Archive for » July, 2014 «

What to know about traveling in Spain – Part 1

The image of Spain as a country of sun, sea, flamenco and bullfighting is only really true of Andalucia. Madrid and Barcelona are bustling metropolises, and the north is quite European in style and climate.

Out of Barcelona and Madrid, Barcelona is the more famous, and more cosmopolitan of the two. But people from Barcelona would argue that it isn’t really Spain! It is also tucked away in the north-east corner. Madrid is a better base to get around the rest of Spain. It also has the beautiful Toledo and Segovia nearby, which make great day trips.

For alternative, young nightlife, Madrid has the Camden-like Malasaña, while Barcelona has the world famous Razzmatazz.

Sevilla is beautiful, with Easter the best time of year. The Easter Carnival is a joy, while the temperature is far more bearable than in the summer.

Staying in the south, Cádiz is a beautiful windswept peninsula with nice beaches. For surfing, Tarifa is the clear winner.

When travelling, be sure to compare prices and travel times. Often a bus is just as quick as a train, and considerably cheaper. At other times the express train makes the difference between flying and taking the train quite little.

Note that the south coast is badly connected by train (Marbella shockingly doesnt have a train station) so a coach may be a better choice.

Some useful websites:

www.multimadrid.com An expat guide to life there, with a very popular forum

www.renfe.es Trains

www.spanair.com Planes

www.iberia.es More planes!

10 things to consider when visiting Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a splendid city, with long summers, lengthy sandy beaches and a lively bustling atmosphere. Below we look at 10 things to consider when visiting Barcelona.

1. There are two languages used in Barcelona. Catalan and Spanish are the two languages of Barcelona and at time you may need to speak both. You can get by in English in the touristy areas but in some places a grasp of some Spanish and some Catalan words are helpful.

2. There are two main football teams in the city of Barcelona. Everyone associates FC Barcelona with the city, but there is also Espanyol and they also play La Liga.

3. Sitges just South of Barcelona is considered to be the most expensive place in Spain. There are many quite amazing properties on the sea-front and none for less than a million or more Euros.

4. Barcelona is only a few hours drive from the South of France. The Languedoc area of France is an easy drive from Barcelona and worth considering for a weekend break in addition to Barcelona.

5. The weather is well documented as being very nice all year round in Barcelona. In the winter months it can still get quite cold though and it can rain a lot in February and March so be prepared.

6. Las Ramblas is the main tourist area and it is very pleasant in that there are a number of impressive street performers. Be careful on Las Ramblas though also for pick-pockets. One of the people to look out for on Las Ramblas performing is the Ronaldinho lookalike who is amazing with his ball juggling.

7. The aquarium next to the port is well worth visiting and also next door is the Barcelona IMAX theatre. This area is also excellent for restaurants and is very close to the beach front.

8. Barcelona is excellent for trying a variety of sports such as ballooning, Karting and a variety of water-sports. There is a huge amount to do in a city of Barcelona’s size. The diversity of things you can do is this city is certainly one of its strong points.

9. Another well documented part of Barcelona culture is the fact that Gaudi lived and designed many buildings in Barcelona. There are some excellent Gaudi places to see in this city.

10. You can see bull fighting in the centre of Barcelona, even though bull fighting in normally more popular in more remote parts of Spain.

Cheap Spain Hotels: Only a Click Away

Cheap hotels in Madrid reviews and photos posted by travelers that have experienced a wonderful stay at the same hotels are available online. One could simply browse through it and know what to look ahead to. The reviews, unbiased photos, view rates compare and book reservations for cheap hotels in Madrid always proves to be handy at any point in time.

Cheap hotels in Valencia sites provides you access to several travel guides, read all the reviews, check out the photos, compare the rates, and also the availability for the Hotel on the dates that you are visiting Valencia. These sites are perhaps where you could possibly find one of the best deals. The best way to enjoy a great holiday is to get an accommodation which is reasonable and includes an all inclusive package of facilities and services required for a comfortable stay during your most awaited holiday.

If you look enough you will land up yourself in some of the best discounted hotels in Valencia where the rooms are extremely spacious and the hotel revolving around an open-air, breezy central core. The accommodations are quite big, beautiful, well decorated and comfortably furnished. The services provided at this hotel are also quite brilliant and surpass customer expectations.

