Two years has probably been the longest that I have spent away from the town. Since then Brexit has rumbled on, house prices have risen in UK and the currency exchange rates have become criminal. Anyone foolish enough to exchange at Gatwick would have received the princely sum of 0.97€ for every donated pound. So it was with interest and some trepidation that I came over.
The reality is that things are really good here and the town is thriving substantially more than two years ago. Walking down Avenida Las Palmeras there are few vacant shops and restaurants. Only Crumbles seems a casualty. Maybe also a reflection that there seem far fewer British folks here and the cafes serving British food seem to have got fewer. Whereas the multi item emporiums have not only thrived but have a higher quality of goods . They have moved on from the Poundland approach .
On the downside the beach renovation will entice fewer down to Playa Santa Ana. A huge portion of the town beach is out of action meaning that local alternatives such as Playa Carvajal get visited. Maybe my imagination but the seafront mostly fish restaurants seemed a little quieter too.
Building seems to have recommenced after a hiatus of a few years.
After the crazy years of ten years ago when developers seriously thought they could build almost to the top of the cable car mountain, things seemed to go quiet . A lot more building is going on around the Peublo area.
However The unfinished buildings remain and from a distance the graffiti scrawled on the walls suggests unwanted visitors. Will these ever get completed?
Car parking remains complex. Street parking on the roads leading out of town seem the only realistic option.
New restaurants have emerged. Lemon and Lime next to the taxi rank seems thriving with tables packed all day serving modern tapas. A return maybe to the traditional way of eating and drinking. Maybe there is still room for another bar though. Some of the old venues seem timeless. Harry’s Restro must have been here more than 10 years and serves one of the best curries I have had anywhere in the world. Cherry’s remains untouched. The Meeting Point is a great concept. Coffee and cakes ! Some empanadas too!
Not all bars and restaurants accept credit cards though. Buona Sana Italiana next door to Harry’s Restro is an example . But serving the best pizza and pasta in Benalmadena.
Still a fair few small dogs around and sadly still owners not picking up after them. There is no excuse. The parakeets have multiplied and are increasingly vocal.
So things seem better than two years ago and this great town and community is clearly thriving