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 fortnight for Huddersfield Hub.

I am writing this week from Huddersfield, looking out for the sunny weather people have told us about!

It’s been very wet – but the surrounding green hills are beautiful.

Friends reliably inform us that the weather in Spain is still hot, not as humid, and thankfully there have been very few forest fires so far.

Good news for Brits hoping to visit Spain as the controversial ‘tourist tax’ is to be axed – at least for the time being.

This money-making tax was condemned by local mayors who said: “It is not necessary and could affect tourism, especially in hotspots like Benidorm.”

The cost of 2€ per person per day doesn’t sound too much but added to the costs of a holiday for a family of four it could make people think twice or choose to go elsewhere.

I have a feeling the tax halt will be short-lived, however. An example is in Santiago de Compastela (Galicia N. Spain) where they are expected to enforce a tourist fee to try and halt the overwhelming religious following tourism there.

And more coffers for the Spanish traffic authority with new laws with spot fines of €200 for not using indicators in vehicles!

A new EU rule now requires travellers coming to Spain to have:

  • Return/onward ticket;
  • Proof of accommodation;
  • Sufficient funds for the stay. How much is not clear.

We have yet to find anyone who has been asked for such documents.

A recent disgusting invasion of privacy by squatters (okupas) was highlighted last week in Malaga when six people broke into private homes and fitted them out, then rented the properties to tenants!

But because these illegal tenants did not pay the rent, four of the ‘rogue landlords’ broke back in and stole property.

The other two were later charged with selling stolen goods when they were found in another ‘squat’ where they had set up a marijuana lab.

This shameless criminal behaviour is tarnishing this lovely coastline but, fortunately, it is being dealt with. The law in Spain is too complex to cover here. I will cover it in a later column.

READ MORE: Catch up on Brian’s previous blogs HERE

The local feria in La Cala was once more enjoyed by thousands over five days and many local authorities continue offering dozens of activities and events such as the Blues Night with free bus rides.

There’s Flamenco shows and beach fitness challenge sessions, beach volleyball and lots more. Sunburn here we come?!

I have mentioned before that a turtle had laid its eggs on a Fuengirola beach. Well at least 15 sea turtles have been detected including two in Mallorca.

According to researchers, climate change has seen turtles arriving in record numbers in Spain and Italy. What was once a rare occurrence is now becoming commonplace.

L-R Goggs, Ron Howells both long-time friends of Jeff Johnstone. Here playing his last gig in Fuengirola port, earlier this year.

Finally, we pay tribute to a well-known entertainer and friend of ours on the Costa del Sol – Jeff Guitar Johnstone. Jeff passed away last week aged 65 in his hometown of Dumfries after a long battle with cancer.

Having a brilliant voice and being a superb, self-taught guitarist, Jeff was a well-respected performer; solo and with numerous bands for over 30 years here. Jeff is survived by his mother Mary and two brothers Paul and Mark.

His life-long friend Gordon Apicella (Goggs) has kept friends of Jeff informed and, following the funeral on August 8, he plans to come to the Costa with Jeff’s mother – August 15-26 – and meet up with fellow musicians in Fuengirola. Watch the local press for details of the remembrance gathering.