I like Albox

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THE time of year is upon us when the usual relative quiet is disturbed as summer hordes arrive. Roads along the coast get clogged up by holidaymakers intent on driving at a snails pace as of course we are all on holiday aren’t we so there’s no rush…Grrr. How many get that little shiver of excitement when the little rent-a-car sticker is seen on a back window and an overtaking opportunity is looked for? Inland is not immune from the threat either as Mr/Mrs Magoo very sensibly only use 3 gears in the hire car for the duration of the holiday and one of those is reverse.

Swimming pools are now in use for a few months and owners take pride in keeping them pristine. Nothing like a well basted child or two jumping in and out of the pool all day to leave a slimy Louisiana style oil slick all over the surface of the water. Make sure the skimmers are turned on during the day, extra chlorine is used and vacuum and back wash much more than normal and the pool should survive the guests’ onslaught. Filter sand should be checked and changed every 4-5 years and does not cost a lot of money when compared to the length of time it lasts.

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Alternatively why not visit a beach as there are many superb beaches all along the Costa Almeria. If it’s fat naked Northern Europeans you are after then any beach in the Cabo de Gata will have a happy selection of them to choose from at this time of year. Rule of thumb seems to be to avoid the right hand side of a beach unless shock therapy is required.

Recycling rates for glass are higher on the Costas than elsewhere in Spain due in part to many of us enjoying a sherbet or two and then sensibly disposing of the evidence. Mind you as I drove through Los Carrascos in Arboleas recently there was a family happily throwing all of their glass bottles into the clearly marked yellow plastic recycling bin. The thought was there I suppose.

Near home this week was a brush fire which luckily was extinguished quickly. An informer told me that one of the huge fires that raged last summer on the Sorbas road just after leaving the motorway was caused by a local British woman ejecting her fag butt out of the car. Barbecues are banned in the countryside and if one is planned at home precautions must be taken as it only takes a spark and devastation and destruction could easily follow. The wet winter means undergrowth is much thicker than usual so we must all take care.

Fuel prices seem to magically rise each summer and when many are taxiing guests around it can be an expensive business. For diesel owners there are 3 places locally that sell discounted fuel, Biocarsa in Vera sells bio diesel at 1.02/litre though the staff always have trouble using the credit card machine so pay cash if possible. The lovely Eastern European girls at Barol in Huercal Overa may smile (or not) when they fill the car with diesel at 1.03/litre. In Albox opposite Longos is another cheap filling station.

The bulk of the funding for the new bridge was gifted to Albox by the Junta de Andalucía when the new PSOE socialist mayor took office. In true partisan style the funding was refused whilst the town previously had the PP running the show.  The rumour that the outgoing PP mayor preferred one year to spend money allocated to provide electricity to a rural community on a large firework party instead highlights the change of priorities now in place in Albox.

The rambla is being diverted into a new pink boulder lined waterway which is safer and looks more attractive. It’s a pity the land has not been purchased for the new link road to be built between the new bridge and the new entrance road to Albox that was opened last year. But hey this is Spain after all.

Lots of money has been spent improving the town centre and it’s a much more attractive and inviting place to live, work and to visit. Albox has always attracted negative thoughts due in part to the popular misconception that the town starts and end near the BP fuel station. With the Daily Wail in Britain also printing regular headlines such as Albox builder ate my dog or all Albox houses are illegal and will be blown up the poor long suffering town has my sympathy. I shall stick my head right out and say ‘I like Albox’. Go on visit the town centre again and you may be pleasantly surprised. Plenty of places in the centre of town do great food such as Tonys, La Mirador and the La Parilla hotel.

By Stephen Amore

CAPTION: The new Albox bridge.

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