Monday, November 11, 2019

Something to celebrate


It's not like you need an excuse to go out for a meal with friends. However, Pam and I first came to live in Bigastro 15 years ago and so we invited Pepe and Eladia to join us at Bar Pujante yesterday for a celebratory lunch. 

Little did we suspect that they would mark the occasion by preparing a delicious soplillo, complete with candles, for us.

For those of you who have not tried this local speciality, we highly recommend it.

A huge thanks to Eladia and Pepe, you are the best neighbours and friends anyone could wish for.




As for the rest of the meal: Bar Pujante have two set menus. We chose the one below but then substituted calamares in batter for the meat balls.


Monday, November 04, 2019

New improvements


Monday, October 21, 2019

New episode of DANA / GotaFría .

 Information from Meteo Orihuela

"This time, the most intense rains will be recorded in Catalonia and the IslasBaleares . Expected evolution of rainfall during the next hours and days, with cumulative estimates. .

In the peninsular southeast end, the most likely rain interval ranges from the late hours of Monday night 21 until noon or early hours of tomorrow afternoon Tuesday 22. In general, rainfall of moderate intensity, without locally discarding any "arreón" of strong intensity (more likely on the coast). No more Don't forget the umbrella and wrap up!"

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Huge congratulations

 David Gomez Sanchez, from Bigastro Team Running, completed a 24 hour run in aid of “Contra el Cancer de Mama”.

His run started in Bigastro at 5pm on Friday and finished on Saturday at 5pm.

In all he completed two circuits of the course set including two ascents of the Sierra Orihuela. As you can see from the stats recorded, he ran 114.3kms and climber 3,880m.

Hopefully, he will have raised a lot of money from sponsorship to help this worthy cause.

PS Kudos goes to the secretary, Fonta Bigastro and other members of the club for their asistance.

That's David Gomez Sanchez on the left in the grey. 



Friday, October 18, 2019

More rain to come

Gota frias are a feature of Autumn/Winter in Southern Spain. Normally they spell a day or so of heavy rain but no more. The one in September was intense and caused a lot of damage but was not the norm.

The one forecast for Monday afternoon into Tuesday should be less intense and hopefully will not add significantly to the problems that some areas have already faced.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

A message from Scout John

Hi folks, 

 Just to let you all know that the annual flu jabs will be available at the medical centre

at the end of October, beginning of November.

 Keep smiling,   John

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Moving up in Style


 Saying farewell. I really enjoyed my Yeti. I liked the fact that it dared to be different to the other SUVs on the market.

My new car though is technically a lot more advanced than the Yeti with some very interesting technology to make the car safer and more interesting to drive.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Tonight's entertainment


Monday, October 07, 2019

Prepare for BREXIT

4 important things that the British citizens should do in relation to Brexit:

1. Register as residents requesting an appointment with the Police to obtain the green certificate. Registration at the Town Hall (‘empadronamiento’) is not enough. According to Royal Decree-Law 5/2019 of March 1 a grace period of 21 months will be enabled if the Brexit departure is without agreement or a transition period also of 21 months in case of departure with agreement, so that British citizens can register as residents in Spain. If they do it after the departure date (10/31/2019) they will have to justify that they were already residents before that date by means of receipt of supplies, etc.

2. Enrol correctly at the social security, that is, request the SIP card by applying for the S-1 form at the NHS in UK. You must remember that the European health card is only for holiday makers. Even so, until the end of 2020, the British citizens will continue to receive healthcare, thanks to an agreement between Spain and the UK.

3. Exchange the driving license into a Spanish one. If the exit from the EU is without agreement, there will be a grace period of 9 months to make this exchange. UK will continue to accept all European driving.

4. You must check the validity of your passport. If you only have about 6 months of validity left, you must request renewal. The process must be done online through the following website www.gov.uk

To find out more check these links:

https://www.gov.uk/world/spain, and click in the link about Brexit https://www.gov.uk/world/spain#/world/brexit-spain to register their e-mail to receive relevant information on this topic.
In the following link there is more information about living in Spain https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-spain 
You can also find information about Brexit in the British Embassy Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BritsInSpain/ 

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Go David, go....

