In association with
SEPTEMBER 28th - OCTOBER 4th
A MARTIAN LANDSCAPE IN ANDALUCIA
American space agency NASA has carried out tests in Huelva on robots for interplanetary exploration. The Rio Tinto valley contains a high amount of iron, sulphur and has an acidity similar to that on the Martian landscape, making it ideal to put the finishing touches to a robot design which will be used on a forthcoming unmanned mission to the red planet.
A FIRST STEP TO 2012
Málaga city council has taken the first official Olympic step to becoming a sub-host for the 2012 Olympic Games. Councillor for Sport, Javier Berlanga, achieved unanimous support in both the municipal sports foundation and the youth and sports commission of the council. The idea gets a full debate in the council chamber on Friday.
SLEEP YOUR WAY TO BARCELONA
RENFE has started a new sleeper service this week between Málaga and Barcelona. The daily service, which stops at Granada, uses the company's latest sleeper cars and offers both beds and reclining seats on trains travelling at a speed of 180 kph.
NERJA'S AGUILA AQUEDUCT NEEDS RESTORATION
Mayor of Nerja, José Alberto Armijo, has called on the provincial culture delegate of the regional government, Rosario Torres, to meet him to discuss the deteriorating Aguilla aqueduct between Nerja and Maro. The Mayor said two previous letters to the Junta de Andalucia have gone unanswered and that he hopes for a more positive response to his latest call.
RICHER RURAL ROADS
The provincial government of Granada has approved plans to spend 300 million pesetas on improvements to rural roads. The scheme is part of a joint regional government and local councils funded project with a total budget of 1,000 million pesetas. Thirty-five municipalities across Granada Province will see local roads improved under the plan.
A NIGHT OUT FOR CELIA
More than 600 people have met to praise the work of Málaga's ex Mayor and current Minister of Health, Celia Villalobos, at an event held in a city hotel. The local Chamber of Commerce was among the organisations involved in organising the event.
LITTLE AND LARGE
A baby dolphin was found on the beach of La Cairhuela, Torremolinos, on Saturday by a surfer. Initially it was taken to the Sealife Centre in Benalmádena Costa but later transferred to the expert care of CREMA, an organisation dedicated to the welfare of marine wildlife. A spokesman for CREMA said this was a unique case for them and the first time they had to care for a baby dolphin.
Meanwhile, Puerto Banus hosted the 4th International Deep Sea Fishing Tournament sponsored by El Corte Inglés. Three hundred fishermen in 70 boats took part. Catches of two giant tunas of 224.6 and 150.9 kilos won the first prize. 900 kilos of fish were caught in all, to be distributed amongst various Marbella charities.
EU FUNDING SOUGHT FOR NERJA-ADRA MOTORWAY
The Ministry for Development has included the Nerja-Adra motorway link in its regional development plan for 2000-2006. The construction of this 80 km stretch would be the final link in the Mediterranean coastal motorway, but the technical difficulties that need to be overcome have pushed the price tag to over 150,000 million pesetas. Construction is not expected to start until the year 2002.
The Nerja-Motril section is divided into four, the projects for which were completed last March and have already been approved by the ministry. The Motril-Adra section, also divided into four, is further delayed and still in the pre-project stage awaiting a report on the environmental impact of the new road. Only when the final projects for the link have all arrived in Brussels will it become clear whether the construction will be funded by European as opposed to state funds.
GREEN ROUTES FOR GREEN TOURISTS
The association of municipalities on the western Costa del Sol has produced a map showing "green tourist routes" for those who like to explore areas of the coast, which are off the beaten track.
The various routes take in the municipalities of Manilva, Casares, Estepona, Benahavis, Istán, Ojén, Monda and Mijas. The routes featured are: Sierra Bermeja, Los Reales; Estepona - Pico de Los Reales; Camino de Istán - La Concha; Sierra Blanca - Refugio Juanar; Camino de Istán - Cañada Juan Inglés de Ojén; Mijas Pueblo - Mijas Pico; Charca La Mozas, Casares-Manilva, Istán-Marbella, Vereda del Tajo Banderas; Camino de la Cuesta; Camino Istán - Monda; Vereda del Charco de la Huerta and Arroyo Real - Navacillo.
Regional government has sponsored the map and copies should be available at all tourist offices.
HAVE A SAN MIGUEL
An estimated 200,000 people took part in the annual Torremolinos "romeria" of San Miguel Arcángel on Sunday. Sixty-three traditional carts and carriages participated in the colourful procession from the centre of town to the shrine of San Miguel in the pine grove of Los Manantiales. It wasn't an exclusive Spanish event. The British Legion and the Rotary Club were amongst several foreign organisations taking part.
The "romeria" signals the start of the Torremolinos feria, which began on Tuesday. The day feria will be held in the town. At night the action moves to the feria ground at El Pozuelo, where 25 casetas have been installed.
WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE
ACET, the business association of Torremolinos, has agreed with the promotes of the future San Miguel Commercial Centre that 25 per cent of the shops will be reserved for its members. ACET has also organised s draw for its member's customers called "Millionaire for a Day".
