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Where ladies ” black fishnets ” take on a whole new meaning…

Champion Lady Catfish 182lbThe world of a Lady River Guide for Carp and the Giant Wells Catfish takes on a whole new outlook on the proverbial “ladies black fishnets” – or “keep-nets” as is the River Speak.

This is one entrepid lady fishing guide!

Don´t be mislead by her petiteness. Natalie Hull has great temerity, matched second to none with her tenacity and passionate knowledge of her sport, her hobby, her livelihood and expertise and skill in River Guiding on the Lower Ebro River for Carp and those enormous Catfish.

A very popular choice amongst ardent fishermen ( and the “Fisherladies” or Female Anglers) from around the world. Only this week Natalie has been out all week on the Ebro with a party of Australians. Her client base tells its own story. It is expanding rapidly with repeat bookings from France, Denmark, Canada, England, Lithuania, Ireland, other Australians and what is very interesting the number of Spanish and Catalonians that are now booking for this exhilerating sport. Each year a few more countries join her guest data base. Amercians and Canadians are hooked on fishing these big cats too.

What are you waiting for out there?

I have seen some evidence of mighty catfish caught off the banks of “El Figueral”over the last fortnight from a charming and friendly Dutch family of father and DAUGHTER partnership (mother chose the poolside and a magazine – I can relate to that!) = Hier begint uw visvakantie.

But why not make your holiday complete and try out a day or more on the river with Natalie. Natalie is the Lower Ebro Ladies Champion catfisher with her 182lb. That takes some reeling in! Besides you have the photos to take home with you, along with life time memories. However, be warned – you will yearn to come back next year.

The Dutch, the Belgiums and the Germans love to fish the River Ebro as well.

Bank fishing can be as rewarding as being out on the river. Evening fishing is also fun and takes on a whole new dimension. Go on! Take a peek at her price list and packages you will be pleasantly surprised. .

Who would imagine that a way for a father to bond with his daughter, would be to take her out of her mother´s hair for the day, at the gentle age of eight. Little did he expect her to become so hooked on fishing from her first day. Natalie has never looked back! I am sure, many a day when she is drifting down the wonderful Ebro, heading homewards after another amazing eight hours guiding, she casts her mind back, thankfully to all those precious days when she first start gathering her fishing knowledge from her father and mentor.

Natalie first started River Guiding on the Ebro from October 2003. Her PhotoCat Gallery show some awesome fish!

New to the sport, want to find out what all the fuss is about, contact Natalie Hull. You will not be disappointed when you take part in this “adrenalin pumping” sport

Concurs Popular de Truites i la Paella por Jesusencs

                          DIMECRES -11 juliol (Catalan) – Wedneday 11th July.

Mid – week and fancy doing something different tonight and not wanting to wait for the weekend to go out, come on down to Jesus in Tortosa and watch the giant paella competition. What is even better you are invited to share in the spoils of the cooking afterwards.

The contenders heavily guard their “secret ingredients” passed down from generation to generation.

No, all paellas do not taste the same!

The evening starts early 18.30 and finishes late. Paellas are cooked slowly and cannot be rushed. It promises to be lively and entertaining and definitely,vocal.

The event is held by the Pergola, next to the canal and the old Immaculada Convent ( now restored for the use of the Jesusencs and the Bar Casal.) If you are coming from Tortosa roundabout at Hotel Corona, pass Sabeco Supermercado and turn left off the C12 at the overhead traffic lights. Should one be coming from the Aldover-Xerta- Benifallet direction, on the C12 pass Clibegas and at the overhead traffic lights, turn right into the village of Jesus. Be prepared to park on the outskirts of the village and show consideration and do not park across someone´s garage or entrance please.

The Paella cooks love to discuss and argue about their ingredients so don´t be shy in asking them what is in it…

Yet, the evening holds out for more than just “stuffing your bellies”.

20.00h Cervesada popular patrocinda del pub LA LLUNA – popular beers!

