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The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucía

Vol. 7 Issue 168

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August 21 - September 4, 2013

ROCK OFF!

The increasing war of words between London and Madrid deepens as warships arrive and the queues continue to worsen

Hire win

Policeman wins money back as complaints grow against rental firm EXCLUSIVE By Alex Iszatt A BRITISH holidaymaker has won a rare victory against a controversial car hire company in Spain. David Evans, 50, successfully reclaimed his money from Brian’s Renta-Car after the company was found to have taken his deposit without good reason. The policeman, from Manchester, was awarded €480, plus a further €100, by his bank’s insurance company after it agreed he had a good claim. Evans had been stunned to discover that the hire firm, run by expat David Ballard, had kept the money. Ballard accused Evans of causing damage to the car, a claim which Evans has always denied.

BATTLE READY: HMS Illustrious (above) sails into the Med as Spanish protestors wave flags supporting their fishing fleet By Giles Brown THE most serious diplomatic crisis in decades between the UK and Spain continues to escalate over Gibraltar. Tensions that have been simmering over the past few weeks have come to a head as Madrid ordered more customs checks for vehicles coming into and out of Gibraltar, causing huge delays.

Armada

Tempers became more frayed when the British warship HMS Westminster visited Gibraltar while the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious headed to the Mediterranean.

Liar

MUMMY’S BOY

IT COULD have been a child’s first school play, with a proud mother watching, exhilarated from the crowd. It was, however, Enrique Iglesias, and he was staring in Marbella’s Starlite festival as part of his international tour. And perhaps it was a quick pep talk from his mum, Isabel Preysler, which caused a delay in the start of the singer’s concert. Over an hour late to the stage, he still managed to wow the crowds with classics Tonight, Escape and Dirty Dancer. Dressed down for the performance, Enrique threw aside all formalities as he headed into the crowd, letting the audience touch him, give him gifts and take pictures.

Read more on page 31

Earpiece Don’t let the Don’t let thein banks cash new size banks cash in 39mm www.hifx.co.uk www.hifx.co.uk xsee 50mm page 13

The deployment of several Royal Naval vessels was part of a long planned maritime exercise, but it prompted the Spanish media to proclaim that ‘Britain was deploying her Armada’. Meanwhile an Armada of a different sort set off from La Linea on Sunday, when 40 Spanish fishing vessels sailed to the site of the underwater reef that has proved the latest lowpoint in relationships between London and Madrid. Spain has threatened to

take its claim on Gibraltar to the United Nations while Britain called on the European Commission to send in monitors to check whether Spain’s actions on the border breach EU rules. On Monday the European Commission announced that it would send a fact finding mission to Gibraltar to verify the legitimacy of the border controls enforced by Spain. Madrid has also made other Turn to page 14

“We are extremely pleased to get the money back,” Evans told the Olive Press. “The company shouldn’t be able to take money without supporting documents.” “They told me my car was fine when they checked it at the airport, then I received a text telling me I damaged the car and they were keeping my deposit.” “This has proved what a liar David really is.” When contacted by the Olive Press, Ballard conSee page 5


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CRIME NEWS

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DEATH JUMP EXCLUSIVE

British man leaps to his death after vicious attack on estranged wife

SUICIDE: Chaplin

A British expat has committed suicide after attempting to murder his estranged wife.
 Marc Chaplin, 49, struck his wife repeatedly over the head with a metal object at her home in Mijas, before throwing himself off a viaduct in Jaen.


The businessman, who ran Benal Cars, in Benalmadena, left a suicide note outlining his intentions.


Injuries

His wife, Claire, is recovering in hospital having been

Crash goes to court A PARANOID schizophrenic who caused a coach crash which killed two people may escape prosecution. The 29-year-old Ukrainian, who is being treated in a psychiatric hospital, grabbed the wheel after the driver refused to pull over for a toilet break. The bus veered off the road and plunged 70ft down an embankment killing two and injuring 30 others. The crash happened on the A-9 motorway in France, while travelling to Murcia from Marseille.

found by the couple’s son suffering from serious head injuries.
 Police initially searched for Chaplin at his home in Benalmadena, and his office, where they found blood stains.
 His car was later discovered abandoned at the side of the road near Santa Elena in Jaen, with his body beneath a nearby viaduct.
 Police described the weapon used as being a piece of metal used to wedge open the door.


Trouble

A friend of Chaplin, who asked to remain anonymous, described him as a ‘thoroughly nice bloke’. 
 “We don’t know if there was financial trouble or domestic problems that drove him to this,” he said.
 The attempted murdersuicide comes just weeks after Philip Wood shot his wife Sheila and daughter Sophie before turning the gun on himself, also in Mijas.


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Olive Press gong Website scoops expat award

The Olive Press website has been given a silver award in the inaugural My Currency Transfer Expat Stars Award. Heralded as one of the best sources of information for expats in Spain, the Olive Press came second in the top 10 websites for expats in Spain. The winner was Spain Expat, while the Olive Press beat the Telegraph into second spot, while the Sur in English came fourth. The EuroWeekly news did not make the top ten. The awards have been launched to celebrate excellence in the online expat community.

NEWS

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Supercar domination

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SPORTS car manufacturer Lamborghini has chosen to launch its latest model in Spain. As something of a super car hotspot, it was perhaps no surprise that Marbella was the venue for the unveiling of the new DMC Lamborghini Aventador Roadster. The town is no stranger to flash cars, leading a popular car website to compare the high number of sports cars to the streets of Monaco.

Royal rest

BALE-ING OUT

SPAIN’S Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia have been snapped enjoying a family holiday in Majorca. The pair posed for the cameras with their two children at the 17th century La Granja mansion in Esporles. Earlier, dad and kids, Infanta Lenor and Infanta Sofia, had taken to the water for a spot of sailing. The children were presented with awards by their grandmother Queen Sofia, while Felipe took part in the Copa del Rey yachting competition.

TOTTENHAM star Gareth Bale has allegedly bought a holiday home in Marbella as speculation increases about a move to Real Madrid. The 24-year-old is said to have snapped up a pad in the exclusive La Trinidad development, on the Golden Mile. The 116 apartment complex is already home to a number of fellow footballers and other celebrities.Bale missed the season opener against Crystal Palace due to a foot injury, as representatives of Madrid and Spurs try to reach a deal. So confident are they of an imminent move, some sports shops in Gibraltar are already selling Madrid shirts with Bale’s name on the back.

Paris comes to Barca PARIS Hilton has paid a visit to the Spanish mainland after spending several weeks in the Balearics. The American socialite, who is resident DJ at Amnesia nightclub in Ibiza, met with the club’s owner Martin Ferrer, in Barcelona.

Single gal pals spotted on luxury yacht

GEORGE Clooney´s ex Stacy Keibler was among guests on board Naomi Campbell´s luxury yacht in Ibiza. The newly single 33-yearold was snapped in a sleek black monokini on board what is rumoured to be designer Roberto Cavalli´s boat. The pair, dubbed ´power pals´, were snapped quaffing champagne and relaxing in the sun.

The 32-year-old, who was traveling with her boyfriend River Viiperi, posed for photos with Ferrer. The influential Spanish businessman is planning to build a 7,000 sq ft superclub in Barcelona’s port.


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NEWS

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Expat shot dead

AN expat has been shot dead in front of his wife and children in a suspected contract killing.

Frederik Scharrenberg, 43, from Holland, was shot 14 times in his car as he was leaving his home in Marbella.

Rental Rage

firmed he had not returned the money directly, before slamming the phone down. Evans is not the only client of Brian’s Rent-a-Car to have contacted the Olive Press with complaints about the company. Mandy Cullen, 45, from Ireland, had several emails and phone calls ignored by the firm before eventually getting the majority of her deposit back. “The company was so unprofessional, they have never told us why we didn’t get some of our money back,” said Cullen. “I am so angry about the way they treated me, I told them I would write a bad review if they didn’t respond, and nothing!” Another family, who wish to remain anonymous, claim they endured a barrage of obscenities from Ballard in front of their children, following a

CRIME SCENE: Police surround car CCTV footage taken on the exclusive Lomas de Sierra Blanca urbanisation showed a car pull in front of Scharrenberg’s. Two men described as being of Arabian descent can then be seen fleeing the scene in an Audi A4. Neither the wife or children were injured in the attack.

dispute over their deposit. “He told us there was damage to the roof and that he would be keeping our deposit,” the family said. “He then got into the car and nearly ran us over as he screeched out of the car park.”

Marbella Trends Marbella is the second most tweeted about beach resort in Spain. Ibiza came first, in the Boom Business analysis.

Bad debts high

From Page 1

RELAXING: Ballard, without a care

News IN BRIEF

Drugs

The Dutch national was known to police in his home country and was suspected of being involved in drug trafficking. This has led to suggestions that the death may have been the settling of a drugs score. Police are appealing for anyone who may have information to come forward.

Bad bank loans accounted for a record 11.4% of Spain´s total credit in June, despite predictions the economy will show signs of recovery by the end of the year.

Granada is top The Univeristy of Granada has been named one of the best in the world in the Shanghai Ranking.

Show me the bunny Police in Alcala la Real caught an bunch of thieves on the hop when they stoped a van in a routine road check. Inside they found 200 stolen rabbits!

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OPINION Cool heads needed IN EARLY June it seemed likely that we were going to have a few niggling incidences in Gibraltar. We were expecting the occasional stray fishing boat or Guardia Civil patrol crossing into Gibraltarian waters which may have triggered protests from either Madrid or Gibraltar for a day or two, and then the whole thing would die down. But this summer’s escalating events, including the Guardia Civil shooting at a jet skiier, the protests at the creation of a marine environment, the unprecedented delays at the border and now the arrival of a British warship, as well as the uncompremising messages being sent out from both Madrid and London are unprecedented. With the burning of Gibraltar plated cars in La Linea and online death threats to Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, now is the time for cool heads as we go into the hottest part of the summer.

FEATURE

MIDSUMMER MADNESS Being the heart of the silly season, the Olive Press compares the life of the boss of a small 18-room boutique hotel, near Ronda (right), with the life of the boss of the Costa del Sol’s biggest hotel the Sunset Beach, in Benalmadena with 1,882 guests this week and counting (below)

Keep celebs coming IT ISN’T a secret that Marbs is the place to be, and be seen! In fact, the whole of the Costa is positively brimming with celebs. In one week alone there has been everyone from C list ex ‘Apprentice’ star Luisa Zissman to A list models Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. Although it may get repetitive, reading about who was spotted in a bikini, encouraging these stars to come and spend is great for the economy. Some may say that it is only June-September that sees this influx of cash, but at least it is coming in – and we hope it continues coming.

WE have worked incredibly hard over the last two years to make sure that the Olive Press is not just seen as a printed newspaper. By ensuring original content goes up daily onto our website www.theolivepress.es - and by reflecting and reacting to big events - we have become THE key local news website for many expats around Spain. Whether this means being the first English site to post up a video of the Galicia train crash, the only site to update the current Gibraltar situation on the hour, or just posting a quirky off-beat blogging post, we are proud of our endeavour. It is already getting us over 250,000 visitors a month and it is great news that our hard work has just been recognised in an awards ceremony for global expat sites. To beat The Telegraph’s popular and frequently updated site to silver and to see Sur in English and the EuroWeekly News miles out of the medals table is a real honour. Next year we are aiming for gold!

