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2006 News

 
Scroll down to see all the news items - the most recent ones are first
Fiestas 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)
BMI-Baby 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).
New 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 will be).
www.veraplaya.info - news - 10 November 2006
New 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!
Source: Vera Natura owners website 2006
Palomares clean-up
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
Fox News item, Reuters news item
www.veraplaya.info - news - 26/8 October 2006
Souces: Spanish press and various websites including Associated Press and those shown above
Peter Goodman, Vera PlayaVera 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
Vera Playa "train" "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 naturists.
www.veraplaya.info - news - 14 September 2006
"Ayto 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 the Council?
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?
Vera 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
Take care at and near local airports - details
President 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!
1 New 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)
2 Consum logoSupermarket 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, Mercadona logowhich 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)
3 Using 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
Drainage 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
Vera Natura pool works drift past planned completion date
Vera Natura outdoor pool - 30 June 2006
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)
Unseasonal 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

Just 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

 

photo of John Cornforth dec'dIt 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.
Driftwood on Vera Playa - May 2006Rain 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,   2002,   2001

 


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