Gran Canaria Pet Insurance

Gran Canaria pet insurance for peace of mind

Gran Canaria pet insurance for peace of mind

There are lots of vets in Gran Canaria and you’d think it would make vet treatment cheap, but the cost of repeat visits and medication soon adds up.

Operations are expensive, and the cost of having a pet rises as it gets older.

If you decide to get a dog or a cat in Gran Canaria, pet insurance is a good idea. Read More

Gran Canaria Funeral Insurance Saves Hassle & Money

Funeral insurance in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria Funeral insurance

Death in Gran Canaria starts off a long chain of paperwork and can be expensive for your family.

If you get funeral insurance, you spare your loved ones from a huge amount of extra hassle and pain as your broker deals with the bureaucracy and procedures associated with death in Spain. Read More

Gran Canaria Business Insurance With English-Speaking Brokers

Gran Canaria business insurance makes sure that your are protected from the unexpected

Gran Canaria business insurance makes sure that your are protected from the unexpected

If you’re moving to Gran Canaria and plan to open a business, or you are already a business owner in Gran Canaria, then you need business insurance.

Caser Expat now offers Gran Canaria business insurance to all Gran Canaria residents via its resident brokers Nayra and Victor.

Insuring your business with Caser Expats has a couple of huge benefits. Read More

5 Essential Tips About Gran Canaria Expat Insurance

When you relocate to Gran Canaria, everybody from the bank to your accountant and gestoria wants to sell you insurance.

It’s because Spanish insurance companies pay generous commissions for high-quality but uninsured clients.

Then you have price comparison websites, and a huge selection of local insurance brokers. Where do you go for good insurance? Read More

One Guru’s Gran Canaria Car Insurance Nightmare

Don't fall into the bar Gran Canaria car insurance trap

Gran Canaria car insurance: Don’t fall into the bar car insurance trap in Gran Canaria

Alex Bramwell: We bought a second-hand car in Gran Canaria over 10 years ago. A Ford Focus in fetching sky blue. 

It’s got the standard Las Palmas dents and scrapes, but has never given us any serious gip.

But 15 months ago, someone bumped into it while it was parked by our house. Luckily they were honest and the insurance companies moved in.

Insurance that you pay for twice?

Read More

Anticompetitive Canarian Holiday Rental Restrictions Challenged In Court

Canary Islands tourist rental laws challenged on competition grounds

Canary Islands tourist rental laws challenged on competition grounds

The Spanish Competition Authority is to challenge the Canary Islands Tourist Rental Law in the Canarian Supreme Court.

The Comisión Nacional del Mercado de la Competencia (CNMC) believes that the law imposes a range of unnecessary restrictions that don’t correct a fault in the market or protect a public service. As such, it is to challenge the rules in court.

Amongst the rules that the CNMC regards as unjustified or anti-competitive are the ban on private rentals in resort areas, the ban on single renting out rooms in a private property, and the need to register each property before renting. Read More

Gran Canaria Hasn’t Been This full Of A-listers Since 1956. Here’s Why Hollywood Is Back

The original Gran Canaria blockbuster back in 1954

The original Gran Canaria blockbuster back in 1956

When Shirley Maclaine filmed Wild Oats in Gran Canaria, she wrote a book about the experience.

It’s mostly about how she reconnected with her past life in Atlantis while the film crew searched the island’s sofas for change; Wild Oats was a shoestring production.

But they got it filmed and you can read all about it in Above the Line: My Wild Oats Adventure (if you dare). It’s a fascinating account of how a Hollywood diva sees the world from her suite.

At least the book made it into print. Wild Oats is still in post-production and doesn’t have a release date.

Showbusiness eh! Read More

The Zen Art Of Surviving Gran Canaria Bureaucracy

The zen art of surviving Gran Canaria bureaucracy

The zen art of surviving Gran Canaria bureaucracy

This article contains the secret to effortless paperwork in Gran Canaria. A secret that guarantees that you’ll never sit for hours in the wrong queue for a paper you don’t need. 

Then we’ll tell you where the toothless 15th Century pirate Pedro Cabrón buried his treasure.

No, we won’t. We’re only Gurus, not gods.

All we can do is help with the creeping darkness that consumes your soul when you deal with Gran Canaria’s bureaucracy.

As for El Cabrón’s treasure, legend has it that it’s buried somewhere on the east coast of Gran Canaria. Find his false teeth and you get the booty.

Know your adversary

The Spanish civil service is a sprawling conglomerate created by committee and run by middle management. The boss is on holiday and the one person who knows how it works is on Maternity leave. Forever.

The Canarian Government is a franchise that lost the rule book but carried on regardless.

Your local ayuntamiento is a lemonade stand run by aliens.

Tráfico is an out-of-control ATM that only works in reverse.

Hacienda is a bigger ATM. With a gun.

Before you give up and move to Norway, remember that nobody ever died while queueing for a form. Government offices in Gran Canaria don’t open for long enough for that.

Inefficient but not corrupt, unless you’re rich

Saying that Gran Canaria bureaucracy is inefficient is unfair to the hard-working funcionarios who dedicate their  days to making problems go away.

Unfortunately, they only accept very big bribes.

That’s a joke.

An awkward, edge-of-the-seat joke that makes people squirm. Especially if the envelope of Bin Ladens (500 euro notes) is still in their back pocket.

