We have evolved a flexible routine based around shopping, cycling, swimming, washing and socialising, pretty much like back in the UK but rather warmer :) Visited some old friends in the Almafra brotherhood (and sisterhood!) for lunch on Sunday. Great to see everyone again, talk rubbish, eat and laugh just like old times.
Mr H would like to go fishing as there are Carp and Barbel in the rivers and lakes so he's on a quest to get a fishing license (licencia de pesca). There is no national fishing license in Spain and for the Costa Blanca there is a regional license but it's taking some getting. Four weeks so far with no success. Following various sources he's tried Tourist info, tackle shops, police (as apparantly there is a hefty fine if you don't have one), the port office, sailing club, several branches of the Caja Rural (building society) and the local town hall. He has spoken to a different person each time and gets conflicting advice each time. Communication is difficult as not many speak any English and Mr H's grasp of Spanish is still limited to ordering cervezas and patatas fritas. Still, he is persistent and has enlisted the help of our good neighbour big Nige and together they are determined to crack this one.
Nigel spoke to a receptionist whose cousin goes fishing and following some phone calls and to'ing and fro'ing he managed to get the right forms filled in and letters signed (as we're not residents) and the address of the right department to go to in Alicante.
Armed with all this Mr H and I set off on the train into the big smoke. We found streets not identified on our map and became rather lost. No fear, we visited the large hotel we had passed several times during our ever-widening circuits to ask for directions. Even when pointed in the right direction by a very nice english-speaking gentleman we managed to arrive at the building ten minutes after it closed for the day, bugger!!!!
We then got lost for another hour trying to find our way back to the train station! Thank the lord for an emergency stop at Burgerking then home again. Mr H has gritted his teeth and vowed to see this quest to it's bitter end. I feel it would be easier to acquire the Ark of the Covenant or the Holy Grail than a chuffin fishing license. Mr H and Nigel have held a strategy meeting and intend to go again next week armed with an array of forms, euros and true British grit.
On Monday Mr H and Nigel set off bright and early to Alicante by train. This time the office was open and after obtaining a ticket from the machine and a short wait they sat face to face with the guardian of the licenses!!! Handed over the forms, letter and passport and the official filled in another form in triplicate (modelo 046 SARA). So close! They then had to take these forms to the CAM bank and pay the fee. 25 euros for 3 years. Initially they got in the wrong queue at the bank but recovered swiftly and handed over the cash with the forms to be stamped. Returned to the local office and they received a 3 year licencia de pesca, result!!!!!!
We all celebrated their fruitful campaign with a house specialty and a beer back at base camp. Well done lads, so proud.
Just need to find some fish now :))
Feliz Navidad One and all XXX