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Playa's naturist zone - and not just the good news!
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leave trail of vandalism
After a holiday week/ week-end with two fiesta days (6 Dec
- Constitution Day & 8 Dec - Feast of the Immaculate Conception)
Vera Playa has slipped back to its normal winter quiet, but
vandals have certainly been active over the holiday period
with street furniture (signs, litter bins, street lights,
street notices, etc) pulled down and broken, practically all
the glass in the cab of a contractor's digger smashed, etc.
The more urban the area becomes, the more, unfortunately it
is suffering from the ills of urban areas everywhere - vandalism,
graffitti, burglaries, traffic congestion. Maybe not even
Paradise is perfect?
The Mayor of Vera is quoted as saying that he will be happy
for 75% of the Vera council area to be urban (he and his council
want it to be more, the provincial government, less - though
still about 4 or 5 times what it is now!)
(10 December 2006)
announces new route - Birmingham to Murcia/San Javier
Midlanders will have a further choice of travel routes now
with a new BMI Baby service to Murcia/San Javier - but
no new routes to Almeria - why not? (1 Nov 06).
Motorway - and airport
The new toll motorway from Cartagena to Vera is now at an
advaced stage of construction and may open next year (2007).
The nearest junction to Vera Playa will be at Vera. It should
greatly shorten the journey time to and from Murcia San Javier
airport (to around 1 hr) which is good news for many Brits
as there are more scheduled services there than at Almeria.
However there is some confusion as to what is happening about
airport development around Murcia - the present Murcia/San
Javier airport is situated on the coast, by the Mar Menor,
some 40 kms or so from Murcia city (and much closer to Cartagena).
This airport is a mixed civil and military airfield and in
recent years the number of budget flights using it has increased
very greatly. It seems a second runway is to be built to allow
further growth. Meanwhile, it is said that an entirely new
Murcia airport is being built on a site just south of Murcia
city which is currently just for private/freight/executive
flying. This new airport is to be an "international"
airport. It is about 130 kms from Vera Playa so would be a
clear second choice after Almeria but it is not yet known
when (or even definitely if) it will open or what services
will use it. The present Murcia/San Javier airport may, with
the benefit of the new toll motorway, be practically as close
in time terms (though it is not yet known how much the tolls
www.veraplaya.info - news - 10 November 2006
postcode reflects Vera Playa's growth
Until now Vera Playa has shared the Vera town postcode of
04620 - but no longer, it now has its own: "04621 Vera
Playa, Almeria" - don't forget to use it!
Natura owners website 2006
Under a new agreement between the United States and Spain,
work is to start in November 2006 on the first phase of a
clean-up operation on 10 hectares of land in Palomares impounded
by the Spanish government in 2004. Palomares, about 3 kms
from Vera Playa, is where in 1966 three of four H bombs fell
to earth after a mid-air collision between an American H-bomber
and its refuelling tanker plane. "We have to study the dirt,
we have to look underground," said Juan Antonio Rubio, director
general of Spain's energy research agency CIEMAT, which is
carrying out an investigation with the U.S. Department of
Energy. "We don't know what's down there." The US and Spain
have agreed to share the cost of the initial investigation.
Spanish authorities say the appearance of higher than normal
levels of radiation in snails and other creatures shows there
may be dangerous levels of plutonium and uranium below ground,
and a further clean-up could be necessary. According to the
American Brookings Institution the original clean-up operation
cost $120m and included taking 1400 tons of contaminated soil
and vegetation to the US. More on the "Broken Arrows"
incident on our history
page. Also - commentary
News item, Reuters
www.veraplaya.info - news - 26/8 October 2006
Souces: Spanish press and various websites including Associated
Press and those shown above
Playa treasure celebrates 85th birthday in style
Classical musician Peter Goodman,
one of the best known and loved members of the ex-patriate
community in Vera Playa this week celebrated his 85th birthday
with a dinner and musical evening at the Hotel Mexico for
a large number of his friends, many of them musical colleagues.
