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 week for Huddersfield Hub.
Living on the Costa del Sol we get used to extreme weather changes, and this week delivered a typical happening which will be welcomed by some and hated by others.
Last week a ‘drought emergency situation’ was announced with reservoirs almost empty. Then – yellow and red rain warnings were being activated.
And sure enough it literally lashed down with some reports of minor flooding, and much more is forecast!
This will hopefully please the farmers who have had a tough time keeping crops alive in baking sunshine, as the reservoir levels begin to rise.
The extraordinary sandstorm of red dust which descended on the whole of Europe and, of course, southern Spain (being nearest to Africa) blew in from the Sahara Desert creating coverings of over 3 inches deep in places.
One of the Costa’s top entertainers Mark Connor drove 325 km up the cost to Mojacar to a gig, struggling with deep red mud and with limited vision throughout his three-hour journey. The forecast heavy downpours have steadily started to clean up cars and terraces.
I don’t know who was first – the UK, Spain or one of the eight other countries in introducing ‘The Golden Visa’ for those rich people eager to become permanent residents after five years, due to having wealth?
This visa, of course, will be relatively easy for some like those extremely wealthy Russians which, until recently, were settling on the Costa in droves.
Here you need to invest €500,000 cash on a property with no mortgage, be 18+, have sufficient funds to keep your family and have health insurance. There are several other requirements, but let’s say you have to be financially sound!
Elsewhere people have been more than generous with cash, goods, clothing and medication being sent to the beleaguered Ukraine refugee camps and centres.
Whilst up and down the sunshine coast here, there are lots of people continuing to enjoy hundreds of leisure and recreational activities which are going ahead daily, despite all the sad gloom reported on TV.
For example – Tai Chi is seen here in the corner of a play park; on the beach there is a regular yoga/fitness class for ladies; alongside it is a boules match being enjoyed by a Scandinavian group.
Also, there’s a pensioners’ cafe regularly attracting noisy domino clubs. And a small outfit undertaking Segway tours is doing OK.
Although most here are constantly thinking of the desperate plight of those affected by the war, things do go on:-
- Several major cruise companies have decided to use Malaga and other Spanish ports instead of N. European destinations because of the conflict;
- Simply Red is to perform in Fuengirola in June, joining an extending list of performers;
- Now that all restrictions have been dropped for UK travellers, agents are hoping for more bookings;
- A global real estate consultancy forecasts that investment in hotels on the Costas is expected to rocket to €355 million this year. We shall see if there will be enough holidaymakers to make it worthwhile.
I will take a short break now and be back on April 2. Stay happy.
READ MORE: Catch up with Brian’s weekly blogs right HERE