There is a fine selection of discounted hotels listen on various sites that are categorized by different factors and hence it will make it only simpler for you to contemplate on which hotel suits you’re needs the best.

Most of the discounted hotels have their description of the facilities and services that are proffered by them on different traveling and tourism sites. For tourists, the discounted hotels and regal setting Barcelona offers unlimited possibilities. This include enchantment from unending days of shopping boutiques, traveling and sightseeing that is all taken care in the accommodation with the cheap Barcelona hotels. In order to avail of maximum discount one could simply make prior reservations and simply enjoy and have a time of their life while holidaying in Barcelona. Some of the free services provided by the hotels include parking, free breakfasts and meals, use of facilities such as internet access, swimming pool and free meals at the hotel restaurants. Some of the other incorporates gymnasium, spa and so on and so forth.

For more detailed information choose to go online and gets a cheap reservation booking prior to your holidying so that you could avail of further discounts.

Cheap Car Hire In Spain

When thinking of hiring a car in Spain, it is of course crucial to have all the information on airports at hand if flying is your mode of transport when getting into the country.

Spain boasts over 30 international airports. Information on the major airports follows; information on any of the others can be obtained from AENA (Aeropuertos Espanoles y Navegación Aérea) Calle Arturo Soria 109, Madrid 28043 (tel: (90) 240 4704 (customer service line); website: www.aena.es), which is the organization responsible for running all of the Spanish airports.

Madrid (MAD) (Barajas) is 15km (9 miles) northeast of the city. A bus service departs to the city around every 10 to 30 minutes (0700-2400) and underground services run every four to seven minutes (0600-0130). Taxi service is available. Airport facilities include restaurants and bars, a bank, several car hire offices, hotel reservation and tourist information desks, and outgoing duty free shop.

Barcelona (BCN) (del Prat) is 12km (7 miles) southwest of the city. Bus service to the city departs Mon-Fri every 15 minutes, Sat every 30 mins and Sun every 20 mins (0600-2400). Rail service is every 30 minutes (0645-2340). Taxi service to the city is available, costing about &Euro;18 (travel time – 30 minutes). Airport facilities include a bank, restaurant, bar, several car hire companies, hotel reservation and tourist information desks and duty free shops.

Alicante (ALC) (Altet) is 12km (7 miles) southwest of the city. Bus service runs to the city (0655-2310) every 10 to 40 minutes, costing &Euro;1. A taxi service is available to the city, costing about &Euro;12. There is a taxi connection between Alicante and Valencia Airport. Airport facilities include a duty free shop, bank, bureau de change, car hire, tourist information and restaurant.

Bilbao (BIO) (Sondika) is 10km (6 miles) north of the city. Bus and taxi services to the city are available (travel time – 30 minutes) and cost about &Euro;1. Airport facilities include a restaurant, duty free shop, tourist information desk and car hire.

Málaga (AGP) is 10km (6 miles) southwest of the city. Buses run every 10 to 30 minutes (travel time – 20 minutes). Train service runs every 30 minutes and costs about &Euro;1. Taxi service to the city is available, costing &Euro;12. Airport facilities include duty free shop, bank/bureau de change, restaurant and car hire.

Santiago de Compostela (SCQ) is 10km (6 miles) northeast of the city. Buses and taxis are available to the city center (travel time – 10 to 15 minutes). Airport facilities include bar, banks, car hire and shops.

Seville (SVQ) is 8km (5 miles) from the city. Taxis and buses are available to the city center (travel time – 20 to 30 minutes).

Valencia (VLC) (Manises) is 8km (5 miles) west of the city. Taxis and buses (0600-2300, every 15 minutes) are available to the city center (travel time – 60 minutes (bus), 30 minutes (taxi). Airport facilities include several car hire firms, bank/bureau de change, restaurant, bar and duty free shop.

How I Lost 18 Pounds in 2 Days; Diet & Exercise Had Nothing to Do With it

“How I lost 18 pounds in 2 days and 40 pounds after 4 emotional shifts – diet and exercise had nothing to do with it.”

