Posted by: Dee Andrews | June 19, 2008

No Internet?!

We have been here in the countryside of Nerja and Frigiliana for four days now. We have a three bedroom house, which delighted the girls since they can finally have their own rooms, a pool and view of the sea, and a washing machine in the kitchen. Pretty much all one could ask for!
We are past our jet lag and settling into Spanish time with siestas in the afternoon, a late dinner around 9 or 10pm and bed near midnight. The girls think it’s pretty cool to get to stay up so late. Our first days have been full of time in the pool, trips to the beach once or twice, and trying to find an internet connection! Scott and I had no idea that it would be so difficult to get connected. We’ve been to all three major cell phone companies to inquire about dongles (even learned what those are, basically a little USB modem that gives you wireless on the go.) Two of the three require a residence card and local bank account before you can sign up for a plan, so that counts us out. (We’re still waiting on our visas which will then allow us to apply for a residency card.) The third does have a “pay-as-you-go” option which is not ideal but may get us through the first months. However, they are “out” of it this week and might get some in next week or perhaps the following. It was rather unclear, especially since I don’t speak Spanish and they didn’t speak much English. I was just impressed I got as much information as I did! So, I suppose it’s our first encounter with the Spanish concept of “manana” or tomorrow or tomorrow or tomorrow!
In the meantime, I found three cafes that provide free Wi-Fi service so we’ve upgraded to those over the internet café that charges 2 Euros/per hour. (About $3.50/hour and going up as we speak since the dollar is so weak!) I also managed to find the post office this morning, (.78 Euros for a stamp to the States or about $1.30 to send a postcard. Makes that recent USPS penny increase to $.42 not seem too bad all of a sudden!) We have found the grocery stores but they are rather bare these days. The truck drivers here in Spain are on strike due to the high costs of fuel so grocery stores are starting to feel the pinch. After three tries with the local milk, we have found one that the girls say tastes most like our Royal Crest Dairy in Boulder and will eat on their frosted shredded wheats. Yogurt, prosciutto, salami, eggs, cheese, tomatoes and olives are rounding out our meals. And, of course, Fanta orange soda! The girls loved it two years ago when we were here and assume it is just part of living here in Spain. They’ve been rationed to once a day though this time!
We are all reading a lot. Grace “More Spaghetti, I Say,” Scott “The Shock Doctrine,” Dee “Without Reservations”, and Emma’s been through at least three books in our week here, including book five of “Warriors,” “The Boy Trap,” and “Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything,” who sounds and looks a lot like Romona but has to deal with her cousin from China moving in with her instead of a pesky little brother.
Both girls are writing lots of letters and postcards and missing their friends. They will be in a summer camp in the mornings when we reach our next town, outside of Javea, where they will take Spanish, art, and swimming.
We are going to Frigiliana after siesta today to explore the town and find dinner. It’s a small white village perched on a steep hillside that looks quintessential Spanish. We shall see!


  1. I have a Google alert setup for Frigiliana and have just been reading your posts about your adventure. (FYI: The other alert I got was about a Russian mafia suspect being arrested in his Frigiliana country estate!). We love Frigiliana and have an apartment there which is occupied this summer hence we we will be holidaying in Nerja in early July.

    I can recommend a great restaurant Las Chinas (new part of town, calle San Sebastian?) for cheap and good food with excelent service, looking forward to it when we get there.

    Anyway, you sound like you are enjoying your trip (lack of internet not withstanding) and I’m quite envious of your adventure – hope it goes well for you.

  2. Hi there,

    We’re thinking of renting a house in Frigiliana and are talking to some people right now. And should be there in about a month.

    Any information on starting a life there would be very much appreciated, especially from a North American view. (My husband is from BC). And I am curious how that internet situation works out!

    How far is it really to the beach?

    My email addres:


  3. Hello Kathleen,

    We spent a lovely last night in Frigiliana at the restaurant Mark recommended here, Las Chinas. There was a concert in the park behind us so it was a festive evening with dinner at the tables in the street and Elvis playing in the background!

    I would guess it’s at least a 20 minute drive to the beach from Frigiliana, perhaps I go slow through the curves and round-abouts though. But add some time to find parking too. We really liked that Frigiliana was a Spanish village but Nerja and the beach nearby. The heat and bugs got to us though; we’re used to cool Colorado nights!

    Good luck!


  4. Hi Dee,

    visiting Frigiliana in September and taking my laptop (not by choice). You mention 3 cafes that offer free wifi. Can you tell me where these are and address. Isn’t there one in Firgiliana? (read somewhere?)

    Also the 3rd company offering pay as you go mobile broadband with the dongle. What was the name of that company?

    many thanks

  5. Hi Bill,

    The best one (free, high speed, usually easy parking, nice atmosphere) was in Nerja at H20, which is down off Burriana Beach. There is also one in the old town, right off the beach, though I don’t remember the name. It’s a Spanish restaurant with a hostal above. There is a sign in the window that says WiFi. There was also a internet cafe right around the corner, Cafe Europe I seem to remember, but it was expensive, crowded, hot. Not my favorite.

    I don’t know about ones in Frigiliana. My tactic in each new town is to go to the Tourist Office and ask for the free WiFi restaurants or plazas. I’ve had success every time, though some are better than others.

    We bought our dongle through Vodafone. In Nerja, their store is near the two internet places in the old town. The tourist office near there can mark it for you on a map. They were out of it when we were there so hopefully now have some in stock! There is also a Vodafone store in Alemuncar.

    Not that you asked or may be of interest, but the caves there in Nerja are beyond spectatular if you’re looking for an amazing and cool activity.



  6. There is a bar in Frigiliana by the municipal swimming pool, it’s called Splash, where there is free wifi acess. Just take a drink whilst you are there, they are quite happy with that. We have also checked mail by piggybacking a signal below El Portón, (recommended restaurant!) in the carpark below. There is also an internet cafe in the Calle Real, the main street.

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