Category: Vacation Rentals (Page 1 of 2)

The Caravan

Farmstay

By our guest blogger Sue (aka slightleynuts)

Now we are living in our house it was a question of what to do with the caravan? A few people suggested offering it for rent. People might enjoy the experience off grid, or on  small farm living abroad.

Learning to live using solar power and no piped mains water is a challenge! I remember (in England) how I took for granted switching on a light or turning on a tap or just the simple pleasure of hopping in and out of the shower without thinking about the water consumption or the power it tool to work the pump!!

“It seemed a good idea, we have been working towards getting the caravan ready.”

1IMG_20140824_155219This area made a big difference, it doubled our living area.

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We spent many evenings stargazing and listening to music, or entertaining friends.

 

 

 

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It seems so much bigger now there are not 4 dogs lolling all over the place.

 

 

 

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I remember trying to make honeycomb and the whole caravan filling up with bees!

 

 

 

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Its been a real trip down memory lane for us and now is finally ready for renting. A holiday with a bit of something different. You can learn about “Living off grid” or trying to become self sustainable.

 

 

 

The caravan has 3 bedrooms which sleep 2 people in each. The living room also has a hide away double bed, so it can sleep between 6/8 people. “It has its own BBQ”

So if you or anybody you know would be interested in coming to stay please contact me. We are set net to Els Ports Parc Natural in Catalunya Spain. There are many cycling and walking routes locally, a variety of beaches, natural pools all within a 30/40 minute drive and the local town of Tortosa is set on the River Ebro. Famous for its fishing. especially cat fishing.

Im more than happy to show you around our little farm and intoduce you to some of the characters!! Maybe try your hand at goat herding!! Or just come and say Hi to Pickle 🙂

If you are interested then come have a look at the goat escape

For more of our guest blogger Sue please visit http://slightleynuts.blogspot.com.es/

My two new books out just in time for Xmas

My publisher has been busy so now my new kid’s novel Has Anyone Seen Kelvyn? is out in both eBook/Kindle and print version. May take a while to trickle up on Amazon or other bookstores, but I have print copies if you want one, or you can order them from www.FodenPress.com.

This is the third book in The Chimona Chronicles series and as the cover gives you a hint, involves some travels down the Okanagan Valley in B.C. Canada. We have already heard that adults are enjoying it as much as kids, just like before.

And when they read it to the younger set, they can once again follow along with the illustrations. For the first time, my brother Geoph is the illustrator. He has maintained the style from the earlier books, plus he likes to sneak in little details.. so look carefully at the pictures.

I look forward to finishing book 4 (and maybe even 5) next year, even as I start putting together adult stories too.

Talking of which, my editor Kyra Dawson has put together a great new online writer’s guild called Scriboriuma gathering place for independent writers. Here we are sharing hints and knowledge and publicity and feedback for all the guild members. And on top of all that, she pulled together seven of us to cooperate on writing an anthology of short stories. Since it was her idea, she got to pick the theme and genre this year: Horror or Paranormal, with a Christmas angle.

At first this was a real challenge for me since I really do not like horror stories. But as a professional writer I thought I can do anything if I put my mind to it. Of course my story in the book is very local – and set here in the Ebro valley. Some of you may even know the actual location – and many of the characters are only thinly disguised family members. I hope you enjoy Christmas Reunion at Villa El Figueral. Mine is the third story in A Very Scary ChristmasA Scriborium Short Story Anthology. It is already out in ebook/kindle format, as well as print. See www.fodenpress.com or contact me. But these stories are definitely not for very young children!

P.S. Contact me after Christmas if you have friends or family who would like to stay for a self catering holiday at the newly renovated and enlarged real El Figueral right on the Ebro river itself.

© 2012 – All rights reserved – BrighterSpain.com

Do I write or do I weed?

“I´ll make your tea and toast in a minute, Mom,” I say, without looking up from the keyboard. That was an hour ago. Mom had quite happily dosed off in her chair with the warm sun rays lighting up her very good mop of hair for 84 years of age. Oh well, I was never cut out for all this  nursey-carey larkey stuff. Anyway, she is fed and watered now, so back to the question of the day.

Do I write or do I weed?

The voice of practicality commands, “Weed girl. Get them weeds up before the earth is sun baked and rock hard!”

