A slightly cooler Soller

A slightly cooler Soller.

17-08-2020Rachel Fox

What a difference a week makes. Today we know that coachloads of our German friends will be heading for their repatriation flights. From now till August 24th there will be little tour operator action coming our way. Whether the September and October season can be salvaged is the million-dollar question.

All countries are experiencing upticks in the virus numbers. This doesn’t mean that the hospitals are over run or even the primary care centres. It appears that the virus is around but currently running out of extreme steam. More testing is involved in the numbers spike and it’s the numbers which have changed the travel recommendations.

We are where we are and largely doing as instructed. Behind the scenes the work is at fever pitch. Spain wants its UK and German tourists back and everyone is talking from the government, to the airlines, to the hotels and all local Town Halls. The reality of the upturn in numbers mean they will have to develop some new criteria for travel. The simple statistic count does not work now the virus has moved to a different phase.

In the Soller Valley the announcement was made officially cancelling all the celebrations of the St Bartholomew Fiesta. This is a favoured week in the Soller calendar and those decisions would not have been taken lightly. We all knew the decision was coming but it was still hard to accept. Visitors are in town and port who always come for this time of year. They are filling their holidays with glorious beach days and great food but all the fun of the people gatherings is not for us this year.

Every week means a new group of decisions to make and businesses here are wondering whether to just shut. The lack of English and German tourists will make a huge dent in visitor numbers in the Soller Valley. We have a huge population of second home owners and frequent visitors from the Spanish mainland. Will they be enough to fill the gap is the question for now.

Puerto Soller bay is currently like a caravan park with the amount of visiting boats this year. The ‘stayaboard’ population is the largest in history. This is causing concern at the Town Hall for all the obvious reasons specially to do with rubbish in the bay and pollution. Most boat people are more than conscious of this and send their dinghies to shore full of rubbish bags. But there are always one or two who like to make up their own rules.

While sun, sea and sand are our day to day experiences it seems like this will be an endless summer. It started early when we were released from Lockdown. Walks along the shore and into the hills were gladly done. Bikes came out of sheds and local cycling for fun became evident.

Scooters, don’t get me started on them, they multiplied and grew overnight into the scooter brigade. For the past 10 weeks we have thrown ourselves into the outdoor life. Sun tans have appeared on people who can’t remember the last time they had one. Just being out in the fresh air was enough for the skin to soak up the Vitamin D. Lockdown taught us much including how to appreciate our beautiful outdoor world.

We have new influx of residents heading our way and our international removal firms are busy. The Soller Valley is tops at present amongst all the August and September movers. Our small English speaking population is regularly added to and most of us value fresh eyes. The stories which bring people here always fascinate me and give much food for thought and interviews.

Some of the earlier arrivals this month are people who have negotiated new contracts with their companies enabling them to work from home. The ‘WFM’ people are heavily dependant on the internet for their work. Most of the Soller Valley is well provided for in that respect. The talk of the last ten years has been about creating shared workspaces in Soller and now it is likely that action will replace the many words spoken on this subject.

The tourism door is banging on its hinges and new arrivals are bright and in your face. This should all make for a very interesting few months.

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