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Published: March 30th 2019
We've had a few hectic weeks of packing, cleaning and generally trying to sort our lives out before once again upping sticks and moving to a new place and a new job (why we still put ourselves through it I will never know, although I think we thrive on the stress and excitement!). Oh and throw into the mix a week's holiday where we only get back the day before we leave makes it even more interesting! As you can imagine the day we arrive back is a bit manic and our day is spent doing about 5 loads of washing and then trying to dry it all on the radiator, followed by last minute packing and a final clean of the apartment. But we manage to get it done and sit down for an hour to have one last drink to relax before the madness truly begins. The ferry company phone us later on in the day and I start to panic they have cancelled our ferry, but the lady confirms that our ferry will be leaving at 5pm the next day and she wants to let us know that me and the dog will have to walk onto the
ferry whilst Greg drives on which is fine and to be expected. I'm glad it's nothing sinister and put it to the back of my mind.
That all changes though when I wake up the next morning and Greg tells me he has received a message in the middle of the night from Balearia to tell us our ferry will now not be leaving until 9.45pm and will be leaving from Valencia instead of Denia (another hour and a bit drive away). I'm really not amused especially as it means we won't arrive until about 3am the next morning and i'm due to start work at 8.30am. They have said they will bus us up from Denia to Valencia which I find amusing considering we are taking the car with us, unless they are going to tow it behind the bus. I could cry in frustration and tell Greg to phone them to ask them how they are going to compensate us, so he gives them a ring. Things go from bad to worse as we are then informed we haven't actually booked a car onto the ferry and need to ay an extra 160 euros for the privilege!
So in the space of 5 minutes we've gone from asking for compensation to having to give them more money!! My stress levels have gone through the roof and when Greg asks me if I want to go ahead and book the car on I think my look tells him everything he needs to know. Surely it can't get any worse but then Greg informs me the new arrival time into Mallorca is actually scheduled for 7.25am meaning not only will we arrive an hour before I am meant to be starting my first day at work, but the dog will be stuck in a cage for over 9 hours, and we're only allowed to visit him twice.
This time I really am in full meltdown mode and there's no way I can possibly go to work based on our new circumstances. But I feel torn as I don't want to let the team down and its not really a great first impression. Greg can see my anguish and offers to phone our new boss who is actually really understanding so that makes me feel a little better. And then we speak to the hotel we have booked for
the first night and explain our circumstances and they are also really sympathetic and accommodating and offer a free late check out until 3pm so we can at least get a few hours sleep which is really appreciated. And finally, Sergio our new dog sitter is quite happy for us to drop Nacho off a little bit later than planned, so again that's another problem solved. So by mid afternoon i've managed to calm down a little and we decide to head out for lunch to get some fresh air and clear our heads a little. I guess it gives us a few more hours to get organised!
We leave in plenty of time (for a change and knowing our previous track records of rushing around) and manage to get everything precariously balanced and packed into the car which is thankfully slightly bigger than Charlie the Clio, even with the addition of a dog in the boot. We say a final goodbye to the flat (for now) and off we head in search of the next new adventure! We decide not to take the toll roads as it isn't that much quicker, but then as we get past Benidorm, the arrival time on our sat nav jumps up by 15 minutes, then 25 minutes and then 45 minutes so I start to get a bit worried. We would still get there in time but we take the decision to drive the second half of the journey on the toll road in case we get caught in traffic (how sensible we are becoming). It works in our favour and we arrive over an hour and a half early. I'm getting a bit panicky about having to walk onto the ferry on my own as my spanish isn't as good as Gregs, plus I don't actually have the tickets as Greg had to just download the new ones onto his phone (which don't seem to work on mine). But as we drive through, they don't even seem to take a second glance at who is in the car, so much so that when we board the ferry we are wondering whether our new ticket says that there is also a dog travelling with us. Greg secretly hopes it means we can sneak him on board with us but i'm dubious.
