Festivals of Spain – Cascamorras

Festivals of Spain - Cascamorras

We wondered what all the black handprints were on the walls of Baza when first visiting in 2015, unaware that we had just missed the Fiesta de Cascamorras.

Our annual holidays were always mid September, so again in 2016 we also managed to miss the fiesta by a couple of days.

This year though the wait was over. We finally got to experience the Fiesta de Cascamorras in our town of Baza.

So we thought we would share our experience and for the uninitiated give you a little history behind this popular fiesta.
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Our first 6 months in Spain

Our first 6 months in Spain have come and gone – It’s incredible how quickly the time has passed.

It seems like only yesterday that we had arrived in Spain to snow and temperatures of -2C. Now it’s 46C outside and the air conditioning has just packed up in the car !

That said it’s lovely and cool in the cave, with an average temperature of 24C.

So whilst we hide like vampires from the midday sun, I thought I would take time out and share the 6 key things we have learnt in our first 6 months in Spain.

So here goes …
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Registering a UK car in Spain

Whilst I often use forums and Facebook pages as a source of information, I sometimes find the information misleading or advice provided off-putting. This was the case when I began researching registering a UK car in Spain. In fact I found so much contradictory information, out there, that i decided to write about my own experience of registering a UK car In spain in the hope that it would help others 🙂

Now some of you are going to say … “why did you bring your car to Spain, it’s easier just to buy a Spanish car”.

I am not going to argue with that. There are certainly many benefits in having a Spanish car and it maybe we buy a Spanish car in the future.  For us, it was simply a matter of circumstances that led us to having a UK car in Spain. Continue reading

Festivals of Spain – Cruces de Mayo

It was only a few days after the Moors and Christians Festival, yet in our local town of Baza, they were already gearing up for the Cruces de Mayo Festival. According to the Baza Ayuntamiento Facebook page , it was to run from midday on Friday 5th through to midday Sunday 7th May. They even provided a handy little map showing the locations of the crosses 🙂

My parents were staying with us and so Saturday was a perfect opportunity to show them around Baza as well as check out the festival.

But first of all I thought I should find out what the Cruces to Mayo (Crosses of May) festival was all about. No surprise there then ! Continue reading

Festivals of Spain – The Moors and Christians

Festivals and Fiestas are an important part of Spanish life and something we have definitely been looking forward to experiencing.

So, the Moors and Christians festival in our local town of Benamaurel was the perfect opportunity for us to start to embrace this Spanish culture.

And knowing we were going to experience the festival made me (Josie just shouted out ‘nerd’) want to learn a little bit about what it was all about. So, here goes…. Continue reading

Travelling through France to Spain

Travelling through France to Spain takes a look at our car route and the associated costs of driving  from the UK to our cave home in Andalucia.

The reason we found ourselves back in the UK was that our dogs had a release date from quarantine of 28th March. It was time for the dogs to complete their journey from the Turks and Caicos to Spain 🙂

Leaving our cave house, we took the ferry from Santander back to Portsmouth. We took advantage of the trip by de-touring to spend a couple of wonderful days with our friends in Extremadura.

What we really wanted to do was a repeat of January,  when we had taken a  ferry to Spain and drive to our cave house from there. Sadly, there are limited dog holding facilities on either the Bilbao or Santander ferry,  as such they tend to be booked months and months in advance.

This meant our only option was to drive through France and on into Spain. Continue reading

Successes and Setbacks (part 2)

More time has passed than intended since the first part of successes and setbacks; but now we can share what happened over the following weeks.

Whilst the 1st week was eventful and deserved an entry all of its own, thankfully things settled down as we started to find our feet in our new home 🙂 Continue reading

A step by step guide to applying for an NIE number

A step by step guide to applying for an NIE number, takes a look at how we recently went about applying for Josie’s NIE number.

When you start to research into applying for an NIE number it can all seem a little daunting and overwhelming. I am also convinced that the websites offering to get the NIE for you (at quite a cost) make the whole process seem far more scary than it really is !

Back in 2015, we paid an Abogado (Solicitor) to apply for my NIE during the process of buying our cave house (you can read that blog entry here). The reason was simply that we had run out of time and as were living in the Caribbean, it was impossible to do it ourselves. The cost also wasn’t a real issue as we were both earning a living, it simply became part of the overall cost of buying our cave house.

At that time, we had only needed one of us to have an NIE number for the purchase of our cave, however, now that we were living in Spain, it was time to arrange one for Josie.

Now though, with time on our hands, as well as financial constraints, we decided we would apply for Josie’s NIE ourselves 🙂

I will start by saying that having just completed the process (within the last few days), it is very straightforward … more importantly it cost less than 10 Euros (actually 9.45 Euros per person).

So, below is a very simple guide to doing it yourself, and if we can do it, then so can you ! Continue reading

Successes and Setbacks (part one)

Successes and setbacks takes a tongue in cheek look at how we have fared during our first 4 weeks in both our cave house and Spain in general.

To be honest though, we still don’t know where the last 4 weeks have gone. We are convinced that time runs at a different pace in this part of Spain.  A blink of the eye and another day has gone, maybe we need to stop taking so many siestas ?

Anyway we digress.
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Heading to Spain

The planning is over; the packing is done and the goodbyes have been said.  We are finally heading to Spain to start a new live in our cave house 🙂

Having weighed up the options, we decided to take the ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao then drive from there to our cave house in Baza. This option was slightly more expensive but cut out over 800 miles and nearly 12 hours of driving through France. We could have got a cheaper ferry the following week, however after 3 weeks, we were more than ready to leave the UK. Also the cost of staying another week would have been greater than the savings of a later ferry.

As to going by ferry … only time would tell whether travelling the Bay of Biscay at this time of year was wise !

For those that may be looking to do something similar, at the end of the blog I have detailed the different options available and associated costs.

But for now, simply share our travel experience 🙂 Continue reading