A week already since my last blog, and over a week since my birthday.
We had a lovely day in Melilla celebrating my birthday, and the fact that we've managed to stay the course for over a year here in Med-Saidia. We drove to Beni-Enzar, parked up and walked the short distance to cross the border. Possibly one of the quickest crossings I have ever done. Tried to get the bus, but as there were so many cars queued up to go into Morocco the bus was stuck a mile or so down the road, so we took a cab the short distance into town. A whole €4.
As there is now a two hour difference between Morocco and Melilla, after a quick look in the Chinese 'everything store', we went to a restaurant called 'Casa Juanito'. This was a recommendation from a Spanish colleague of ours. The place specialises in fish dishes and I had the 'slap-up' meal that I was craving after almost a month of Ramadan. Fabulous ! Mr V. got his red meat fix and we were very happy campers by the time we departed. Apparently even David Beckham has eaten there! If it's good enough for ol' Dave, it's good enough for my birthday meal ! I wonder what he had ?
To help digest we wondered along the beach front then sat and watched the world that is Melilla pass us by. It's a very different life, things just plod along in the sunshine. Lots of 4x4 cars though.
We did our pork product and sangria shop in SuperSol Supermarket and then headed for the border. Just outside 'no-mans land' we noticed there were about 500 vehicles queuing to get into Morocco. How glad were we that we'd left the car in Morocco!? Well as it turned out, we arrived at the border control post just as they were shutting shop. Why you might ask? Well, breaking of the fast at sunset because of Ramadan. Dinner time. Grubs up. It would seem that even borders get completely closed at this time. So, there we were with our trolley full of 'goodies' (mostly raw), and all we could do was sit and wait for the customs guy to eat and drink his fill. To be fair, he was pretty good, and only made us and the 15 pedestrians wait about 40 minutes. The people in cars by this stage were getting quite irate. The understandably wanted to get across to break fast too - in Morocco. The horns were blaring there were people ranting and raving - ahhhh, just another day at the border with Melilla, and we've heard this is a good crossing point ?! Think I will actively give Ceuta and Tangier a miss.
So, what's going on in Med-Saidia nowadays? In truth, not a whole lot. We had Eid-Al-Fitr on Monday 21st September, this is the end of Ramadan when Muslims celebrate the end of fasting and thank Allah for His help with their month-long act of self-control. Since then not much action on site. I think quite a lot of people take extra holiday at this time. So, not much happening during Ramadan - understandable in this heat and not being able to eat or drink. Then seemingly not much happening after Ramadan. Then the rains come, so not much happens ... Then it's Christmas!? For us anyway. If and when we see some life happening in Med-Saidia, we'll update you.
Oh one thing. We have had it confirmed by the Manager of the hotel, that the Barcelo is indeed closing on September 30th 2009. It will reopen 1st May 2010. The Iberostar ceased operation on 15th September 2009, and is due to reopen on 1st March 2010. Why? Well after their initial 'season' I think they've more than realised, they have some things to finish and redo before the next paying guests arrive. Although they did OK, it is necessary to finish the places.
There are quite a number of owners and a few holiday makers coming to Med-Saidia over the next few weeks. Making to most of the still gorgeous, sunny weather and warm sea. It is a real shame that Fadesa turned off the swimming pools, as it really is still warm enough to be able to use them - I do hope this changes in the future?!
So, it would seem that Fadesa are now trying to railroad owners into accepting Property Management Companies on each of the AP plots. Basically because they haven't advised people that the meetings are taking place. In a nutshell, this will mean that we as owners will have to start to pay a monthly levy. That is not a problem, I for one will be happy to pay a levy as long as I know that all the outstanding issues that are apparent now are all completely rectified prior to our funds being utilised.
For instance, the burst pipes all over the development? The sewerage problems? The lack of rubbish collection Sinking roads and pavements? Dead trees dotted around everywhere? These things should be in place before we pay. We were promised a "luxury resort" - currently, well it's a resort, but I cannot hand on heart say that there is much luxury around. I am pretty certain that all those people that were here for this summer season are likely to agree with me on the above points.
A Property Management Company appointed by Fadesa will tow the Fadesa line, and will likely be unresponsive to the residents and their views. It's very likely that they will not confirm with the relevant authorities, that what was supposed to be delivered by Fadesa, actually is. One example: the size of the swimming pool on AP6.
I hope I am wrong. I hope they prove me wrong. I truly do.
However, I would say to everyone, stand up and be heard NOW. Right now. If you leave it and expect someone else to do everything for you, you will have no rights to complain in the future.
I'm sure this is not what you want to hear, but it's the truth.
I look forward to meeting you to swap stories.