Competition windsurfing at the Olympic level requires 4-6 hours of training six days a week. This became the norm for me from 1990-1999. Ever since I remember I have always been active. As a kid I would prefer to be climbing a tree or riding my bike, swimming in the ocean or going for walks rather than watching TV. My father would always take us on hikes into the mountains with heavy packs on our backs and I was lucky to be introduced to the outdoors from an early age. I grew up two doors from a beautiful beach on Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne, Victoria. Our own garden had many wonderful trees to climb and space to kick the football and be active.

During my windsurfing years I trained like any other professional athlete, full time. I loved training whether it was going for one hour runs, which I did four to five days a week, or going to the gym for strength training or on water windsurfing and kayaking. Basically I am a water baby and always have been. It was my love of the ocean that enabled me to win in windsurfing. From the very beginning at age 12 I used to spend hours on the water mucking around on my windsurfer. After spending an entire summer falling in, getting bruised and battered, sore hands and getting rescued by the yacht club rescue boat, I finally mastered the art of being able to turn the board and sail back to the beach. When I raced as a young teenager I would beat the older guys in their twenties, not because I was stronger, but because I understood the wind shifts better than they did. Windsurfing at the Olympics is like running a marathon and playing a game of chess at the same time.

When I was growing up I never ever thought about my weight. I was a fit and healthy kid and had broad shoulders and strong legs. My competition weight at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics was between 58-60kgs. This was my healthy fit body weight. I had a lot of muscle at the time too and was lean.

However, in 1994 I had an accident windsurfing in New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean. I was racing in an island hopping race, where you sail from one island to the other, and a flying fish flew straight into my left knee. It sounds pretty crazy but these particular fish – Un agrieet in French as they are called, are actually like gar fish and swim very fast and occasionally glide over the water through the air. Unfortunately one happened to glide straight into my knee whilst I was windsurfing at about 40km per hour. This accident resulted in me having to be flown in a helicopter to the Noumea Hospital to have my leg operated on in emergency surgery. The sharp nose of the fish had gone right through my knee and into the bone. It had punctured the outer wall of my main femur artery in my thigh and to top it off it had over 200 baby teeth which were very poisonous.

I ended up having two operations on my knee to get it back to normal. The main problem I suffered from this accident was not so much the surgery, as my knee healed well, but it was the antibiotics that the doctors gave me to stop any infection.

My body shape started to change after taking the antibiotics and two operations. My lymph system started to struggle. The lymph system is vital in removing toxins and waste from every cell to the bladder so that they can be released from the body. About three months after the fish accident I still felt very weak. Three months late I had a blood test and it showed that I was not absorbing the sugar and nutrients from my food and I actually had the blood sugar level of some one who was fasting. My entire digestive track had been compromised.

My body had put on about six kilos and for some reason I was holding lymph in my skin. For an athlete this really messes with your head as you have skin fold tests at the Institute of Sport to measure how much fat you are carrying. Suddenly I was being told to lose weight. For the first time in my life I became focused on my weight. I kept saying to the sports doctors that I could not understand why I had put on this weight; my diet was exactly the same. In fact my diet at the time was extremely healthy (like most athletes) and was also wheat, sugar, alcohol and dairy free. I had decided to go on this diet because I had had some digestion problems six months before and had become intolerant to certain foods.

My automatic reaction to the slight weight gain was to train harder and harder. To be a few kilos overweight in the Olympic windsurfing class was a major disadvantage. Now I was suddenly disadvantaged because of my weight in the light winds. My focus became on my weight instead of winning and for the first time in my life I started to compare myself with other people. I would look at all the naturally skinning girls on the windsurfing circuit and found myself getting annoyed that I was not that body shape. But what was happening was that I was no longer my natural lean body shape and because I could not work it out my focus became on everything external. It was the only way my ego was able to handle it at the time.

Not only did my body shape change after this accident my bladder also seemed to have been affected. Every night I found my self getting out of bed to go and urinate at least 4 times in a night. This was very disturbing to having a good night sleep. I felt like I had constant pressure on my bladder. I would also find that my legs would swell up after a long three hour bike ride. My body was not coping but instead I still trained harder and harder. I went to every doctor I could find and they could not help me. From 1994 to 1999 I must have spent over $20,000 on vitamins, supplements and doctors visits to try and find the answers. The doctors I went to simply did not know why. In frustration I started to research as much as I could and I tried every new vitamin, mineral supplement and ‘super food’ I could find that my help my lymph system.