SPENDING AT MARKET
Regional government has approved a grant of 16.7 million pesetas to assist with improvements at Arroyo de la Miel market. The money will be spent on lighting, asphalting the area, a retaining wall and pubic toilets.
COURTING EL CORTE
Mijas Town halls is hoping Hipercor/El Corte Inglés will open a similar complex to that in Puerto Banus at Las Cañadas and Los Limones. It is intending to change the town plan to allow for the building of a commercial centre on these sites. It will then be up to regional government to give approval.
Málaga construction company, Myramar is investing 3,000 million pesetas in building an apartment-hotel in Fuengirola. It will have 224 apartments and be located on the right bank of the Rio Fuengirola. In 1999, Myramar built another apartment-hotel at the same location with 155 rooms.
RED CROSS NEEDS FIRST AID
Estepona's Red Cross organisation is in a state of crisis. Three presidents of the organisation have resigned in the last few months and the Red Cross post on the N340 at Guadlobón by the Estepona roundabout, has been closed - putting the ambulance service out of action. A decision on the Red Cross' future in Estepona is awaited from the organisation's Málaga directorate.
AUTOPISTA GREEN LIGHT
AUSOL, the company responsible for building the new motorway between Estepona and San Enrique de Guadiaro, has reached agreement with Estepona town hall on the plans and on land to be expropriated. It has also been revealed that the stretch between Estepona and Guadiaro, which is to be upgraded to a dual carriageway, will have 13 roundabouts along it 22 kilometres length.
REGIONAL GOVERNMENT PROMOTES ORGANIC FOODS
Regional councillor for Agriculture and Fisheries, Paulino Plata, says growers of organic crops in Andalucia should make a greater effort to sell their produce in Spain. Councillor Plato was speaking at the opening of the fourth congress of the Spanish organic agriculture society in Cordoba. He said these products were now fetching a better price but currently 90 per cent of Spanish organic produce is exported to the Central Europe. He claims the opening up of the domestic market is needed for a general development of the industry.
In Andalucia there are currently 67,000 hectares given over to organic crops, with 2,609 producers and 109 industries involved.
DESTINATION NIGHTMARE'S A SWEET DREAM
The BBC has been shooting party of a television programme, Destination Nightmare, in the Emergency Department of the Regional Costa del Sol Hospital. The programme's aim is to show the problems which British tourists could find themselves up against if in need of immediate treatment for non-life threatening illnesses or accidents. It also featured the work carried out by the hospital's group of voluntary interpreters organised by Marion Winter.
The medical and administrative personnel took part in the three-day shoot, during which 300 emergency cases were treated. Producer Michael Tuft said in all British TV programmes about holidays abroad, not one touched on possible difficulties such as health, yet 20 per cent of patients treated during the summer months are foreigners. According to assistant producer, Julia Kennedy, all those involved in the production were very impressed with what they had seen.
BENALMÁDENA GOES DIY
Benalmádena Town Hall had hoped to get the agreement of the state railway company, RENFE, to fund part of the cost of improving the underground passage beneath the lines at La Leal in Arroyo de la Miel. However, as RENFE has refused to participate, with RENFE's approval, the Town Hall will now carry out the work itself.
This is part of a plan to upgrade communications and traffic flow in Arroyo de la Miel. Improvements are planned between the end of Avenida del Mare Nostrum, Calle Esmeralda and the motorway. La Leala will also be improved ahead of the industrial estate and residential zone planned for the area.
LIGHTING UP THE WAY
Málaga's traffic department is to spend 2.5 billion pesetas on new electronic road signs and will also be improving the visibility of signs already erected
The junctions of the N-340 with the Costa del Sol motorway will be highlighted in the new investment. An idea of signs changing colour according to traffic levels is currently being researched together with the use of new digital radio frequencies to keep drivers up to date with traffic problems.
Government sub delegate for the province of Málaga, Carlos Rubio, said he expects the contract for the new motorway links to avoid the dangerous bends at La Araña to be put out to tender by the end of the year. Spending on the new stretch was authorised in this year's budget.
Torremolinos Town Hall says the town earned 500 million pesetas from sporting tourism in the year 1999-2000. Fifty-three sporting groups and 1,795 athletes from all over Europe used the town's Olympic swimming pool and sports centre in preparation for the Sydney Olympics. It is perhaps therefore not surprising that neighbouring Benalmádena is investing 114 million pesetas in upgrading the Arroyo de la Miel sports centre.
The Spanish Foreign Legion unit based in Ronda had cause to celebrate recently. It was the 80th anniversary of the legion, the 50th anniversary of the unit and the 20th anniversary of its presence in Ronda. Five hundred legionnaires will leave Ronda for Kosovo next March, where they will form part of a United Nations team overseeing the planned elections.
GRANADA FILM MAKERS
A total of 95 short films from 20 countries have been accepted into the Seventh International Young Filmmakers Festival to be held in Granada between October 14-21. A further 320 film scripts will also compete in the competition, which is rapidly becoming one of the most important in Spain.
Renovation work to the Torrecilla beach in Nerja is to start next month at the cost of nearly 135 million pesetas. Under the plan, 53,000 square metres of sand will be brought to the beach to be retained by a newly constructed three-metre high underwater dike. Once completed, the new beach will have an average width of 45 metres.