Also at 18.00 Coctel de cava patrocinat del pub BROADWAY (not quite New York!) – Spanish cava is very good, too good if you are driving. So do elect who is driving home before you start sipping.

The competition ends at 20.30 with the judging and then 22.00 the meal is shared out with XARANGA PA EN TOMATA washed down with more cava or cervesadas or even the much loved Vino Tinto.

But a fiesta (festa) would not be complete without their music, so you can shake off your meal at the popular dance that follows with tha fabulous and highly acclaimed l´ORCHESTRA HIMALAYA.

If you require tables and chairs be early as these are asigned from17.00 at 1 euro a chair and 5 euros a table. Not quite sure how many you can get around a table..should be fun finding out. These will be cleared away between 00.00 and 04.00 (!!) in a calm manner…what after all that cava?

Apartir de les 17:00 h es llogaran taules i cadires per a la Paella.

Pre: 1,00 € cadira i 5,00€ taula

La recollida de les mateixes sera de les 00.00 a les 4.00 h de la matinada.

The main street leading up through the village, round the corner from the Adjuntanment and in front of the junior school will be closed for seating and merriment.

Tancament dels carrer Molins dén Comte i Daniel Mangrame, perque tots els veins hi pinguin col-locar les taules.

# The Fiesta  Major continues on until the 14th July, so more of the same information and the rest of the programme can be found on the :


# Por informatiu de les mateixes i mas de programa de la festa major Jesus 2007 – del 6 al 14 de juliol.

# In the words of our popular Mayor, Pere Panisello i Chavarria ( President de l´EMD Jesus -Tortosa ) – Es la nostra festa! –

The Catfish Tailor…

>> For a truly tailored catfish experience, look no further than <<

Graham is a very experienced River guide who personally tailors his plans and decides whether it is better to take a short drive up to the L´Assut (the Weir) at Xerta, off the C12 route, with “it´s fast flowing shallows and deep glides”, or t continue on down through Aldover where the river stretchesout even wider. More exciting fishing can be had at Amposta where the river seems to loose its kinks and reaches far out down to the Delta. Reportedly this is the area of deep trenches that find ideal for “drift Fishing.”

This is a very articulated set-up with care to your comfort and safety. A new and well-maintained, insured and registered boat (17´ California Skiff) that will harness one guide and 3 fishermen/women with excellent catfish rods and bait supplied.

The guests have no need to nibble on the corn or the “un-jellied” eels, as Maureen packs up a very satisfying lunch for you to munch while seeing some magnificent views from waters as you wait for Señor Catfish to take your bait. Maureen and Graham offer attention to detail to make you feel very welcomed, cared for, fed and watered, so you quickly unwind and relax in the beautiful surroundings of their property. Where they enthusiastically assign themselves to ensure you have exceptional and exhilarating days out on our diversed River Ebro and treasured memories to take home second to none!

Enjoy! – ¡ Gozar !  – Gaudir de!


Do not be put off travelling to Spain because of new custom regulations! These are being enforced to protect you and other citizens in Spain.

This has reared its head as a fore-runner of the Europe -wide initiative to standardise immigration procedures. Those of us who have travelled several times across the Atlantic will consider it is just the “norm” to fill in these slips of paper, like we do for the US Immigration and Customs control.

Besides it is not such a big deal to impart with your API (advanced passenger information):






The airline check-in staff read this information anyway.. so if you can complete an extra few boxes when booking on line, in the interest of safety and eradicating terrorists, it is only a small inconvenience. British Airways and Easyjet have been quick off the starting blocks and updated their on-line bookings to incorporate these details. The IT depatments for other airlines will catch up eventually, but do watch your IN BOXES as your online Travel agent or airline may be sending out notices to prospective travellers.