Once we've parked up, we head onto the main deck and notice the area for pets so i'm feeling quite anxious now. We open the door and there are about another 8 dogs in there all in cages and barking away nervously which doesn't calm my nerves or Nacho's. The staff member says we can pick any cage so we choose one next to and across from some dogs that seem quite relaxed and aren't barking so I hope they will be a calming influence on our boy. The size of the cage is actually really big and clean so at least thats one thing. We ask the guy if we should put water inside and he just shrugs which is reassuring! But we put his bowl in anyway. We have also brought his bed which I am glad about as otherwise he would be sleeping on a metal floor. Nacho goes in easily enough but when he realises he is staying in there, he gets a bit stressed and my heart breaks a little as he starts pawing at the cage door and gives us the most betrayed look as we go to leave. Its too much for me and I have to run out as tears prick my eyes. Greg reassures me he will be fine but I know he feels bad too.
The journey itself is as long as I expect it to be, and we've concluded this is obviously the travel of choice for the common Spanish jake. We get by watching some pre-recorded TV on our laptop and once we are allowed to see Nacho, we rush at the chance. He is super excited to see us, but tries desperately to escape the cage and his eyes are as big as saucers which is really horrible. And once again when we leave him I am really upset. But the employee informs us each cage has their own camera attached, and there is an app we can go on where we can actually watch them live in their cage. So for the next 7 hours I constantly log on just to see how he is getting on much to the annoyance of Greg. But it helps to put my mind at ease and on the whole, he doesn't seem as bad as I thought he would. One of the very few plus sides of the ferry.
Even though we arrive as expected, by the time all the other cars are offloaded it is nearly 8.30am and then by the time we get to our hotel it is nearly 9am so we are knackered, having only grabbed about an hour and a half's sleep. The lady at the hotel is lovely and confirms our late check out once again. After taking our boy on a walk to stretch his legs after his ordeal, we climb into bed and get a few hours sleep before having to check out.
The reason we only stayed one night and then moved onto another hotel is a bit long winded. You see, originally we had booked a hotel for the week which was classified as dog friendly. But then we found out it is only dog friendly for dogs under 5kg! (which Nacho clearly is not however which way you look at him). The hotel confirmed they couldn't accept him, so we had no choice but to ask for a refund. Problem is, the choice of other hotels that are dog friendly in the area and reasonably priced are somewhat lacking and by this time we had also found a dog sitter to look after Nacho whilst we are at work. So we decide we only really need a dog friendly hotel for the first night we arrive until we can take him to the dog sitters the next day, and the rest of the week we can just stay in a normal hotel as we can leave Nacho with the dogsitter overnight. So that's what we do.
Anyway, as I say, we check out and then head on to find out where Sergio lives so we can drop off Nacho. I feel terrible at leaving him again, but we don't really have much choice as we wouldn't have been able to leave him in a strange hotel room all day whilst at work anyway. Sergio seems lovely and Nacho seems happy enough to be there, so we try not to think too much about it and just hope he will settle and be comfortable. At least he will be living in a house and not in kennels which is a bonus. There's no rest for the wicked as we then have a viewing booked to see an apartment which had been passed on to us by one of our new colleagues. I'm hoping we like it as it would save us a lot of hassle trying to find somewhere in the middle of starting a new job, but we'll see what happens. We don't want to just take somewhere either for the sake of taking somewhere.
As soon as we drive into santa ponsa we get a good feeling and a positive vibe from the place. We find the address which is on a really nice, quiet street across the road from a leafy park. The only two downsides are there are pine trees in the front garden with a few processionary caterpillar nests in them (which are evil little insects that can kill dogs) and it is at the top of a hill… but it doesn't put us off completely and we will reserve judgement to see what the rest of the apartment is like. Once we get inside, we both love the place as it is nice and light and airy and has a lovely big kitchen and aircon too. And its within our price range! It takes us all of 5 minutes once we have left the apartment to say we will take it, and when she says thats fine we are delighted! We do have a mission on us to find a bed as there isn't one provided, but I think we can live with that. There's no agency fee which is most definitely a bonus. And the processionary caterpillars will die off within the next few weeks so as long as we are careful then we should be fine with nacho.