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The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucía

olive press

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Tel: 951127006 (admin/editorial/sales/advertising) or admin@theolivepress.es

A campaigning, community newspaper, the Olive Press represents the huge expatriate community in southern Spain - 198,000 copies distributed monthly (130,000 digitally) with an estimated readership, including the website, of more than 500,000 people a month. Luke Stewart Media S.L - CIF: B91664029 Urb Cayetano Arroyo, Buzon 13, Arriate 29350 Malaga Printed by Corporación de Medios de Andalucía S.A. Editor: Jon Clarke jon@theolivepress.es Reporters: Newsdesk Newsdesk@theolivepress.es Alex Iszatt Alex@theolivepress.es Claire Wilson Claire@theolivepress.es

Distribution: Irene Oliver 606 304 144 Admin/accounts: Pauline Olivera 658 750 424 accounts@theolivepress.es SALES TEAM: West Costa del Sol Jane Jewson 673 958 858 Axarquia Charlie Bamber 661 452 180 Cadiz Elizabeth Gould 683 337 342 Ronda/San Pedro/Marbella Jon Clarke 691 831 399

PALS: But Mark and Andy’s hotels are like chalk and cheese

We use the ‘Hoff’ to remind people that going topless is for the pool and their rooms

Online Victory

Got a news story? Contact our team of journalists in our Costa del Sol office on 951127006 or 691831399 or email newsdesk@theolivepress.es

www.theolivepress.es

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T’S busy at the best of FACTFILE times, but in August things go completely nuts at the Sunset Beach Club, Sunset Beach Club, the Benalmadena Costa del Sol’s biggest hotel. Rooms: 554 Aside from the 1,900 Weddings: 80-a-year guests to keep happy, with Average price per room: 50,000 constructed square Winter €60; Summer €150 meters there are an awful lot Manager: Mark Wardell of corridors to check... and to be exact 554 apartments. Then I’ve got a team of 69 sell 120.000 bottles of water at cleaners to keep the rooms the hotel. spotless and to process a And one more: We have 14 staggering 450.000 kilos of all smiling ‘animation girls and laundry every guys’ (one a year! pirate) whose The Food sole purpose Security and safety is to ensure and Beverage team, all all our guests is our number one 71 of them, have a fun priority ... our real work tirepacked visit. lessly serving And in rejobs are to make up a la carte ality, we are people happy dining, poolactually a selfside snacks, contained vilbeverages in lage, with my the cocktail ideal guest bar, or the beach bar, or the never leaving the premises and beach club. never in need of anything. As you can see, statistics Security and safety is our are a bit of a hobby for me. number one priority but from So here’s another one: we the moment the cleaning team

Inevitably with such a pot moves in at 5am to the last bar closing at 4am our real jobs are pouri of people there are a range of unusual moments. to make people happy. There are the wedding parAnd every one of the 230 staff (all but three are Spanish) ties where relations between play their part and in my books sides is hostile at best; the departing guests who forget their are the real stars. But I, in particular, get a buzz suitcases (not infrequent); the out of meeting young couples extraordinary list of lost propwith kids who had visited Sun- erty (how can one forget ones set Beach back in the 1980s golf clubs!); The irate guest (no nationor 1990s (we opened in 1987) ality mentioned) who thinks when they were kids. The sight of wedding couples its perfectly all right to towel (of which we will accommodate reserve eight sun beds…and let’s not for80 this year) get the ‘Hoff’ making their (see poster).. vows, sharing Displayed their joy with We have enjoyed throughout friends and the hotel the family, is also five of the best poster respecial. years in the hotel’s Hoff minds people And, of existence that bearing course, who torsos is for can forget the poolside or the groups of lads privacy of their from the golf room. societies arriving for their tenth visit and very And the downside…well, Inevimuch up for the ‘craic’. Indeed tably there are some. Holidays it is a close run thing, which can be a stressful time, domesgroup are the happiest… the tic disputes do happen, things can go wrong. Our job is to help golfing or wedding group.


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FEATURE

‘I sometimes feel like Basil Fawlty’

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FACTFILE Molino del Santo, Benaojan, near Ronda Rooms: 18 Weddings: Five-a-year Average price per room: €150 Manager: Andy Chapell

W

E’VE done it all before. We know what happens in August – a different set of rules cut in. Timetables shift, the type of clientele changes and everyone’s just, well, ‘Augusted’ to coin a phrase. A few years ago we made a decision – no holidays for our staff in August. There’s too much to do, the heat is sapping and the hours are late. No holidays for staff means we are as prepared as we possibly can LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT: Andy providing all round frivolity for his guests be. So August is different; there a five minute drive, but she has no transNowhere to be found, accelerator down are more Spanish guests around with their port. and into Ronda 15 minutes away to the big own set of requirements, there are lots As the boss, I’ve got a few other issues hypermarket. Finally track them down and more children around getting tired and to deal with this particular Saturday mornthen wait in the ‘wrong’ queue behind the possibly irritable, but generally people are ing, but as nobody else has time perhaps I woman who needs to check everything. more relaxed. get her something for her The Magnums melt before my eyes. AaarBut ultimately, in a small wind. Anything in particurgghh. And I forgot to bring a cold box to hotel the problems don’t lar? keep them in so drive back with the air con change that much. What we No, not really – whatevon full blast hoping they will stay this side So, I hot-foot offer that a larger hotel may er. So I hot-foot my way to of solid. my way to the not be able to is personal atthe nearby village to ask Obviously I need to try one when I arrive tention – and that’s good. nearby village to the chemist’s advice. back at base. Actually they’re still deep fro‘Tickets for the AlhamHe’s great – he has zen. Phew. Just need to brush up on the ask the chembra?’ – ‘no problem, we’ll just the thing she needs, words of Happy Birthday… book them’. ‘Train times to ist’s advice he tells me. At least the car started for each of these get there?’ – ‘here you are’. But on dashing back crises – as I think you can probably visu‘Early breakfast in a cool box proudly alise a Basil Fawlty mofor the 07.35 train?’ – ‘But, of and delivment with a tree branch course’. ering the packet of pills, I thrashing a lump of inert People are genuNaturally, there are some who test your get a stony face. metal …. inely so lovely and patience. The lovely ‘mature’ lady with her ‘Oh no. Not those ones. We mould ourselves to two small dogs staying for our longest-ever want to tell you They’re for vomiting’ – the wishes of our guests visit of, wait for it, over four weeks. Maybe I should take most of the time. They what a great job Charming, but maybe just a touch lonethem myself, I muse. want organic meats – ly. Every day all the staff are aware of how you’re doing It turns out she needs we provide the option. she’s feeling. The heat is getting to her, a product that she can Although it’s still amazthe birds are singing too loudly, the food is suddenly remember the ing though when people not quite what she has at home. name of - but the chemist has now closed storm into our kitchen and bang their fists We listen, we empathise, we do everyfor the weekend. on the table to tell us that the organic thing we can. After all, 65% of our guests A phone call and luckily he is still there chicken is NOT chicken – it must be cat or have been before – they are our life blood. at the back in his office...Yes he’ll wait if I dog or something else to have such dark But today she’s ‘gaseous’! Oh dear, oh come straight away to swap the pills and flesh. dear. She has no transport and helplessly another half hour later the ‘correct’ ones Wedding coming up – big event for us asks where the nearest pharmacy is. It’s are safely deliv– 40 people with expensive tastes from ered. Cordoba. The staff member who is co-coordinatPhew – but ing needs time to source particular flowthe plans to in whatever way we can. A ers – but who can cover her shift? Yes, the check mid-seanegative for us is always an boss is there, knowing full well we have son cash flow opportunity to make friends and budgeting no-one else to step in. and generate return cusfor the rest of It’s OK though... I can at last pop into tom. the year have the office and catch up with paperwork. The only thing we can’t been summarily But it’s never like that of course... somedo is turn back the clock... shelved thing always comes up.. .Ultimately as the So yes there are moments And they owner of a small hotel you are public propwhere one notices a regular must wait again. erty. who does not appear at his For now lunch It’s all part of the gig – and people are usual table or with his reguguests espegenuinely so lovely and want to tell you lar companion. We all have cially requested what a great job you’re doing. There aren’t to face that final journey … Mágnum minis that many of them comparatively speaking but at least we have played on a birthday and they actually do really want to know our part in creating some cake for 4pm about our daughters and what they are dospecial memories along the and no-one has ing at university. way. remembered to And they remember how two years ago The good news is that order them. we discussed a wine and expect me to reover the past five years Now who member the conversation. And of course while the world around us would be availI must recall discussing their new kitchen struggled to cope with all able to help? Oh and all the problems they were having... the stresses and pains of yes, that would So what’s a typical day like? Well, there recession we have played a be me. In the car isn’t one – and that variety is the biggest part in bringing happiness again, sashaysingle reason, after 27 seasons, that going to thousands of people from ing from shop to to work each day is still a pleasure. all parts of the globe…as a shop in our local No boss to answer to, no shareholders result we have enjoyed five village … somewanting monthy reports. No million euro of the best years in the hoone must stock profits to spend, but no real hassle either tel’s existence and now look Frigo products and (mostly) lots of very, very happy peoforward to even better times AVAST MATEYS: Enjoying – it’s got to be ple. I guess you could say I was lucky. as the coast moves towards the kid’s pirate day that brand. more better times generally.

IN Right hand

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NEWS

Spain to review rail safety

After the biggest train disaster in 30 years, the government is evaulating issues

THE Spanish government is to review rail safety following the crash that killed 79 people in Santiago de Compostela last month. The train had been travelling at more than twice the speed limit when it derailed, with hundreds of pilgrims on board. Driver Francisco Jose Gar-

zon Amo, 52, has been provisionally charged with 79 counts of reckless homicide, while an investigation is ongoing. Railway officials said the stretch of track where the train crashed was not equipped with the automatic braking systems in place on some high-speed lines.

“We are carrying out a general review of all protocols and all security systems, as well as speed limits,” said public works minister, Ana Pastor. “When I say all, it is of the entire railway network.” The president of state train company Renfe, Julio Gomez-Pomar, told a parliamentary panel that the crew had not reported any problems with the train before the crash.

Improvement

DISASTER: Train flies off rails

“All security procedures were followed correctly,” he said. “We are committed to finding out what caused the accident and we will continue to improve the safety of the Spanish rail system.” The accident was Spain’s worst rail disaster since 1944, when hundreds were killed in a train collision between Madrid and Galicia.

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GREEN NEWS

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Spain’s fish stock shame SPAIN has been ordered to reduce the amount of fish it catches after breaking EU quota rules. The country’s trawlers face heavy sanctions including having to lower their catch by 800 tonnes in 2014. The problem of overfishing is not a new one for Spanish fishermen, who were punished for hauling in double

their mackerel quota in 2010. Spain is the second biggest overfishing offender in the EU, behind Poland, and captures a wider range of fish species than any other nation. The sanctions follow the publication of a report by the WWF warning that European fish stocks will take 100 years to recover under current regulations.

