On Friday 10th October at 9.30 am the Mayor of Ayamonte Antonio Rodriguez Castillo officially reopened Costa Esuri Golf West Course.
The back nine holes had been open for use earlier in September so coinciding with the first Official golf tournament being played on the course since H2O Management Company took over the running of the course all 18 holes were playable.
The Mayor welcomed Javier Chaguaceda Ortega the director of H20 saying it was great news that a local company was taking over a course which is recognised by many as being the best course in the Huelva province. The Mayor also said that the golf course was an important part in attracting tourism to the area, adding diversity to Ayamonte’s offering to tourists. He also said it was an integral part of the Costa Esuri neighbourhood “With the four million euro investment from bank guarantees about to be started on Esuri, the course and the surroundings have a bright future".
The golf tournament was won by Carlos Ortega Amezaga from Bellavista golf club with a score of 40 with young gun John Hill coming second with a score of 38. Patricia Tanner was the first of the ladies with a score of 36 followed by Elaine Christine with 33.
The Youth Association La Cruz in Ayamonte who have been involved in the organization of Ayamonte horse fair in recent years and numerous different events involving horse riding in Ayamonte have opened Ayamonte’s first riding school.
The school which is located behind the Picadero restaurant on Calle Cuesta San Diego Nº29 will offer classes to all levels of riders from the age of five and up. The classes will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursday from 16.00 to 21.00. The cost for an hour class every week for a month is only forty euro. Manuel Franco will give personalized classes on all the equestrian disciplines and how to take care of your horse.
The school also has plans to offer horse riding treks and excursions around the outskirts of Ayamonte for groups that request this service.
The Mayor of Ayamonte who officially opened the Riding School La Cruz on Saturday 20th September praised the Association for their hard work in preparing the installations for the opening and said “Now local riders who had to go to other towns to learn the traditional Andalusian dressage style can now do so in their home town”.
New businesses opening up in Ayamonte is a great sign and it also gives work to local people. Two Costa Esuri Residents have just opened a Hand car wash and car valet service in Ayamonte next to the Quitapenas Restaurant.
John Honey and Fabian Garcia the owners of F1 Pitt stop are offering a basic car clean that’s inside and out for just 10 euro. Having popped in to see them and wish them well, I thought they would be slow enough as they were just opening but the place was already doing a good trade. They can turn a car around in 20 minutes so gone are my days cleaning the bosses car. For those of you who don’t know me, the boss is my wife.
Anyway back to F1 Pitt Stop they do a great job and the car smells like new as they use quality cleaning products, so if like me you are in charge of cleaning your better half’s car as well as your own, pop down to these guys and then take the credit for shining up the car while you are having a coffee.
Best of luck to them all and their new crew and if you want to book your car in just call 0034 630621477.
With a recent press release from the Town Hall putting the date of the opening of the new waterpark in Ayamonte for 30th June 2015, I felt it was time I explained to all of you the exact location (see photo above) and a little more detail about the park itself.
You will have seen in the local papers the following. The cost of the development of the whole park is estimated at 10 million euros and it will create 171 jobs and it already has a pre-approved grant of 2.36 million euros from the Andalusian Innovation and Development Agency (Agencia de Innovación y Desarrollo de Andalucía IDEA).
The land where the waterpark is to be built belongs to the Fundación Tejada de la Santa Caridad the same foundation that runs the senior residents home in Ayamonte. The sale of this plot to the Russian investor Sergey Atroshensko will be a huge boost to the foundations funds.
The coordinator of the whole project is Gonzalo Cano with his architectural studio in Ayamonte and thanks to Gonzalo for explaining the whole project.
1. Octopus Lane: This will be a six lane twisty-turny slide located at the far left of the park as you enter.
2. Torando Blast: Is a water slide that drops you into at large saucer like structure and spins you around finally dropping you into a centre pool. It is located in the top left hand corner of the park.
3. Boomerang: A double boomerang shaped slide that brings you almost right back to where you started.
4. Hydro-Magnetic rocket: I will just have to record a video of this one when it’s build, but magnets propels you forward in a rocket shaped vessel surrounded by water. I am betting this will be my nephews favourite.
5. Dark Mammoth & Bubba Mammoth: Two serpentine water slides and you guessed it one is completely in the dark.
6. Interactive Pool: This is a shallow pool with lots of rides and games for children.
7. Pipe Line, Bullet Bowl and Topsy Turvy: A number of different water slides which I say will finally quieten my hyperactive nieces and nephews.
Of course there is a beach with a wave pool, right next to the beach bar and numerous restaurants and eateries dotted around the whole complex. Changing rooms and rest areas are also well distributed throughout the water park. Just outside the entereance there will be a large tiered car park with special areas for buses. All I can say is I am really looking forward to seeing the first sod being turned on this project which has been a long time in the pipeline.
After weeks of longs days of hard work by the H2O green keepers the day has finally arrived for Costa Esuri river course to reopen. As of Monday 22nd of September the back nine holes will be open for golfers to enjoy.
Having met with Jaime Riestra the manager of Costa Esuri Golf course at the already open driving range, he took me on a tour of the back nine holes. I am not a golfer myself but you can see the huge improvement to the greens and fairways. Jaime assured me that the condition that the course is in now is an improvement but in the coming weeks it will get closer to the standard they want.
The first rollup is this Monday at 10 and I know many resident golfers are itching to get back on this course. The second nine holes are to be opened for the beginning of October with the first Esuri Open to be held on October 10th.
The clubhouse will open soon with a Buffet being held on Saturday 27th September 13.00 at a cost of €12 per person. Interested parties can contact Jaime directly on +34 679491700.
Eurocity Guadiana bus line was presented this morning in Ayamonte Town Hall. The Bus line which is expected to be fully operation by the end of August or September at the latest has been fully approved by Both Spanish and Portuguese Governments.
The bus line which will be run by Turisbus will run from Isla Canela , Ayamonte, Costa Esuri and crossing over the international bridge to take in Monte Francisco, Castro Marim, Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Monte Gordo, Altura , Manta Rota and finally Cacela Velha.
The Mayor of Ayamonte and President of the Eurocity Antonio Rodríguez Castillo said he was delighted to be able to announce this new bus line which simply down to the fact of the added mobility will give both residents and visitors the opportunity to visit towns both sides of the Guadiana easily. This intiative will only become bigger and better with the help and support of local residents, resident committees and local businesses.
