“It was the first time I went to Tenerife Carnival because it was against my principles, because it made me angry to have to go to another island to enjoy the Carnival in the street», says Julio Ramos. As the, Thousands of Gran Canarian masks have taken to the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife over the last two weekends in search of a carnival atmosphere which, in his opinion, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has been lost over the years. During the last two weekends, the airlines and shipping companies have moved more than 60,000 passengers between both islands and some of the lines with record numbers. Many of them already traveled in disguise on the same boat or plane with the intention of experiencing the party as soon as they disembarked.
Specifically, the shipping company Fred. Olsen Express carried more than 41,300 passengers and 10,000 vehicles between Agaete and Santa Cruz de Tenerife in said period. Of these, 16,300 did so on the last weekend of Piñata, whose Carnival acts in the chicharrera capital are becoming increasingly popular. These figures represent a 35% increase in the influx of said line compared to the same period in 2020, the last pre-pandemic year.
Fred. Olsen maintained high occupancy figures. The peak occurred in the morning routes of Piñata last Saturday, with 100% of seats sold, according to company data.
Binter airline moved about 12,000 passengers between Gran Canaria and Tenerife on the Carnival bridge -from Friday the 17th to Tuesday the 21st- and another 7,700 during the Piñata weekend with peak attendance on the first flights on Saturday. In fact, groups of girls dressed as taxi drivers or little red riding hoods were seen through the corridors of the Gando airport during those hours.
Something similar to what happened at the Naviera Armas terminal, where dozens of masks were on the first ships on Saturday. The company calculates an average occupancy of more than 80% in said period. Some even opted to return to Gran Canaria on the last boat of the day or on the first on Sunday after a whole night’s march.
“Most of the passengers were in disguise”
This is the case of Elena García, who traveled on the same boat as Julio, at about 11 in the morning last Saturday. “Most of the passengers were in disguise,” she says, including her from Mad Max. “I haven’t enjoyed Carnival for years because I have been living in Madrid and I wanted to encourage myself to go to Tenerife because everyone speaks well of it,” he admits. In his case, he traveled by boat “because everything was sold by plane when we looked at the tickets on Thursday.”
“There were those who went with what they were wearing, to return in the day,” Julio points out. «I have a friend who insisted on going to Tenerife, he said that he had gone several times and I decided to give it a try», recounts; He was thus surprised “by the carnival culture they have and we met people from Gran Canaria, friends and others».
“It is an experience that I recommend to anyone because the atmosphere that is breathed is more real than in Gran Canaria,” says Antonio Guerra, who in his case chose to go pirate on Saturday. «People work harder on costumes than here, there you live the street and it seems that this has been lost on our island». In fact, those ships and planes were first-timers and repeat offenders. “I’ve been going there for more than 10 years because I have friends who studied in La Laguna,” says Lourdes Bordón.
According to data from the City Council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the streets of the center of the chicharrera capital brought together last Saturday Piñata in the Carnival from Day to more than 400,000 peoplemany of them foreigners, a party that lasted until six in the morning on Sunday.
Figures that contrast with the data collected by the Promotion Society in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, although with the exception that the main days of both carnivals do not coincide in the calendar. He Day Carnival last Tuesday brought together more than 28,000 peopleMore than 15,000 people attended the parade of winners on Saturday and some 50,000 masks for the children’s parade.
The Indians, too
The Indians of Santa Cruz de La Palma they also brought together thousands of people from all over the Archipelago. Between La Palma and the islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife, Binter transported around 15,000 passengers during the Carnival bridge. In the same period, the shipping companies Armas and Fred. Olsen Express doubled services from Tenerife, especially on Monday the 20th, when the dust shone. That day, Armas included music on board to “start the party from the moment they got on the boat”, and Fred. Olsen moved 4,000 more passengers across the bridge than in the same period in 2020, before the pandemic, to a total of about 16,000. Among so many little white masks, Samuel Pérez, from Gran Canaria, who decided to live his first Indianos without a pandemic: “I went because I like to party and that in our Archipelago we have something that simulates the return of those who left out of necessity, it seems interesting to me ». | av