At the end of 2000 I finally got sufficiently fed up with being randomly investigated by the inland revenue every year to do something other than argue.
I spent a little bit of time studying where in Europe would be best to live and decided on Spain. I got the OK on this plan from the wife in principle, though at this stage I don't think she actually envisaged really moving.
Having decided on Spain, it was now time to decide where abouts in Spain.
All the "buy a house in Spain" promotion seemed to be centered around Torrevieja on the southern Costa Blanca you must have seen the adverts, mansion for 10 grand etc, etc.
After a little more research it seemed that Northern Costa Blanca had the ideal mix of climate, accesibility and social life, so I set about hunting for somewhere to rent in the area, the plan being to spend 6 months on the Northern Costa Blanca and 6 months down south in the Andalucian region.
Found a villa in Calpe and after e-mail discussions with the owners, decided it seemed an ideal place to spend 6 months, but would like to visit to check out all was as it appeared to be and to ensure we would be compatible with the owners.
(should point out here that a lot of Spanish houses are on 2 levels, but both levels are self contained so one half can be rented out)
We went out in November 2001 on a charter holiday based in Benidorm and drove up to Calpe to spend a day or two. We got on so well that we only spent the last night at the apartment in Benidorm. We confirmed there and then that we would rent the villa for 6 months, January to June 2002
Back home we had a lot to do, rent the UK house out, pack, arrange getting down to Spain in January and of course I had to go back to work (see Nigeria).
We managed to arrange to swap our car for a friends van to carry our 2 motorcycles and whatever clothes etc we wanted to take, then book the ferry, naturally I forgot that the Plymouth to Santander ferry does not run in winter, so Plymouth to Roscoff was the best option, allbeit with a 1200 mile drive through France to get to our new home.
The drive down took 2 days (not including the overnight ferry crossing), we broke the journey just outside Toulouse and ,arrived, mid afternoon the following day.