The birthday celebration
was a joint one as Peter was re-united with his twin brother
John who had flown from his home in New Zealand for the occasion.
Peter has lived for many years at Puerto
Rey and is one of the stalwarts in keeping the naturist flag
flying over the full length of the naturist beach, taking
his morning walk or cycle ride along the promenade and/or
beach all the way to the Hotel Vera Playa Club - some 3 kms
each way. Still in robust health in his 85th year Peter is
a fine advertisement for the health benefits of living on
the Costa de Almeria.
www.veraplaya.info - news - 20 October 2006
"Trains" put naturist zone on tourist map
With no barriers to entry and public roads running through
the naturist zone, naturists at Vera Playa have long been
used to being gazed upon by gawkers, voyeurs and the simply
curious who seem never to have seen a naked body before. Now,
in 2006, a new "road trains" service has really
put the naturist zone on the tourist map. Visitors to the
area can take a circular tour visiting all the local places
of interest - and, of course, this includes the naturist zone.
The service operates mainly in the evenings and the sound
of the "trains'" horns, whistles and clanging bells
has become part of the local soundscape. Naturists of a shy
or timid disposition can avoid being on the street or beach
naked if they don't like being gawked at - but most have learnt
to live with it - who knows, some of these tourists might
decide to try stripping off for themselves and become tomorrow's
www.veraplaya.info - news - 14 September 2006
Corrupto"(meaning "Town Hall Corrupt"*)
was the graffitti scrawled over the illegal signs erected
by Vera Council at the infamous "Berlin Wall" it
erected on the beach 4 years ago in 2002. Since then, in April
2004, Andalucia's Ombudsman has ruled that Vera Council exceeded
its powers in attempting to redefine the length of the naturist
beach - but this hasn't stopped the Council from erecting
another illegal sign showing the southern kilometre of beach
to be "zona textil" despite the fact the Ombudsman
has confirmed that it is "zona naturista". Not only
is this illegal but it has seriously confused both textiles
and naturists and is the cause of some textiles being outraged
at the sight of naked people on what they believe is a textile
beach (most of those "outraged" turn out to be repressed
Brits - most Spaniards and other Continentals are more sophisticated
and liberal in their views). The sign also confuses naturists,
especially when the southern beach is busy, and naturist use
of it at such times has become practically zero - just what
the Council wants no doubt.
The puzzle is that no action has been taken either to force
the Council to remove or alter its illegal sign, or to do
so for it. Why not, one asks? Could it be that the
Naturist Association (TBNa - Tortuga Boba Naturista Assoc.)
has run out of energy or has it been "turned" by
www.veraplaya.info - news - 14 September 2006
* Several of the local Mayors and Councils (including Vera's)
are now under investigation for possible corruption and alleged
Mafia connections related to granting planning permissions
for new developments - so did the 2002 graffitti-ist hit the
nail on the head?
Playa - the Spanish Newquay?
A new phenomenon has emerged at Vera Playa this summer - surfing.
Changes in the sea bed, which has become shallow for quite
a way out, mean that when there are east or north-east winds
and a sea running from the same direction, there can be quite
large and good surf on Vera Playa beach and many people have
been trying it out, some with surf boards, others by "bodysurfing".
Earlier in the year huge quantities of sand were deposited
on the textile beach at the northernmost part of the long
Vera Playa - it looks as if much of this may already have
migrated south to help create the new Spanish Newquay. So,
if you are coming to Vera Playa, leave the clothes at home
and pack your surfboard instead! (But if the sand's migration
keeps going it could all be over by next season!).
www.veraplaya.info - news - 14 September 2006
care at and near local airports - details
calls it a day after 6 years
Fran Clemente has stood down as President of the Bahia de
Vera Community. Fran was responsible for negotiating a comprehensive
agreement with developers Mare Nostrum which included the
community taking over the proposed public bar/restaurant for
use as community social facilities. He also successfully led
the Naturist Association for the whole Vera Playa naturist
zone and was a frequent ambassador for the naturist cause
on tv & radio. Thanks for your good work Fran!
restaurants - two new restaurants opened this summer
in Avenida Tortuga Boba (in the small commercial centre where restaurant
Mayo 2004 is located - 50m from Torrema Natura's main gate). Lenos
& Carbon specialises in char-grilled beef/steaks and Fado
has a wide, eclectic menu. Good news for owners and visitors to
Vera Natura, Bahia de Vera, La Menara and Torrema Natura who previously
had a limited choice of restaurants within easy walking distance.
