At the weekend Fiesta in Bolnuevo, Murcianna Tasca Bar, otherwise known as "Angelique's", joined in the fun by arranging a street disco. Lazer light projection on to the wall below the Virgin's Church and a smoke machine. The music was set up in the next door laundrette. As the night progressed, so the numbers grew until there were more than 120 people dancing in the moonlight. (Street lights are not quite so romatic!). Unfortunately, one of the neigbouring apartments had some unhappy people who called the police. A Policia Local jeep arrived and after some discussion the music was turned down (abit). They left and the party continued for a while. Young and old, Spanish, Irish, English and a German Air Force Major with his partner Brigit leading the formations. Suddenly, from both ends of the street, four headlighted, blue lights flashing, vehicles appeared. The Polica Local came back in numbers. This time the discussions ended in the equipment being dismantled and the music switched off. No arrests were made but the one night of the year that Bolnuevo celebrates ended prematurely. Well it was only 1.30 am.
Last Dive of the Season I am a blue water diver and make no apologies for it. I learned to dive in the Turks & Caicos Islands, one of the best places in the world to swim, where the visibility is great and if you don’t see a shark every dive, it is a bad dive. Diving in Spain is not quite the same but it can be fun – in the summer. It is getting a little cold now. Thousands of fish, small and larger, magnificent scenery (a little gray perhaps) and spectacular boulders litter the seabed. On arriving in Puerto de Mazarron four years ago, I did a trawl of all the dive businesses in the area. The friendliest and best equipped, in my opinion, is Rivemar. It would be hard not to feel welcome when Lucia, front office manager, smiles at you! They have three hard hulled boats, all equipped with lifts (!!) as they specialize in helping those with physical disabilities. They have loads of gear and even bought a nearly new minibus to take you to the jetty. Their old one was old. The jetty is at La Azohia where they are embark. The base is opposite La Bodega Restaurante on the seafront. What stands out at Rivemar (tel. 968 15 9963) is the staff. The same faces appear each year, so you know who you are getting. Sergi is the boss who likes to take the Michael about my thin wetsuit. I saw him (and Andy) in dry suits, the other day – los cobardes (wimps). The other divemasters are Tamara (lots of earrings), Juandi and Maldini (tall and thin with beards), Andy (no shoes and Irish!!), Almudena (chica delgada) and Inma who just produced a new divemaster (Ena) about five weeks ago. Keeping the place tidy is Amede. I did only ten dives this year due to wrecked knee and some blustery days. The sites are along from La Azohia towards Cabo Tiñoso. Most popular are El Arco, Mina de Crystal, La Garita (short boat ride) and Punta Falcon. There are a host of other sites and you can also go round to Cartagena Bay – Barranco de Pertrito was one of the coldest dives of my life 16°C. Rivemar does all the usual stuff, tech dives, cave dives (not for me!), PADI training and their maintenance shop has helped me out on several occasions. They won’t see me until the spring but if you are interested in enjoying the underwater scenery, the thousands of fish, moray eels, octopus and scorpion fish, I would recommend a visit, but not ‘til May 2010.