Juan Antonio Millán President of Fenadismer pointed out that the new bus line will create business and demand with the support of local people. He pointed out that Turibus comes with the backing of 4 different companies in a transport cooperative which has a fleet of over 200 buses and also have their own travel agency which will all work to support the bigger plan which is to have a network from Lagos to Seville. Juan Antonio Millán also pointed out that as soon as they have the final permit in place they would begin the service; however he would be looking at getting part of the service working earlier to attend to the needs of Costa Esuri.
Cera, Costa Esuri’s residents association were represented in the meeting by President Philip Johnson with further meetings to take place this coming Friday to finalise bus routes.
Antonio Rodríguez Castillo also pointed out that the bus line will add to the already existing ferry link between Ayamonte and Vila Real de Santo Antonio, and now it will be possible for local people and visitors to have two countries for the price of one, taking in all the cultural and gastronomic benefits that both Spain and Portugal has to offer.
July always brings surprises and this year it has to be the Balcony Art that has popped up all over the balconies in Ayamonte Town Centre. Thanks to the ever active art workshop La Escalera who last year brought art to the streets around the Casa Grande and was a huge success. Personally I think this is a great step and is helping people take notice of the beauty of Ayamonte streets and balconies.
A total of 29 artists are involved in Balconarte as it is called in Spanish.
María Rosa Gómez
María Bella Mateos
Manuel Feria “Carmelete”
María del Carmen Márquez Santana
María Dolores Luque Jiménez
Josefa Orta Leiva
Paqui Rangel Roldán
Francisco Javier Rodríguez
Francisco Javier Botello
Make sure next time you take a stroll in Ayamonte don’t forget to look up and for those of you who are not lucky enough to be here during the month of July have a look at Toño Mèndez video below
The Junta de Andalucia have approved this morning in a council meeting their support for the Ayamonte Water park and funding of 2.36 million euros for the 8.77 million euro project.
The Mayor of Ayamonte Antonio Rodríguez Castillo said that the people of Ayamonte can expect to see machinery on the plot of land where the water park is to be built before the end of the year.
The water park which is being developed by the Company Ayamonte Water Park SL will bring 81 new jobs to Ayamonte, 49 during the construction. The water park which will be located just behind the old Martinsa Fadesa showrooms is set on a plot of 97,760 square metres.
Having seen the project in full myself, I can safely say once it is built my days of driving down to the other end of the Algarve with my nieces and nephews are well and truly over.
The fifth edition of Ayamonte Tapa route was presented today with 19 establishments offering you a unique tapa for only €1.50
The route which will run throughout the month of June was presented today Tuesday 27th May in the town hall by Mayor Antonio Rodríguez Castillo, the Deputy Mayor for Tourism and Local Development Damiana Ruiz and the President & secretary of the Ayamonte’s Association for small and medium sized businesses Miguel Antúnez & Carmen Bánez.
The map and card for the tapa route will be available from the tourism office , hotels and all the participating establishments which are spread throughout all of Ayamonte and Isla Canela.
The format is just like past editions whereby you can rate each tapa and then enter a draw for a weekend in an apartment for 4 people in Punta del Moral. This year Isla Canela tours are the main sponsors of the event
Here is the list of participants, the list of establishments is slightly smaller than last year which gives you a better chance to complete all in one month.
The tourism office will keep its opening hours which during the summer are Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm.
The move from the old premises on the Calle Huelva means that the Town Hall social services can use the old office and save the town hall €15,000 per annum in rental costs.
The Deputy Mayor for Tourism Damiana Ruiz also took the opportunity to remind people that the tourism information points on the beach are open in July and August Mon – Friday 10.30 to 13.30 and again at 19.30 to 22.00 while on Saturday & Sundays and Bank holidays the opening times are 10.30 to 13.30 & 19.30 to 21.00
Since last Sunday evening hundreds of dead fish have been washed up on Isla Canela beach and the banks of the Guadiana River in Ayamonte. The authorities were notified and samples of water and specimens taken.
The results have shown that the water in both the river and the beaches on Isla Canela are in perfect condition for bathing. The dead fish are all from the same species part of the Mullet genus known locally as Lizas.
The Junta de Andalucía which took water samples the Thursday previous to the incident and last Monday feel that as it was only one species that was affected that the most logical hypnosis is that a bank of these fish got caught in a pool further up the river and ran out of oxygen.
The Mayor of Ayamonte Antonio Rodriguez Castillo confirmed that the water was in perfect condition and he was in constant contact with the Junta de Andalucía and the Delegate for Health, Lourdes Martin. A full report of the analysis of the dead fish is expected to be published by the end of the week.
Ayamonte football pitch is currently being resurfaced with artificial grass of a height of 50mm and density of 12.000 decitex (so that’s 12,000 stitches in one metre).
The artificial grass which is the latest generation of this type of surface will come as a welcome change to the much criticized and harder previous surface which was installed in 2006. A total of 7,334 square metres will be laid at a cost of €54,280 which is funded by the Active Tourism fund.
Javier López the councillor for services in Ayamonte town hall welcomed the change and said “It will see an end to the surface problem in the Ciudad de Ayamonte stadium which was persistent over the last two years.”.
For the first time this summer Ayamonte will hold a fair called “Luz de Verano 2013” Summer Light 2013. From Saturday 15th June until September 1st the fair will be held in the Paseo de la Ribera in the centre of Ayamonte.
The idea behind the fair is to promote handmade and homemade local products while at the same time offering various activities like nights of flamenco, storytelling and even a parade of vintage cars.
The fair which is promoted by the Association “Union Activa and backed by the local town hall will have more than 30 stalls. The President of the Association, Javier Fernándéz Cantón, said now is the time to do something and to be present on the streets of Ayamonte, showing the people what products we have to offer.
The fair will be inaugurated this Saturday at 19.00 in the Paseo de la Ribera, Ayamonte.
Everybody talks about the crisis and I can’t remember a day when someone hasn’t said something to me about the economic downturn. Lucky for me I am kept busy and haven’t had any real downtime, of course I am working harder for less but I am working, I count myself lucky. I know people who haven’t worked for two to three years and are good workers but there simply isn’t enough work out there for everyone.
