? I was hoping he could make Las Palmas dissapear but settled for balloons and fire. All our tickets were numbered and a long, prize packed raffle followed, interspersed with more singing and chanting. It was a fabulous night, big thanks and respect to the club for arranging it, and the staff for carrying it out with such efficiency and good humour. It was all far removed from the rock hard rolls and alcohol free beer that are sold at the Heliodoro stadium.