The environmental group also claimed that two-thirds of fish species are overfished in EU waters. However, it added that

three-quarters of the overfished species could recover within 10 years under ambitious proposals to reform fisheries policy.

Gardening on the go AN eco-friendly bus with a garden on the roof is being trialled in Spain. The vehicle uses condensation from its air-conditioning unit to water the plants. The aim of the scheme is

to help purify the air in cities which have a limited amount of green space. Designed by Spanish landscape artist Marc Granen, the bus is being used to transport tourists on the Costa Brava.

ROOF GARDEN: On the Costa Brava


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NEWS

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AXARQUIA NEWS

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ROCK RESCUE

A quick swim turns dangerous

News IN BRIEF

Bus strike

A SWIMMER has been rescued after getting stuck while climbing a cliff. The man, who was unharmed, got into difficulties 60ft above the waves at Cantarrijan, near Nerja. Emergency teams abseiled down the cliff before taking him to safety by helicopter.

A proposed strike by workers at bus company Alsa has been called off.

Volleyball victors Three volleyball teams from Nerja have won their categories at the Marbella Beach Volleyball Tournament.

Grapes of photograph BUDDING photographers are being challenged to capture the winemaking tradition as part of a competition. Snappers must cover the annual grape harvest, which ends on September 15. Vintage Axarquia will see contestants submit a maximum of two photographs from areas including Almachar, El Borge and Cutar. Visit www.uma.es/cultura or email vendimia@ jorgeordonez.es for more information.

Cave canvas Ancient rock art in Nerja, thought to be among the oldest in the world, is to be analysed further.

Limpet larceny A LIMPET collector could be hit with a €300,000 fine after being caught illegally gathering an endangered species. The man was arrested with specimens of the ferruginous limpet near the Pino tower, in Maro. The seized creatures have been released into a protected creek, where they will be monitored by environmental officers. There are 1,800 of the species in Andalucia, 200 of which are in Malaga. Penalties for collecting the protected species range from €60,000 to €300,000.


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the olive press - August 21 - September 4 2013 14 Gib IN BRIEF GIB NEWS

ON the Rock

Refugee rescue A Gibraltar-registered ship has helped rescue 100 refugees from a sinking boat off the coast of Libya.

Pathology pomp Environment Minister Dr John Cortes has opened a new pathology unit on a visit to the Isle of Wight.

Olive Press guide to the best of What’s On in Gibraltar over the next two weeks August 24 Cardboard Boat Race Judging of the boats at Casemates at 10.30am before taking to the water at Ocean Village. Entry fee £25 for adult teams, £10 for children’s teams. Email wayne.warwick@gem.gi for details August 29 Art and Crafts Fair, Ocean Village. From 6-9pm August 30 Beer Festival. Featuring Jetstream and The Noiz. 7pm to midnight, Bayside Sports Complex

14 GIBRALTAR NEWS

Stand-off! Britain called on the European Commission to send in monitors to check whether Spain’s actions on the border breach EU rules. On Monday the European Commission announced that it would send a fact finding mission to Gibraltar to verify the legitimacy of the border controls enforced by Spain. The war of words between Spain and Gibraltar recently took a more sinister turn. Both Gibraltarian Chief Minister Fabien Picardo and MEP Julie Girling were targeted by Spanish Twitter trolls. Mrs Giriling, whose south west constituency includes Gibraltar was called a ‘Nazi’ and a ‘f***ing b***h’ after suggesting Brits boycott Spain when planning their summer holidays. Meanwhile Mr Picardo said that his family had received death threats via Twitter

www.theolivepress.es From Page 1

In another ominous signal that the mood on the ground is quickly turning ugly, Gibraltarian plated cars are being targeted by vandals. There have been numerous reports of cars having their bodywork scratched by keys and screwdrivers when parked in La Linea and in the worst incidences, two cars were set ablaze. The attacks certainly seem to have had an effect on the hundreds of workers who normally park close to the frontier at La Linea and walk across the border. Where normally there are dozens of Gibraltar plated cars in the parking spaces now there are a handful. Meanwhile queues to get into Gibraltar stretche for miles and both Gibraltarians and Spaniards are growing increasingly agitated. As British warships contin-

HOTSPOT: Cars wait in the heat ue to manouver off the Rock, and the stalemate between Madrid and London continues, Gibraltar threatens to be an incendiary flashpoint at the end of a long, hot summer.

First class delivery A STAMP commemorating the birth of the royal baby has been issued in Gibraltar.
 The £2 postal stamp features an image of Prince George, with his parents William and Kate, outside the London hospital where he was born. 
The design is the first in the world featuring the young prince to be approved by Buckingham Palace.


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LETTERS

the olive press - August 21 - September 4 2013

POTTED POINTERS ANDALUCIA RESERVOIR LEVELS This week: 75.25% full Same week last year: 52.46% Same week in 2003: 54.92% AIRPORTS Gibraltar 00350 22073026 Granada-Jaen 958 245 200 Jerez - 956 150 000 Malaga - 952 048 844* *For English press 9 Sevilla - 954 449 000 EMERGENCIES Police 091 Guardia Civil 062 Medical service 061 Fire 080 EURO EXCHANGE RATES 1 euro is worth 1.32 American Dollars 0.85 British Pounds 1.36 Canadian Dollars 7.45 Danish Kroner 10.28 H Kong Dollars 7.81 Norwegian Kroner 1.68 Singapore Dollars

Potted thief Dear OP, Over the last two months or so, quite a lot of plants, a few coloured light bulbs, and a lot of smaller items have been stolen from the forecourts/ frontages/patios of various bars and restaurants along Mojacar Playa. Especially from premises on the 500m stretch, heading outwards, along the right side of the main road towards the Indalo Hotel. All these thefts seem to have taken place during the early part of the morning, certainly before some places have opened up for business. So draw your own conclusion... the thief (it may be thieves) can only be a person or persons, taking a dog for a walk, having a pre-breakfast jog or just simply strolling along the prom seeing what can be snaffled and shoved into a bag or under an oversized top! Please, for the sake of the bar/restaurant owners who are trying to make their frontages look smart and colourful, keep your eyes out for these nasty, gutless ‘criminals’ who seem intent of pinching anything that is liftable! One bar, which my wife and I, and friends, use regularly, have had to place netting over plants to keep them safe, out of the way of the petty criminals who we have to put up with every now and again! And oh, perhaps the local police can get involved

as well! We all know that recently - on the orders of the Mayor - they’ve been out in numbers, checking on holiday-makers who might, just might, be drinking on the beach and those playing dominoes! Why can’t they get up early occasionally and apprehend a few plant thieves? I’ve got a good description of a couple of possible crooks... so beware. Tony Matthews Mojacar ED: whatever happened to zero tolerance?

Happy discount Dear OP, Line Directa recently sent the annual document saying they were going to take the amount out of the account on the due date. It came out to €648.35. I cast around and went back to Abbeygate on Gibraltar, who I used for the Z1 all those years ago. There, the delightful Amy quoted me €430. So I rang Linea Directa to cancel the policy. I have been with them for 11 years. Javier did a bit of talking to his supervisor and came back with a quote of €429.80. It was under exactly the same policy, merely a continuation, same number, same conditions. I saved €218.55, or 33.7%. So now I am happy! Anon

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Mis-information

Dear OP, I have no idea where Neil Forsyth obtained his information on Barranco Blanco, but as a resident, I think I should set part of the record straight. There seems to be little doubt that this area was used for rest and recuperation for the SS during the Second World War after a meeting between Franco and Hitler, although that meeting allegedly took place in a small hotel near Monda, and not in Barranco Blanco. The watchtower was part of the security and as no road existed between Alhaurin el Grande and Fuengirola at that time, the valley was invisible from any road. 3,000,000 square metres of the valley was acquired in the 70s by a group of German people in a joint venture with a local Spaniard, and a development was started before 1980. Most of the property was built at this time, until work stopped in around 1984/1985 when the money ran out. The ‘ruined barracks’ in the valley is actually an unfinished shop, hotel and community centre - again unfinished because the money ran out. There are no Nazi flags here, and all the property has changed ownership or been handed down in

families since the 80s. There are German owners here and also Swiss, Belgian, Danish, Dutch, British, French and Polish - similar to many of the modern developments in Spain. None of the properties are ‘German Style’ . Many local Spanish people visit the valley each week to visit the river and the waterfalls and, unfortunately, leave their rubbish rather than taking it home. As a result, it was Barranco Blanco where the big fire started last August that burned over 60 square km of this part of Malaga. The past may have been colourful but the present is both ‘normal’ and ‘boring’ so your readers will waste their time doing any Nazi hunting here! Rod Perry Barranco Blanco ED: Thanks Rod but have a closer read and Neil didn’t say there were Nazi flags today but in 1970s... oh and the SS holiday camp suggests that maybe one or two of them might have come back later as they liked it so much.

CROSSMOT 14

Across 7 Want (6) * 8 Realmente (6) * 9 Corn (4) * 10 Disfrutar (8) * 11 Opinión (7) * 13 Fruta (5) * 15 Voz (5) * 17 Norway (7) * 20 Delicado (8) * 21 Carga (4) * 23 Clover (6) * 24 Tomando (6). Down 1 Cot (4) * 2 Congelado (6) * 3 Greeks (7) * 4 Costume (5) * 5 Abogado (6) * 6 Aferrándose (8) * 12 Pioneros (8) * 14 Modest (7) * 16 Sube (6) * 18 A Diferencia De (6) * 19 Speaks (5) * 22 Tía (4). L = 199

Get the cardi on Dear OP, D.S Axon (who submitted a letter to last week’s edition) needs to calm down and put another log on the fire. Having lived in Spain for the last 30 years and having asked many, many ex-pats why they come to live in Spain the answer will inevitably be because of the lovely mild and sunny winter climate. When a discussion arises about the UK Government withdrawing the Winter Fuel Allowance, temperatures in Spain suddenly plunge to Arctic conditions!! I wish to remind ex-pats that the TV license in the UK is Approximately £150 per year, which you do NOT PAY. Unsurprisingly, no one is talking about how we get free British TV channels! Overall, considering you don’t have to pay £150 for your TV licence, without the Winter Fuel Allowance you are only missing out on a mere £50. Is it really worth getting so agitated about? Enjoy yourselves living here and sit back and calm down. Thomas P. Torremolinos ED: Thomas you’ve obviously never been in Ronda in December?

Letters should be posted to Urb. Cayetano Arroyo, Buzon 13, Arriate 29350, Malaga or emailed to letters@theolivepress.es The writer’s name and address should be provided. Published opinions are not necessarily those of the Editor.


la cultura

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Pueblo pride TWO towns in Andalucia are celebrating after being voted among the prettiest in Spain. Mojacar and Lucainena de las Torres, both in Almeria, received the accolade as part of a scheme to promote rural areas.

the olive press - August 21 - September 4 201317 17

ANOTHER SCARE STORY!

