Thursday, 20 June 2013

House building - local signs of life?

Another cool and cloudy day and that encouraged me to go out walking over midday and afternoon, rather than hide indoors from the heat. As I was about to set out, I received a phone call about a funeral to be arranged for next Monday at Velez Malaga crematorium for a Briton who lived in a village inland from the town. I plan to go out and meet the family on Saturday when they've gathered from far off places where they live.

Once the initial arrangements were firmly in place, I walked out into rio Chillar valley below us, crossed the ford and went up the ridge on the other side almost as far as the Autovia de Mediterraneo. It's a hilly area of orchards, market gardens, new houses and houses under construction with mostly unmetalled roads. Then I crossed another smaller fruit and olive tree line tributary valley, to reach another new area of housing above and beyond it. This was more of a planned development, with larger houses being built on bigger plots. One advertised for €59,000 would be on the market for five times that much in Britain. It says a lot about the impact of recession here. 
Despite the economic crisis, several houses are being worked on by contractors. The other night I noted that a large hotel sized area beside a roundabout on the way out of town has a tall crane working on it. The site was at a standstill when I was last here two years ago.  Green shoots of recovery, or is someone taking a huge investment risk? Growth may now be slow, but Nerja has developed enormously over the past thirty years, and has a lot of visitors. There are empty shops, but proportionately fewer than back in bustling Cardiff.

I walked out of the urbanizacion and came to the main road into Nerja from the autovia roundabout, close to to the Lidl supermarket, and the newly built 'Thanatorium la Esperanza', funeral parlour yet to be opened for use. I wonder how long before marketing services to the bereaved take this form in the U.K.?
As I walked further down the road to cross the main bridge into town, I noticed a huge bank of sea mist rolling inshore, touching the mountains on either side of the bay.
It's not quite what you expect to see on a Midsummer Eve on the Costa del Sol. Pleasantly cool is far better than horribly humid. More like a British summer, which already seems to have come and gone, by all reports.

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