With the sun out, the beaches bustling and lack of beach police – who are not due to start until June, it is heaven for the illegal sellers, particularly on the busy Levante stretch. I spent a couple of hours on the promenade today, observing the comings and goings of these pedlars with sadly not much police presence.
Up until 1pm there were at least a dozen but then there must be a shift change – which is probably known to these vendors as they suddenly all appeared. Some walk up and down between the sunbeds with coolbags, shouting Coca Cola, Fanta Limon, Cerveza. Aqua – but the ones that really concern me are those selling ‘cocktails’.
I must say that yes they do look tempting, especially as you lie on your sun lounger and a man walks past within feet of you, carrying huge plastic tumblers, with straw, ice and fruit ready to drink. But stop…. Wait… Don’t – EVER! I cannot emphasise this enough, especially as I watched them being prepared, not once but twice. As I saw one group take the bait I waited until he had walked away then went onto the sand to speak to them. There were five lovely Irish girls and one had a tumbler in her hand. I asked if she had just bought it from the man at which point she looked rather nervously at me and said yes, paying him €5.
I explained that I certainly wouldn’t touch it, having watched the conditions in which they are prepared – in dirty alleyways on the floor and the others all agreed and said they told her not to buy it. She promptly poured it into the sand. I told them that all they have to do is walk less than 50 metres to the bars along the front and at least they wouldn’t be risking their health.
As I walked back towards the Avd Mediterraneo I saw two of the pedlars, one was sitting on a bench outside the Carrefour Express. The woman he was with handed him a bag of ice-cubes she had bought from the store and he proceeded to place some into each tumbler using his VERY dirty hands.
But worse was to come – they picked up the cardboard box with the tumbers, crossing over the road to head towards the beach and the man actually took a big sip from one of the straws as he was walking along. That really turned my stomach as he certainly looked like he needed a good bath to me.
So please please do not buy from these vendors – they are NOT from the bars. It is illegal to sell anything on the beach – apart from the hire of the sunbed and parasols.