Olive Press journalist pens new crime novel on the trials and tribulations of investigating crime in Andalucia EX-OLIVE Press reporter Matthew Pritchard has used his experience, covering crime

in Andalucia, to write his first published novel Scarecrow. Set in Almeria, Scarecrow

Time to celebrate

A HOST of important captains of industry were treated to champagne and canapes to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Andalucia’s most upmarket enclave, Sotogrande. The glittering event hosted by the ‘El Cucurucho’ club, saw TV presenter Ana Rosa Quintana and fashion designer Juanjo Oliva join all the captains of industry of the area. The event, DJ-ed by Brianda FitzJames Stuart (granddaughter of the Duquesa de Alba), had a fantastic array of food, including sushi, lobster, paella, and canapés prepared by the NH hotel chain.

is described as being a ‘frightening, against-the-clock hunt for a highly disturbed serial killer whose depravity knows no limits’. Its main character, Danny Sanchez is a character close to Pritchard’s heart – a journalist who goes out on a limb to uncover a grizzly mystery. When writing the novel Pritchard, who now lives back in the UK, was determined not to go down the path of many other crime writers who explain violence in an almost pornographic manner. “I wrote the descriptions with the same filter I did when I was a reporter” explained Pritchard. “It is an accurate description of life as a journalist living in Spain.” The setting of the novel also embraces the rich backdrop of the people and cul-

ture of Almeria. “I wanted to show the locals as they are, with many of them forward thinking and dynamic,” said Pritchard, who moved back to London, with his Spanish wife and children a few years ago. However. He was sure to show up the endemic corruption of the region. “The novel encompasses it all,” he adds.

Publishing house Salt, is set to release the book next month, with a second novel, also based on the same character, due to come out in the new year. He is currently writing his third novel on the journalist, also based on crime in southern Spain. Scarecrow is available to pre-order through Amazon.


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the olive press - August 21 - September 4 2013

la cultura

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what’s on

A

ugust 21, Cortes de

La Frontera, Malaga, Feast of San Roque and San Sebastian

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ugust 22, Marbella

Thursday salsa classes, C/ Jacinto Benevente, 4, Rolling Salsa from 9pm

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ugust 24, Castillo de Duquesa. From 7pm auction of celebrity memorabilia. Entry is €20 per person

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ugust 25, Sabinillas,

Verbena de San Luis de Sabinillas from 8am

An arty affair ART enthusiasts have a chance to add to their collections at an exhibition in Andalucia. A selection of paintings, sculptures and photography will be available to buy at the event in Niguelas, Granada. A large number of exhibitors will have their work displayed, including Emma Plunkett, Lesley O’Brien and Gym Halama.

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ugust 31 - 1 September

Vendimia, Grape Harvest and Wine Festival

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ntil December 31, Fuengirola, The

Man from La Mancha, art exhibition. Morning showings by appointment. Tel 666 782 642.

The exhibition runs until September 2, from 1pm - 11pm daily, at Hotel Rural Alquería de los Lento.


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19 GREEN NEWS

the olive press - August 21 - September 4 2013

SHAPES: Sara Baras’s troupe (left and above) while (below) Farru dances at Paco de Lucia

A howl and a spin as Flamenco wows Marbella

IT was the turn of Spain’s finest flamenco artists to wow Marbella. The cream of the country’s most famous cultural export was very much on show for the Starlite festival. It came in the guise of Sara Baras’ award-winning dance company and the first appearance of legendary guitarist Paco de Lucia on the Costa del Sol for three years. Cadiz-born Baras, 40, was making a stunning return to performance two years since having her first child Jose in May 2011. The dancer, who has modelled for Cartier, has become a huge household name in Spain. The show was beautifully choreographed and featured a series of wonderful period costumes and some stunning imagery. A few days later came the turn of Paco de Lucia, Spain’s most famous guitarist, who learnt his trade with celebrated singer Cameron de la Isla in Cadiz in the 1970s. The serious musician, who could be accused of being a little un-engaging, was saved by his musicians and the wonderful moves of his dancer Farru.

Dodgy artwork brings in punters THE infamous painting, that made Jesus look like a monkey, has brought some unexpected benefits. The damage to the fresco, caused by well-meaning amateur artist Celia Gimenez, initially had local authorities threatening legal action. But following a surge in tourist numbers to the town of Borja, they soon changed their tune. Around 70,000 people have queued up to see the modified image of Jesus, known as Ecce Homo, in the last year. And besides the €1 fee to see Gimenez’s handy work up close, tourists have also been spending money on souvenirs including mugs, postcards and t-shirts. The image has been used to promote the local wine.

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ll about

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Eastern Promise

25 23 the olive press - August 21 - September 4 2013 21

osta Tropical and Lecrin Valley

While the Costa del Sol may grab all the headlines, the Costa Tropical has a refreshingly discreet style, discovers Giles Brown

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HAD a sudden overwhelming desire to be driving a vintage convertible a la Cary Grant as I ploughed eastwards out of Nerja. Like a scene from To Catch a Thief, in which he starred with Grace Kelly, the road curves through sleepy coves and enjoys stunning views of the Mediterranean and Sierra Nevada mountains as a backdrop. There’s a real hint of Italy’s dramatic Amalfi coast as you drive, enjoying yet another vista as you come out of one of the classic old tunnels, eventually arriving in what is these days dubbed The Costa Tropical. This is where the Sierra Nevada literally plunges straight into the sea and best of all the Costa Tropical - which runs from Nerja to Motril - enjoys a fantastic microclimate and has a bounty of beautiful beaches and atmospheric towns. As, like much of southern Spain, it has also been a historical stopping off point for centuries with the Romans leaving roads, aqueducts and a variety of other ruins. The biggest influence, however, was from the Arabs: Almunecar served as the entry point to the Iberian Peninsula and was the power base for Abd ar-Rahman, who founded an independent Muslim dynasty that ruled most of Spain for nearly three

Strolling through the Old Town... experience the sights, sounds and, if you are nearing lunchtime, smells of Andalucia

CARY-ON: Giles comes over all Grant, without Grace Kelly

hundred years. Your first port of call will probably be the village of La Herradura, which has a wonderful beach. There is a low key vibe, and if you like the feeling of sand between your toes, this is the place. ‘The Horseshoe’, as the bay is known, also enjoys some of the best diving in Spain. Flamenco fans should also check out the annual festival, held in the atmospheric castle. If you fancy indulging in a little boating, nearby Marina del Este is a charming, low key marina that has a decent selection of restaurants and bars, reached by driving down through a pine lined urbanisation. Keep on going and you get to Almunecar, a real living, breathing location unlike many of the old towns of the Costa del Sol, which tend to be nothing more than ‘beautified’ collections of boutiques, souvenir shops and overpriced restaurants. Strolling through the Old Town confirms this as you experience the sights, sounds and, if it’s nearing lunchtime, smells of Andalucia. Television programmes play out from front rooms with their doors open, while coloured birds tweet from their cages and children are called in for lunch. If you pop into one of the many bars in Almunecar for something to drink, more often than not you’ll be asked if you want a tapa as well. It’s good to know that this custom is still alive and well in this part of the world. As you would expect from a town that has been strategically important for centuries, there is more than enough to keep the history buff busy. Turn to page 23


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Costa Tropical and Lecrin Valley Special

MY PICKS OF THE COSTA TROPICAL Local writer David Baird on his Top Ten on the Costa Tropical

Sugar Barons Sugar brought great wealth to the Costa Tropical. As many as 29 sugar mills once operated along the coast, from Malaga to Adra in Almeria province. The industry made fortunes for a few and provided work for thousands. The last azucarera (cane refinery) on the coast closed at Salobrena in 2006, bringing an end to 1,000 years of that industry. For a vivid insight into ancient methods of sugar production visit the Museo Preindustrial del Azucar in Motril, housed in El Ingenio de la Palma, the site of a sugar mill dating back to the 13th century.

Guerrilla Dreams As you drive along the coast east of Nerja and enter the Costa Tropical, you pass a series of secluded bays, accessible only on foot...La Caleta,

Gourmet Delight Visit Almunecar’s Majuelo Park for a glimpse into the gourmet tastes of 2,000 years ago. Here you find a series of pits where a favourite Roman snack was prepared. Garum, a sauce concocted from fish guts and liver, was shipped across the Mediterranean to Rome. Depending on one’s tastes, garum was either a foul-smelling dog’s dinner or a gourmet’s delight.

Cantarrijan, Cerro Gordo, shingle and sand beaches guarded by steep cliffs. Today they’re the haunt of nudists and summer visitors fleeing mass tourism.

But once these bays were the focus of a rebel movement seeking to overturn General Franco’s regime. On moonless nights in 1943 and 1944 small craft edged stealthily into

these coves and armed men leaped ashore. Secretly trained in North Africa with British and American aid, they were the spearhead of a guerrilla movement aimed at undermining Franco’s dictatorship. Once Hitler and Mussolini were crushed, they hoped, the Allies would sweep south across the Pyrenees. Cascades of Río Verde This may be one of the most spectacular roads in Spain. Drive inland from Almunecar and you encounter the Sierra del Chaparral, a wilderness of cliffs and chasms. The main road, the Carretera de la Cabra, corkscrews up 13 kilometres from Otivar (passing a favourite launch spot for paragliders) to the Mirador de la Cabra Montes. Further up the highway (A4050), near the km33 mark, a track weaves down to the Río Verde gorge. Practitioners of barranquismo (canyoning) love this area of sheer cliffs and cascading water — and so do hikers.

Wines of the Contraviesa

You want spectacular views? Climb the Contraviesa, a whale of a mountain that lies east of Motril between the Sierra Nevada and the sea. It rises as high as 1,800 metres. You look across the deep Guadalfeo valley to the villages dotting the Alpujarras and the snow-clad peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Vines, almond and fig trees struggle to survive on the high, unwatered plateau. The Contraviesa has always been known for its hearty rosadowine, but now several bodegas, having upgraded their vines and modernised their methods, are producing first-rate vino tinto.


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the olive press - August 21 - September 4 2013

Vintage delight

Checkmate Surmounting a rocky pinnacle, Salobrena castle has witnessed many a dramatic incident, not least an event in 1408 when Yusuf, brother of Muhammad VII, the sultan of Granada, was imprisoned here. One day he was playing chess with the castle warden when an emissary of the sultan arrived. Muhammad, on his death-bed, wanted to prevent Yusuf inheriting the throne, so he had sent an assassin to kill him. Playing for time, Yusuf entertained the killer and coolly asked if he could finish the chess game. The game was still proceeding when a messenger came galloping up to the castle with the latest news: Muhammad had died and a new ruler of Granada had been proclaimed — Yusuf.

The Tragic Bay Sheltered by two great headlands, La Herradura offers a welcome to swimmers and sun worshippers. But that beautiful horseshoe-shaped bay can also be a death trap. A monument on the seafront records Spain’s biggest naval disaster. A fleet commanded by Don Juan de Mendoza, en route from Malaga to Oran on the African coast, sought refuge here from a storm in 1562. But fierce winds smashed the fleet against the rocks — 25 out of 28 ships went to the bottom and 5,000 people lost their lives.