A lot of these people have families and mortgages and they have fallen back on their parents who are retired (pensioners) just to put bread on the table. Some things can only stretch so far and that is why people like St Vincent de Paul, Caritas and Red Cross do an exceptional job helping out these needy families. We are not talking about scroungers here we are talking about genuine people who have fallen on hard times.
Now the reason I am telling you this story is because last week one of my Irish clients who wants to remain nameless asked me how the crisis was hitting Ayamonte and rather than just taking it all in, he turned around to me and asked me how he could help out some of these families.
The photo you see at the top of this article is the foodstuffs I bought today in Ayamonte in the name of my client and handed over to St Vincent de Paul. Olive oil, milk, shampoo, bleach, washing powder, orange juice, floor cleaner you name it we packed the trolleys. It’s just gone 7pm and the stuff is already on its way to those who need it.
Thank you for letting me be a part of this gesture, Thanks from St Vincent de Paul and thanks on behalf of the families. You made my month.
Now for those of you who are in Ayamonte this weekend you can donate some foodstuffs at the entrance to Mercadona, it’s a worthy cause and a kilo of sugar or rice is all they need.
Ayamonte town hall has signed over part of the installations known locally as “La Caseta” to the St Vincent de Paul so they can set up a Co-op community kitchen to help families who have been severely hit by the current economic crisis.
The Mayor of Ayamonte Antonio Rodríguez Castillo praised the work of the Co-op which has been helping families in Ayamonte for the last two years. “It is great that people get involved with the Co-op giving up their time and offering their services unselfishly for the good of those who have fallen on harder times”.
The President of the Co-op Norberto Rivero thanked the town hall and said this would pave the way to the opening of a community kitchen. Currently 14 people work actively in the Co-op with a number of members also helping out when they hold special events.
The fourth edition of Ayamonte Tapa route was presented yesterday with an extra 11 establishments joining in to bring the route to a total of 27 establishments where you can try a unique tapa for only €1.50
The route which will run throughout the month of June was presented yesterday Monday 21st May in the town hall by Mayor Antonio Rodríguez Castillo, the Deputy Mayor for Tourism and Local Development Damiana Ruiz and the President of the Ayamonte’s Association for small and medium sized businesses Miguel Antúnez.
The map and card for the tapa route will be available from the tourism office , hotels and all the participating establishments which are spread throughout all of Ayamonte and Isla Canela.
The format is just like past editions whereby you can rate each tapa and then enter a draw for a night B&B in the Isla Canela Golf Hotel. This year the two main sponsors of the event are the Puerta Ancha and Isla Canela Golf Hotel:
Here is the list of participants, just a little under a tapa for everyday for the whole of June. Sounds good to me
• Casa Alborada
• Bar Cortada
• El Baluarte
• Restaurante La Casona
• Brasería El Ferry
• La Vinoteca de Ayamonte
• Taberna el Puerto
• La Serranía de Jabugo
• Mesón Juan Macías
• Restaurante Casa Barberi
• Taberna El Callejón de los Plumas
• Parador de Turismo de Ayamonte
• Restaurante Los Mellizos
• Bar Ortiz
• Bar El Barrio
• Bar El Corsario
• Restaurante Thebussem
• Espuma del Mar de Canela
• Restaurante Abreu
• Restaurante El Rincón
• Bar Cafetería Alborán
• Cervecería Cayuelitas
• Cervecería Dkñas
• Chiringuito Antonio V
• Chiringuito La Sonrisa
• Restaurante Minutero
• Restaurante La Carpa
Ayamonte will receive over €300,000 from the POCTEP (Program for Cross border Cooperation Spain & Portugal) European Fund for the projects presented by the Sports council (Patronato Municipal de Deportes) and Municipal urban land company (TUASA).
The money has been earmarked for the following projects:
Another €30,000 will be spent on the beaches for some much needed equipment.
The Mayor of Ayamonte welcomed this investment¸ Antonio Rodríguez Castillo, and praised the work of the Sports council (Patronato Municipal de Deportes) and Municipal urban land company (TUASA) in securing this investment.
Ayamonte Town Hall announced yesterday May 17th that they have awarded the contract for the management and exploitation of the street lighting in Ayamonte for the next 10 years.
Imtech Spain are a company that are known for their work in electrical engineering in both building and industry and have over 16 branches throughout Spain employing over 2000 people.
The Town hall has to adhere to a new law of energy efficiency whereby every municipality in Spain is obliged to reduce their energy consumption by at least 25 %. The Law with was first published by the ministry for Industry, Energy and Tourism in 2008 includes a revision in December 2012 to include exact specifications for street lighting.
Imtech will be responsible for the maintenance, repair and improvement and renovation of the street lighting in Ayamonte and the company had already outlined the installation of Led lighting as one of their main objectives.
It is expected that with these changes Ayamonte will reduce their electricity bill by up to 45% coupled with a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to what 350 diesel engines produce in a year.
Castro Marim has united with Ayamonte and Vila Real de Santo Antonio under the banner of a single Eurocity.
The three municipalities signed a protocol in Castro Marim on Thursday May 9th whereby Ayamonte Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo Antonio will work together to revitalize the local economy and tourism.
At the signing ceremony were David Santos the President of the Euro region Andalucía Algarve Alentejo, Antonio Leitao Amaro State secretary for local administration, José Fiscal López delegate from the Junta de Andalucia, Antonio Rodríguez Castillo Mayor of Ayamonte, Luís Gomes President of the Chamber of Commerce for Vila Real de Santo Antonio and José Estevens President of the Chamber of Commerce for Castro Marim.
The new Eurocity will essentially cover the lower part of the Guadiana river in both Spain and Portugal covering over 30 kilometres. The idea of the Eurocity is to increase the cooperation between the three towns in terms of economic, social, cultural and environmental projects.
The first in a series of changes in the euro banknotes has started to circulate. The new five euro note started circulation on May 2nd.
The banknote which can be seen above has a number of changes and although I haven’t had one in my hands yet, I feel the most important for users will be the firm and crisp paper as I think the paper used in the first five euro banknote was poor compared to the bigger notes.
Here is a list of the defining features on the new five euro note:
The portrait of Europa was taken from a vase which is in the Louvre in Paris, the vase itself was found in Italy and is over 2,000 years old.
Melia Hotel & Resorts group have opened their first hotel in the Huelva province on Isla Canela. The Melia hotel chain has over 350 establishments around the world but the newly named Meliá Atlántico Isla Canela is their only hotel in Huelva.
