The towns in this area are justly proud of their beaches which easily surpass the “blue flag” standard for cleanliness and safety. At his time of the year and throughput the summer people flock to them to relax in the sun and have a swim and parents take their children knowing that they should be safe to play on the sand.
One of the things which is therefore not permitted on beaches is the lighting of fires and yet on the night of San Juan thousands flock to them to do precisely that.
The General Directorate of Coasts, aware that this is a custom that is growing in popularity, tried to ban the lighting of fires last night by sending a letter to all of the coastal municipalities saying, "we will not allow the lighting of fires or the holding of mass rallies in the seashore and request their cooperation in the night of San Juan is held without detrimental effect on the coast and their users. "
Some municipalities ignored this directive claiming that it was physically impossible to stop the thousands of people from going to the beach, so the local police turned a blind eye to what was going on.
This morning, those town councils, are paying the price because their beaches are littered with waste food, empty bottles, burning embers from the fires, nails from the wood and even human excrement. This all has to be thoroughly cleaned up before the bathers arrive.
Inevitably accidents occur in the days after San Juan where people cut their feet on broken glass or the nails from the wood. That is why the requests to light fires are always turned down. Mass parties, particularly where they light fires are not compatible with the normal use of beaches.
As the revellers from last night sleep off the excesses of their night of “fun”, the rest of us have to hope that our beaches will be made safe once again today.
I'm no killjoy, if people want to celebrate San Juan by lighting fires, let them do so on private land where it will not inconvenience others.