Former Huddersfield gymnast and pub landlord Brian Hayhurst and his wife Elaine are ex-pats who have lived just outside Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for 20 years. He writes every week for Huddersfield Hub.
Lots of people who have properties here, but have not become residents, are having to consult their calendars if they plan to come back frequently, to ensure that they don’t over run the maximum 90 days in the 180.
It’s something they have never had to deal with, as they came and went whenever, and stayed as long as they liked to enjoy a holiday and check out their homes.
Who knows what the future holds here on the Costa del Sol with Covid infections rising rapidly and Malaga doctors saying they are in a critical situation as they have been asked to make up to 70 consultations per day?
Through their union they want support and more professionals which are in short supply.
On a brighter note, the sassy entertainment diner on the sea front – ‘Olivia’s’ – is back in action after it was seriously gutted in a fire, caused maliciously. The arsonists are still on the run.
The owner, Mark Wright of TOWIE fame, has overseen and been involved in the massive rebuild, and after just six weeks it’s up and running.
From the photograph the new top terrace is seen being enjoyed by early punters sampling the delights in the new Turkish restaurant called Anka Kusu which means The Phoenix.
Amid all the concern about Covid, you would not know there was a pandemic here as thousands now are enjoying the well organised beaches with a variety of eateries up and down the Costa, some offering top class entertainment.
A popular family attraction is Myan Monkey Mijas, a chocolate factory and museum where, at this unique experience, you can see and assist in making chocolate and then set your effort in moulds ready for a feast later.
We took our grandchildren Jack and Isla some years ago. It took a long time persuading them to leave this wonderful family workshop, clasping their creations!
Another attraction is The Crocodile Park in Benalmadena where dozens of these rather fearsome creatures are introduced to a captivated audience.
The curator includes a most interesting commentary and insight into these ancient reptiles as he stands alongside and feeds them. Who would believe that in a drought situation a crocodile can bury itself and stay alive for over two years until water returns?
After meeting the 12ft beasts, youngsters can have a supervised hold of a baby crocodile (with its mouth taped up) if they dare and are so inclined!
Contemplating a trip back to Blighty, Elaine and I are enduring what hundreds are having to undertake – getting days two and eight tests arranged back in Huddersfield before being allowed to fly.
As residents, we have to prove our two jabs were given to us in the UK with a batch number etc. Alas the Spanish clinic vaccinations are not acceptable.
If we do get there we may have to isolate for 10 days and await numerous calls or visits making sure we are at home. Some friends who just went back this week were not asked for any proof of tests or documentation.
There is speculation the UK government may ease these requirements soon so let’s hope so.