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. This week it’s party time in sunny Spain…
On Sunday PM Sanchez declared the end of state of alarm, meaning no curfew and hospitality can stay open until midnight.
At the stroke of midnight revellers were out in their thousands in towns and cities celebrating long and hard knowing they can freely stay out and mingle, 10 seated outside and eight indoors.
Massive crowds in cities like Barcelona and Madrid danced, hugged and kissed throughout the night, fuelled by copious amounts of alcohol.
But the jubilation across the nation was somewhat subdued on Monday the 11th when new speed limits were imposed by the DGT (Director General for Traffic).
These ridiculous laws mean the max speed in towns is 30km per hour (18.64 mph) and in built up areas with pavements 20km per hour (12.5mph) is the max. Travel or overtake at 30.1kmph now for a 100 euro fine.
All drivers must have experienced a line of traffic following a horse and trap – of which there are loads here, or a group of selfish cyclists.
Well there are likely to be lots of frustrated drivers in busy areas. We have tried driving at 20km and think a speedy walker could keep up! And road signs will not be changed!
I cannot see how The Guardia, who have had a field day fining people without masks, can possibly catch all the typical fastidious Spanish motorists.
OK, there will be a lot of hidden speed cameras ready to snare speedsters and issue fines up to 600 euros with up to six points on their licence. There is also a huge fine for those with speed trap detection devices on board.
And Spain is considering imposing tolls on its major roads! So, if you do make it over here and hire a car, beware.
Enough doom and gloom, this is a super, diverse and enjoyable country to live in (most of the time) and Spanish folks definitely know how to party.
No doubt entire families will be out into the beach bars and restaurants (chiringuitos) this weekend with grannies and babies included, and will chatter away over an extended meal for hours, often not feasting until 10pm.
And during the many holiday dates they will be out en mass in traditional dress, singing and dancing ‘til dawn.
Elaine and I often look back as tourists recalling getting into a sun-drenched car and being unable to hold the white hot steering wheel. We now seek shade at all times.
And it took few trips to understand why Spaniards wandered around with some form of woolly top, whatever the weather. We now know that as evening falls so does the temperature – like a guillotine.
If by some miracle Spain gets the green light on Monday you will be welcomed here more than ever before.