The hotel which was built in 2000 and renovated for the opening has 358 rooms (5 suites), more than 10,000 m2 of gardens, two exterior pools and one interior pool, spa & beauty salon, padel and tennis courts and a gym.
The hotel which was formerly known as the Riu Atlántico opened on the May 1st and has taken on the majority of the workforce that worked in the Riu hotel. It is a huge boost to the local economy with 110 jobs being created and another 45-50 jobs to be created during high season.
Ayamonte Town Hall has closed the beaches of Isla Canela and Punta de Moral to swimming for the next three days. The appearance of the Portuguese man o´war on the beaches and swimming areas along the 7 kilometres of beach in Ayamonte has obliged the town hall to carry out this order.
The Portuguese man o´war which looks like a jellyfish but has very distinctive blue tentacles and can deliver a powerful sting. The Portuguese man o´war is not a single organism like a jellyfish but a colony of organisms and is known as a siphonophore. It is also important to note that unlike jell fish where vinegar is used to reduce the sting if you use vinegar as a cure on a Portuguese man o´war sting you will only increase the toxic power of the sting.
The mayor of Ayamonte, Antonio Rodríguez Castillo, pointed out that a total of 10 Portuguese man o´wars were spotted as active surveillance had begun due to other beaches along the Huelva coast being affected. Red flags are flying on the beches and various posters have been put in place to inform people of the dangers and a patrol of the beach will be carried out over the weekend.
So you can go to the beach and build sand castles and have lunch in the many beach bars but please stay out of the water and away from Portuguese man o´war
The heavy rains of March not only brought rain but over the course of the last few week’s items which were washed into the Guadiana River from cities as far north as Merida, some 300 kilometres away, have been deposited on the beach on Isla Canela.
Ayamonte town hall have been quick to respond sending teams of workers to clear up the debris, everything from branches, trees, tyres etc.
The councillor responsible for parks and gardens, Javier López, congratulated the town hall workers on the speed of the clean-up and also took advantage to ask the coastal authorities to dispose of this debris as soon as possible.
The beaches in Ayamonte are now enjoying the first week of glorious sunshine in a while with temperatures reaching 27 degrees Celsius.
Infoayamonte reader’s restaurant guide has just been published. From February to March this year readers were able to nominate three restaurants to be included in 2013 Restaurant guide.
A total of 17 different restaurants were nominated. There are a number of changes from last year’s guide with some notable absences but also some nice additions.
Each restaurant was then visited and informed of their successful nomination. We asked each owner or chef to choose a starter and a main course that best represented their restaurant and although many wanted numerous entries we only allowed one option in each case. We also asked them to describe their cuisine and give us a range of prices for a basic menu to a good sit down meal.
All the restaurants can be seen here. You can also add comments below each restaurant of your favourite dishes and experiences.
It is official; March was the wettest March since records of the monthly rainfall began in 1947.
On average every square metre of Spain received 150 litres of rainfall for the month of March.As far as Huelva is concerned the two main reservoirs the Chanza and Andevalo are at 94.6% and 84.8% respectively. There is currently a reserve in these reservoirs of 861 hm3 compared to 750 for the same time last year.
Taking in all of the reservoirs in the Guadiana they are running at 96% of their capacity and have been releasing water since last week as more rain is expected.The rain ran havoc with the Easter week Processions with only a handful making their way out onto the streets and some of those had to run for shelter.The good news is we have the water supply guaranteed for a number of years.
Only if you have experienced Semana Santa in Ayamonte will you begin to understand the meaning and place it holds in the people of Ayamonte’s hearts. They live it, breathe it and if it rains they cry inconsolably.
The whole town comes together to celebrate Semana Santa and year after year you will see people wait outside the churches and chapels in anticipation of the thrones making their way onto the streets.
The thrones themselves are of incalculable value and the sheer weight of them fully dressed in candles, flowers and sculptures makes you think how can the Costaleros (Throne carriers) carry these loads on their shoulders for hours through many of the streets of Ayamonte.
The Town Hall have put together a short video to give you a glimpse of what Semana Santa feels like in Ayamonte and I would like to thank Toño Méndez for editing and sending me a copy I can use on infoayamonte website. Turn up your sound and click on the video below, I have not translated the video into English but I am sure you’ll find that the music and imagery does all the talking. It's called The Passion in South of the South.
Yesterday, (March 16th), was Captains Day at Costa Esuri Golf Club and what a great day it was.
The main event was an Individual Championship played for the Captains Day Trophy with an amazing 64 entrants of varying nationalities. Luckily the weather, although cloudy, was mostly dry so no need for wet weather gear. At 4.30pm the players started to arrive back at the club house at fairly regular intervals until finally at about 7pm everyone was back.
During the last hour of play there was a non-golfers putting match which was won in magnificent form by Mrs Avril Maxwell who was rewarded with a lovely prize donated by last years winner.
While all the players were then gathering at the bar for a post-match libation there was a raffle that had been organised by the Book Club Ladies. An array of desirable gifts had been bought and after selling a huge amount of tickets the profits will go to the Christmas charity.
Next came the prize giving for the Individual Championship which was won by Richard Simm followed in 2nd place by Barry Irving and Henk Kleinloog in 3rd place. There was a generous prize fund which included prizes for Nearest the Pin and the best Front & Back 9´s and also spot prizes.
Next Mr Barry Partner (the outgoing Captain) gave a speech reviewing the highlights of the last year and also thanked everyone who had helped to make the hand over day memorable. His penultimate duty was to then hand over to the new Captain Mr John Bewley.
Barry's last duty was then to announce that supper was ready and everyone tucked into a wonderful spread of 'Tapas'
A new medical private medical centre has opened in Ayamonte which will cater for both Spanish and international clients. The centre which located next to the Residencia de Ancianos on Calle San Antonio Nº 58 has doctors who speak Spanish and English.
Having heard about the centre from friends of mine who are retired here but are not yet at the pension age to receive free medical care, I decided to go to the centre and see what it has to offer.
The building is new and was built specifically to cater as a medical centre, so easy access no architectural barriers and doors, toilets and corridors all adapted for wheelchair access.
Once inside I was greeted by Patricia Cedano one of the two receptionists ( Dyana Merida the other receptionist was on the afternoon shift). She explained that anyone can book a consultation by e-mail by phone or just calling into the centre. Then she introduced me to Dr Emmanuel Cedano who showed me around the installations.
