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Time to move to Spain

Medically retired at short notice our plans to move to Spain are brought forward by a few years. With little time to spare, this is our story.

At last! Our belongings arrive.
11 November 2015 @ 17:27

At last! Our belongings arrive.

Well I didn't expect that! I go for my morning run and on my return. See numerous packages outside our apartment block. On closer inspection I quickly realise that it's our shipment from the UK. No warning, just 'they should be with you soon'. Some of it has been thrown around a bit but all the boxes are there. We took great care in packing our belongings before we left. Newspaper and bubble wrap was everywhere! I stand and look at the pallet outside our block, numerous boxes in varying degrees of disrepair.

We have a caretaker of sorts looking after the building on behalf of the residents, paid for by the community charge. She waves me over and tries to explain to me something... Between us, with the use of her Spanish and both our attempts at sign language  I work out that I'm not to take more than three boxes at a time up in the lift. I try to call the lift but it's not responding. I see its on our floor so assume sue is unloading. Then I hear her shout my name, what's happened? Sue has taken the first few packages up in the lift and promptly broken it. It turns out she was told by the caretaker to take no more than three packages, so took two large suitcases. They proved too much and the lift conked out on arrival at our apartment. 
Despite maintenance being on their way, I'm getting impatient and decide to bring my belongings up without the lift. I didn't account for the 40 degree heat though...
I try and bring some stuff up the five flights of stairs but it near kills me. My legs will not thank me tomorrow. It's takes a bit of time, some of the boxes have completely split open but eventually I get the boxes home. I gain about two hours on the lift as its fixed sometime in late afternoon and unbelievably we get most of our stuff away by 5pm. Most of our stuff is intact thanks to cautious packing however notable casualties include two pizza stones and a tapas dish. I'm not sure whether it's the quality of our boxes or the removals company that's at fault here but I'm pretty pleased our belongings are here despite taking just short of five weeks to arrive. 

One positive is that we now have our TV back. Ok, Spanish TV but a couple of American channels which seem to satisfy Sues itch for English speaking TV and some audio channels. We have a smart TV and Sue volunteers to programme it. It did seem unusually difficult to programme until Sue realised that she had been scanning cable. I indicated surprise that she thought we had cable TV but Sue said she'd thought it was because there was a cable going into the TV. I had to remind her that we don't have cable TV as yet. The meerkats have all arrived safely, our photos are up and our DVDs have arrived. We don't have UK TV yet so we will be recommencing 'Breaking Bad' which we are about halfway through at the moment. We celebrate our belongings arriving by going out for a few Mojitos and go back home to watch Breaking bad! 

Meerkats, safely arrived in Spain.

Something else happens this week that changes our routine completely. Every other day or so, we go to the harbour for a swim instead of the sea. It's calmer and clearer which mean we can swim without mouthfuls of salt water. It's Sunday and as I plunge into the sea a Spanish couple come over to me and start to talk. 'No hablo espanol, que hablo Ingles' I explain but they are adamant and keep speaking to me. Even sign language this time wouldn't help. Whatever it is they're saying it can't be all that important, can't? I give up and begin my usual swim out. About halfway out I suddenly see a round orangey brown thing in front of me, then another. I suddenly realise I'm surrounded by jellyfish and also realise what the Spanish couple were saying to me. I'm not the best sea swimmer when it comes to sea creatures, in fact I'm a bit of a wimp, probably going back to seeing Jaws in the ABC cinema in Liverpool back in 1975. It may seem like exaggeration but I feel it's akin to being in the middle of a minefield. Whichever way I go, there's danger! It did take a bit of time, and it must have looked hilarious to anyone looking on the way I zig zagged back to the shore. I manage to get myself back and relax a little safe in the knowledge that the worst is behind me. We stay within the relative safety of the 'shallow end' for a while then get out. No it isn't! We go up onto the walkway above the sea to see the extent of the jellyfish. Not only do we see them, but actually, feet from where we were standing in the safe area, there are more of them. Needless to say it's put me completely off swimming there ever again. I'm not the most extensive of travellers but have been numerous times to the usual holiday resorts of the Canaries, Balearics, Turkey, Egypt etc but have only ever been stung by a jellyfish in Tunisia and that was a few times 28 years apart. How we managed to avoid them this time is beyond me. There were hundreds. It's safe to say, it will be quite some time before we will go swimming in the harbour again. 

scene of the Jellyfish incident! 

It's amazing what a few personal belongings can do to a home. A few kitchen gadgets, photos, clothes, my Sex Pistols mug can make to your life. It turns what is essentially a holiday apartment into more of a home. We have our routine and spend so much more time outdoors than we did in England. We walk more, swim more, eat later and for some reason get the mid afternoon dip in energy that prompts a siesta. Is it the heat? Lifestyle? The fact we are going to bed later? Poor sleep due to the heat? Whatever it is, by mid afternoon we seem to run out of energy. as neither of us work there are no deadlines to adhere to. The first five weeks certainly have been a steep learning curve for us but at the moment we are happy. 

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foresternige said:
12 November 2015 @ 15:56

Glad for you that your things have arrived - and that you didn't get stung to bits by the jelly fish (jeeezz).

I can relate to the difference to be made by furnishing with your things : as we plan our move out to Galicia, we are very aware and excited to have our belongings in what is normally a suitcase driven holiday bare villa that is my in-laws house. We have a floor we stay in that is so bare normally, and it will be wonderful to have our chest of drawers, shelf units, pictures and tat/memory items like meerkats! :)
So enjoy and I hope it helps to cement the feeling of homeliness for you.

If possible, could you name the shipping company you used and approx cost for how much stuff/how many boxes/weight/sq meters.... Did you look into driving your own van down through spain from say a ferry to bilbao? Probaly too far a drive I guess? I need to figure out how to get our stuff to Galicia.

quizzie said:
22 November 2015 @ 02:27

Hello I have just read all your blogs tonight. Keep them coming. I love Torrevieja. And would love to live there. I too was there in July came back about 22nd. Stayed quite near the main bus station so very easy to get around. Have stayed a month at other times in various apartments. La Zenia Boulevard is another big shopping centre, but think you have to change buses. By now I expect you have discovered loads of places, looking forward to your next update.

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