Well, I wish I had kept up with the blogging more often as now have too much to talk about and I have forgotten most of it.
So, going back to the last blog entry of trying to sort my stuff out and arranging our Amsterdam trip. Amsterdam was amazing as it always is. I love the fact there is always so many people yet always such a quiet peaceful place.
We booked in the Plaza across from the Train Station, where as it was a nice hotel, I think I would rather go back to my usual haunts. They kept locking us out the room for various annoying reasons which wouldn’t have been that much of an inconvenience, however our room was about 10 mins walk from the reception each time. Which is annoying when you’re knackered and just want to climb into bed.
So we had a chilled out time and just got all our plans sorted for Spain, flights booked, estate agents set up, accommodation sorted.
The weather was gorgeous so had a wander round in the sunshine. There are always weird and wonderful people in the Dam, including the infamous guy that dances with a flower pot on his head and Charlie took a shine to this guy and his didgeridoo.
So our flights to Spain were booked for the 10th Sept, we had only planned on staying in Alicante for 3 nights and then to move up the coast to experience different areas. It was all a little alien to me not having the whole trip planned, hadn’t even booked a return flight, however with Charlie being a crazy travelling gypsy she was used to travelling about, she even stayed in Amsterdam an extra week after I left… just because she could. I kind of envy that quality in a person.
So we got to Alicante late on the Monday and popped out for some food, not realising what a crazy adventure was yet to come.
We quite quickly realised that Alicante wasn’t the place for us, where as it was nice and was near the Casino and Airport, it was more a place you went on holiday and not to live. So we arranged some viewings further up the coast in Moraira, Benitachell and Javea. This meant it was over an hour drive each way.
We set off day one and went to hire a car, luckily they didn’t have any of the lower band cars available so were bumped up to a little white Beetle (we named her Thelma) I was so nervous as never driven on the wrong side of the road before and didn’t even really understand the way of the Spanish roads.
On exiting the car rental, I nearly ran someone over, stalled and then crashed into a bollard at the first toll booth (luckily no damage). After the first day I got the hang of it, thankfully the roads were quite chilled out and people seemed to have a lot of patience.
All in all we drove nearly 800 miles and for people who know me I DID IT ALL WITHOUT A SAT NAV!!!! Couldn’t believe how awesome we did, I tend to still get lost in Nottingham and lived here over 4 years.
So we would set off around 10am in the morning dropping in estate agents that we found trying to arrange viewings. It was very stressful as the Spanish work at half pace and then they also go for a siesta around 2pm till about 4pm. So sometimes we were still viewing houses at 7pm, drive back to the hotel, grab some food and it would be about 11pm and ready for bed.
We then booked a hotel in Calpe which was much nearer the places we wanted to view. We managed to find the place on day 4. It was NOTHING like it said on the internet. It was in fact a dingy little hostel with no parking or anything it said it had on the website.
Problem is when you get away from the main cities, English becomes sparser and with Charlie and me only being able to speak a few words it was quite difficult at times.
We managed to get an English person on the phone and told them no way were we paying what they expected to stay here and we managed to cancel the booking.
EEEEEEP now no place to stay!!!! Thankfully my half cousin lives in Benitachell. I think I have only met her a few times so was a bit nervous ringing her and asking if we could crash for the night.
She hasn’t lived here herself for too long, she moved with her husband into a beautiful villa. Unfortunately he passed away suddenly a few months back and she is now living on her own.
We ended up staying 2 nights, which saved us a bucket and she is a lovely lady, will definitely keep in touch more when I move over. I’m sure I will be able to help her out with things.
So back to bobbing round looking at Villas, sounds good but I promise it was quite stressful. It was trying to find something that was a good price, near shops and amenities and had everything we needed.
As it happened we ended up settling on one that we saw on the first day. Charlie really liked it but I wasn’t so sure. We went back to have a second look and it was 10 times better than the first time we looked (maybe as we had now seen what else we could get for different costs).
Check out our new home!!!!!
Its a few minutes from Moraira centre with only 10 minute drive to Benitachell and Javea.
The bottom part of the house is self contained apartment with bedroom, living room and kitchen, perfect for my office.
Then upstairs is 2 double bedrooms, the living room is the circular bit top left, kitchen and the top right is outside dining area.
Outside, private pool and BBQ area and garage for parking.
All for €750 a month!!!!!
Now we had our house sorted we thought we could relax a little, however it didn’t quite transpire that way.
We decided to drive to Valencia and stay there for a night. We got up on the Sunday and everything was closed so decided to head to Barcelona which should have been a 4 hour drive. We did stop once for food and then hit major traffic jam which added an hour on to the journey. Once we got into Barcelona we got slightly lost forgetting how big it was.
We had basically been navigating using bits of maps we picked up (that weren’t very helpful) and saving screenshots of google maps on our laptops (as we couldn’t always find Wifi spots…and loved going round asking the Spanish for it as they pronounce it weefee). However the laptop died before we found the place we were staying in. So it ended up a 9 hour trip!!!!! Yawn!!!! And the drivers round Barcelona were less chilled out and it got a little scary.
The rest of the trip we did a bit of sightseeing and wandering round before heading back from Barcelona to East Midlands.
I’m definitely more motivated to get my stuff sorted now as I just want to get over there. It’s such a cool place and our house is gorgeous.
I think my adventure/blog is working as planned by inspiring other people to also travel and highlight that it’s not too much of a crazy idea. Since my plans about 6 of my friends have or are planning to travel/move countries.
Hopefully people will come and visit me in Spain. If anything the thing I will miss most is my friends. <3