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This is Peter and Maureen Scargill's Spanish website. We live in Galera in Andalusia (for clarity, that is the English spelling - Mid-Spain they spell it Andalucia and pronounce it "And-a-loo-thee-a").

We've had a home in Spain for more than 14 years and it is now our permanent base though we retain a small home in the UK.

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Archive

All Change: 4G+ Lower Pricing in Spain

Mobile Operators

Elsewhere in here I’ve gone into detail about our struggle here in Galera with broadband, starting with the takeover of “Habland” broadband company who then became “Excom”, renegged on promises of fibre to the extremes of our village, denied that for years that they had always offered a variable rate for dish broadband users etc…. it’s a long sordid story fully detailed here. After much well-documented research I decided to move to 4G+ for our broadband – again detailed in the link above – so here’s an important update:

I originally tried various companies for 4G+ mobile – with 5G being spotty or unavailable in our area. 4G+ can manage speeds of maybe 150Mbps/sec download depending on signal strength and with a strong signal makes for viable broadband at a cost well below that of Starlink and avalable in those areas where fibre seems impossible.

The companies over time I tried include Simyo, Hits (virtual operators) and MANY others – most of which offer “unlimited” 4G+ at the top end but who in reality have fair use policies meaning “unlimited” is not unlimited. Ultimately I settled on Digi for “broadband” i.e. (almost uniquely) truly unlimited 4G+ data at €25 a month + Xenet (who’s “unlimited” offer €21 a month is in fact limited to 300GB) for my phone and as a backup – the tariff I chose for Xenet is €14/month for 140GB max, an ideal combination for me and the two companies have worke well for others I’ve advised. Before anyone comments – Movistar and Lycamobile prices are higher.

Changes for 2024 include pricing changes for Digi – who have NOW (recently announced here) reduced their UNLIMITED account to €20/month – apparently without penalty and automatically applied for existing customers like me. Interesting given inflation in all other walks of life…..

Digi unlimited

So, short summary – for me at least, Digi and Xenet continue to offer the best combos – but where Xenet have not made changes for 2024, Digi have not only reduced their €25 offering to €20 but also changed their lower offerings, making them more desirable even than Xenet for limited data with the changes shown below:

Digi pricing

I plan to transfer my phone number (without penalty) from Xenet (€14/month for 140GB) to Digi (€13/month for 100GB which accumulates if unused – unlike Xenet) with an overall combined saving of €6/month also slightly less but potentially more (accumulating unused) mobile data. Interestingly, Digi also continue to offer an unbeatable bottom-of-range price of €3 for 3GB

I hope others find this information useful (I only stress that you should check signal levels in your area before adopting 4G+ for broadband). I’m not in any way in the pockets of either company.

January 2024 in Southern Spain

Looking at this scene, you could be forgiven for thinking this was autumn or spring… nope – early January up near Guardamar – driving around nearby seaside towns such as Benijofar with our friends Rolly and Sarah.

Pasteleria in Benijofar at the coast

Below, a spot of breakfast at the American diner in Benijofar… for reference, I didn’t have the “Buster”…

The American diner at the coast - Benijofar - very nice breakfast
American breakfast in Benijofar on the east coast of southern Spain - January 2024

I pan to revisit Benijofar as soon a possible – early February, weather permitting. It is so easy to take for granted the winter weather on the east coast of Spain but I’m currently back in the frozen wastes of the Northeast of England – and trust me it is cold and generally wet and windy here.

And anyway, if you have a car and are travelling down south from Alicante airport, the area is a no-brainer and far more interesting than the motorway route unless you’re in a mad rush.

I plan to get one of those American Diner milkshakes asap… having just been to Burger King whose milkshakes are fairly dire – and having also recently tried to get a shake from various McDonalds without success (for many years a favourite with me – I’d get just the shake – today, the machines are invariably out of order), what do we have to lose 🙂

Sick of being ignored by your current Internet provider?

Habland Internet dish and external modem

This entry is predominently aimed at readers in our corner of Spain who are looking for a better broadband setup and has been very much updated in early 2024. In the area where we live and in our village of Galera 18840 in particular, choices are limited as to Internet providers… or are they?