There is also a recently opened bar nearby as well as the well established
Atoda Vela tapas bar (the only naturist friendly bar or restaurant
on the south side of the naturist zone). An ice cream parlour, a
chinese restaurant and other eateries are rumoured to be opening
in the new Consum commercial centre where the Consum
supermarket is located.
(www.veraplaya.info - news - 3 & 14 Sept 2006)
In Hotel Street (above the roundabout, next to SunMed properties)
a welcome addition is El Balconito, a British owned bar/restaurant,
which plans to open all year round and offers a daily menu (not
in the evening) as well as a la carte.It has a particularly good
reputation for Sunday lunch as for its tapas.
(www.veraplaya.info - news - 7 Nov 2006)
chain Consum has opened a large new supermarket immediately
adjacent to the naturist zone (south of Torremar Natura, north of
the Aquapark) only 150m from the main gates of Torremar Natura and
Bahia de Vera - very convenient! The new supermarket has an instore
butchery, fish counter and bakery and opens all day (no siesta)
up until 2115hrs. There is a large car park for customers. Consum
is a major supermarket chain. Its prices and range of goods do not
seem quite as good as the main supermarket chain already in the
area, Mercadona, which
has also just opened a new store at Puerto Rey, on the Vera-Garrucha
road, close to The Happy Gnome restaurant. It brings to three
the number of Mercadona stores in the area (the others are at Garrucha
and in Vera town) and at approx 4 kms is about 2 kms closer to the
Naturist Zone than the Garrucha store.
The Consum supermarket is on the ground floor of a three storey
commercial centre, the first floor looks likelt to have a selection
of shops and other commercial premises, whilst the second floor
will have an ice cream parlour and restaurants, including a chinese
restaurant. There is a huge roof terrace for outdoor eating.
(www.veraplaya.info - news - 3 & 14 Sept 2006)
Almeria airport? It's a great little airport and
so convenient to Vera Playa - but now criminals are active in and
around the airport and there's real need for travellers to be very
wary - more
Avoid off-site car rental
firms unless you like long waits - Auriga
used to have an office in a caravan in the car park, but now, with
Crown, have off-site offices near Almeria airport.
At busy times it can be one and a half to two hours from when you
land to when you drive out of their depot. Tip
- if your internet broker places you with either of these rental
companies ask them to reallocate you to one which has an office
actually at the airport
works cause traffic disruption
The top half of the main road into the heart of the naturist zone
(Avenida Cuidad de Castellon) has recently been closed so that new
storm water pipes can be installed.
This work has necessitated all traffic to use the Avenida Tortuga
Boba to access the naturist zone and the normally one way street,
the narrow Calle Naturaleza (past the main entrance of Vera Natura)
has become two way.
The photo shows the massive size of the storm water drains now being
installed - it is not clear whether the necessity for this work is
the occasional flooding after heavy rain or whether it is connected
with the massive developments behind Vera Playa (Las Salinas, etc).
The works to the top half of the road have now been completed and
the road has been resurfaced and opened to traffic. It is anticipated
that the works to the lower half will not be commenced until after
the busy mid July to late August high season period - meanwhile huge
stockpiles of the huge square drains are stacked all along the sides
of the street towards the sea.
www.veraplaya.info - news - 03 July 2006
Natura pool works drift past planned completion date
Works to install access tunnels which should have been
built when the huge outdoor pool at Vera Natura was first constructed
seem to be running slightly behind schedule. The "missing access
tunnels" were discovered after a small earthquake in early 2005
was believed to be the cause of damage to pipework which should have
been accessible via access tunnels. Sea levels of up to 2m higher
than usual during the past winter are also blamed for putting unexpected
pressures on the pool construction which has also been found not to
have the proper extent of reinforcement in its concrete construction.
