BONKING tourists are being blamed for damaging one of Spain’s most important dune systems.
While the earth has been moving on the Canary island of La Palma due to a volcanic eruption, it has been moving for an entirely different reason on neighbouring Gran Canaria.
Maspalomas has become infamous for its ‘cruising’ scene where people hunt out strangers for illicit sex amongst the dunes.
So much so that people from all over Northern Europe and the UK make a trip hoping to hook up with a like-minded stranger for nookie.
But in doing so – and creating hidden ‘nests’ in which to fulfil their fantasies – they are damaging the unique vegetation and ecology of the area.
Scientists at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) have surveyed the Special Nature Reserve of Las Dunas de Maspalomas and found an incredible 298 ‘sex spots’ hidden away, which are used regularly.
Of these, 242 are within a restricted use zone and another 46 in the most ecologically valuable exclusion area.
Researchers have detailed how there has been serious damage to the local flora as sex tourists enjoy their sweaty hobby.
Cruising has two phases. The first involves long walks where participants ‘show off’ in search of potential casual partners.
The second is the actual act of sex, which takes place in ‘nests’ built for intimacy.
“These long walks are often done outside the permitted paths, and the constant trampling is causing major damage to the dune ecosystem,” said one of the report’s authors, Levi García Romero.
But the worst damage is done in and around the sex spots.
In order to build nests, a lot of flora is uprooted, with three species endemic to Gran Canaria said to be under threat in the area.
And once the vegetation is uprooted, the underlying sand is exposed to the elements, with significant erosion taking place.
Researchers also found a large amount of rubbish at the sex points, including condoms, sanitary towels and even sex toys. “We were surprised by the amount of waste we found”, explained Levi García. “We didn’t expect so much.”