And it really isn’t fair to the many funcionarios who do try their hardest to help the sweating messes who sit down at their desks.

There are far more of them than you think.

Zen Tip: When you find one, befriend their families, bring them chocolates and offer them no-strings sex.

The zen art of surviving Gran Canaria bureaucracy

The first stage of survival is preparation.

The photocopier is your friend

You need the originals and at least five photocopies of every single identity document that you possess. Think five is too many? It isn’t, especially if you plan to visit multiple offices in one day. Make it 10.

Remember that while the NIE is a universal ID number in Spain, the social security issues it’s own ID numbers. Yes, it makes our eye twitch too.

And that the Libro de Familia does have a use (let us know if you discover it).

Do it write: Take a pen

Government departments don’t provide them because disgruntled folk stay sane by stealing them.

Zen Tip: Take two and make someone’s day.

Pay the price; Take money

You need change to pay for the forms that you queue to fill in. Just to annoy, the form desk never has change.

And take cash as trips down Funcionario Lane often involve popping out to the bank to pay a fee.

Where’s the nearest bank?

Ask the security guard on the door.

Zen Tip: The security guard knows everything.

Queueing is an opportunity

Since you know that you are going to spend all day queueing, treat it as an opportunity.

An opportunity to catch up on your emails, or read that book you nearly finished on the beach. Or to catch up on your meditation. Odds are that you’ll attain enlightenment just before Desk 6 calls your number.

But  you won’t be allowed into Nirvana because you forgot a photocopy.

Zen Tip: Never use headphones  in Spanish queues. Funcionarios regard them as a personal insult and will ruin your day.

Accept the inevitable

The zen art of surviving the Canarian queue is to accept that you are doomed to fail, at least temporarily.

When you find out that you’re missing a final bit of paper, or that Señor Vital Stamp is on holiday, take it in your loser stride.

Zen Tip: Always tell yourself that everyone gets their paper in the end. It’s not true, but it’ll keep you going until rum O’clock.

Pay someone to help

Italy recently made headlines because of a new breed of professional queuers. Spain invented them years ago.

They are called gestorias. For a reasonable fee, a gestoria takes over the entire process of getting your Gran Canaria paperwork sorted out.

You do, of course, have to queue in their office to sign the bits of paper that authorise them to do it. Good ones give you a biscuit while you wait.

Never lose control

If the whole process is getting you down, if queue rage is growing within you and your inner shouty guiri is about to escape, do what the locals do and go for coffee.

Scared you’ll lose your place in the queue? Get another number as you leave, or find the coffee machine. There’s always a coffee machine.

Then picture yourself walking out of the door into the sunshine. The Canaries are singing in the trees, a stranger high fives you, there’s a unicorn under the rainbow.

You have the paperwork. You are free.

Until mañana.

Want to get Spanish resident discount on a Ryanair flight but the website just won’t work when you try to book? Keep on reading!

Computer-frustrationsGetting a ticket with the resident discount is not as easy as it should be. It just wouldn’t work when I tried to book a flight from the Canary Islands to Madrid.

If you live on the Spanish islands (The Canary Islands or the Baleares) or Ceuta or Melilla you are entitled to a huge discount on plane and ferry tickets. Normally, getting it is as easy as leaving your NIE number. Nowadays, automatic systems will check your status and approve the whole thing within a split second.

At Ryanair’s website it wasn’t so smooth.

I got to the part where I was asked to write both of my surnames, I only have one, and fill out my NIE. Whatever I filled in, the answer was every single time that it wasn’t correct and that I’d have to take the necessary papers with me to the airport and show them. Which would be okay, if the rest would have worked. Leaving the second surname blank, using “–” in stead or just repeating my surname twice: it all wouldn’t work.

As soon as I got to the payment stage, either with card or paypal, I would just get an error and this message:
“Oh. There was a problem Unfortunately, we could not process your booking at this time.”

I read online about changing the NIE, but it was pretty clear that it accepted my NIE only in the normal format: X1234567A. None of the the other solutions I found online were of much help.

The live chat assistant was sleeping and the contact form sent me to a 404 page. You have to love Ryanair for its customer service.

I went to other companies to book the flight in stead but they were a lot more expensive at my chosen dates.

So I decided to give it one more shot. I created an account at Ryanair and put me and my family as “passengers” or “companions”.

When I now got to the part where I had to leave my details for the residents discount I could click on my name that popped up and the fields were filled by the website automagically. And this, my dear readers, is where the magic happened:

My first name field showed my first name, my first last name was left empty and my second last name was my actual last name. And then everything worked.

If you’re stuck at the same page, try this. You might have some luck 😉

Good Day Triana Shopping Jamboree

Shopping and street entertainment at Good Day Triana on April 30, 2016

Shopping and street entertainment at Good Day Triana on April 30, 2016

The popular Good Night Triana shopping evening changes this year to an all-day event called Good Day Triana (imaginative eh!).

Instead of starting in the afternoon and running until midnight, it starts at 10.00 and finishes at 11pm.

Apart from the name and time, Good Day Triana is the same as it’s been since 2011; a big excuse to go shopping in Triana.

Expect promotions and discounts, live music, fashion shows, workshops and guided tours of the zone’s galleries and museums.

There’s no published timetable of events, so you just have to turn up and see what’s going on.