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. Here’s Brian’s latest thoughts from sunny Spain!
This now famous message from Capt Tom – ‘Tomorrow will be a good day’ – will be something that those in the hospitality trade will be hoping for as we take a stroll down the now almost deserted seafront of Fuengirola.
On this well-maintained 7 kilometres (one of Europe’s longest) seafronts, where now many of the bars, restaurants and hotels are either closed or up for sale, and with Easter now having been put on hold by the authorities here, the passing trade that there is – mainly dog walkers, joggers etc, can enjoy a very quiet coffee or a tapa.
And those who sank thousands into setting up a business will be thinking of their former King Juan Carlos who is safely being cared for in a 5-star Dubai hotel whilst in self-imposed exile amid allegations of tax scandals worth millions of euros.
And his two sisters who recently visited him have caused a stir for having received the vaccine there. They are in line for a multi-billion inheritance which will make them amongst the richest women in the world!
So, everything on the Costa del Sol – curfew wise stays the same, despite Covid infection numbers dropping daily.
We were hoping for at least another two hours of fun up to 8pm but no, home we go, and certainly indoors for 10pm.
But as some bar owners (that are lucky to be open) have said: “We need to be cautious over Easter so as not to create another spike, as this could kill any trade through summer.” And everyone is aware how tactile the Spanish are with their greetings.
The frequent trips to Gibraltar for some British goodies at Waitrose are now being scuppered at the border on return into Spain, as officials commandeer certain UK goods such as frozen food. Not going to mention Brexit!
Now with the surge in bookings for holidays here, there is some hope for the families and staff of hostelries who are struggling to put food on the table. They are hoping for the much debated ‘green corridor’ which will allow Brits back if they have had a vaccination etc.
Spain is still a wonderful country to visit or live in, but keeping up to new laws, regulations and paperwork takes up much time. It’s worth it, though, and there are some optimistic entrepreneurs in the process of creating several massive leisure parks in this area and the much loved and used photogenic boardwalks are constantly being extended.
A new Olympic swimming pool is about to be constructed in La Cala, and there is a growing network of walking paths into the hills and cycle lanes for the growing number of bikes in use, plus hopefully getting those dreaded e-scooters off the roads.
OK, we might be behind with the vaccination programme but the sun keeps shining over 300 days per year.