However, for those who have not been requested info for bookings, they will have to supply this at check-in..Some delays are expected to allow for this administration. Probably no more than the absent-minded little old dear in front of the queue who can´t find which is her currrent passport, as she empties the “kitchen sink”out of her over-large, well-seasoned and best loved travel “light” handbag

Once checked-in; the staff are obligated to forward the total flights API´s onto the Spanish authorities, before flight clearance will be issued. This is at no inconvenience to you in the boarding lounge. So just relax and enjoy your pre-boarding refreshment areas, knowing that The Spanish are being pro-active in securing a safer holiday for all concerned.

You have been put on notice:from the 13th June 2007 that failure to supply your API will enforce the Airline to refuse you rights to board their aircarft!

If you are still not sure or anxious, then read before you go:

Then go with the flow. You will still receive a warm welcome in Spain and Catalonia!


English speaking car mechanic.

This business card says it all. When in Tortosa and you have that strange noise under the bonnet, or wobble in the wheel, that you cannot even describe in English, let alone Spanish, then it is time to visit Miquel.

Why is it always when you are running late, to drive your husband to a hospital appointment, the car develops, a loud and ominous clunking noise? Not when you start the engine up and reverse through the gates. Only when you set off down the lane.

Must be the empty gas bottle in the back rolling about, I pray silently to myself. Oh no, not more car expense; Tortosa car tax bill has already hit the mat this week and car insurance is due end of July. Does it ever end, I feebly wail to myself?

I tune the radio onto FM 102.9, to calm my frayed nerves, and “FLAIX FM” bellows forth.

Him “indoors” matches the loudness. “Well, that is typical of a woman! Turns the radio on full blast so she drowns out the sound of the noise! Stop the car!!”

I do as bidden. The royal “we” removes the empty gas bottle. I go back and forth, but the noise vibrates louder.

Oh dear, I groan, ” Miquel here we come”, again.

Slowly we proceed to Roquetes to “Taller Miquel”. He greets us with such a welcoming smile.

– ¿Que passe? –

He ducks under the car, there and then, in the street.

In perfect English he volunteeers, “There is a hole in the exhaust. I will order the part and I can fix it very quickly for you in the morning. Nine o´clock will be okay?”

Fabulous! Miquel saves the day again for an English settler in Catalonia!




Hola Holland de l´Ebre =MadeinHolanda

Each day living in the lands of the Ebro, I am surprised how many NL registration plates I see. A Dutch friend of mine, Angelique Keuning, (met initially from her enquiry for holiday accommodation in the Mora area) will now be moving out to our region next year.

We met at Tea Gardens in Tortosa to bond and exchange chatter etc (you know,the woman thing..verbage craft!) and meet her charming little girl Shannon.

Well, she has been beavering away back in “Clog Land” to kick start her business before packing up the family and driving down.She sent me a lovely email and I have permission to share it with all of you.

“Maybe you haven’t heard from me for quite some time now. I’ve been busy. I’ve been building without seeing one construction worker at all.But I did it. I build a shop and you are one of the first who can look around.”

There is more for both our Dutch and English readers:-

“Doordat we volgend jaar naar Spanje gaan verhuizen, is het idee van Made
in Holanda geboren.
Kinderkleding, sieraden en andere gadgets, speciaal voor Nederlanders in het
En wie weet, misschien zullen ook Nederlanders in Nederland en buitenlanders
in het buitenland de producten leuk vinden.”

“Because we’re moving to Spain next year, the idea of Made in Holanda was
Shirts for kids, fashion accessories and other gadgets, especially for Dutch
families who emigrated to other countries.
But you’ll never know, maybe the Dutch in Holland and other nationalities in
other countries will also enjoy the products.”Angelique Keuning


Wine tasting on Barceloneta Skyline Terraza-Catador de vinos

How about leaving the finca for a night away ? Fancy a little bit of culture? A night in a beautiful city with the most amazing views of Barcelona´s marina?

Well, a very handy e-newsletter arrived this morning offering you that opportunity, Don´t you just love checking your email before having your breakfast under the mulberry trees on your terrace?