Dr Cedano originally from the Dominican Republic and speaks good English went on to tell me about the services the centre has to offer. The centre offers complete blood analysis with the results available within 24 to 48 hours depending on the test.
The nurse in the centre Rocío Fernández looks after all the nursing care from dressing to vaccinations and the blood tests can be carried out from Monday to Friday from 8.15 to 09.45.
Next I met Dr Daniel Zequeira who has been living in Ayamonte for a number of years and worked in the public health centre in Ayamonte before opening this medical centre. He said what we want to do here is offer a “personal caring service with no waiting around”. The centre itself is open from Monday to Friday 8.15 – 14.30 and 16.00 – 20.00. They are already planning to extend this timetable with Saturday mornings soon to be added.
One of the questions that always come to mind when you visit a private doctor is how much it will cost for a private consultancy and I was pleasantly surprised when I found out it was only 30 euros.
Finally I met Dr Yenny Agramonte (yes that’s with a Y not a J) the only female doctor in the centre and she told me that they also offer home healthcare visits at the patient’s request. She also explained that they work in collaboration with Cedico in Huelva for any specialist scans or x-rays that need to be done.
All in all I think the centre is a welcome addition to the services that Ayamonte has to offer.
Yesterday Tuesday 12th March the venues, matches and timetable of the Mundalialito was presented in Vila Real de Santo Antonio.
The tournament which is in 20th year is a soccer tournament for children and this year there will be 4,000 children playing. A total of 54 nationalities will make up the 200 teams which will play 750 matches from 24th to 30th March in Ayamonte and Vila Real de Santo Antonio.
There are nine different football pitches being used with Ayamonte having two Estadio Ciudad de Ayamonte and Blas Infante. There are four categories which are divided by year of birth: after 2001, 2003, 2005 and football 6 2007. This is the third consecutive year that Vila Real de Santo Antonio and Ayamonte are holding the championships. Some of the top world clubs will be represented in the tournament with clubs like Chelsea, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, At. Madrid, Sevilla, Juventus, Milan, Ajax, Benfica, Sporting, Porto, América de México and Vasco da Gama Brasil.
After the huge success of the plan called “Dale Vida a los Años” (give life to your years) the Town Hall health council with the local sports council have decided to extend the activities of the plan to include a laughter workshop. The workshop will take place Tuesday 12th March in the Sports Centre in Ayamonte from 10-12.
It has been known that laughter and good humour prevent sickness and that the most healthy people tend to be more optimistic and laugh more.
The objective of this workshop will be to open the people’s conscience to laugh more and at the same time change how you feel. Laughter many great effects on people not only do you use over 53 muscles when you laugh but it also helps distress and free you of day to day tensions. Studies have shown that laughter also increases the capacity of our auto-immune system. So laugh with us today. Have a look at the video below and have a laugh.
The poster for Semana Santa (Easter week) was unveiled today, Sunday 3rd March, in the Cardenio Theatre. Although the weather was poor the theatre was almost packed.
The painting which is over 190 cm tall depicts a scene from the early morning on Good Friday just as the procession reaches the Casa Grande on Calle Huelva.
The author of the painting behind the poster Juan Manuel Carrasco Galán dedicated the painting to his daughter Alba who was born while he was painting the scene.
Ayamonte’s Association for Brotherhoods (Agrupación de Cofradías y Hermandades de Ayamonte) who commissioned the painting also presented their magazine, timetable and a special DVD for Semana Santa during the event.
Yesterday, February 28th a Bank holiday in all of Andalucía two men were caught stripping cables from the unfinished shopping centre on Costa Esuri.
The two thieves with initials F.P.T and A.D.G, both with Portuguese nationality, were caught red handed by the local police as they were stripping the electrical cables of insulation to take the valued copper. The local police who were carrying out a routine check of the area noticed that the fence has been opened and on entering the building caught one of the thieves with knife in hand stripping back the cables.
There has been a spate of robberies where the electrical cables for street light has been robbed in and around Ayamonte. The most recent being in Ronda Felipe IV, where the light registry boxes were broken open and the light cabling removed.
The deputy mayor Rafael Luna congratulated the local police on the detention and at the same time asked the general public to report any usual movements to the police.
Ayamonte Table Tennis club: CTM Ayamonte Conservas Concepcion has won their first medal in the National Youth Championship which took place last weekend in Pontevedra, Galicia.
CTM Ayamonte Conservas Concepcion beat the following teams: Ripollet (Cataluña), San Xoan (Galicia), Villajoyosa (Valencia), Brunete (Madrid), La Zubia (Granada), Santa Eularia (Baleares) and Rivas (Madrid) to earn a place in the semifinals.
Sadly they came up against the eventual winners Las Rozas (Madrid), and lost the semifinal 3-1. All said it was a very good show by this young Ayamonte Table tennis team made up of José Manuel Caballero, Diego Torregrosa and brothers Pedro y Pablo Martínez.
Ayamonte town council has just approved the Budget and plan for Ayamonte beaches for 2013.
This year they have split the beaches into four sections: Punta del Moral Beach, De los Haraganes Beach, Isla Canela Beach and San Bruno Beach.
Punta del Moral Beach: is 1700 metres long and has an average width of 25 metres and stretches from the Carreras River to the roundabout where the Avenida de la Mojarra and Avenida de los Cisnes meet.
De los Haraganes Beach: is 1500 metres long and has an average width of 12 metres and stretches from the roundabout where the Avenida de la Mojarra and Avenida de los Cisnes meet to Calle de los Mochuelos.
Isla Canela Beach: is 1600 metres long and has an average width of 22 metres and stretches from Calle de los Mochuelos all the way to the carpark of los Mirlos
San Bruno Beach: is 1900 metres long and has an average width of 20 metres and stretches from Calle de los Mochuelos to the mouth of the Guadiana River.
A total of €331,573 has been budgeted for the cleaning, maintenance, equipment and personnel needed to run the beach efficiently this year. A special emphasis is being placed on all amenities being accessible to people with reduced mobility and eliminating any possible barriers.
Rafael Luna, the deputy mayor for infrastructures and works, said " As well as eliminating all the barriers possible we also be making sure that all changes made respect the environment and are evaluated according to sustainable criteria."
