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 a regular blog for Huddersfield Hub.

With the weather now stabilising a little and reduced headlines about drought, residents and visitors alike are enjoying a quite vibrant coastline of activities for young and old.

Many beaches and parks have now installed the popular boules areas, which are booked up quickly, padel is growing rapidly, but golf is the number one sport here – all year round.

Local councils also arrange various levels of races for youngsters, all receiving some kind of prize.

We were asked recently by a friend about seeing animals, cared for in as near natural conditions as possible.

Well, there are lots to see. Here are a few to suit all ages, besides the many Sea World centres:

Biopark Fuengirola – opened in 1978, a presentation of natural species offering programmes to promote and guarantee the survival of many endangered animals by experts. The Sumatra tigers and the Roloway monkeys, for example, are the only ones in Spain.

Lobo Wolf Park – it’s in Antequera, 60km inland from Malaga and run by specialists to allow you to observe and understand safely, the dynamics of a wolf pack – one of the most organised group of animals on the planet – in a massive enclosed piece of land.

Spectacular birds of prey flying display – held at the summit arrival point of the Benalmadena cable car ride above the Malaga coastline. The spectacular flying display of the world’s most endangered birds of prey includes the eagle owl, vultures and buzzards.

It offers a mesmerising display of ancient falconry by dedicated staff. “Why don’t they just fly off mid-flight?” I asked. “Because they are well cared for and fed,” replied the enthusiastic keeper.

Crocodile Park and Selwo Aventura Park – this place gives large groups an insight into the lives of the many creatures conserved by highly-trained specialists for these animals in their natural environment.

One of the things we recall from a visit with family was that “crocodiles can survive partially buried for over two years without food or water!”

Cloudless skies on Wednesday May 1st encouraged thousands who headed into towns and villages along the coastline to enjoy a free feast of the most iconic delicacy – skewered sardines (espetos). They are offered by local authorities to celebrate Labour Day, a public holiday here.

The afternoon’s entertainment and fun was accompanied by live music by local bands etc. Those in La Cala who were prepared to join the long queues were satisfied with the tasty offerings. 700 kg of sardines were tucked into!

Besides the 90-day visit rule here, there is another issue which I feel might change the whole attraction to this much enjoyed country – people buying or renting properties as holiday lets pushing house prices upwards for locals.

A big statement but others agree. It is the product of its own success with tourism exhibitions encouraging more people to come, to visit or live here.

And the massive influx of tourists to places like Barcelona, Majorca, Canaries and Seville is causing protests with banners saying – ‘Don’t come, or Go home!’ and ‘Canarias se agota’ – Canaries, sold out!’

We have a long-time friend I contacted, a former Huddersfield resident, Tracy Eland, who has lived happily in Tenerife for decades.

She said: “The British press and media headlines make it sound much worse than it actually is. We need tourists.”

However, she added: “The housing situation is the main problem with too many holiday rentals from outsiders which is pushing up rents for those who live here.”

I hope to cover the spectacular International Feria taking place this week in a future column.

Read more of Brian’s blog HERE

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