All that's left for me now is to start worrying about our training course tomorrow (if its not one thing its another…). We check into our new hotel (sans Nacho) and realise it is a 2 minute walk to the hotel where the training is being held, which is a lucky fluke! Breakfast and dinner are provided in our package at the hotel (which also looks far too nice to be in our budget) so we get unpacked and then stuff ourselves full at the buffet (to be fair all we've ate so far today is a mini ham and cheese roll and a shared plate of chips, so I think we deserve it!) Let's see what tomorrow brings. I toss and turn for a while going through what to say if we need to introduce ourselves in front of everyone but hope we won't need to…
We must have been really tired last night as I end up falling asleep much quicker than I thought I would, and actually manage to stay asleep for a change. But I’m still feeling quite tired this morning and am thinking that I could do with one more full nights sleep to catch up and get back to normal. The anxiety of meeting our new team and introducing myself has crept back with a vengeance and I can feel my stomach churning with nerves (but it doesn't stop me filling up on breakfast at the hotel buffet). It's also raining outside which doesn't really lighten my mood or make me feel any brighter, as I power walk down the street with my folder above my head to try and stop my hair from going all frizzy. We're one of the first to arrive which is a bonus, and soon we are being introduced to new members of the team in a whirlwind of new faces and names to remember. But everyone genuinely seems lovely and appears really happy to meet us and have us on the team. Our new team leaders in particular seem lovely and are so welcoming it puts me at ease. That is until we enter the training room and my dreaded fear comes to fruition – we have to stand up and tell everyone who we are and a bit about ourselves, eek!! I opt to go first so I can get it out of the way and relax a bit, but i'm still surprised at how nervous my voice actually sounds when i'm talking. I really do hate speaking in front of a crowd, which is surprising considering I had to do it a lot in one of my previous jobs and I have to do several see off speeches on the coaches every day but there you go. I finally get it out of the way and can relax. Lunch is another buffet at a nearby hotel, which is the next level up to ours (which is still nice but not 5 star like this one!). The afternoon passes in a quick blur and then we are done! I feel more relaxed but also knackered.
Greg and I opt to go for a long walk to talk through the day and get some fresh air into our lungs. Along the way we see a woman walking her pig on the beach, which is certainly a sight to see! We head back to the hotel in time for (another) buffet dinner and I chuckle as we choose the same seats as we did last night and this morning. But then I look around the restaurant and notice the same faces from last night also sitting in the same seats and it makes me smile at how we are all creatures of habit when it comes to it. Finally we settle in for the evening and catch up on emails etc before crashing into bed in anticipation of another full day's training ahead.
The rest of the week goes by quickly, especially as we have so much to learn at work and then our downtime is filled with looking for beds and generally trying to get organised for our move at the weekend which I am really looking forward to. We end up spending three hours one evening in Ikea which is not a fun experience and they deliberately design the layout so you are trapped in the shop for as long as possible. It's nice staying in a hotel but at the same time you don't have the comforts of home, and as much as I am enjoying the buffet breakfasts and dinners, I don;t know how much more moussaka (the chefs favourite thing to cook it would seem) and fresh pineapple (not together) I can take. Plus I think i've put on at least 2kg in a week! We're also missing our boy and can't wait to see him in a few days.
Work has been fine and not as scary as I was imagining. In fact, most of the processes are pretty much the same as what we already did in Alicante which is reassuring. The only other thing that's been a slight worry is I've noticed I have developed a rather unsightly rash/red blotches all over my stomach, chest and back. I put it to the back of my mind and assume its probably something that's bitten me whilst staying in the hotel. I'll keep an eye on it and see how it goes as we've got plenty of other things to be getting on with.
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