Sunshine and blue skies were the order of the day in Los Alcázares on Sunday 15 November as 271 people took part in this year’s Race for Life, in aid of MABS Murcia/Mar Menor. “We couldn’t have been luckier with the weather and I’m delighted with the fantastic turnout this year” declared MABS Fundraiser, Janet Bell. “It was great to see so many people in fancy dress and many more teams taking part.” Teams included La Encina, ADAPT, GYTS (Gea y Truyols Slimmers), Delfin Boys, AngloINFO, Club MIllenium of Torrevieja, King’s College, Team Flamenca, The Celt Bar, Spangles Ladies’ Barbershop Chorus, Mar Menor Walkers, Weight Watchers, New Salsa Bar, Campbells, and Fitzers. The Exite FM Roadshow was there to add a festive slant to the day with MD, Nick Hawkins, taking part in the race to help raise money for MABS. The first man across the line was Marcus Hernandez, 33, of Murcia. First lady was Lola Leon, 43, of Los Narejos, Los Alcázares. Travis Preston, aged 9, from San Cayetano, was the first boy to finish Imogen Jorro, aged 9, from San Javier was the first girl. First disabled man was Norman Duggan, aged 63. The first team across the finish line was Campbells/Fitzers, With the Celt Bar team finishing first for fancy dress. The oldest man running on the day was Fritz Guerler from Torrevieja, aged 73, The oldest lady was Maisie Murphy from Villamartin, at a mere 90 years old! MABS has also had great support from local businesses who have sponsored the race and would like to thank DFS Furniture, Legs & Co, AngloINFO, La Zona, Bar Flamenca, Best Wishes, New Salsa Bar, Novo Carthago Restaurant, Bancaja, Liviana Mineral Water, Xpress Design & Print, Shape & Tone, Peter’s Bar, Best Invest Builders, The Wentworth, Viva Bar/Bistro, Fitzers and Campbells. Thanks must also go to Los Alcázares Councillor Isabel Montesinos Mercader (Culture, Education, Tourism and Foreigners) for her invaluable help in organising the event and to the Association of Reflexologists for offering this relaxing therapy to participants at the end of the race. “It will take time for all the sponsorship money to come in from the participants, but we’re already getting towards 3000€ just from the day. We’re overwhelmed with the response from the public, especially in these tough times, and we can’t thank them enough. I’d also like to say that we couldn’t have achieved the turnout today without the support of the press, who always give us such good coverage, not only for the Race for Life, but for everything that we do.” said Janet. Photographs of the day are available on the website at http://mabsmurcia.com/race-for-life-2009-2/ MABS is a registered charity, totally reliant on public donation to help cover the costs of transporting cancer patients to and from hospital appointments and translating. The Group also provides equipment, such as orthopaedic beds, hoists and wheelchairs to make life easer for the carer and the patient, which also have to be stored and transported, so all donations are most welcome. If you would like to get involved as a volunteer, raise funds, donate or if you need help, you can contact MABS on 968 432 525 or 693 275 779 or visit the website: www.mabsmurcia.com
On Sunday September 13th, approx 70 people took to the boats and headed for Pedreguer island in the Mar Menor, where the annual swim organised by the local council was about to take place. One of the swimmers was well known and a much-loved local character: Terry Boreham, a 75 years young resident of Los Narejos and a regular at Fitzers Bar, was determined to complete the 6 kilometre swim to raise funds for MABS Cancer Support Group: Terry chose MABS Murcia/Mar Menor because he lost his beloved wife to cancer in 2004, and he wanted to do something in her memory to raise money to help others. The event started at 7.30 am and the swim back from Pedregeur to Los Alcázares took Terry just over 3 hours. “Although it was very tiring, the cheers from all my friends and supporters waiting for me at the finishing line, along with the knowledge that the money raised would help others, made it all worthwhile” said Terry. Mike Campbell of Fitzers was delighted to support Terry because he is a very popular and determined character, He’s ribbed by the patrons, because of his resemblance to Bruce Forsyth, who gleefully remarked ‘Didn’t he do well!’ when they heard the news of his success. Terry was asking for just 1 euro to sponsor him and to date he has raised a staggering 228 Euros, with money still coming in. MABS fundraiser Lesley was delighted to receive the money from Terry, and thanked him for his amazing achievement, commenting that not only was it a wonderful way to raise money but also to keep fit, although it may be a bit too far for her! Terry would like to thank all his supporters, with a special thanks to Mike, Dave and Charlie at Fitzers for all their help and support. MABS Murcia Mar Menor helps all people in the Murcia/Mar Menor area who are affected by cancer, providing drivers, translators, information, equipment, a listening ear, or a shoulder to lean on. If you would like to volunteer, donate or you need help, visit our website at www.mabsmurcia.com
It was announced the other day that the semi-final between Spain and Israel on the 18th, 19th and 20th September will be at Polaris World La Torre. Rafa is supposedly 99% sure to play and if not lots of other famous names will be there. The down side is that tickets will probably cost from €90 to €300. Not sure where to buy yet. Probably ticketmaster.es and others. No doubt the What's On section will have all the details.