One Midsummer Morning Laurie Lee’s seductive descriptions of Spain have helped attract thousands of tourists. When he trekked along the Mediterranean coast in 1935 — vividly recorded in his book As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning — he came to a halt in Castillo, ‘a tumbling little village, backed by a bandsaw of mountains and fronted by a strip of grey sand’. Castillo was the name he gave to Almunecar to protect his Republican friends from right wing revenge. Almunecar remembers him with a plaque at Puerta del Mar on the seafront.

From Page 21

Goats on high One of the most surprising sights along the Costa Tropical is that of wild goats grazing on the steep slopes above the cliffs of the Cerro Gordo headland. The cabra montes — close to being wiped out about 30 years ago — have made a comeback and a number of goats now forage amid the crags and bushes there. You can’t miss them — a male goat, fully grown, weighs around 75 kilos with horns up to a metre long. You are most likely to spot one in the early morning or evening.

Kids of the Night Not much goes on at Carchuna, these days. But this was the scene of an amazing rescue during the Civil War. Look for the formidable square fortress built in 1783 to keep Barbary pirates at bay. Today it is hemmed in by plastic greenhouses. In 1938 300 Republicans, officers and men held prisoner in the Carchuna fort were freed by a guerrilla group known as Los Ninos de la Noche (kids of the night). They escorted them through Nationalist territory to the Republican lines, all without firing a shot.

Lovely lavender A

N ambitious pair of expats have bought a taste of Provence to southern Andalucia. Their stunning ecological lavender farm, in the Lecrin Valley, is a riot of colour with a backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Dutch couple Femke Spiering and Erik Stekelenburg have turned the 1.5 hectare plot, near Restabel, into a thriving business producing essential oils and other products. In total 22,000 plants are maintained and harvested by hand, while it has become something of an experiment, being the only such farm in Andalucia. “Lavender is a great skin toner, improves quality of sleep, relieves headaches, eases muscle pain and contains many other health benefits,” explains Erik. Find out for yourself at Casa Lavanda from May till October on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am till sunset. For more info visit www. casalavanda.es or call 692 534 949/ 634 849 633

LANES OF PURPLE: stunning farm

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David Baird is the author of East of Malaga - Essential Guide to the Axarquía and Costa Tropical. His other books, published by Maroma Press (http://maromapress.wordpress.com/), include Between Two Fires - Guerrilla war in the Spanish sierras, about a forgotten conflict, and Sunny Side Up — The 21st century hits a Spanish village, depicting a community’s collision with modern ways.

with a commanding view of the surrounding area, Salobreña was an imIn particular take a poke around portant strategic location. the Castillo de San Miguel, which Cooling off in the peaceful gardens overlooks the old town and was a beneath the castle walls, drinking in stronghold for the Phoenicians, Rothe stunning views and listening to mans, Nasrid Arabs and Christians. a guitarist practicing on a nearby Also worth checking out are the bench, it was hard to imagine the beautiful Palacete de la Najarra and spot being the scene of bloodshed the Claves de Almunecar museum throughout the centuries. that tells the fascinating story of Continue along the road from Sa3000 years of Almunecar. lobreña and you’ll find the road lined Continue along the coast road that with sugar cane fields as well as a hugs the Mediterranean and a few scattering of plastic greenhouses for kilometres east you’ll come across more intensive agriSalobrena. With an culture as you head ancient Arabic fort towards Motril. overlooking the town If you are looking The town, with its this place that has a tangible atmosphere for the brash beach small port, marks the eastern edge of the old AlAndalus. clubs... then the of the Costa TropiLooking down cal. Although there from the castle Costa Tropical is is evidence of the walls, I reflected on not for you Phoenicians settwo things. One that tling nearby, Motril the maze of twisting doesn’t have the narrow streets becharismatic old neath me had hardly towns of its neighbours. Most of the changed in centuries. I half expect recent history of the town revolves an Arab merchant to come bustling around its status as a centre for out of a side street at any moment. sugarcane production in the 18th The second thought was that I reand 19th centuries, meaning that it ally should have brought more water unfortunately suffers from a lack of with me. Climbing Salobrena’s steep atmosphere. streets to the fortress in the searing To conclude if you are looking for heat of the August afternoon wasn’t the brash beach clubs of the Costa perhaps the wisest of ideas. del Sol, its soap stars and PremierWhen I reached the top however, ship footballers then the Costa Tropithe climb was more than worth cal is not for you. You won’t find a it. The view is spectacular, across Marbella Belle here for all the Botox sugar cane fields and small farmin Basildon. houses down to a few low rise apartThe Costa Tropical is about the ment blocks and chiringuitos on the laid back family friendly vibe, and beach. is the perfect remedy to the Marbs Claiming to have been inhabited summer madness! for 6,000 years, you can see why,


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the olive press - August 21 - September 4 2013

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Hoora Happ

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Stunning Lecrin Valley has an eclectic mix of locals including Alexei Sayle (left) and Teletubbies creator Andrew Davenport, writes Jon Clarke

T is 35 degrees but we are still naments (including a bargain taking afternoon tea in one of figurine of elephant god Gathe most unusual shops in nesh), he waxes lyrical about the southern Spain. area’s ancient water courses Around the Arabian wood ta- that bring cold water from the ble at The Camel Stop – a true Sierra Nevada, as well as his cornucopia of collectibles - sit spacious home, which counts no less than five nationalities a swimming pool, 12 orange and a Scouser, the man from trees, cactus and bougainvillea. Liverpool being no less than left “The history of the area and wing comedian Alexei Sayle him- its stunning countryside are a self. major draw,” With the conhe says. “The area atversation drift“It really is tracts some rather ing from the an exciting and topic of overvivid place.” strange, but interbuilding to fine There is ceresting people.” art degrees, tainly somethis can only be thing special inland Andalucia. about the enclave, which sits And for those not fancying a between Granada city and the massive hike on windy roads coast at Motril. deep into the interior, the Lecrin Comprising a wealth of pretty Valley could be just about your villages and charming countryperfect spot. side, it is little surprise to learn Just 25 minutes to the coast that other notables have propand 25 minutes to the city of erties here, including TeletubGranada, this dramatic area, bies creator Andrew Davenport, literally translated as the ‘Happy music producer Youth, formerly Valley’, is a wonderful place for a of Killing Joke, and George Mibreak, or even to live. chael’s publisher Dick Leahy. “It’s certainly very convenient “The area attracts some for us,” explains Sayle, who has rather strange, but interesting just returned after a three year people,” explains painter James absence to the home he and his Connell, who has worked from wife bought over a decade ago. a studio near Albuñelas for the On a buying trip for a few or- last decade.

STUNNING: Niguelas and Murchas (ri are great places to walk around “They are certainly infinitely more interesting than the cocktail party set on the Costa del Sol with all those nationalistic enclaves.” It is easy to see why. Scattered with lemon, orange and almond trees, this beautiful area has been little affected by tourism. If you are looking for a cultural hub with bright lights, concerts and Michelin-starred restaurants then look again. The Lecrin valley is what you


ray for py Valley www.theolivepress.es

ight)

think of when you conjure up traditional images of the sundrenched south of Spain; rolling countryside and sleepy villages where sheep and goats are herded through narrow streets. It offers a complete escape from the pressures of modern liv-

ing. Situated in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, many of the 17 tiny villages seem to literally blend into each other. Going hand in hand with this, you will be hard pressed to find people who speak English.

Costa Tropical and Lecrin Valley Special

the olive press - August 21 - September 4 2013

Of course, this southerly access route to Granatime warp is made da and the only point of entry to all the more fasci- the Western Alpujarras. nating by the fact Yet today the only hint of the that the valley re- devastation that swept through ally is only 25 min- the valley is in the ruins - the utes from the centre most famous being those of Lecof Granada. rín Castle where the kings and Where this be- queens of Granada were buried. comes apparent is in It is believed that the last burithe history of the valley, which is al was of Moraima, the wife of dotted with ruined Arabic cas- Boabdil, who died in Cádiar as tles and look-out towers. they were preparing to leave for Travelling south from Grana- exile in Africa. da in the 7th Century the Moors Now, walking around the chanced upon this fertile land many villages the indelible mark and named it of the Moors El Valle de Lecremains in Peaceful, and filled names and arrin - the Valley of Happiness. chitecture but with the aroma of But its histhe valley has oranges and lemtory was not slipped into a always happy. peaceful slumons It was acber. tually here Nowhere is where Boabdil, the last King of this more apparent than in Nithe Nazrids, moved after being guelas, where it was still quiet at forced out of the city of Granada 9.30am when I strolled through after signing the Declaration of the lovely village and up into Surrender, handing his beloved the mountains above it, where city over to the Catholic Mon- a track leads literally alongside archs. a burbling brook and up to the Appropriately, the last view snowy peaks in the far distance. of the city before descending Of course like any given day into the Valle de Lecrin is from in summer the town’s locals had the Puerto del Suspiro del Moro been up late, enjoying the cool (The Pass of the Moor’s Sigh). of the evenings. It garners its name, legend And even when they finally has it, as being the spot where wake up from their slumber the king broke down in tears as by the time I am coming down he took one last glance back at there is still something peacethe city. And his mother famous- ful about the place that is filled ly commented: “Weep then like with the aroma of oranges and a woman, over that which you lemons. could not defend like a man.” It has once again become a Later the valley became a bat- Valley of Happiness and it is no tleground in the bloody Morisco surprise that so many people uprising due to its strategically have come to create their own important position as the only idyll.

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The Camel Stop

TUCKED away in the narrow streets of Chite is one of the most exciting finds in the valley. The Camel Stop, a second hand clothing, jewellery and furniture emporium, was set up by Gym Halama, a film set painter from Chelsea. It has a hidden cache of treasures on offer, including paintings, decorative objects, furniture, textiles and vintage clothes. You can also unwind with a Moroccan tea at the ‘Last Straw’ café on the roof terrace.