The creation of a Eurocity which couples Ayamonte with their Portuguese neighbours Vila Real de Santo Antonio is being well accepted by local businessmen. The idea is to maximise the potential of the two town’s infrastructures and improve them, looking especially towards tourism
The Eurocity will be able to offer 10,649 hotel beds, which places it first in Huelva and fourth in the Algarve in terms of capacity. It will also offers six 18-hole golf courses and over 900 berths spread over the three ports.
In a debate held in the Casa Grande which was well attended by businessmen from both sides of the River Guadiana, a number of suggestions were taken on board to help move the plan forward, most notably the setting of a commission of local business people who are dedicated to the tourism sector.
The Mayor of Ayamonte, Antonio Rodríguez Castillo, pointed out that this is a project centred on local residents’ participation and it has great perspectives that will bring rewards to both towns.
The EUC (Entidad Urbanística de Conservación) for Costa Esuri has opened an office in front of the Shopping Centre on Avenida Juan Pablo II. The office which will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11.00 to 13.00 and will attend to all the questions and problems relating to the EUC for both owners and users alike.
The EUC on Costa Esuri is basically a management and maintenance committee which oversee the public areas of the entire Costa Esuri development. So they are responsible for the upkeep of the roads, footpaths, lights and gardens around the urbanizations.
The office which will be taken care of by the Antonio Gutierrez, Maria Carmen Lopez and Eva María Martinez will also offer important tourist information and publish all upcoming events on Costa Esuri.
Depending on the needs and demand the opening hours may be increased in the summer.
Many of our Irish & English readers are well aware of the recent debacle with horsemeat being used in regular supermarket store burgers. With such a wide variety of fresh foods available here in Spain I for one hardly ever buy a beef burger in a supermarket, as for McD or Bking well the odd occasion. That said OCU ( Organizacion de Consumidores y Usarios: a comsumer watchdog organization so to speak) report on hamburgers published yesterday 28th January really opened my eyes.
The OCU tested 20 different brands of burgers from various stores around Spain and you guessed it, horse meat has also made its way into Spanish beef burgers (two out of the twenty contained horse DNA). Burgers have always been suspect as far as I am concerned and although they do eat horse meat in Spain I would prefer to stick to beef, thank you.
The report brought a more worrying fact about burgers to the table, the quality of the meat. Only five out of the twenty had what the OCU would classify as acceptable meat quality, with the majority rating poor or very poor. The main problems of the quality being excess fats, cartilage and tendons and very little meat in the burger contents.
All the above coupled with the excess salt and large amounts of sulphites. The sulphites are not generally a problem but may cause problems when taken by people with asthma or allergies.
Here is the table of the results:
Brand / Supermarket
Price per Kg/€
Traces of Horse DNA
|Carrefour Kids||15.83||Very Poor||No|
|El Corte Inglés||9.78||Very Poor||No|
|El Pozo Selección||10.42||Poor||No|
|Eroski Basic||5.88||Very Poor||Yes|
|Granja Los Tilos||10.23||Very Poor||No|
|Martinez Loriente (Mercadona)||6.02||Poor||No|
|Natural Fresh (Lidl)||5.38||Poor||No|
|Raza Nostra Basic||13.57||Acceptable||No|
|Raza Nostra Buey Gallego||21.43||Very Good||No|
|Roler Big Burger||8.28||Poor||No|
|Roler Clasica||6.68||Very Poor||No|
|Roler Summum||12.51||Very Good||No|
|Rustico (Lidl)||5.71||Very Poor||No|
|Villa del Monte (Alcampo)||6.45||Very Poor||No|
Isla Canela golf hotel located on Isla Canela 18 hole golf course has reopened this week creating 15 new jobs. The hotel with consists of 53 double rooms, 3 singles and two suites is ideally located on Isla Canela and surrounded by the 17th and 18th holes.Kostka Horno the director of Isla Canela golf course is the new hotel director and he will combine both positions to make Hotel Isla Canela Golf and Canela golf club a unique venue in Ayamonte. Kostka originally from Zaragoza and a keen golfer with a handicap of three has been the director of Isla Canela golf for the last seven years and is married with two children.
Having visited the new golf installations in the hotel, with new locker rooms, showers, sauna and even a Turkish bath it’s not hard to see that both golfer and golfing tourist are in for a treat.
The first tournament to be organized by the hotel is to take part this weekend Sat 19th January and it is already totally booked. The tournament will start at 11am and finish with a gala cocktail for 150 in the evening. Another tournament is already planned for Saturday February 2nd for those who missed out on this occasion.
The hotel official opened last Monday and I only got a chance to have a look around today. I have to say the bar area is a lot more friendly and with a good tapa menu and stays open from 8am until 11pm.
The bar and restaurant are to be run by renowned restaurateur Gonzalo Ferrer and indeed most of the paintings hung around the hotel are by him. The restaurant which is called Thebussem will serve a mix of international and mediterranean cuisine. I didn’t have time today to try out the food but the menu looked different in a good way and prices were very reasonable. By the time the infoayamonte restaurant guide goes live in February I will be able to give a more detailed opinion.
Over 500 athletes turned out today Sunday Jan 13th for Ayamonte annual half marathon. The half marathon or 21km is now in its 28th year and never fails to attract runners from all over Europe. This year there were athletes from Spain, Portugal, Estonia, Russia, Finland and England.The marathon was won by Ilda NikolaJev from Estonia in a time of one hour 10 minutes and 39 seconds, while Natalia Logutjonkova from Russian won the female category with a time of one hour 23 minutes 41 seconds.
Sue’s Runners a club based in the Algarve also had a clean sweep of the prizes with Hellum Kirsten winning the Veteran D category and Truus Zandstra winning the veteran F category. Sue Howard won category E and Mary Palmer and Jill Edwards were second and third respectively.
Once again Ayamonte Sports council put on a great show and with the help of the local cycling, club, the motorbike club, and numerous students from the local schools ensured a great day was had by all.
This event is fast becoming one of the most important and respected road running events in Andalucía. Some 71 clubs took part in today’s event and are sure to go away with a good impression from the public who cheered them on.
After intense negotiations in Madrid between the Trade Unions and Paradores de Turismo SA an agreement was reached which will save 294 jobs and see only one of the Parador Hotels close its doors for good.Some 11 hours of meetings and negotiations it has been agreed that the Parador in Ayamonte is to stay open but it will be closed in low season for four months. The change comes after intense protesting by the people of Ayamonte and evidence that Ayamonte Parador is a viable business.
