Yesterday was the anniversary of our arrival in Bigastro. We'd booked flights to Spain on many occasions before but that day, fourteen years ago, was different because our flights were one way.
Everything was set, we visited the Bureau that was handling the purchase and signed the agreement for the final payment to be transferred to the builders. Then it was just a matter of waiting a few days for all our belongings to arrive in two large vans.
Those first weeks were busy as we settled into our new house and started the process of creating a home. There was also a great deal of paperwork to sort out including NIE numbers, Spanish wills etc etc.
At first, we felt like strangers in not just a new town but a new country. There was a lot to learn. Naturally, we bonded first with our British neighbours and took part in the events that they were organising.
However we were determined not just to be "Brits living in the sun", we wanted to learn the language as best we could and get involved in the culture of the town. My interest in photography helped a great deal as the pictures I took became noticed by the Town Hall.
Over the years we have learnt more and more about the town and its cultural history. We have attended concerts and got to know some of the musicians. We have also attended many other events and learnt of their importance. Our growing interest attracted the attention of the local council, many of the local associations and our Spanish neighbours who now refer to us as bigastrense.
Our Spanish neighbours seemed to like our willingness to become involved and have been very supportive of us. It could have been different, they could have regarded us as intrusive but no, they have welcomed us with open arms.
2017 was made a special year for us when the lady Mayor, via the Town Hall, asked us to be Third Age King and Queen at the annual fiesta. The warm reception we received during that special week is something that we will always remember.
So after fourteen years, do we have any regrets? None whatsoever. For Pam and I, it has proved to be the perfect place to retire to. Bigastro has become the place where we want to be.
We look forward to many more years in our happy home.