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Costa Tropical

Real rural charm

Where to stay

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T is easily one of the most historical places to stay in Andalucia. With its current deeds dating back to 1492 and written in Arabic, the stunning Palacete de Cazulas counts on 14 bedrooms and even has its own chapel (making weddings a distinct possibility for you romantics out there). Sitting high above the Costa Tropical, 25 minutes inland of Almunecar, the palace once administrated 1,300 hectares that spread almost the whole way to Nerja. Today it can be rented for long weekend breaks, for groups looking for something a little different. Owned by English surveyor Richard Russell-Cowan for nearly 20 years, you will be in capa-

Where to eat

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The area has a series of wonderful places to stay, writes Jon Clarke MAJESTIC: Palacete de Cazulas ble hands and will live like the former Christian nobleman Don Rodrigo De Ulloa, who bought it from Moorish vizir Abu-el Husayn on May 20, 1492. Sitting on the celebrated ‘cabra route’ inland to Granada,

you can see for miles across some of Spain’s most fertile land, where everything from avocados to bananas grow. Another incredibly rural guesthouse is the ecologically built La Finca del Castillo Arabe, near Murchas, in the Lecrin Valley. It sits in stunning olive groves with views right across the

A DINERS DELIGHT

T is comforting to discover that your hosts have eaten in the country’s best restaurants. And there is certainly something decidedly ambitious about the pair Jed and Amanda, who run what is surely the Costa Tropical’s main restaurant of reference. La Tartana, in La Herradura, sits in a charming old farmhouse, with a wonderful terrace overlooking the town’s famous bay. Beautifully laid tables, adorned with candles, make up the scene. But you are here for the food and you will not be disappointed TOP TEAM: At Playa Iguana with its Irish chef Mark and owner and Tartana (right) Amanda coming up with a fabu-

LINTON BUILDING

lous range of seasonal dishes. A keen traveller, she and her husband have tried both of the country’s top three Michelin starred restaurants Arzak and El Bulli, before it closed last year. They love to experiment with food and work incredibly hard to get good local providers, which is anything but easy, as Amanda explains. Starters include foie gras and an excellent mix of seafood dishes, some with a spicy Thai influence, while the wine list was not just ambitious, but carefully selected. My main course, a trio of different lamb dishes was a master


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and Lecrin Valley Special Lecrin valley and towards the famous castle where the last Moorish ruler King Boabdil holed up after the reconquest. Run by the perfect hostess Scarlett Farrow and her husband Chris, the estate operates as a centre for permaculture and has been restored with a keen eye for detail. Comprising four suites, it strikes the perfect balance between sustainable and luxury. Guests are treated to homecooked, organic meals, which are delivered direct to the door of your suite, or upstairs on the main terrace, and Scarlett runs cookery courses, on a range of themes. Another wonderful place to stay in the Lecrin Valley is the lovely hotel run by English hosts Tinca and Roberta in Niguelas. Alqueria de los Lentos - The inn of the slow people – might well be a rural idyll, ideal for relaxing, but its dynamic hosts

have also turned this historic mill into a buzzing spot, great for a spot of lunch or supper. Indeed, its restaurant has become one of the main points of reference for the whole valley and not just for tourists and ex-

stroke, as was the range of home made ice creams that brought up the rear. While far simpler, the equally charming seaside restaurant Playa Iguana is a Mediterranean tour of force, with a very Greek bent. Run by Grecian boss Nicholas and his sons chef Dimitri and head waiter Yannis, it has nice mix of international dishes, including Thai curry and lamb tagine. Sitting on the quietest beach in Almunecar, it has pole position of the ancient watchtower and the superb beach below. Inland in the Lecrin Valley you must make a beeline to El Rincon at Hotel Alqueria de los

Lentos, which is a wonderful place to eat. All home cooked by Roberta and Tinca, the food is Andalucian and even Mozarabic influenced, and the charming terrace is utterly beautiful with views off to the nearby mountains. Changing daily, the food is seasonal and fresh.

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RURAL CHIC: Alqueria de los Lentos is a top chillout spot pats, but with lots of local Spanish to boot. Its rooms are also incredibly comfortable and have been designed with a clear artist’s eye, along with the unusually shaped and painted pool. Best of all, from here it is a short walk into the charming village and then from here up into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, with its snow-capped peaks in the distance. If you are looking for something on the coast then easily the most charming place to stay has got to be La Tartana. This wonderful spot, overlooking La Herradura’s famous bay has a group of well appointed rooms designed by local designer Shane Williams. Sitting around a classic Andalucian courtyard the real bonus is the amazing restaurant next door (see where to eat), where you will have the finest meal on the whole Costa Tropical.

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VINTAGE ECONOMY ANDALUCIA is enjoying a bumper grape harvest, according to the industry. Growers in Huelva and Jerez claim to have exceeded their own expectations by 30%. Producer Asaja estimates this year’s crop will be around 60 million kilos, a big increase on recent years, which have suffered from low yields.

THE BUSINESS OF DEBT while carrying a black briefcase is also making a comeback. Bust The elaborate ruse involves standing outside the indebted person’s home, office or even their table in a restaurant without uttering a word. For one debt-collection

Mobile clients hang up SPANIARDS are increasingly relying on free Wi-Fi in order to save money. Nearly 160,000 people ended their phone contract in June, the 10th consecutive month in which mobile use has declined, according to regulators. The number of Spaniards with a mobile phone service has fallen by almost three million in the past year. Industry watchdog the CMT revealed that the figure had dropped to 51.9 million, compared to 54.6 million a year ago. It added there has been a small increase in broadband web subscriptions, but not enough to offset the number of people taking their mobile devices offline completely.

VISA: notorious columbian Pablo Escobar

firm, business has increased by 40% over the last five years as more and more Spanish companies go out of business.

Debt

The company works for either a fixed fee or a percentage of the debt recovered, with almost all of the firm’s clients

Home of the Expanding hoses

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FTER a massive five years on the Costa Blanca, one of Spain’s leading expat businesses is moving south. Due to a huge demand As Seen on TV Products is opening a new shop in Calahonda. As with their four shops in Alicante you will find a huge Aladdin’s cave of great products at massively reduced prices. The shop, which opens on September 2, beside Lidl, is bound to have that certain product that you just haven’t been able to find elsewhere. “Have you seen a product on the TV and wondered where to get it?” asks boss Russell Hoppwood. “Well, chances are we’ve got it.” And he continues: “And, chances are, they will be at rock bottom prices.” One such product is a popular expanding hose, that many people are currently looking to buy. “We also stock many other types of products including china, household and small electrical items. If you are after a particular product just ask and if we haven’t got it we will do our best to get it,” added Hoppwood.

Open door policy for Columbians SPAIN is to scrap visa requirements for visiting Columbians in an effort to reduce red tape. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is to push through EU legislation, which will open the door to residents of the South American country. Spain has a sizeable Columbian population, many of whom have been living in the country for years. But under current rules, family members wishing to visit them must apply for a Spanish visa. Columbian president Juan Manuel Santos described the proposed reform as ‘a wonderful birthday present’ for Columbian nationals.

It’s bumper season for the dreaded debt collection agencies

TRADITIONAL debt collectors are using eye-catching tactics to shame people into paying back money. Actors dressed as monks, bears and bullfighters are being employed by debt collection agencies to draw attention to those in debt. The more orthodox outfit of a black frock coat and top hat,

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the olive press - August 21 - September 4 2013

The Olive Press fortnightly business section taking a look at the Spanish economy and offering tips on how to save AND make money

being businesses owed by other businesses. “We’re one of the few Spanish companies where business is booming,” says Juan Lorca, manager at Cobrador del Frac. “We do have clients who are owed millions, and this is becoming more frequent,” he adds.


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the olive press - August 21 - September 4 2013

STERLING STUFF

Economic Growth

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AST week the EuroZone officially came out of recession, posting growth at 0.3% for the second quarter of 2013 - slightly higher than expectations. This recession has been a record for the Euro-zone lasting 18 months in total. Although there are countries, predominately in the southern half of Europe, which are still struggling, it does appear as a whole the Euro-Zone is now moving in the right direction. Many UK homeowners will no doubt be pleased to hear that the market has been picking up a lot in recent months and prices are rising at the fastest pace since before the financial crisis. Savers are still suffering from low interest rates, and have been warned that they will remain low until

by Keith Spitalnick of HiFX

unemployment figures drop below 7%, which is not predicted to happen until 2016. Nonetheless confidence levels are at the highest we’ve had for some years, which plays a large part in people’s propensity to spend money and for companies to invest in the future. This could well be the green shoots that have failed to blossom over the past four years finally getting some water.

Keith Spitalnick is head of European Sales at HiFX. To contact HiFX and find out how the team can help you with your international transactions, call in at the office in Centro Plaza, call 951 203 986 or email olivepress@ hifx.co.uk

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Road to Riches, by Richard Alexander

O much has been written about the rights and wrongs of transferring UK pension benefits into overseas arrangements, often referred to as QROPS, that you are probably wondering why I am looking at the subject once more. The answer is simple really; I am genuinely concerned at the misinformation that is still being given. For example, let’s start

I am genuinely concerned at the misinformation that is given with the boldest statement in some advertisements – ‘100% of your pension fund, in cash, tax free!’ You will not receive 100% of your pension due to charges. The tax free part is also wrong – what the advertiser actually means is that tax will not be deducted by the QROPS provider –the country where you are a resident will determine what tax is payable. If you are tax resident in Spain, tax can vary– let’s be generous and say that this amounts to only 21%. If you get your timing wrong, HMRC could charge you as well which could be up to 55% charged on 75% of the fund.

Getting your pension Richard Alexander separates truth from reality, when transferring UK pensions.

So let’s do the arithmetic; based on a £100,000, the charges for referral could be £11,000, the Spanish tax could be £21,000 and the potential HMRC charge is £41,250. That would leave you with a net £26,750!

Seek a second opinion... there is no way back Be aware that the “advisers” persuading people to transfer their pensions will in all probability forget to mention the Spanish and UK tax aspects. Pensions are complex investments and many UK arrangements have guarantees and benefits that are built into them which will be lost on transfer.

That’s not to say that there are not significant benefits to be gained in the right circumstances. To be certain of what is right for you there are three simple steps to take: • Make sure you take independent advice from an advis-

er who is properly regulated • Ensure that the adviser has sufficient training and knowledge about all aspects of UK and overseas pensions to be able to advise you fully • Seek a second opinion, because once you have transferred, there is no way back!

Richard Alexander Financial Planning Limited is an appointed representative of L J Financial Planning Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the UK. Contact him at Richard@ra-fp.com


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AGONY ANT

YOUR LEGAL PROBLEMS ADDRESSED

BOUNCING CHEQUES IN SPAIN

Antonio Flores, of Lawbird, explains the legal implications of giving out worthless cheques or promissory notes

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HERE are various legal implications of write worthless cheques or promissory notes. Spanish law has been amended so that those who give out bad cheques can be charged with intent to swindle. However, when this happens the use of a cheque aggravates the criminal action and carries a higher sentence. This is because it is considered that the ‘use of certain mercantile instruments to commit swindle irrespective of its authenticity or falsity is in itself graver due to the massive use of these instruments in commerce’. So what really determines if we go to jail or not is intent. Case law establishes that this intent to defraud is based on the idea that the perpetrator knows full well from the inception of the contract that he will not comply or be able to comply with his obligation to provide consideration, and will profit from acting in this way. At the same time, the intent to defraud will have to be parallel to a concealment of the truth, or deceit, and as a judge puts it ‘not being a clumsy, fantastic or non-credible deceit, incapable of moving the will of people constituted intellectually.’ In this type of case, there is a very fine line between a mere civil default and a criminal swindle carrying a four year prison sentence. As an example, the courts acquitted two businessmen who gave out bad cheques because it was proven that non-payment of them happened in a situation of severe financial difficulty. It was also not possible to prove punishable conduct because the accused did not concoct or stage a plan to create an expectation of solvency.

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The Olive Press’

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monthly youth and education section www.theolivepress.es

treme

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BOOKS ARE BACK!