David Gomez Sanchez will run non stop for 24 hours for this wonderful cause.

He aims to start at 5pm on Friday in Bigastro and return at 5pm on Saturday.

You can donate by bank transfer to the account in the poster -

ES08 2100 4687 5102 9928 2746

In the pink

Bigastro was turned pink this morning when hundreds turned up to walk around the town in aid of the AECC "Day Against Breast Cancer".

An enormous amount of work on the part of the organisers lead to a bar stocked full with food and drink for those that had walked and a vast array of raffle prizes.




Thursday, October 03, 2019

The importance of English


New courses of English have been announced.

The clean up continues

Local police ask us not to park in these streets so that a proper clean up operation can take place.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Fake news

There has been a lot of fake news about Brexit since 2016 when the referendum voted leave.

Both sides have tried to whip people up and polarise them against the opposing camp.

This though has to be amongst the worst I have seen and came from one of the Facebook extremist groups.

It relies upon the fact that most people are unaware of the Lisbon Treaty and what it entails.

Those people who read this stuff  need to stop, think and ask themselves, "would the 27 other countries in the EU ever sign up to these rules?"  because if they apply to Britain, then they must also apply to the rest of the EU.

And now in the UK

 Having just suffered a gota fria that devastated large parts of the Vega Baja, we know only too well what Britain is suffering as storms hit the country causing flooding in various parts.

We hope that our friends and family and indeed everyone are safe.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Going green

Saying farewell

The handover

Those of you were used to seeing Pam and I in the white Citigo will will now have to get used to the new green car.

The white car was a very basic spec and it showed in the interior. The new car is more upmarket and a much nicer space to be in.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Playing to his hand

Since becoming Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has had a rough time of it. He's lost seven votes in the Commons, been accused of misleading the Queen by the Supreme Court, has been accused of inciting violence with his language and will face investigatioins both whilst he worked at the Spectator and whilst he was Mayor of London. At the Spectator, in 1999, he allegedly groped a reporter's thigh. and whilst he was Mayor, he approved grants to an American lady who, it is claimed, he had a sexual relatioinship with.

Most people would have cracked by now and asked, "is it worth it" but Johnson is on a mission to "get Brexit done" by any means possible. He may or may not have ulterior motives but again that is just speculation.

Faced with all the bad publicity, you would think that his popularity and that of the Tory Party would have declined but apparently that is not true according to various polls. It seems that there are swathes of the British public who like him and are prepared to dismiss any allegations made about him. Some causually brush off his misdemeanours and say, "that's just Boris".

Boris likened himself to the Hulk and warned that making him angry makes him stronger and he may have a point there.  They say that there is no such thing as bad publicity and mybe that is true of Boris Johnson.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

As if being flooded out wasn't enough


As the flood waters subside, they leave pools of water - the perfect breeding ground for tiger mosquitoes. We are advised to make sure there are no such breeding grounds around our houses.

In Bigastro, the Council have already engaged a company to fumigate public areas where the standing water would provide places where the females will lay eggs.

As we know, it is the females who will bite to suck the blood they need to give them strength. Tiger mosquito bites are particularly nastty. 



Too close for comfort

It was impossible to comprehend the force of water that was devasting our town. It is only in retrospect that we have videos that show just how bad it was.

In this video, posted on Facebook, you can see the raging torrent that swept down Avenida Europa. For those people, living by the path of the water, it must have been terrifying to look ouit and see this much water and the speed that it was travelling.

Just down the road

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Little has changed

In this photo posted by MeteoOrihuela you can see that there is little difference between the extent of flooding in 1946 (top photo) and 2019 (bottom photo).


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The problems continue

The situation today

Beyond imagination.