The voice of emotion whispers, “Sod the weeds! Write away to your hearts content. The weeds will still be there tomorrow. Write while the ideas are tumbling about – that fountain of ideas may not be flowing tomorrow. Never waste an idea. Write it down. Write it now!”

Okay, okay, I hear you both. Write first and weed later – maybe or maybe not.

I had oodles of email from my www.LinkedIn.com writers’  and Expats groups to catch up on. This is not a complaint, mind you, I do enjoy them. I do learn an awful lot from them. I relish hearing the debates between  professional writers of all different calibres. I feel like I am on a steep learning curve on some of the discussions. I am not feint-hearted. I hear what they are saying. I mull it over (while weeding, when I do eventually get outdoors) and often think  “Hey, that idea / style  might just work in another series in my Chimona Chronicles.Mmmmh…”

www.Chimona.com

Chimona Chronicles: How kelvyn got his name

Chimona Chronicles: How kelvyn got his name

When I first moved to the Ebro River Valley I felt starved of intellect momentus. I craved discussion and debate outside the normal Expat lament of dodgey builders and not quite British building materials. I soon tired of eavesdropping and hearing the character assasinations of fellow expats, “If you are a fisherman first by definition,  then of course you are a bona fide brickey, plumber, sparkey or lumberjack!”

My sons then home on leave, hooked me up to Facebook and I can track them wherever the MOD send them. Aha! I also became a Scrabble-maniac, but my sons beat me into a word pulp, but I am not a quitter. I have made very good friends of  like minded lingusitics stature around the world and just good friends, old and new, who love to play for fun. You needn´t feel lonely out here. It is also a great place to share your photo albums and reunite with long lost classmates ( I know I have found mine from South Africa – be then scattered around the world) and even mislaid cousins – one is settled in New Zealand. Now I never did get to new Zealand. I wonder what she would say I turned up one day like Dick Whittington.

Another great source of inspiration, both mentally and inspirational for writing and contacts have been joining www.LinkedIn.com. It is so easy to do. All you need is an email address and a password and slowly you develop your profile, or edit it as you see fit to do. I have found a huge cluster of other Expat writers and writers of children books on there. Illustrators and publishers abound to. You can choose which groups you wish to belong to under the Category you have assigned yourself to. Often my friends on LinkedIn are my friends on Facebook too. These casual social networks can interlink with the more professional ones. If you are wearing the entrepeneur cap or would aspire to be one,this is just the place to share your views and ask questions or start discussions. You will be amazed how the right and brighter people home in to help you.

Not quite sure if I did ever answer my rhetorical question: Should I write or should I weed?

Oh well better show willing…Weeds Attack! Attack!

Correfoc -pyrotechnic celebration – 12th September -Tortosa

Don’t forget tomorrow 12 th September, 2009 when Correfoc will start at 20:30 in Tortosa

English version

The Correfoc is a pyrotechnic celebration, celebrated mostly in Catalonia. It has its roots in the “Ball de Diables” (devil dance) in the 12th century. In the Correfoc, the attendants participate more actively than in the “Ball de Diables.”

Explosions, the brilliance from the fire and the whispering from the percussion create a deafening environment and accelerates the vibrations. It’s an indescribable feeling. In the darkness, horns silhouettes dancing and jumping in the middle of the deluge of the fire in an breathtaking environment of sweat and burnt gunpowder.

Catalan version

El Correfoc és un acte pirotècnic celebrat majoritàriament a Catalunya. Té les seves arrels en el Ball de diables ja documentat en el segle XII. Al correfoc, el public participa molt més activament que al Ball de Diables.

L’esclat del tro, la lluentor del foc, el fum i el remoreig dels tabals creen un ambient ensordidor i acceleren les vibracions. l’efecte Ă©s indescriptible. En la foscor, siluetes amb banyes dansen i salten enmig d’un diluvi de foc en un ambient irrespirable de suor i pĂłlvora cremada.

Gerard Vidal Pallares

http://www.youtube.com/user/logolafre

http://www.logolafre.com/catala/contingut/secundaries/diables/diables.htm

http://www.logolafre.com/catala/contingut/principals/fotos/fotos.htm

Did you book one of those bargain Ryanair flights for October or one with EasyJet between 1stOct-16thDec 2009)?

You did? Fabulous. I was thrilled to see that Ryanair was still planning on flights into Reus from the more regional airports of Bristol and Liverpool.