Paradores de Turismo SA announced in December the closure of various hotels throughout Spain claim that the current losses of over 70 million euros were unsustainable. The change in strategy will now see only one hotel close the Parador in Puerto Lumbreras which employs three people full time. However 13 restaurants in the Parador group will now close.
Workers will see their full time contracts changes to seasonal contracts and will have to take a cut of three per cent in their salary. They will also lose their rights to two days paid leave for personal matters. They will also be offered voluntary redundancy package which is more favorable: 25 days pay for year worked with a maximum of 20 months. (Current Spanish law outlines 20 days pay for year worked with a maximum of 12 months).
Christmas brings out the best in people and once again I have to take my hat off to the people at the Esuri Book Club for their brilliant donation to Ayamonte.I met with four book club members (Avril Maxwell, Shelia Butler, Shelia Johnson and Bryony Collins), just before Christmas and they told me their plan for this year. All I can say is that I am proud of what the English speaking community does here.
Many of you already know the club that meets on a Wednesdays from 4pm at Costa Esuri club house and where you can get a book for only a euro and then every other book you swap is only 50 cents. The club has many sides to it, from being a meeting point to a source of good information and guidance. However they have to be recognized for the great charity work they do year in year out. Charities like Aones, British Legion and the Red Cross are just a few that already know the generosity of this club which was set up a few years ago by Shelia Butler and Shelia Johnson. They have donated thousands of euros to local charities.
This year the club is making their donation to needy families living in Ayamonte. With the help of Janice Malone they have elaborated a shopping list for food hampers for over 20 families.
Mercadona, who kindly donated the wrapping paper and shopping baskets, delivered the shopping list to a house in Costa Esuri where members of Costa Esuri Book Club gift wrapped the parcels. They then delivered the parcels themselves to each household so the families would have something nice on Christmas Eve.
They spent over one thousand euros and to top up the kitty the golfers at Costa Esuri donated another two hundred euros.
And it doesn’t stop there, as on the night of January 5th when “Reyes Magos” deliver the presents the book club is also buying kiddies presents so no one is left out.
The company which runs the Paradores in Spain, Paradores de Turismo SA has presented their restructuring plan which foresees the closure of the Parador in Ayamonte.
The Parador group which consists of 98 establishments spread throughout Spain and employs 4,600 people was started in 1928. Many of the hotels witin the group are building of huge historic interest.
Paradores de Turismo SA have stated that the fall of occupancy in the Paradores from 72% in 2007 to 52% in 2011 has cause a loss of 77 million euros and expect the final figures for 2012 to add another 30 million to the accumulated debt. According to their projections by 2013 the projected debt would be 32 million more or a total of 139 million which is unsustainable.
The Parador in Ayamonte is located on the site of Ayamonte’s Castle ruins and has been open since 1966 and currently employs 34 people.
Paradores de Turismo SA has outlined six Paradores for closure: Coruña, Teruel, Ourense, Ciudad Real, Albacete and Ayamonte. A total of 644 jobs are to be lost and full time workers will see their contracts changed to seasonal contracts.
Of the 16 Paradores located in Andalucía, a total of 118 workers will lose their jobs (34 in Ayamonte alone) while another 50 of the 796 workers will see their contracts modified.
It has taken almost six months for the European Commission to approve the rescue fund for the four Spanish Banks which have been nationalized during the crisis. A total of 36,965 million euros are to be made available to these banks as a major overhaul of the European banking system begins.
Vice President of the European Commission and Competition Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia has stated that the objective is to restore the viability of banks receiving aid so they can function in the future without public support.
The rescue comes with numerous conditions which will see a big shake up in the four banks:
Bankia, Catalunya Caixa, Novagalicia and Banco de Valencia.Bankia is to receive the lion’s share of the rescue package with 17960 million, Catalunya Caixa 9,080 million, Novagalicia Banco 5425 million and Banco de Valencia 4500 million.
Bankia has already announced that it plans to cut its staff by close to 6,000 workers and to reduce the number of branches by 1,100 as it plans to become profitable by 2013.
Banco de Valencia is to be sold to Caixa Bank for one euro a move Brussels has already approved and this comes after the Orderly Bank Restructuring Fund (FROB in Spanish) alreadyed bailed this bank out to the tune of 4,500 million.
Catalunya Caixa and Novagalicia Banco are to be sold or liquidated in the next five years.
On Thursday 22nd November the first meeting was held in Ayamonte town Hall to bring about a Euro-city Ayamonte-Vila Real de Santo Antonio. The two towns who have worked together on various events and projects in the past are looking into the possibility of joining forces before the European Union in a bid to gain more funding.
Vila Real de Santo Antonio with 18,000 inhabitants and Ayamonte with a population of 21,000 would give a combined population of 39,000 as a Euro-city. This is the first time two towns very close to each other but in different countries will try to join forces to be recognized for European funding as a Euro-City.
Both towns linked by ferry have a strong business relationship and have organized events like the children’s World Cup (Mundalito), the 10 mile international run, the cross border swim, and numerous regattas along the Guadiana this year alone.
The Mayor of Ayamonte Antonio Rodríguez Castillo and President of the chamber of commerce in Vila Real de Santo Antonio Luís Gomes, both said that the bid for a Euro-city will only strengthen the existing social, economic, cultural, sporting and environmental links between the two town. A follow up meeting is scheduled for December.
Ayamonte is holding its first horse fair from 26th to 29th October this year. The fair will involve various equestrian exhibitions, chats and a number of specialists stands which will be located at the Auditorium on the old Ayamonte to Lepe road.
The fair starts with a parade of horses accompanied by drummers who at 6 pm on October 26th will march from La Plaza Laguna to the fairs grounds and at 22.00 there will be a flamenco show directed by Lourdes Jiménez, with Sevillanas on horseback by jockey Manuel Franco.
The event which is organised by the Youth association “ La Cruz” is a follow on from their successful horse walks which attracted over 300 jockeys last weekend. For all the events that are taking place over the weekend please take a look at our event guide.