Getting to Orihuela


The N-332  is likely to be closed shortly as it passes through Guardamar due to overflow of irrigation canals. The CV-920 from Guardamar to Rojales, by the "Rincon de Luna" has already been covered with water but remains open to traffic, so it is recommended to drive slowly and with caution.

Today, the open access roads to Orihuela are the following:

From Alicante, Elche, Crevillente , etc., the A7 motorway to the Redován exit, then continue on the N-340 National road to the Renault roundabout, then on the CV-930. Continue on CV-930 to Los Huertos road, where you will access Orihuela. Finally on Duque de Tamames Street, Francisco Tormo de Haro to  Ociopía shopping centre. Also possible to go by  the N-340 to the Ociopía shopping centre.

From Murcia , Highway A7, exit through the municipality of Santomera to join the N-340 (Murcia-Alicante), arrival to Ociopía shopping centre.

From Torrevieja CV-95 to Bigastro, take a detour along CV-923 to Hurchillo and from there to Arneva. Once in Arneva, take the Tubes del Trasvase road to CV-921 (Arneva road), finally arriving at Oriolanos Ausentes street to take Tormo de Haro street and from there to the Ociopía shopping centre.

From Jacarilla and Benejúzar , the same itinerary as from Torrevieja, departing from Bigastro.

From Mojón and Zeneta, take CV-923, to Arneva, then take CV-921 to Orihuela, Oriolanos Ausentes street, Tormo de Haro and finally Ociopía.

From Callosa de Segura , take Rafal direction to San Bartolomé and along the CV-91 to La Campaneta and Orihuela.

From Beniel to Orihuela , by road CV-915.

From Albatera, Cox, Farm, etc. , use N-340 to the Renault roundabout, where the CV-930 will be incorporated. Continue on CV-930 to Los Huertos road, where you will access Orihuela. Finally, through the Prince of Asturias Street, Duke of Tamames, Francisco Tormo de Haro until arrival at the Ociopía shopping center. You can continue instead of the beltway, by the N-340 to the tunnel and Ociopia.

La Murada, Abanilla, etc. , take the Virgin road from the road to the National Highway N-340, we will continue to the Renault roundabout, where the CV-930 will be incorporated. Continue on CV-930 to Los Huertos road, where you will access Orihuela. Finally on Duque de Tamames Street, Francisco Tormo de Haro until arrival at Ociopía shopping center. You can continue instead of the ring road, along the N-340 to the tunnel and Ociopia.

From Redován , the CV-900 road along the Escorratel to the N-340, where the Renault dealership, where the CV-930 will be incorporated. Continue on CV-930 to Los Huertos road, where you will access Orihuela. Finally, on Avenida Principe de Asturias, Duke de Tamames, Francisco Tormo de Haro until arriving at the Ociopía shopping center. You can continue instead of the ring road, along the N-340 to the tunnel and Ociopia.

N-340 road tunnel passing through Orihuela, open both ways.

From Montepinar and La Matanza take the A7 motorway to the Redován exit, where you will take N-340 to Tunnel and Ociopía, or CV-930 to Los Huertos road, where you will access Orihuela. Finally, on Avenida Principe de Asturias, Duke de Tamames, Francisco Tormo de Haro until arriving at the Ociopía shopping center. You can continue instead of the ring road, along the N-340 to the tunnel and Ociopia.

On the Tubos del Trasvase road there are several points of difficulty. They recommend not to pass especially in the double curve of Reguerón and at the height of the Middle Way.

The CV-925 (Orihuela-Hurchillo), the CV-95 section from Bigastro to Orihuela, the CV-920 from Molins and from Barrio Mariano Cases are cut. From Almoradí, Dolores, Catral, etc. without service so far, as well as from Benejúzar to San Bartolomé.

Access to the A7 from Orihuela is cut , you must take it from Santomera or from Redován.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Poco a poco

Slowly, day by day a sense of normality returns. Roads that were closed for days are gradually being cleared and reopened.

The schools in Bigastro and public buildings will reopen today.