The original developers of Vera Natura failed to build the pool as
was required by the Building Regulations (one wonders to what extent
this is true of other pools at Vera Playa?) and so now the Community
is having to bear the cost and inconvenience - two of the four tunnels
required have been installed at a cost of some 50.000 - owners
are having to pay an extra 3 months Community Fees to meet this cost.
It is proposed that the other two tunnels will be installed in three
or four years when the Community can afford them. This year's works
were due to be completed on 30 June but it appears that work is running
slightly behind schedule but hopefully the pool will be back into
use in time for the high season which begins in mid July. More information
on the Vera
Natura owners website - click here
www.veraplaya.info - news - 03 July 2006
Good news: Vera Natura President Peter Wallis reports that
the surrounds to the pool have been returfed and the breach in the
perimeter wall for works access has been resealed and the poool is
in the process of being refilled so will be back into use for the
peak period. (16 July 2006)
storm undoes hotel's winter repair work
Just a couple of months after extensive work to the beach front of
the Hotel Vera Playa Club was completed, following winter storm damage,
an unseasonal storm has completely destroyed the earlier work and
necessitated much larger scale repairs. Work is now proceeding to
build new sea defences to keep the sea at bay from the covered pool
and restaurant terrace. The beachside shower, much used by hotel guests
to clean their feet when leaving the sandy beach, now stands at the
edge of a precipice.
In fact the whole of the beach north of Nat-Sun is now at two distinct
levels, about 1.5 - 2 metres different in height.
The question, as always, is who will win in the end - Playa Hoteles
and its civil engineers - or the sea? The works being undertaken at
present - as in the past - although significant in scale do not seem
to be a serious attempt to build a sea wall to really protect the
hotel - for instance there are no piles being driven in to give a
secure foundation and what will surely happen the next time there
is a storm is that once more the sea will undercut these new works
which will fall over nearly as easily as the last lot did!
www.veraplaya.info - news - 2 & 5 July 2006
12 months old - so time to dig it up!
Built only in 2005, part of the beach promenade at Vera Playa (adjoining
the lagoon area between Playa de Baria 1 and Vera Gardens) has been
dug up so that a new flood-water drainage system could be laid beneath
it. This work follows extensive local flooding in early 2006. The
drainage system has already been laid and the trenches filled in
- the only thing remaining is to relay the block paving. One wonders
whether the finished job will be as smooth and immaculate as before,
but although there can perhaps be criticism of a flood drainage
scheme not having been built originally, at least prompt action
has been taken to build one following the winter flooding.
www.veraplaya.info - 2 July 2006
is with great sadness that we report the recent death of
John Cornforth who was a resident of Bahia de Vera at Vera
Playa from 2001 to 2005. John was well known to residents and
visitors alike for his friendly chats as he walked around the
urbanizacion and many a plant at Bahia de Vera owes its survival
to his watering can. John's meticulous record keeping has provided
the weather statistics on this website since its inception in
2001. It was typical of John that he bore a long period of illness
and a very major operation with fortitude and a characteristic
stoicism and quiet good humour. Our sympathy goes to his widow
Helen in her and our loss, we have lost a good friend - you
are missed John.
storm leaves beach in a mess
Torrential rain on Wednesday 3 May - reportedly
more in 4 hours than in previous year - resulted in the death of two
people at Pulpi when cars were swept away by flood waters coursing
down a previously dry rambla. Trees and other vegetation swept down
the ramblas by the flood waters has been washing up on the naturist
beach in large quantities - good pickings for beachcombers stocking
up on wood for next winter's fires, but quite a mess for beach users.
The council has started a clean-up but this may take some time.
www.veraplaya.info - news - 5 May 2006
www.VeraPlaya.info © 2006
To access our archive of news from Vera Playa for other years, click on
the appropriate year:
2007, 2005, 2004, 2003,
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