This entry was originally started back in May 2022, is primarily (but not exclusively) for people in the outskirts of Galera (and probably other areas including Huescar) who have broadband issues and actually want to solve them. It COULD however have some interest for pretty much anyone looking to escape the clutches of their broadband provider where there is a reliable 4G/5G signal available with comments about other “solutions”.

If my experiences seem like they might be of use to you, then further down, for one option, you would need a half-decent mobile signal and be prepared to pick the right Spanish mobile (yes – mobile) operator for the job – don’t pick and choose from this article – remember – most mobile “unlimited data” contracts are a con – i.e. they have a “fair use” policy – in other words – NOT unlimited. I THINK that Starlink has a monthly “fair use” limit – but not 100% sure. Keep reading….

Read the rest of this entry »

Autumn in Southern Spain – I Love It

Since the intence heat of August is no longer with us and now that the Saharan “Calima” has given up, it’s time to actually get stuff done not to mention a spot of entertaining and travelling around.

Dust storm from Africa

Just had a UK pal of mine visit for a few days and we went to check on the local lake (which has frighteningly low water level) ending in a late-Sunday visit to a magical area nearby with waterfalls, a stream and more, ending in a coffee stop an hour or so east of us at Pozo Alcon.

Lake Negratin

Yesterday, Maureen and I visited the lovely small town of Cela (near Tijola and half an hour southeast of Baza, our nearest large town here in Granada province) for a relaxing sunday picnic and she went off for a short swim in Balsa De Cela… the weather was absolutely ideal.

Cela - the pool

You can’t beat a pool when the weather is hot (nice heat just off-season). Unfortunately lots of the local facilities are closed (poolside restaurants, one of the bars etc) persumably as this is the time of year the Spanish take breaks. Can’t have everything.

Maureen in the pool at Cela

I could see another trip to Cela in the spring – lovely place. Above, Maureen had just gotten over the initial shock of the cold water and went on to have a good swim.

Balsa De Cela

Weekend now over, things to do, people to see, places to go. Well, the first two anyway 🙂

Big excursion of the week – Thader

Just an airport run to pick up the boss but decided on an overnight stoppover..

B&B Hotel Murcia
B&B Hotel

Not the most picturesque hotel (needs trees) but awfully handy for the motorway and shopping (2 minute walk to Thader shopping centre) as a stopover on the way to Alicante Airport.

Thader Shopping Centre
Thader Shopping Centre
Thader Shopping centre
Cute

Oh and had a trip to Brico Depot in Crevellent – as always – beats B&Q hands down despite being from the same parent company.

Brico Depot
Brico Depot

The Now Defunct Emilios and Far from defunct 3JJJs

For years, my favourite breakfast spot was Emilios bar/restaurant on the road from Huescar to Baza via Castillejar. Nothing better than a quiet breakfast outside in the sun at this delightful but now sadly defunct bar just past Los Carriones on the A4200 route from Huescar and on to Benamourel and Baza.

Emillios

Sadly now closed but just further west a km or so is the Bar 3JJJs with its shop which sells lots of English food for those who like to buy English food (generally not a fan with exceptions). Google Maps rightly calls the shop Supermercado El Salto but seems to make no reference to the 3JJJs displayed proudly on the wall of this smaller but pleasant cafe. I’m not one for unhealthy “Full English” breakfast but made an exception this week and can recommend the place for said full English as well as my more normal coffee (cafe con leche) and “tostada con tomate” breakfast. Staff are pleasant and a good if simple atmosphere.

Bar Las 3JJJs

For me you can’t beat a simple tostada – not pre-made but with toast, a bowl of tomato, a bottle of olive oil and salt, out in the country away from towns and the noise.

Mid-September update

Slight amendment to 3JJJs recommendation – this week gone I ordered tostada con tomate e queso fundida (toast with tomato and melted cheese) – the tomatoes, instead of being finely chopped as usual came simply sliced complete with skin etc… didn’t enjoy that at all, others might. Never come across that in spain in all the years we’ve been here. Won’t try that again.