The Sports Centre though is still under water and so remains closed.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Hearts of Gold

The congregation at the Salt Church in Los Montesinos, via Sheila Rowlands who lives on our estate, have sent some food and cleaning materials for the people in Bigastro who have need at this terrible time.

They say that, if we let them know, they will collect further anything that is needed to help.

It is at times like these when we see the best in people. Many thanks to Sheila and the congregation on behalf of the people of Bigastro.

Compensation

For those who have suffered damage or loss due to the recent bad weather, it is important to make a claim as soon as you can. 

The Insurance Compensation Consortium operates an Extraordinary Risk Insurance system which you can use.

How to claim

Basic needs

Hiperber Supermarket in Bigastro say that they will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. today.
They have stocks of bottled mineral water.

It is ironic that, after all the rainwater that flooded down into the town, that there is now a problem with water. It is because the pipework has been damaged in the streets affected. Likewise, there were houses that did not have electricity.

Yesterday, the Town Hall arranged to have tankers in the street with water for those affected.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

A disaster






The situation is as bad as it gets.

 When Pam and I went down to get some food, we could have wept at the sights we saw.

 There are many parts of the town without water and electricity. The fire brigade and the Unidad Militar de Emerencias are busy pumping out water from houses and basements and people are busy clearing out the ruined items from their houses.

Many streets are closed including the roads to Jacarilla and the road to Hurchillo. The latest call for help is for volunteers to assist on Calle Príncipe de Asturias.

Pictures from other nearby towns are, if anything, worse. Redovan and Almoradi for example are facing severe problems.

Our hearts go out

We are very fortunate that, living on a hill as we do. Pam and I were spared most of the awful effects of this bad weather. Although it was very worrying watching and hearing the storms develop, Pam and I suffered no more that a full pool that needed lowering and a few hours of lost sleep.

The same cannot be said for those living on lower land which is now completely flooded. Many have lost cars, furniture, possessions etc etc. The waters will gradually subside in the days to come but the damage will take much longer to repair and the possessions longer to replace.

The blessing is that most Spaniards are stoical and at the same time caring. They will help each other to recover from this incident and hopefully it will just become a bad memory for those that were effected.

The latest message from the Mayor:

The Emergency situation is still active.

All notices communicated by the RRSS of the City of Bigastro are still active.

I beg you to be attentive to the communications that are issued from the City Council.

We must remain calm and show our solidarity with our neighbours in our town and the rest of the region affected by this terrible situation we are living.

As the day progresses, we will receive support from the resources authorised by the provincial, regional and national public administrations for the work of water drainage and cleaning of flooded areas.

It is at these times when we must demonstrate the solidarity and responsible character that characterises the people of Bigastro.

The aftermath

Orihuela

Almoradi

Friday, September 13, 2019

Is there no end to this?

The advice is not to go out unless you really have to. Bigastro is still in lock down with the roads closed. In case of a medical emergency, call 112. The industrial estate is closed, the Metro roundabout is impassible as is the new one at General Banuls.

Notice from the Bigastro Town Hall to residents, especially those on Calle Thomas Villanueva: the emergency services are preparing to evacuate those people in flooded houses. Advice is to phone 112 for assistance and to go up as high as you can.

In Redovan, they are appealing for anyone with a 4x4 vehicle to help rescue people who are trapped in flooded houses.

The river Segura has started to overflow in Orihuela so the situation there is even worse. Looking at my pool, it is about to overflow even though I dropped the water level yesterday. So much rain, where is it coming from and when will it end?

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Take heed folks


Don't even try to go there

In case you thought of going to Orihuela:-

The Local Police of Orihuela has informed at 12 noon. that all access roads to the town centre are cut off to the circulation of vehicles.

The local police here in Bigastro are telling people who have cars in the underground car park at La Paz to move them pronto because it is in danger of flooding.

On Facebook you will find videos of flooding in various towns including Callosa Del Segura. No doubt that Torrevieja will be flooded. There is even a video showing sewerage coming up through the toilets at Vega Baja Hospital and one of a stock of new cars at a garage that are under water.

