News in brief: Costa Blanca North

Summer scoop: Ice cream records melt! Image: Shutterstock/ Leszek Glasner

Ice-Cream Craze

ARTISANAL ice cream makers are gearing up for a record-breaking season once again. This industry, originating from Xixona and Ibi, expects a significant increase in sales this year after beating previous records in 2022 and 2023.

As summer kicks off, ice cream vendors are feeling positive after a strong start to the season. Many of them are extending their sales season all the way to December, thanks to longer warm periods caused by climate change. The National Association of Artisan Ice Cream Makers (Anhcea), based in Xixona, is optimistic about the upcoming peak season. Anhcea represents over 410 members with more than 1,300 businesses across Spain, and they predict ice-cream revenues will exceed €300 million this year.

However, this summer won’t focus heavily on chocolate flavours. The steep increase in cocoa prices, jumping up to 400 per cent, means there will be fewer chocolate varieties available compared to previous years.

Popular flavours right now include fruit-based options like watermelon, strawberry, orange, and citrus, as well as a growing demand for vegan ice creams!

Tourist Charged

AN Icelandic tourist in his 60s faced a harrowing incident recently at Javea’s ‘bous al carrer’ (bull run) event. Just as the bull-running began, a young bull unexpectedly struck the tourist, who was positioned near the central pyramid where the action unfolded. The event was abruptly halted, with the initial bull release session not even starting.

The bull charged aggressively at the tourist, injuring him on the inner thigh. Initially, the bull grazed him before turning and hooking him, briefly dragging him along. Promptly responding to the scene were a local police officer and dedicated volunteers, who carried him to the medical station. There, doctors and paramedics quickly stabilised his condition. Thankfully, the injury did not affect his femoral artery.

He was swiftly transported by a Red Cross ambulance to Dénia Hospital, accompanied by medical personnel. Sources indicated he is now out of danger, although initial reports suggested the injury looked serious. The tourist appeared caught off guard, initially thinking the herd would pass him by, but the leading bull unexpectedly turned and struck him directly.

Bull run incident Image: Shutterstock/ Julian Bohorquez

Water Cuts

BENISSA is taking decisive steps to combat water scarcity as summer arrives during severe drought. With tourist numbers swelling and water reserves at dangerously low levels, local authorities have implemented stringent measures. These include a ban on using potable water to fill private pools or irrigate gardens, as stipulated in existing local water regulations.

The municipality draws water primarily from local aquifers in Benissa, Benigembla, and Benidoleig, which rely on rainfall for replenishment—rainfall that has been sparse since April 2022. In response, Benissa’s Water Department, led by Mayor Arturo Poquet, has implemented a series of initiatives. These include a public awareness campaign named ‘Close the Tap,’ shared on social media, and in schools, and local businesses to educate residents on water-saving practices.

Additionally, the town is upgrading to smart water metres to monitor consumption patterns closely and detect leaks promptly, funded partly by EU grants totalling €322,000. Furthermore, public beaches like La Fustera and Baladrar have closed their foot showers for the season to conserve water.

Authorities stress the importance of adhering to these measures to safeguard water resources in the middle of the ongoing drought conditions.

Benissa tackles drought Image: Shutterstock/ Antonio Guillem

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!