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News 2010

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Car rental rates reducing
After sky-high car rental rates in 2009 and pretty high rates in Spring and Summer 2010 suddenly rental rates have crashed and for late summer and autumn 2010 are almost back to pre-2008 levels. The reason for them increasing so much seemed to be a combination of the Credit Crunch and the effect of the car scrappage schemes (though there wasn't one in Spain). Quite why rates have come back to much more normal levels now is not exactly clear but it could be that demand collapsed at the high rates and more cars are filtering back onto the rental market. Anyway, whatever the reason it is good news for visitors to Spain. If you have already reserved a car it might be worth getting a new quote as you may find that the price now is much lower than you were quoted even a month or so ago let alone longer. If so, our advice is to cancel the old booking (assuming you are not already committed or are not liable to penalities) and book again at the new rates. There are many internet car rental brokers all competing to offer the best deals. Take a look at several - such as www.doyouspain.com, www.drivespain.com and www.allinclusivecarhire.com. A quick search will find quite a few others as well.

www.veraplaya.info - news - 12 August 2010
Peter Goodman, pictured on his 85th birthday in 2006End of an era - passing of a much loved naturist
Peter Goodman, long time resident of Vera Playa and accomplished classical musician, has died at the age of 88. His daughter, Wendy, nursed him through his final short illness and he died peacefully at home in Puerto Rey on Wednesday 7 April 2010. Peter had lived at Vera Playa/Puerto Rey for more than 15 years, having moved to Spain on the advice of his doctor due to various ailments and the warm dry climate positively renewed him. Peter was an habitual exerciser, cycling and walking the promenade and beach on a daily basis throughout the year. In recent years he was often to be found sitting on a bench on the promenade inbetween his cycling, walking and swimming, exercising his mind doing Soduku puzzles. He was adventurous and intrepid by nature thinking nothing of setting off on his motor scooter to Guadix or Murcia to attend a concert or music festival and he was an inveterate user of public transport, buses, coaches, trains and planes, to get himself around Europe to such events including attending major concerts for which his son Roy Goodman was conductor. Peter was also well known in the wider community of the Levante area of Almeria province for the many concerts he conducted and/or performed in, including choral and orchestral music. Professionally he was an organist and was for many years the Organist to the City of Hull. His many friends in Almeria province will remember him not only for his music making abilities but also for his powers as a raconteur of seemingly unbelievable tales of fantastical exploits, nearly all of which proved to be true! He will be sadly missed. (April 2010).
Car rental prices and cheap/convenient flights
We have, admittedly, been spoilt for quite a few years now in having an amazing choice of low price flights to our 3 "local" airports (Almeria, Murcia-San Javier & Alicante) from a host of UK airports and just about the cheapest car hire in Europe. With the Credit Crunch, that changed in summer 2009 and whilst car rental rates during this winter went back nearly to previous levels, the prospects for summer 2010 look mixed: Average car rental rates (for 7 days, small car with air-con) look to be around €130 - 150 ( 50% up on winter rates, but significantly below last summer's rates). What is not clear yet is availability - whilst this was never a problem historically, last summer there just weren't enough cars to go round (apparently because the car rental companies couldn't buy them due both to the Credit Crunch and to their usual cheap deals being withdrawn by manufacturers who directed available cars to the more lucrative car-scrappage schemes markets across Europe). As a result the law of supply and demand came into operation and weekly rates sky-rocketed to €450 or more per week.

It is more difficult to judge what the average air-fare is but final "bottom line" prices look to be somewhat up on average but the more significant factor is availability of flights as all the budget airline seem to have scaled back the number and frequency of their flights and the destinations they fly from and to - the result may well be much fuller planes (which is obviously good for the airlines) but maybe this summer if you normally have a strategy of waiting for lower prices nearer the date you might end up with higher prices or no seats available.

Our advice is get your flights booked at the same time you book your accommodation and get your rental car booked too so you are sure you've got one - alternatively save money by using public transport or arrange airport transfers. See our FAQs page for more information and advice. See our 2009 news page for more detail on what happened last year - click here

Let us know your experience this year in booking flights and car-hire - use our forum or contact us direct - click here
www.veraplaya.info - news - 3 March 2010
Spain gets Britain's winter weather this year
Are the world's weather patterns shifting? Last summer the jet stream stayed obstinately further south than customary so England in particular got few anti-cyclonic periods of stable, summery weather whilst France and Iberia seemed to be getting it instead. Now, this winter, now officially over, has seen the UK experience the cold continental weather which has given it the coldest winter in 30 years and, despite the snowfalls, much less precipitation overall than is usual. And the mild, wet and south-westerly winds weather systems, which for many years have given the UK a distinctly different winter to that of most of mainland northern Europe, have been forced much further south than usual giving Spain such high rainfall this winter that the drought which has existed unbroken for many years has been declared to be at an end. Rainfall in Gibraltar this winter has been four times the usual level and while the multiplier may not be quite as high in the Levante area of Almeria province, it has certainly been a more unsettled and wetter weather winter than is usual. Now though, with Spring comes warmer and hopefully sunnier and drier weather.
www.veraplaya.info - news - 3 March 2010
Criminals misuse the freedom of naturism
Under the headline "Naked luxury car thieves nabbed in province", local English language newspaper The Reader reports this week that after a 3 year long surveillance operation, the Guardia Civil have arrested eleven Lithuanians and a Polish man and 32 luxury cars have been recovered, along with a kilo of cocaine and 126 kilos of hashish and 50,000 euros in cash. The gang is believed to be behind the theft of "hundreds" of luxury vehicles. The thefts happened across the whole of southern Spain, documents were stolen from garages and then cars stolen to match the documents and their identities changed before taking them to Eastern Europe for sale. According to the report, the leader of the gang was paranoid about security and the gang planned their thefts in the "naked only" "naturalist camps" (sic) in Almeria (which must mean here 'cos there aren't any others - though the naturist zone ain't exactly a "camp"!). The police are reported to have said: "no camouflage is as good as being naked - it's difficult to secretly record a conversation on a naturalist (sic) camp". These remarks attributed to the Police, whilst amusing, should be taken with a pinch of salt as the Police are well aware that there are criminals living in some of the naturist urbanizacions and that they are not naturists - the police, quite rightly and correctly, do enter the naturist urbanizacions if they need to do so in the courseof their work and as with tradesmen etc they are well used to the presence of naked people in these urbanizacions.
Acknowledgements to The Reader 29 Jan 2010 edition - also see their website: www.thereader.es
STOP PRESS! It seems that some of the gang, possibly including its leader, were resident at the Bahia de Vera urbanizacion which has been blighted for several years by the presence of a small number of long term renters and even owners who are not naturists and some have been using the urbanizacion for purposes entirely at variance with the ideals of this Naturist Community and, in some cases, refusing to pay Community Fees etc until forced to do so by the Courts causing great expense to the Community and borne by the other, naturist owners. The tactic, as you may guess, is to disappear when the Court seeks to enforce a judgement. We understand that the persons arrested were also drug-dealing from their apartment in the urbanizacion. Just one more instance of how life on the Spanish Costas is not so far removed from the Wild West of old - perhaps not surprising as we are not far from the home of "spaghetti westerns" - the desert of Tabernas! (31 Jan 10)

www.VeraPlaya.info 2010

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