There is nothing worse than walking down one of the main streets in Ayamonte and stepping on some dog litter. Ayamonte town hall has tried on numerous occasions to educate dog owners on the disposal of dog litter and although there are many understanding, respectful dog owners there are still a number of owners who are oblivious to the problem.Ayamonte town hall has now decided that any dog owner who doesn’t clear up their dog litter will be fined up to €750. The Town Hall Edict published yesterday 24th September 2012 states that each dog owner is responsible for the correct disposal of their dogs litter should they be deposited on a public footpath, garden, park or walk or risk being fined up to €750.
The Deputy Mayor of Works & Environment for Ayamonte Town Hall, Rafael Luna, pointed out that this measure was not brought in as a way of collecting money but simply a way of raising the public awareness that the tidiness and cleanliness of our streets parks and gardens is a portrayal of the towns Identity.
The First Costa Esuri Summer Festival has been a resounding success with both local residents and people from Ayamonte and surrounding areas visiting the festival.
The competition’s which were held over the three day festival were well received with a special note going to the golf competition which was won by Eamon Kerr having to close its inscription after the 56 people quota was reached.
The Padel competition which also attracted 20 teams had to close its inscription early due to the huge interest in the competition. Padel tournament sponsors Javier Perez from Vinculos Sur Oeste and Wilfredo Gonzalez from ClimaVip presented the prizes to tournament winners Rafael Martins and Miguel Pavon. CERA President, Jose Gonzalez Diaz, announced that next year this tournament with have various venues to ensure that more teams will be able to take part.
The international food tournament was judged by José Telles Dias a retired hotelier and Richard Baker chef at Quinta do Vale. The winiing dish was a savoury Spanish Stew accompaanied by rice was cooked by Octavia and on receiving her prize she promised to come back next year with an even more daring dish.
The festival which was organized by CERA Costa Esuri Residents Association with Kris Kopke, Jose Gonzalez Diaz and Phil Johnson playing a pivotal part in the smooth running of all the events is set to be a permanent fixture on the Festival Calendar for years to come, so book that third week in august now.
The winners of the competitions are as follows:
Nearest the pin on 12th hole :- Gillian Mellon.
Longest drive on 12th hole :- Andrew Thomson.
Main Stableford Competition :
- 3rd position with a score of 44 points :- Paloma Manrique
2nd position with 44 points (won on back nine holes ) :- Liam Murray.
Winner of First Festival trophy with 45 points :- Eamon Kerr .
6 players scored over 40 points on the day, 56 participants.
Bike Race Winner: Javier Paredes Caballero
Best International Dish : SÑRA OCTAVIA
Hoop Race: 1st Dani Hidalgo
2nd Alberto Perez Bornes
Facepainting two winners: Natalia Olivares & Nerea Barros
Futbolin Winners : Guillermo Gómez & Enrique Gómez
Table Tennis winner: Philip Johnson and runner up Guillermo Gómez
Padel : Winners: Rafael Martins & Miguel Pavon
2nd Place: Manuel Rodriguez & Gabriel Lopez
3rd Place: Edurardo Duardo Ojeda & Raul Santos
Bridge winner : Eamonn Kerr
The Residents Association in Costa Esuri are organizing the first summer festival on Esuri this coming August. The festival which will last for three days will run from Friday August 17th to Sunday August 19th.The residents association, which was set up three years ago and has over two hundred members, have decided that it is time Costa Esuri had its own festival and although the economic climate is complicated they are adamant of the festival's success.
The full program of events which will be published this week includes numerous competitions, golf, padel, chess, table tennis coupled with live music and various shows. The majority of the events will take place in the extensive car park in front of Costa Esuri Clubhouse.
Those wishing to sign up for the golf tournament may do so at Costa Esuri club house with a shotgun start on Friday 17th August at 9 am.
One of the events that has stirred up a lot of anticipation is the tasting of international foods to take place Saturday at 8 pm.
Ayamonte town hall is helping out with the stage and fencing and Cruzcampo are building the bars and local business Jag’s Bistro and Golf Dourado run the two bars during the festival. More information to come...
Athletes from the Great Britain Olympic 400 m and 4 by 100 m relay team have been preparing for the London 2012 Olympics in Ayamonte.The GB 100 metre relay team chose the Blas Infante Stadium in Ayamonte to polish off their preparations for the Olympics which get underway this Friday
The Deputy Mayor for Sport from Ayamonte Town Hall Francisco Blázquez welcomed the choice by the GB team and said “this is just another statement of proof of the fine installations we have to offer in Ayamonte to all types of athletes and which coupled with an ideal climate allows athletes to prepare for the upcoming season and championships”.
The elevated temperatures experienced this week in Ayamonte, with the temperature in the shade in high thirties and in sun well into the forties have brought with them forest fires.Last night (Wednesday) various fires burned throughout the night near Tavira, Portugal with the Spanish Civil defense sending planes in an effort to bring these fires under control. Early this morning there were two focal points but with winds and temperatures soaring this grew to four by midday. There are currently over 400 fire fighters and numerous aircraft battling to bring the blaze under control. The fire could be seen 30 km away in Ayamonte and tonight Thursday the sky is tinted a grayish orange.
A little after 2 pm today (Thursday) another fire started on the Portuguese Spanish Border and although fire fighters and a helicopter tried to bring it under control, it was still burning at 8 pm tonight. A Spanish civil avaitaion plane also joined in the fight but looking at the fire from Spain across the river it seems like the fire has reached the outskirts of the village Almada de Ouro.
The town hall have just released the terms for bidding for the tourist train which runs in Ayamonte. The train has been running during Christmas and Easter following a route which starts beside the zoo and travels up to the Parador hotel down into the centre and returns to the Zoo.
The tender terms will amplify the route and serve Isla Canela as well. Here are the terms that have been laid out in the tender.
At Christmas the tourist train must run a service from Christmas Eve up to January 6th (Small Christmas)
Easter: Train must run from Palm Sunday to Easter Monday
Summer season the train is to run from June 1st until September 30th.
The rest of the year train service is option for the winner of the tender.
Trains will be allowed to travel on the public road from 9 am to 3 pm and 5pm to 10 pm and during the summer they will be allowed to run until 2 am.
The Mayor of Ayamonte, Antonio Rodríguez Castillo said that “Although we have been offering this service sporadically over the last few months, we are looking to regularize the service with a long-term contact of four years which will benefit local businesses and tourists.
Proposed Route For Town Centre
Proposed Route for Isla Canela