There has been a lot of grumbles about Ryanair slashing flights out of London – Stanstead (news reported 21st July) and Manchester (headlines 17th August) because the overheads at those giants are extortionate. This is only good news for the smaller airports. We look forward to seeing the timetable from Leeds Bradford airport, and Mr. Marketing Director, we need flights from there into Reus, not Barcelona where Jet2 fly into. Then those who flew from Manchester can now run up to Yorkshire instead of the other way round.

11th August it was reported “jobs for Yorkshire”. Great! Ryanair reckons over a 1000 local jobs will evolve to support and sustain their services on the outskirts of Leeds. So the White Rose wins the “flight” war in the War of Roses again.

So www.EasyJet.com is too offering amazing deals before midnight on the 8th September so do hurry. The perk about their offer is you can fly between … right up to the 15th December 2009.Plus you get free car upgrade and a bonus by being entered into a super duper holiday prize draw.

Booked your flight, so the next step is to decide where are you going to stay and what are you going to do out here. We can help, advise or we can point you in the right direction. www.BrighterSpain.com.

The swallows are gathering in the UK ready for a winter destination in Africa. Our swallows in the Lower Ebro River Valley are still making their nests under whichever eaves they can find. This is a sign our warm weather will linger on for awhile yet, so maybe our autumn will be kind to us again this year.

Weather update today:

Tortosa .Southern Catalonia.Spain

Sunny to hot – 35 degrees celcius

Sat writing in my costume with a welcoming breeze blowing across the Lower Ebro Valley.
Outcome: “Perfect! Just Perfect Ma!”

Festes de la Cinta in Tortosa 5th -12th September 20009

Just when you think the fiestas are nearly all over we have a wonderful one in Tortosa with lots of activities going on in the main park, behind the police station.

The dates are. 5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12

http://www.tortosa.cat/webajt/festes/cinta09/programa.asp

The nights the Expats and tourists seem to enjoy the most is on Saturday 12th September at 20:30

http://www.tortosa.cat/webajt/festes/cinta09/programa/dissabte12.html

20.30 h. Sortida del XXVI Correfoc de les Terres de l’Ebre.

Please keep hold of little one’s hands during the route the ” correfoc” (fireworks display team) take through the streets of Tortosa. British safety standards do not apply!
However, this procession is a photographic opportunity. Everyone will be held in awe at the magnificent fireworks and how they move and rotate along their path. Let the children have an afternoon siesta so they can share in the family orientated fiesta.

It is a delightful night where all languages and cultures intermingle. Just wonderful!

Wells catfishing coupled with a WELLer welcome

Brighter Bed & breakfast

Brighter bed & breakfast

Rain, rain and more dismal weather seems to be in play for the British summer. So why not take a few days off and a have a short break in Southern Catalonia?

There are so many local British airports now flying into our nearest airport at Reus, near Tarragona. Bristol is another one that has come on board recently. Also you can fly in from Scotland now.  We are only  a pleasant drive from Reus airport down the AP7 and exit at junction 40 for Tortosa.

We have a lovely new bed & breakfast “grand chalet” in Terrapico (soon to be displayed on our sister site at www.BrighterSpain.com). This is set in the most wonderful tranquil countryside with a panoramic view of the Ebro Valley stretching down towards the delta and being embraced by mountains in the distance on each side. It is so refreshing to watch the sun rise as you await your breakfast being served in delightful surroundings by your most charming hostess, Juliet Weller. Your days can be spent on the River Ebro with your experienced fishing guide and host Steve Weller or spend lazy evenings as you gaze in awe at the most colourful sunsets as it dips over Mont Caro. Days can be spent relaxing by a very good size pool.

Tranquil panoramic views

Tranquil panoramic views

Half-board is available. Please order an evening meal in the morning if required. Alternatively you can have a private BBQ by the poolside.

Packages are available for fishing guide and accommodation.

However, this area if very popular with cyclists, “twitchers”, hikers and ramblers. Perhaps, you are are having family  over and just don’t have enough bedrooms. No problem! Juliet will be able to help you with your overspill. One nighters are accepted as well as longer stays.

Terrapico’s brighter bed & breakfast is ideally situated.  Within 30minutes or less , you can be driving aimlessly through the natural park of the Ebro Delta and heading for some beautiful sandy beaches that are not crowded like the ones of Salou and Costa Bravo. This region is in the Costa Daurado with so many different beaches to choose from. Local golf courses are not far from here either. There is so many different activities and exploring to do in this area, with a wealth of cuisine and fiestas to experience!