The best advice is to stay indoors with a book. If there is a break in the rain, it might be the chance to let the dog out for a toilet stop!

Update: If you were thinking of going into Bigastro, forget it - the local police have closed all the roads in the centre of town. Folks, this is bad. 

Surely enough is enough

Prime Minister Johnson has faced a baptism by fire during his first weeks in office.

  • He lost 6 votes in the House of Commons. 
  • He sacked 21 of of his MPs including ex Cabinet Ministers and the grandson of Winston Churchill. 
  • He lost further MPs from his party including his own brother and now commands a minority. 
  • He has been found guilty of lying to the Queen by a Scottish Court. 
  • He was accused of using an address in front of Police cadets for political purposes. 
  • He has made it clear that he is prepared to break the law and ignore orders from Parliament.
  • He has been shown to have lied to the public about the effects of a no deal Brexit - "vanishingly inexpensive" and "bumps in the road" as he called them. 
  • He refuses to release documents, emails, messages etc that would prove he was prepared to lie to the Queen.  
  • etc etc. 

Precautions

The first rainfall of this episode of Isolated Depression in High Levels (DANA) that is moving from sea to land last night came to the Vega Baja region dropping up to 40 litres per square metre in Torrevieja, 30 litres per square metre in Orihuela and  more than 20 litres per square metre in locations such as Bigastro, Almoradí and Callosa de Segura.

In the coming hours, the rains will gain in intensity and extent in the south of the province of Alicante, so the 'red' alert of the State Meteorological Agency will be maintained.

All the municipalities of the Vega Baja have decided to suspend the teaching day in schools as well as outdoor activities and in municipal centres on Thursday.

The weather will change as the day progresses, we could have periods of calm followed by heavy rain and thunder. Tomorrow will be much the same and then things should start to calm down on Saturday.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Rainy days ahead


Wednesday

Thursday

Saturday, September 07, 2019

A very sad day


Antonio was a great friend to many. He taught most of the young people in the town whilst he was at the local primary school and he taught us Spanish.

We will miss him dearly and wish that he was still here.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Flesh on the bone please



We know there is at least one fibre optic cable in the Telefonica trunking because we saw it being laid. I recall seeing a cable being laid previously by a company called Bitel who have an office in Bigastro. Now there is a second cable put there by Vega Fibra.

The leaflets in our boxes set out the bare bones of the deal - symmetrical connection (unlike ADSL) of 300Mb for 24,90 or for speed demons 600Mb for 29,90. Both with free installation.

It seems you can add on a mobile contract as well and pay nothing until 2020.

 What we need to know though is a bit more about the deal, an explanation in English would be useful.

For example, can we dispense with the Telefonica connection and the line rental and just pay for an internet connection? Will Vega Fibra install just a cable modem or will they supply a wi-fi router? How long do we have to contract for?

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Watch out for this

A summer classic is coming ! Rain of stars Perseidas or Tears of San Lorenzo . The best time to observe this will be during the early hours of Tuesday, August 13, especially from 5:00 h (just when the  Moon is hidden ) until dawn.


Saturday, August 10, 2019

Fiesta Queens 2019

It was a fabulous night with some interesting changes from the traditions of the past including the Valencian Anthem at the end.

Friday, August 09, 2019

For your entertainment


Join the party


Enjoy a snack and a drink among friends. 

A 100m water slide - just the ticket on a hot afternoon.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Ready to party?



Monday, August 05, 2019

Our last respects

Last night, in the Town Park, we paid tribute to Francisco Grau Vegara. Francisco Grau was born in Bigastro and rose to become the only Musical General in the Spanish army. He wrote many musical pieces including a revision of the Spanish National Anthem.

Although his funeral was held in Madrid. his ashes have been brought back to Bigastro.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Time to reflect


Saturday, July 27, 2019

Tonight


Tonight, the Juvenile Court, the Infant Court and the Third Age Queen will attend their first official function at the Fiesta for Santa Ana.