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.
Along with the rest of Europe, here on the Costa del Sol it has been the hottest, most humid summer we have ever experienced.
This week it has showed signs of slowly cooling down. When I say ‘cooling’ it’s all relative. The temperatures in the shade are still mid-30s. And official data shows that Spain suffered its hottest July since records began, 60 years ago.
The hottest recorded temperature of 46C was in Seville and, with no rain for ages, the reservoirs in Anadalucia are at a record low, averaging 28% capacity.
There are calls on the Government to convene a National Drought Committee as a matter of emergency. However, relief could be at hand as there are signs of respite in Northern regions with storms forecast.
The intense, relentless heat has caused people to head for the air-conditioned shopping malls or supermarkets, despite Government controls on the level of temperature that can be set. Many decided to hibernate in a cool place at home and then venture out in the evening.
I can’t believe it was only last January when I was writing about the “coldest Costa del Sol winter in 20 years” below!
On a brighter note, unemployment continues to plummet and the number of tourist visits here on the Costa del Sol is now massive and unprecedented.
Last week these holidaymakers would have had to share an unexpected problem seeking out a chilled drink as there was a desperate shortage of ice – everywhere!
The producers of this vital commodity said: “With electricity costs so high we are unable to store the ice cubes which are in big demand.” They used to pay €40 per megawatt, now it costs a staggering €300!
One factory – Bustos in Malaga, which produces over 80,000 cubes per day, said: “We could produce twice as much but we cannot afford to keep freezers running at full power and get it delivered!”
This has seriously affected hotels, bars and restaurants, causing supermarkets to ration bags, if they could actually get any.
Most of the stores we went to looking for the transparent gold had none in their freezers. We can definitely expect a huge rise in costs, prompting us to make our own, along with many others. Being ‘ice junkies’ Elaine and I love all our drinks with ice.
If you decide to drive across Europe avoiding the current high flight costs, ensure you display a GB sticker on the vehicle, and Brits who are Spanish residents, who have not swapped their driver’s licence should be prepared to be questioned by police.
Non-residents can drive on the UK licence for up to 90 days. Thanks to Brexit there are still many issues to be resolved besides this driver’s licence issue.
People taking a flight must now have all devices (phones, laptops and tablets) fully charged as random checks just prior to boarding may result in uncharged devices being taken away.
Apparently, it is a security measure relating to terrorism. And proof of negative Covid may still be required (not always asked for at Malaga airport).
But once you get here you can guarantee a wonderful holiday with such a wide variety of sport, leisure and gastronomic delights on offer to suit all tastes and pockets.
I note that grapes this season will be considerably smaller when harvested due to the hot weather, but there is no shortage of wine…