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.
One of the most used and enjoyed innovations on the Costa del Sol in recent years is the boardwalk Senda Litoral de Malaga.
Translated it means Malaga Coastal Path and it is packed with all age groups most weekends and frequently midweek.
It attracts families, strollers and joggers onto the beachside timber path with beautiful views, and has a wide choice of chiringuitos (beach restaurants) en route.
This major attraction for both tourists and locals has been a lifeline for beach bars. It began originally on the Mijas coast and will eventually stretch from Nerja and end way down at Manilva, a total over 163km. It may even go as far as Cadiz, each municipality bearing the cost.
But this coast, once dubbed ‘The Windy Coast’, does indeed have some extreme and destructive occasional winds which can cause disruption and havoc.
Such were the gusts in November and December that the sea, governed by the wind, eroded some of the boardwalk foundations, putting short stretches of it sadly out of commission.
The sturdy timber poles were left hanging from the paths underside. The repair work should be completed for Easter.
After a painful 10-year delay, the extension to one of the largest hospitals in Southern Spain has begun.
The ever busy Costa del Sol Hospital near Marbella should have the much-needed extension within two years at a cost of 51€ million and have latest generation tech equipment available to all those in the Spanish Health Service and governed by Marbella City Council.
The hold-up was caused by a previous builder going into administration and time required to obtain the complex licences.
Now with signs that the pandemic is showing signs of reducing worldwide, and hopefully more restrictions being lifted for travellers, we can maybe see a further influx of tourists, especially Brits, coming to the Spanish resorts. Some of these places are still desperate for their trade and anxious to see the 90-day max rule lifted, or at least extended.
We are all hoping that the many forms and tests to be completed will soon end. But get ready for the next requirement for those wanting to travel to Europe ie The Schengen countries.
By the end of 2022 a new visa is to be introduced – ETIAS Visa (Euro Travel, Information & Authorization) will be needed at a suggested cost of 7€. This visa – probably each trip? – is designed for short stays of up to 90 days.
And there are changes afoot regarding vaccination passes for those hoping to travel to Schengen countries.
The EU Commission says that vaccination passes which have been effective for up to 12 months will soon not be valid.
They say that a reduced period of 270 days will be imposed, and passes must show that travellers have had a booster jab.
Meanwhile the National Statistics Institute here has revealed that more people became Spanish residents in 2020, up 27.6% on the previous year.
Well, the sun is back out here and the golf courses are very busy. A nearby course car park was so full, players had to double park before playing, according to my mate Duncan on Thursday.