Another beautiful sunny day in La Marina Alta. First stop Javea Auto Sales to view the Nissan. We meet Mickey the dog who must be a distant cousin of Flo Newton in Bournemouth. We also meet one of the owners, Roy who is a Brit through and through. An interesting guy who is one of the organisers of the Maroc Challenge, a gruelling 4×4 event in the desert. During the last week of March this year it was held in Erfoud, Morocco near the Algerian border. Anyway, I am here to view a Nissan and while Dave and I trawl all over the vehicle, Roy is relaying old war stories about his Maroc Challenge adventures to Fi.
We go for a test ride and its not bad for the price, but I have reservations. I need to now do a check with the Mazda in Denia.
We arrive at Valgauto Motor in Denia. The Mazda is parked just in front of the showroom and I know instinctively that this is the one. Inma is the sales person, a lovely lady with just enough English to get us through this. I ask for a test drive by pretending to hold a steering wheel and then rock my hands to and thro. I want her to drive because the roads are busy and I have not driven a left hand drive before yesterday when I drove the Vitara on the wrong side of the road despite a big white arrow painted on the tarmac! She thinks its odd … probably that I am odd … she has obviously summed me up quickly and joined the rest of the world that thinks I’m odd. She also is a little uncomfortable. Clearly Inma is not used to doing a demo as the driver … a new experience.
It’s a nice ride and even as a passenger you can tell there is no strain in the engine when you put the foot down.
We go for a coffee so that I can think it over, but it only takes 3 seconds as I have made up my mind. Returning to the garage I tell Inma that I would like to buy a car. She is happy with her driving now.
We strike a deal. The deal is they give me the car, I give them the money. No discounts. NIE, Padron, Passport and Driving licence info is exchanged. I leave a deposit. The paperwork is raised and thats it. All I need to do is pay and insure the car. Inma will get a couple of quotes, but I sense they will be at the top end. The car cannot be registered in my name until they receive the funds. At that point they send off the paperwork to a public servant in Alicante. Normally this can take about 3 days. Its touch and go whether I will have the car in time to collect Sarah from the airport. Dave & Fi are plan B.
I now have to get home to organise the transfer from our Australian bank to Valgauto. I have previously researched money transfer agents, but I go through the process again and TransferWise seem to be one of the best rates with a 1-2 day guarantee. I have to transfer the money to them, but I can’t. A message on my iPad tells me that the total amount is over my daily limit … bugger … bugger …bugger! I call the 24×7 hotline. It is so hot I can’t get through. I wait impatiently. Put the phone down and try again … a few times. The same bland recorded message about how important my call is … Yeah I’m sure. So much for help. Frustrated I go for a long walk and contemplate the meaning of life and my first world problem.
On my return I try again and this time just sit it out, waiting for some sort of life to materialise from the phone … my iPad actually as I Skyped the landline. After just over 18 minutes the phone rings and a female voice … a real person .. starts talking to me. I can’t remember her name but the CBA girl is really helpful, really helpful. I change the limit and then transfer the funds to TransferWise.
At this stage the money is in the cloud somewhere. Its neither in my bank account or the TransferWise account. Eek! I download the App to monitor the transaction. Funds are on their journey and it could take up to 2 days.
On Thursday I set out for my walk a little later to see if I can pay the Water Bill that Marja kindly gave to me. I first go to Bankinter. The cashier is conversing in German with the lady in front of me. She then switches to English for me. Bankinter is not on the list, but she kindly points me in the direction of CaixaBank. The Cashier at CaixaBank takes the bill and begins to process it, but notices that it expired on Tuesday. The reason being that interest accrues by a few cents each day. When the lady in the Senija Town hall printed the bill on Monday it was only valid until Tuesday. Now I have to go to Benissa Town Hall to pay! I’ll wait until Sarah is here next week and we can sort it out together.
Sarah asked me to pop by the gym she used last July when we were over. I remember where it is and make my way. The windows are blacked out and there are workmen around. No clear signs on the door. I can hear a treadmill, but can’t open the door. Perhaps I need to go to the gym more. No one comes to the rescue. I don’t think it is a keycard entry. Something else for Sarah next week. Perhaps she is strong enough to break the door off its hinges to get in. Perhaps she will just stare it into submission. I move on. I know … it was a feeble attempt!
I continue my walk up to the Port and back down through Javea. I’m a bit hungry and thirsty so after a search of the alleyways I stop at a cafe in the Avenida de Paris. I am the only person there and it is a beautiful sunny day so I sit outside with a Bocadillo and un doble. Its nice here and so I look at the menu again to remember the name. La Romantica Bistro. Typical … very romantic by myself!
I return to “Casa Glanville”. Fi is doing “Arty” stuff. A lizard mosaic on a concrete ball. Dave is in the garden looking serious. I run upstairs, dump my things and go down and ask Dave if he wants any help. So for the rest of the afternoon, in the blazing heat, we heave stones from one side of the house to the other. Rake out the ground and lay down weed matting.
Almost 24 hours after sending the money for the car to TransferWise I get an email that they have received the funds. Thank God!
In the evening we go to Scallops of Javea on Av. Tamarits for dinner. We are meeting Mark and Sharron who live further up the hill, in fact 25 mins if you walk. They are walking to the restaurant which will probably take them about 45 minutes. Fi knows Sharron from her Glasgow days and has kept in touch. They have been in Valencia for one year and recently moved to Javea. Like me they like to walk and Mark will go off for hours on end. We recognise a car in the car park. As we enter people are leaving clutching wine bottles. As predicted by the car we saw Keith and Eileen are also here with a friend who is visiting them from Australia. Mark and Sharron arrive and we pull tables together so now there are 8 of us.
So here is the deal at Scallops of Javea. There is a menu for single plate meals. There are also 3 other options for a 3 course meal all with multiple choice Starter, Main and Dessert. The prices are either 9.95, 10.95 or 11.95 Euros. It includes a bottle of wine each … thats right … a bottle of wine each and a breakfast voucher consisting of: English back bacon, sausage, fried egg, grilled tomato and hash brown. Yes .. its is simply unbelievable value. So … I started with a large beer, had the egg mayonnaise for a starter … a plentiful size … followed by cod and chips with mushy peas … a huge piece of fish … rounded off by ice cream with Baileys. For this price you may expect something small and greasy … the food was excellent. Okay, the wine may not be the best. I ordered a Rosado and the first glass caught the back of my throat like Listerine mouth wash, but you get used to it! Just out of interest I Googled the wine and you can buy a case of 12 for 10.76 Euros! If you can’t manage to eat and drink everything you can take the wine bottles with you and like one lady I noticed, take the food home in a “doggy bag”. They wrap it all up carefully in foil and containers for you. If anyone left anything it was because it was all too much as portions were over generous. It’s not fine dinning. But who cares. Tonight we sat inside, but the place is huge and during the warmer months there is a beautiful rose garden. What can I say … We carved up the bill and with a tip it was 15 Euros each. Damned good value! Bizarrely, scallops are not on the menu!
Until next time 🌏