Places are reported to be limited for what is promised to be a very exclusive evening. The Spanish and Catalans are very proud of their wine and cordially invite their International community to join in and sample 7 very different wines. Along the way you will learn the art of wine tasting (not the way I did in Napa Valley!), be introduced to other EXPATS and locals, over devouring exquisite cuisine.

Where is all this happening? It will be on the roof top terrace of “The Hotel 54 Barceloneta “, Skyline Terraza, Passeig Joan de Borbo´ 54, Barcelona.

Read an interesting article in Spanish “Pinotxo en la Barceloneta” about this hotel that appeared in the Lavanguardia newspress:

The morning after, before heading back home ,why not spend some time on the wonderful San Sebastian beach that is close by; or stroll along the Las Ramblas; do some retail therapy in those nifty boutiques.

But whatever you do , visit their website ( it is in Espanol and English ) as it displays some beautiful views of the marina..worth a peek just for that unique views of the harbour and the city skyline.

PHISH BAIT or fish bait?

When living in these areas of the River Ebro and the Delta one escapes to a local village “casal” to avoid the afternoon heat and absorb your daily fix of “Cafe Americano, while other tourists may be downing cold beer, but you soon learn alcohol and sunshine don´t mix.

 You stretch out and relax. “Bueno!” It is not long before one overhears vivid and often, argumentaive discussions about what is the best fish bait to use for reeling in the giant catfish or the enormous and entrepid carp found in these waters.

So it was with interest when I turned on the computer yesterday to read about another type:

“Don’t Be Phish Bait”  by Jody Brannon, Inside MSN Editor

If something drops into your INBOX about MSN lottery winner “you are one of 10 “don´t get your hopes up. Do not rush out and buy a new SAAB or 4 x 4 off road vehicle. MSN would NOT run a lottery nor would BILL GATES.

My Silicon Valley brother constantly reminds me ” Sister… if something looks to good to be true, it probably is just that.- “SPAM” . This junk mail takes the alias of Phish Bait and not the spam you got in tins of World War 2 ration packs, and still available ( a new batch though, not out of date) and is still popular with Ebro fishermen.

So it was no surprise that I came across this weblink:“.

They do give you some good and sound advice. It is applicable the world over and arms you with valid information to protect you against these fraudulent con artists, while you relocate or retire. So don´t leave your good and educated judgement at Luton airport. Bring a dose of healthy skepticism with use and arm yourself against these fraudlent skammers. These people are very persuasive. So take a “cooling off period of 7 days”, ( like you would do with a massive life-changing contract), if you receive unexpected “winnings” via the internet.

 Michael Quinion explains PHISHERS as:

“Phishers lure unsuspecting visitors to fake Web sites that look like those of legitimate organisations. The aim is to persuade people to give their passwords and credit-card information, which the thief can then exploit”;

 Be aware! Internet fraud is rife! It is often sods law they hit your email when you are at your lowest or financially stricken, as another big bill has hit the mat.


Welcome – Bienvenido -Benvingut

Hello Baix Ebre,

We are the Voice of the Ebro! Irrespective of your country of origin or your mother tongue,we will strive to bring people and business enterprises together.

How? Through integrated discussions by us in English, Spanish, Catalan, Dutch or other commonly used European language.

We aim to promote local business, to share local information, news, opinions, ideas, issues and solutions. There are so many varieties of sport available and other hobby activities to be explored and expanded on.

Yet, we must always to be aware of the wonderful environment in which we all live and be vigilant in preserving and protecting it.

Chat about experiences and anything and everything that is relevant to living abroad, investing in a second home for pleasure, retirement or relocation or just pure vacation.

If you would like to air an query, a problem, a solution – the Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Humourous side of living in Spain and Catalonia, eaten out somewhere nice, wish to advertise your business (whatever it may be) please contact us in a European language you are comfortable at:

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