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.

It’s amazing that amid all the chaos and flight cancellations there are literally thousands of holidaymakers still flooding through the arrivals gate daily at Malaga airport.

Their optimism is remarkable and we hope that all families have a great time here on the Costa del Sol.

It’s buzzing, and most of the outlets lost during the pandemic have been taken up by others, enjoying regular turnover each day, even without the rich Russian oligarchs.

The growing number of people we speak to (non-residents) who would like to spend more time here but can’t because of new rules has become rather sad and ridiculous.

Before Brexit they could come and go as they pleased but the 90 days in any 180 rule has put a stop to the ‘swallows’ – those who used to come throughout the UK winter, to soak up the warm, dry atmosphere and ease any aching joints etc.

Lots have told us that they have downloaded the Schengen 90 day app and keep a regular check with their passport stamps.

How bizarre, with the world economic climate in turmoil and people eager to come over to Spain and other countries in the EU regions and spend their hard earned money, they are restricted. Spain’s inflation figures are similar to the UK, and needs all the money it can get.

Let’s have a look at a humorous holidaymaker story but with some important information for those hoping to visit the Costa del Sol or other sunny places in Spain.

You managed to escape your UK airport having waded through the crowds and now heading down the  senseless miles of passages at Malaga airport, clutching your travel/medical insurance papers and Covid test (and mask as I write!)

Now your onward journey – Friend pick up? (Don’t be seen handing cash to your driver). Taxi? Bus/train or car hire? (en route by car, the police can stop you for a myriad of reasons, like driver wearing flip flops).

Some hirers we know have had several unwanted surprises eg agents trying to add extended insurance and collision waiver costs. Charges for a full tank when you might not need so much. And on return, huge charges taken from your credit card for a minor scratch etc.

Having settled, you head for the beach. Smoking, sleeping, having sex or showering with soaps on beaches, all carry on-the-spot fines! And if you’re caught short, and pee in the sea – big fine! In Galicia it’s €700).

How the police can spot someone having a sea pee is a mystery to us!

Leaving the beach, maybe a bit burned, you head out into town without shirt or still in swim wear – €200 fine here on the Costa. (€800 in Palma Mallorca!)

Passing an ancient monument and decide to feed the birds on it – large fine if caught. Hanging knickers on outdoor line in Sevilla – up to €3,000 fine.

READ MORE: Catch up on Brian’s regular blogs right HERE

Undeterred, you go for a meal at a restaurant. They are obliged to offer you freely, tap water if requested (to save on plastic bottle use.)

And on leaving they must offer you a ‘doggy bag’ for any unfinished meal, to save on food wastage. (Laws vary up and down Spain, if implemented. Who makes them up?)

All the above are not designed to stop you having fun – so go for it!!

I drink the tap water daily two x 500cl refilled containers each day, saving us about €100 per year. In years gone by we would have never considered tap water, other than boiling, but it is now tightly regulated by the EU, although in the Malaga province water is hard with a high mineral content, but still drinkable.