Saturday, February 21, 2004

Tortosa and River Ebro

Tortosa from Roquetes the 'Parador' is on the hill to the right of the picture.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Spain or bust

The beginging of a great adventure.

After studying the photographs I had taken, we decided to return to Spain as soon as we were able to, and in air of excitement, in late February we travelled there together.

A cheap flight into Alicante allowed us to look at other areas we were considering

along the Costa Blanca and the inland villages of that coast. Out of season the coastal resorts looked desolate with too few people around in winter. And perhaps they would have far too many people in the summer months, we kept reminding ourselves that we were looking for a home not a holiday resort.

We headed further north to Tortosa.

The city of Tortosa has a relaxed air about it and has good shopping facilities too. Gerhard the agent said he and his Cuban born wife loved the city and seldom if ever had to leave it to purchase anything they wanted. Carol soon felt comfortable with these surroundings and felt it would be a good place to settle down.

Roquetes on the opposite bank of the river Ebro, was home to the English Mansion.

The drive to the house through the back streets of Roquetes was a bad move on the agents part, the effect of which was to cool Carol’s enthusiasm. He should have gone directly across the east bridge from Tortosa and into the area of the villa.

The unfinished road leading from the village towards the house was going to be finished in asphalt and would be completed by May. Now though, driving slowly across the uneven road surface made the journey seem longer than it undoubtedly was.

Viewing the property we concentrated on areas that needed reform or replacement. Carol had doubts but was willing to have a go. The vendor would not reduce his asking price and other agents we knew had valued the property at a higher price.

Despite negotiating a deal, we felt that we had to walk away from the venture after ‘not’ sleeping on the matter.

Carol had considered that the rural setting was too isolated for her to be comfortable if left alone in the house. And so we decided to continue our search and look further south again before flying home from Alicante. The disappointment of the earlier viewing had dampened our spirits and it seemed like we were back to the drawing board.