Choices! Choices! Choices!

Steve & Juliet Wellier

Steve & Juliet Weller

Please contact www.BrighterSpain.com. These prices of 25 euros per night are exceptional value for Bed & Breakfast in such an exceptional home.

Cats enjoy there luxurious holidays at Claudia’s cat-retreat

It is always a big worry when we are travelling away from our homes in Spain as to where we can house our beloved cats. Maybe the neighbour is not that keen to look after them anymore. Dogs are easier to find kennels. But house sitters for cats are becoming impossible to find.

We have found a solution.

Claudia’s Cat hotel is “estupendo” in Baix Emporda, Costa Bravo. Many of us fly out of either Girona or El Prat airport at Barcelona, so reaching Claudia is not that big an ordeal. Besides if you are driving back up through Spain to France on the E15 /AP7 Autopisto del MEditerranèo you will bypass Claudia anyway ,as she is just off the C31.

So what does Claudia offer?

First and foremost : peace of mind.

Secondly: a wonderful accommodation

Thirdly: everything you could wish for for your darling Leo or Leonè

Accommodation:blessed with individual garden rooms with interior bedroom . Each cat run has a double safety door to prevent escape attempts. This is all year round accommodation as the cat bedrooms are heated. How luxurious is that! Your cat will receive the best quality food, care and personal attention.

For more information please contact Claudia at : <!– @page { size: 8.27in 11.69in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } –>

(34) 654 984 777

Claudia's Cat hotel

I am tired of going to the same old, same old beaches. I want variety.

I am not saying that these beaches that I regularly visit are not glorious. Rather I am bored with them. I want to try somewhere different but not where I have to spend hours couped up travelling long distances in this summer heat.

So where do I go? Do I go north from Terres del Ebre or do I go south?

South won! We trundled off down towards Vinaros ( less than 20 minutes from Amposta where the C12 joins the N340 south) with no set destination in mind. Just looking out for different beaches to try.

We cross over from Catalonia into Valencia province. We leave the River Ebro behind us and soon drive over Rio Senia. We spot our favourite garden centre on the right and as a force of habit turn off  the N340 south, into the slip road.

Now I am in a quandry. One signpost says beach “platje /playa” and the other is the big beckoning sign “Jardineria Dalmau”. All my green fingers are screaming to choose the latter, tempting, but I won’t develop a sun tan in there nor dip my toes in the “MediterrĂ neo”.

Okay, I head for the beach, which is only a short hop from that garden centre. What is more it is the start of an exhilerating ride and the unfolding of so many different beaches and changing coastline.

There  were so  many. Here is a few to try:-

Les Deveses

Les Timbes

Les Llantes

Roca Plana

La Foradada

Les Cales

El Pstor

El Traidor

El PInar

Barbiguers

For Forat

Fort

Fondo de Boal

Cala Puntal

Maybe you don’t want the hassel of finding parking or worrying about parking metres . Not a problem. Take the train and  only a short walk to some wonderful beaches.

Which is my favourite beach here in Vinaròs?

All of them – each one enveloped me.

I will be back to try some more out!

Little Britain 24-7.com

One no longer need groan at the exorbitant prices charged by so called “English” shops up and down Catalonia, there are some new guys on the blocks!

Well, we welcome Tim and Elisa.

We all become sun lounger lizards through these hot months and dread having to change just to go into town to shop. Why not cut back on those trips by giving them a ring on 696 894 134. Alternatively, you may shop on line literally 24 -7, quickly, stress free and not standing in long queues. Tim and Elisa deliver free to the Tortosa area and some other popular spots too.

This is like your old English corner shop – a one stop convenience store. They enable you to buy British food and household items at such competitive prices. I am a frugal shopper and have not seen such good prices displayed anywhere else.

www.littlebritain24-7.com

There is always something for everyone from a needs must to, “Ooh, I do miss my Bisto or what I wouldn’t give for a slice of Soreen malt loaf”. You are spoiled for choice with over 2000 different products available.

But  maybe, just maybe there is something you can’t find online, just ask. They will do their cordial best to obtain the products you need.

Don’t forget if you are not on the internet, just call them on : 696 894 134 .

You will not regret it. You will not be disappointed!

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