Blood is Thicker...
1st February, 2003
Ros Coward reports from Murcia in southern Spain, the driest place in Europe, where tourism and intensive agriculture is draining its meagre water supplies and causing a growing environmental crisis.
Flicking through your weekend travel supplement something catches your eye. Murcia, southern Spain. Slightly away from the main tourist destinations. A ‘fertile coastal plain’, a great property opportunity with its good transport links to northern Europe, an endless supply of fresh fruits, vegetables and wine, and as yet unspoilt by mass tourism. In short Murcia promises sun, sand and sangria without the fish and chips of Benidorm.
What really makes your mind up though is the price of the flight – as little as £4.50. For Murcia is now served by one of the low cost airlines – Buzz.
A few weeks later, you recline (though not far) in your small but remarkably cheap airline seat, a gin and tonic (£2.50) in your hand, and take the in-flight magazine from the seat in front of you.
‘The tourist development which swarms the nearby coastline has almost entirely passed it by,’ announces Buzz’s in-flight guide. You feel slightly smug. You’ve discovered somewhere near enough to home for a short break, yet sufficiently unknown to feel a bit more adventurous, an opportunity to see a more authentic side of Spain.
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