A resurgence for reading finds 13% more Spaniards are picking up books than a decade ago

LIBRARIES are becoming popular again, an unlikely effect of the Spanish economic crisis. Communities around the country are re-opening their old libraries, many of which have been shut for years. It comes despite government cuts seeing 60 per cent

by Alex Iszatt

closing, as the country seemed to turn its back on reading in the late 90s. Indeed, by 2003, Spain was one of three EU nations (together with Portugal and Greece) with the lowest aver-

Recession hit education

AN alarming 20 per cent pay cut has been imposed on Spain’s academics – forcing them to look for roles further afield, and seriously hampering the education system. Spain also produces more university graduates than the European average (40% compared to 34%), but these students are leaving education with no prospects. Currently some 56% are unemployed, which is more than one million without jobs. The Government’s Council of Ministers believes this is detriment to Spain and is currently reviewing academic pay and research funding.

LITERARY PROTEST: at a library in Granada age number of regular readers. In total, just 47 per cent (compared to 70 per cent in Scandinavia and the UK) said they read at least one book a year. Now, though, that figure has risen to nearly 60 per cent. In Andalucia, there has been a 50.6 per cent rise in library borrowers since Spain’s economic troubles began in

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2008. In Sevilla, the rise has been an incredible 150 per cent. One library in Plaza de las Palomas, in Granada, is operated by volunteers by candlelight, having been shut down officially two years ago. Goodwill has replaced public funds, with 8,000 books donated by local families, as well as pot plants and furniture from nearby schools.


Top Salud

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HEALTH CUTBACKS LEAD TO ATTACKS

DOCTORS believe that healthcare cutbacks are putting them at risk of attacks. Last year, there were 205 physical and verbal attacks against health care workers in Malaga alone. It comes as it emerged that there are 7,000 fewer employees in the Andalucian healthcare sector this year. The numbers have dropped from 95,394 health professionals in January 2012 to 88,367 at the beginning of this year. This totals a 7% decrease in the sector. Across Spain some 12,406 employees lost their jobs, with 57% of them being in Andalucia.

ROAD BLOCK: Drivers feel the burn

Drive away the risks WE have all heard of Truckers Elbow. But how many people realise that it is not just your left arm that is at danger of getting sunburnt while in the

car? According to research, drivers might need to 'cream up' to prevent cancer, even for a short trip to the beach. And, in a recent study, it

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Research discovers that drivers face a higher risk of cancer if they don’t use sun cream

emerges that you can even get sunburnt with the windows closed. Researchers at Stony Brook University, in New York, have discovered that although

glass prevents sunburncausing UVB rays, the cancercausing UVA rays still get through the window. “Because such a large proportion of a person’s cumulative sun exposure occurs while in a vehicle, automobile-related UVA exposure is a considerable public health concern,” said lead researcher Dr Dennis Kim. In a recent study of 225 men and women a ‘dismal’ 15% of people said they used sun cream ‘most of the time’ while driving. Some 38% normally wear it when outside. Over 66% didn’t believe they needed to wear sun cream in the car.

Kids’ cardiac threat

CHILDREN who exercise for less than an hour a day could be at risk from heart disease, according to Spanish research. One in seven of the 3,120 children who took part in the Europeanwide study were found to have higher than average blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The youngsters, aged between two and nineyears-old, were also found to have poor fitness levels and layers of fat, putting them at greater risk of health problems in later life, according to scientists at the University of Zaragoza. Meanwhile, a separate study by researchers at Newcastle University has revealed that girls exercise for an average of just 17 minutes a day, while boys were active for 24 minutes.

VICTIM: Doctor after attack


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Protect your place

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Complementary Salud!

Smile without pain Reasons to

SMILE

D

to heal and bond if the patient smokes. An implant is considered a success if it remains stable and holds the tooth – without causing pain, inflammation or loosening over the lifetime of the patient. A biological failure is when the patient´s body cannot establish or maintain osseointegration . An implant is a is a long term solution, before investing time and money and committing to

As tre tch

too far

Olive Press journalist Alex Iszatt is trying to get into shape... by hitting the beach... here is the first of three installments on her journey

complicated implant surgery it is absolutely essential that patients understand what is involved for long term success or they may find themselves in a worse situation later down the road.

Dr. Nina King is dentist and owner of the Oasis Dental Clinic, in Marbella. She is a UK registered specialist in Prosthodontics (implants, crown and bridgework and dentures) and provides both specialist treatment and all types of general dentistry at the clinic

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Yoga and out

Dental implants may not be for everyone, Dr Nina King reminds patients to always consider the risks

ENTAL implants can provide a long term solution to replace missing teeth. An implant is surgically placed into the bone and acts as a substitute for the root of the missing tooth, and as an anchor for a replacement tooth. The bone around the implant heals and bonds to the surface of the implant making it part of your body (osseointegration). However, as with any treatment, dental implants are not suitable for everyone. Studies have shown that there can be a range of reasons why implants may not be suitable. Poor general health and bad oral hygiene are high on the list. Implants are less likely

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EADING to the beach to do yoga gave me a real sense of dread; not the fact that I would be facing the sea and watching the sunset. But because of my poor fitness levels. You may think yoga is just new age nonsense - all about breathing and learning how to cross your legs - but it’s actually much more than that. It works the stomach, thighs and my biggest problem, balance. Placing my towel gingerly onto the terrace of Estepona’s Puro Beach, I was greeted by the instructor Lisa Marie Robinson. Super fit and toned, she made me feel inspired... I could even look like that after my six week course of yoga had finished. Well, here is wishing. My first session could have been a slapstick comedy. Although Lisa showed us the exercises carefully, I thought I knew better than my body, went for pro level, and ended up on the floor more than once. Lisa was very patient, helping when I wasn’t in the right position (always) and encouraging the group with her positivity. After 50 minutes of exercise, which really hurt, we relaxed into some meditation and I was able to walk to my car without looking like John Wayne. Nothing really ached too much after, thankfully, but by week two I noticed a difference in my flexibility – I could nearly touch the ground! I doubt I will get a six pack, I like wine too much, but I will for the six weeks and keep you updated on my progress. Join Lisa at Purobeach, Laguna Village, on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8pm. Visit www.lisamariemethod.com.


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p the

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ardin path

HE KNOWS HIS ONIONS! by Peter Langdale

Long range forecast A

S gardeners we like to think we have a good affinity with nature and the countryside. Therefore with this in mind I

thought that as we are now in the month of August I would try to enlighten you on the long range weather forecast as prescribed by the ‘cabanu-

Sue Rodgers has herbal remedies

Tea-riffic blends

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ERBAL teas have been around for generations. Loved for their medicinal properties, recipes for their use have been found back to Egyptian times. The humble British cuppa protects against cardiovascular disease. When left to cool, and combined with a few mint leaves, it can cool sunburnt skin. Teas don’t have to be drunk; they can be used in a variety of ways. Peppermint makes a great digestive tea, its cooling and anti-bacterial properties also make it a great foot soak, especially after a day of sightseeing around the treasures of Andalucia. A personal favourite of mine is sage – it can be used to soothe a sore throat, used as a mouthwash and

elas’ of August. Speak to any old boy in the fields around Velez-Malaga and no doubt he will begin to explain the cabanuelas. The only problem being is that each old boy has his or hers own understanding. What everybody more or less agrees on is that the first 24 days of August refer to the weather for the next 12 months. In principle the weather on August 1 and 24 predict the trend for August, as does September 2 and 23 for September and so on. Using this method we can

predict the weather for January 2014. In my next column we see what January holds in store for us.

Gibraltar issues

I can be used to make your hair shine - over time it also helps cover up grey. As with all herbal products there are many herbal teas that should not be taken when pregnant or if taking some medications, always consult your medical practitioner first. sue@selfsufficiency4u.com

HAVE a solution for those of you who regularly insist on helping line Ken Morrisons pocket and then get stuck at the border. My solution...stay at home and chill out in the garden. As the afternoon draws to a close and the garden’s looking good put your feet up, have a drink and laugh at the poor buggers still queuing or equally dream that some clever politician (oxymoron) will decide to tow Gibraltar out into the Atlantic, pull the plug on it, and turn it into a modern day Atlantis. Finally I would just like to say that as our customers return to Garden La Palma after the summer they will see we have brought about several changes to the layout which we hope will be better for everybody. P.S. No offence to the people of Gibraltar as I have many good memories of battles on the cricket field while playing in the Gibraltar league.


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OP Columnists www.theolivepress.es

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Bringing up grandchild

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HERE is nothing quite as exciting as welcoming a new grandbaby. You may be flooded by a sea of memories of your own brand new little bundles and you’ll want to be as involved in the new drama as soon as possible. But wait. It’s been decades since you did your early parenting and things have changed. In

in this precious time.

Be Willing, Be Available

asked. Don’t smother the new mum and be sensitive to times when the new parents just want to “go it alone”.

There’s probably been a flurry of activity for your chilWhen It’s Your Turn to dren and especially for the new Care for Baby mum. There have been baby showMuch has changed since ers, preparation of a nursery, you had your children. Issues lots of uncomfortable days and nights before the big event. such as breastfeeding vs. botNow the baby is born and ev- tle, how often to feed, how to lay baby down in bed, have all eryone is tired. turned 180 degrees. Happy, yes, but Granny quote Make the effort to do a little exhausted. Now comes research on current thought on a long string of these issues. And don’t take You can’t change the past, but nights with in- offense if the new mum isn’t you can ruin the present by terrupted sleep. quite ready to let you care for worrying over the future Grandparents can your grandchild. Becoming a parent is an help in day to day intensely personal time and tasks. •Offer help with baby so that many young mums want to find addition, you need to take into their way on their own. If you consideration the relationship mum can take a nap are asked to care for your new•Offer help with meals, launyou have with your children. born grandchild, here are some dry, dishes and other houseHow can you offer support things to keep in mind. without ‘invading their •Do swaddle the privacy?’ How can you child. It offers comfort Granny fact make the first weeks and and support. months of your grand•Don’t forget to A five year old came home child’s life as smooth as burp after feeding. possible? What do you from school and said to her •Do respond to cryhave to offer? grandmother, ing—offer comfort and You have plenty! You meet needs. “Grandma, guess what? We learned may not know all the •Don’t microwave how to make babies today.” current thought on newbottles as the milk can The grandmother, more than a little borns and you’ll need be unevenly heated. surprised, tried to keep her cool. to catch up on that, but •Do lay baby on his you have personal ex“That’s interesting, “ she said, “how or her back for sleepperience as a mother or do you make babies?” ing. father and you have that • Never shake a “It’s simple,” replied the girl. “You overwhelming love for baby and remember to just change ‘y’ to ‘i’ and add ‘es’.” your children and grandsupport the head. children. • Don’t offer water You have a lot to offer. or juice to a newborn. Here are some helpful tips to hold tasks • Don’t expect sleeping •Offer to run errands keep in mind as you give your •Offer advice only when through the night. Newborns love and support to your family will sleep 2-4 hours at first and www.askgranny.com is a unique website and resource for grandparents and senior citizens worldwide created by Granny Juliet and provides useful information on a number of topics.

