Tag Archives: Costa Blanca

“Minor sea” or “Smaller Sea” Mar Menor

Mar Menor

Small sea

The Mar Menor means ‘minor (or smaller) sea’.  It isn’t a sea at all, it’s a lagoon, located on the northern stretch of the Murcian coast, just below the border with Alicante.  The lagoon is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a spit of land 22km long with several breaks where it opens onto the Med.  The spit is between 100m and 1200m wide, so in places the two ‘seas’ lap at beaches the both sides of the road!  The road runs most of the length starting at the southern end and a ferry links the northern point of the spit to Santiago de la Ribera on the mainland side.  Roughly triangular in shape it covers 170km2 with 5 small islands within the lagoon and a total of 70km of coastline.

Generally, the water within the lagoon is several degrees warmer than the Med, making it a popular place for swimming and water sports all year.  At the northern point by San Pedro del Pinatar are the famous mud baths and salt flats.  The salt flats and shallow lakes are noted for their importance to nature and protected by national park status. This area records some of the mildest winter temperatures in Spain.

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Sadly in 2016 the beaches of the Mar Menor lost their Blue Flags, but it hasn’t slowed the rising popularity of the area or the beaches, and the local authorities are working hard to ‘clean up’ the quality of the water and regain their European Blue Flags.

The most popular resorts are (from north to south) San Pedro de Pinatar and Lo Pagan, Santiago de la Ribera, Los Narejos and Los Alcazares, Los Urrutias, Estrella del Mar, Los Nietos, Mar de Cristal and Playa Honda.

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The world famous La Manga Club Golf Resort is Located to the south of the Mar Menor next to the Calblanque National Park.  More information on all to follow so watch this space…!

Calblanque National Park

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Christmas Property Show Live

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Christmas Property Show Live

A short presentation on buying a property in the Costa Blanca or Mar Menor areas of Spain, with a festive feel.

16 December 10.00-10.30

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Utilities in Spain

We are often asked about the utilities in Spain.  If you buy in a town you will almost certainly have mains water but if you have a villa on the edge of or outside the main town you may not have mains sewage but have a septic tank instead.  This surprises a lot of people but in parts of Spain this is normal.  If you buy a rural property you may not have mains water but use a private well or have water delivered by tanker to fill your huge storage tank.
Generally mains water is of drinkable quality these days, gone are the days when you had to buy it bottled.  To get around shortages of water there are now a number of desalination plants around the coast taking sea water and cleaning it up for local use.  There are also a number of reservoirs now that are also small hydro-electric plants.  Water supply in the Alicante region doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore.
Gas has until recently been bottled only in most areas but towns are slowly having mains gas installed.  Again this surprises many Brits looking to buy in Spain, and of course using bottles of gas for central heating is pretty expensive.  Using portable gas heaters is common practice and fairly economical too.  Modern air conditioning units have settings for cooling or heating and are sufficient for use in a bedroom, although not necessarily that cheap to run.
For many years Iberdrola were the only electricity company but in recent years de-regulation has allowed competition and there are now other options.  Also duel tariffs are available too now, so cheap electricity at night and in the morning with a slightly raised rate for the afternoon and evening means savings can be made.  Solar has come a long way too and with 320 days of sunshine a year in south Costa Blanca developers now include solar in their new build homes.
There are a few ‘anomalies’ that I have come across over the years.  For instance, where our house is located the water company are also responsible for collecting the rubbish so instead of the cost of rubbish collection being included in the local council tax it is added to your water bill instead!
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Our mailing address is:

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You can contact us through our web site link below

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First time travelling alone with the children

First time travelling alone with the children
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In the early years we usually visited my parents as a family, but after the youngest was born I made my first trip with the children without Dave.  My Dad had to visit the UK for some reason so it was planned for me to travel back with him to Spain, but I had to do the return journey without help.  Travelling alone with children aged 7 & 6 years old plus an 8 month old baby was an experience!  I booked airport assistance for when I arrived back in the UK but the flight had been delayed, so my ‘assistance’ finally arrived after we had walked as far as the luggage collection area and consisted of a guy handing me a luggage trolley and disappearing to go and look after his next assignment!
I could see the pushchair and case on the carousel so asked a man who looked to be fit and healthy in his 30’s if he could please help by lifting them off for me as I was holding a baby, but he told me if I couldn’t do it myself I shouldn’t be travelling on my own with kids!
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 A bit stunned by his attitude an older gentleman approached and said he would help when the case and buggy came around again, and kindly removed both for me.  I strapped the baby into the buggy and found we were left standing alone with our trolley except for an elderly lady with walking sticks standing beside her case.  She too had booked assistance and she too had been let down due to the flight delay.  I lifted her bags onto my trolley and whilst the children pushed their brother in the buggy she held onto the trolley for support as I pushed it and we walked at a snail’s pace the rest of the way together.
Standing looking very anxious as we walked out through arrivals into the public area were two men, one was Dave and the other the elderly lady’s son.  They had thought we must have got lost, but in truth we had just been abandoned by airport assistance!

https://youtu.be/10VHB9lQgQE

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A Video link to how we can help you find your place in the sun

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If you are looking to find your dream home on the Costa Blanca or Costa Calida then we are here to help you and walk with you through all the stages of finding and buying your dream property. And we are happy to help with information on settling into your new home or setting up a holiday rental to turn your second home into an income Have a look at a short video on how we can help you

Dave and Bev.

Spanish Dream Property

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A Great Video from Bev & Dave at Spanish Dream Property

We need your help please can you let us know what you think about this video

Thanks Bev & Dave

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PART 40 An Ex-pat, not an immigrant

PART 40 An Ex-pat, not an immigrant!

time for thinking

The British way to get yourself understood abroad seems to try first in normal English, when that fails we try speaking very loudly and slowly, but still in English. For reasons beyond normal rationality we figure that will work. Why? Is it because we are rude and arrogant or is it because learning another language in school in the UK is not prioritised or valued enough? The Scandinavians almost grow up bi-lingual, learning English alongside their native tongue from kindergarten age, and many, as a result, seem adept at learning other languages too. My multi-lingual friends and acquaintances all grew up bi-lingual whereas here in the UK it often high school before learning a foreign language is taken seriously in education.

The hypercritical way some Brits abroad defiantly, almost triumphantly, live in Spain for many years without bothering to learn more than café con leche or cerveza, or speak only their own ‘Spanglish’, never ceases to amaze and dismay me. They are the first to criticise the immigrants in the UK who don’t speak English within three weeks of arriving; but an Englishman abroad is not an immigrant, an Englishman abroad is an ex-pat!

However after years in Spain, having lived in their ex-pat (immigrant) community, drinking and eating in bars with only English speaking or ex-pat (immigrant) staff, and dipping into the odd Spanish fiesta or parade only when attending with a group of other ex-pats (immigrants), they can come unstuck. It’s when the difficult things in life happen, like illness, that they realise they are actually living in a foreign country (they are an immigrant!) and the nurses don’t all speak English and you have to pay for an interpreter or rely on ex-pat volunteers who did learn the language (immigrants who have integrated better!) to come to your rescue. One day, if you live in Spain, you will wish you had bothered with Spanish, so why wait? You may even find you enjoy living the dream a lot more through being able to live a fuller and more integrated life in the sun.

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