Juliet Hambro provides some up-to-date do’s and don’ts for the new baby in your life

6-8 hours by three months. • Do honour any requests made by the parents. It may seem that grandparenting your newborn grandchild comes with landmines

all around, and in a sense that is true. This is a time to be the helpful, supportive family member that your children need. They’ll set the boundaries

and you, in all your love and kindness, will comply. Give praise for their parenting skills, affirm their love for baby and enjoy this most wonderful time in the life of your family.


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OP Columnists

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T

HERE are worse places to get stuck than the Gibraltar border queue. Don’t get me wrong. It will never catch on as a tourist attraction. No one’s going to get themselves trapped in a traffic jam for six hours 20 minutes and 14 seconds just to visit Gibraltar’s equivalent of the Elgin Marbles or touch a lucky lump of limestone shaped like a woman’s boob. After all, you could drive the 569 kilometres to Madrid in that time and see better in The

We are unable to bring you Giles’ column this issue. He went to interview Eva Longoria and we haven’t seen him since. All we received was this photograph, and apparently he still hasn’t stopped grinning like a loon!

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Zen & the Art of Gibraltar Border Queuing

Prado Museum. But if you have to get stuck somewhere, there are worse places than the Gibraltar border queue. The East Side of town isn’t on the main tourist drag but it has its attractions (Titty Rock and the marvellous marble mausoleums at North Front Cemetery are just two of them). As my partner Dave discovered when he and 9,999 other motorists (Source figures: Daily Mail) were caught in what’s become known as The Great Queue by those who patiently waited in it (and by millions of others who didn’t, as Gibraltar hasn’t been out of the headlines since). In years to come, people’s kids could be asking them “What did you do in the Great Queue, Daddy?” The answers may surprise you! Dave’s among the one in six residents of the Campo de Gibraltar (Spain) who commute to a different country (Gibraltar)

every weekday. Dave’s in the construction industry and you just try carrying ladders, drills and paint pots on foot through customs and immigration and across an airport runway to the other side of town. On that fateful day he arrived home over six hours late

He arrived home over six hours lateand was surprisingly a picture of calm and was surprisingly a picture of Zen-like calm. Here’s why. He got out of his van and went walkabout. Everyone else got out too and, the way Dave describes the scene that day, it sounded like an American tailgate party. People were sharing paper cups and hanging out around the GibAqua tanker, laid on by

Belinda Beckett aka (Mistress of Sizzle) offers her tips on the Gib quandary

the government to dispense free water, like it was their local bar. Some people picnicked on their Morrisons shopping, laid out like a smorgasbord in their car boots. Others nipped off to the beach for a quick dip; or photographed the monkeys that colonise the East Side and like to cavort on the sand themselves. In short, people gave up tooting their horns and raining down curses on El Presidente Rajoy and all his government and a spirit of camaraderie prevailed. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has done an exhaustive 30-year study on queue psychology. Theory of Waiting Lines, ‘People in a queue find the time flies by much quicker when they’re distracted or engaged. You can actually change a queuing experience into a very positive experience.’

WAITING Spice up your queue with activites such as monkey watching (above) Things To Do in the Gibral- around here are way too cool to go rock climbing. tar Border Queue 1. Go Italian in Little Genoa. This cute fishing village is as Italian in flavour as its crescent of Neapolitan ice cream-coloured houses. 2. Cool off in Caleta Bay. This secluded cove is a favourite with sun-worshipping Gibraltarians. 3. Touch Titty Rock for luck (Mamela Rock in Genoese). This boob-shaped boulder fell from the east face of Gibraltar in the 18th century and landed tit up in the sand. 4. Meet the East Side Monkey Troupe. The Barbary macaques

5. Look up to your left to see the gun emplacement openings in the rock that lead to the Great Siege and World War II Tunnels. 6. Stroll around North Front Cemetery. More than 750 Commonwealth soldiers from two World Wars are buried here. 7. Freshen up at the airport. It’s air-conditioned, there’s a cafeteria, loos and a scenic viewing terrace upstairs. 8. Reward yourself with a 99 at the border. The Mr Whippy-style ice cream van has doubled its takings since the border shenanigans began.


FOOD & DRINK 44 the olive press - August 21 - September 4 2013 44 with DINING SECRETS of ANDALUCIA.com

Summertime soups in Spain Gazpacho has its roots in Andalucia, and at its most basic level it is a chilled tomato and olive oil soup. Delicious, cheap, simple and very healthy, gazpacho is a popular and tasty summertime treat.

Salt to taste

Ingredients 1.5 kg of ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped 2 slices of white bread, crust removed 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped 1 small red onion, chopped 3 cloves of garlic, minced 2 green bell peppers 6 Tsp extra virgin olive oil 3 Tsp red wine vinegar

Place the tomatoes, bread, cucumbers, onions, garlic and peppers in a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth. All the ingredients may not fit at one time, so you may have to fill the blender several times. Once the soup is blended, pour it into a large non-metallic bowl. Stir in the oil and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Too hot to cook? Then try one of Spain’s super cool ‘sopa’ dishes

Ingredients 4 oz blanched, peeled almonds 3-4 slices stale white bread 3 cloves garlic 32 oz water

It’s another hot summer in Spain, bringing with it long days at the beach, dark tans (or painful sunburns) and, of course, Spain’s famous traditional cold soups. In 30 degree weather, soup might be the last thing on your mind,

but Spaniards — and Andalucians in particular — know that a chilled soup is the ideal appetiser or light meal when the thought of turning on the oven is unbearable. Here are some traditional Spanish ‘sopa’ recipes.

Sopa fría de melón is both sweet and tangy, and a good option for those who don’t like tomatoes or garlic. It’s also the easiest of all — just peel and blend!

Method Soak the bread in a small amount (a few tablespoons) of water. Gently remove and squeeze dry.

Ajo blanco (white garlic soup), is another Andalucian speciality. It consists primarily of bread, almonds, olive oil, and of course, lots of garlic. It tastes very creamy with the addition of the almonds, but has no dairy. It is traditionally accompanied with something sweet, like grapes or slices of melon.

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Ingredients 1/2 honeydew or other green flesh melon 1 large cucumber 8 oz plain low-fat or non-fat yogurt 3 Tbsp white vinegar

5 Tsp Extra virgin Spanish olive oil 3-4 Tsp Spanish sherry vinegar Salt to taste Method Blanch and peel almonds. Dry thoroughly with paper towel and set aside. Peel garlic. Trim crust from bread slices if using French-style or rustic bread. Place bread in 8-16 oz cold water to soak. While bread is soaking, place garlic and almonds into a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth.

Remove bread from water with slotted spatula and squeeze out excess water. Tear bread into quarters and add bread and 1 tsp salt to processor or blender. Pulse. While blending, slowly drizzle olive oil, then vinegar, and finally the water into blender or processor. Taste. Adjust salt, vinegar and oil to taste. Strain through a sieve into a container or bowl. Press as much as possible through the sieve. Seal and chill for least two- three hours or overnight.

salt to taste Method Cut melon into cubes. Peel and cut four slices of cucumber and set slices aside. Cut rest of cucumber into large chunks. Place melon, cucumber, yogurt and vinegar into food processor or blender. Add vinegar. Blend until smooth and salt to taste. Refrigerate until serving.


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www.theolivepress.esFOOD & DRINK

with DINING SECRETS of ANDALUCIA.com

47

Eating out doesn’t Costa lot THE cost of eating out in the Costa del Sol has fallen 50% in the past five years, making Spain the cheapest European holiday destination for Brits once again. Globally, the sunshine coast shares the top spot with Sri Lanka, according to a Post Office survey. The average cup of coffee is just ₤1.12 in Torremolinos, compared to a staggering ₤3.91 in Jumeirah, Dubai.

Saving

Best qualified butcher

W

HEN it comes to sausages and chops, there are few people in Spain as well qualified as Dutch butcher Willem van Beek, 49. The Dutchman spent no less than six years training to be a butcher in Holland, before spending eight years working in his father’s shop. This is immediately apparent from his fantastic cuts of meat and charcute-

rie that make this stop off in Urbanisation La Herederia, a must visit for carnivores. An amazing range of home-made sausages, superb veal chops and the best retinto beef raised on his very own finca, near Castellar. But best of all is his lamb chops soaked in a special marinade, along with a nice selection of cheeses and wines from around the world.

A three-course evening meal with a bottle of wine, will cost around ₤28.04 here in Spain, while diners in Tuscany can expect to pay an average ₤70.09 for the same. Diners in the Costa del Sol can still pocket a 15% saving on last years bill despite a nine percent fall in the value of the pound since last summer. The reduction compares favourably with other popular destinations Corfu and Cyprus, where holiday makers this summer will be paying an average five and six percent extra respectively than they did in 2012.

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Baby onboard A PLANE was forced to make an emergency landing after a woman gave birth during the flight. The 39-year-old went into labour en-route to Bologna from Morocco forcing the plane to divert to Barcelona. The woman gave birth to a healthy baby boy after receiving help from a midwife onboard.

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September 4 , 2013

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Bipolar spending spree

British tourist spends more that €172,000 while on holiday in Spain A BRITISH man has spent

Win a one night stand

more than €172,000 during a shopping spree in Spain. Mark Rushton, who suffers from bipolar disorder, bought items including 17 pairs of shoes costing €1,500, €700 of cigars and a €300 bottle of Cognac. He also cleared the shelves of a gourmet delicatessen before being asked to leave. Rushton was eventually arrested after leaving a shop without paying for a €20 Cuban cigar. He was treated at a psychiatric hospital in Santander before returning to the UK.

NO CREDIT: Clearing out the bank account

POLICE had to step in when the owner of a bar offered his punters a chance to win a one-night stand with a nude waitress. Owner Miguel Angel Cortes, had mistakenly thought the idea of a naked raffle would encourage visitors to his bar in Salobrena. Flyers were delivered throughout the town, promising a raffle ticket with every drink. However, locals were so horrified that they called the police.

Sexploits

Cortes got off with a warning, and cancelled the competition, but his sexploits have not made him many friends in the apartment block above the bar. María José García, equality councillor in Salobrena, has labelled the advertising campaign as “sexist and disrespectful towards women”. She told the Spanish news service EFE, “It incites prostitution and views women as mere objects.”

Major street FORMER Conservative prime minister John Major has had a road named after him in Candeleda.

Worn waste WOMEN wear only a third of the 57 items they take, on average, for a two week holiday.

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Taxi support TAXI drivers in Malaga must carry telephone numbers offering support to victims of gender violence.

Fisty cuffed

A FOOTBALL match was abandoned after tempers flared between two police teams. The match, involving teams from forces in Marbella and Northern Ireland, was ended after the Spanish side took exception to having two players sent off. The over-35s game was being played as part of the World Police and Fire Games in Belfast. A spokeswoman for the Games said: “Continued inappropriate behaviour by the Spanish team led the referee to call off the game with 15 minutes of play remaining.”


Olive Press Newspaper - Issue 168