After reading more about these particular tropical fish in New Caledonia I discovered that the poison can actually affect the Lymphatic system. People who had been stung by similar fish or jelly fish had had troubles with their lymph system afterwards.

Finally I was getting some idea but still nothing I did with my diet seemed to help. Even lymph massage only helped for a short time. From 1994-1999 I still competed in windsurfing but I was now 64-66 kilos instead of 59 kilos. This may sound trivial to the average person, but to an athlete it is a big deal. Even though I won seven world titles in windsurfing and competed at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 I never ever realized my dream of Olympic Gold. I share more of my story in the book Spirit in Sport. Looking back on this I have to realise that no matter how trivial, my body weight played a significant role in me losing my focus on winning. The increase in body weight also affected me emotionally, even though I was largely not conscious of it at the time.

In 1999 I retired from windsurfing and went into a corporate sales role. Suddenly I was a full time employee and this was new to me. Ever since I was seventeen I had pretty much worked for myself or run my own businesses. Throughout my windsurfing career I had an event management business that kept me going and as a teenager I had a windsurfing school. When I needed extra cash in between overseas trips for windsurfing I would also work in a café. And in the late 1990’s I ran my own Personal Fitness Training business.

After 9 months in this sales role I realized that the only thing I liked about it was the consistent cash flow. To me that was not enough to hold me in a job that I no longer believed in. When I walked away from the six figure income to set up Barakaya and do what I do today people thought I was crazy. But I had to follow my heart. I have always been someone who has had followed thier heart, even in the face of opposition. My parents for example told me to give up windsurfing when I was 19. They wanted me to get a ‘real job’ and some security. At 19 I was Australian Champion and had won two world titles and was preparing for the 1992 Olympics. To give up then to please a parent would have broken my heart. As it turned out I managed to secure sponsorship to fund my windsurfing campaigns for eight years. Later on my parents realized that it was not such a bad decision after all, especially after I became an Olympian.

Besides I never did my sport for money. I did windsurfing because I loved it. I made enough money to compete but had none left over for investments. This did not bother me at the time because I was doing what I loved and following a dream.

In 2001 everything in my life changed. For the first time everything I tried to do failed. I had gone back working for myself in marketing and sales contracting. There were several clients that failed to pay me for the work I did because they either went bankrupt themselves or had internal disputes going on which affected me. Suddenly my finances were in the red and this created a great deal of stress.

The only way I thought to handle the debt situation was to work longer and harder to pay it off. I took a job selling real estate to help get back on track financially. During this time I was also trying to set up Barakaya so I was working 7 days a week. This was ok if your heart is in what you do but the real estate job was killing me – spiritually. It was not where I wanted to be and the only reason I was doing it was for the money. During this time I ended a five year relationship with my partner. It was my decision to leave him. I simply had to at the time. We had grown apart and I felt a tremendous need to be free. I had also snapped my ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) in a ski accident and a week later prolapsed a disc in my lower back which caused me great pain. I could not get out of bed for a week and was able to move only very slowly around the house. A few weeks later I decided to have a knee reconstruction on my knee to mend it as soon as possible so the knee joint would not wear out. The general anesthetic took its toll on me and the anti-inflammatory drugs for my disc in my back made me feel sick. The health I had taken for granted all my life was gone. For the first time in my life I could not exercise in the way I wanted to. I could not run because of my knee or ride a bike because of my back. So I did nothing for nearly an entire year. During this time I was engulfed by a heavy feeling of sadness.

Over a six month period my body had put on 20 kilos and I had no idea why because I had not changed my diet. I was not able to face myself in the mirror because I did not like what I saw. My face was swollen and puffy. I had lost all the jaw line and fine features of my natural face, my stomach has swollen out about 4 inches and my thighs were carrying a lot of fluid. I even had fluid on my calf muscles and triceps. Via stealth it seemed I had gone from a size 12 to a size 16.

Each day I would wake up with pain in my pancreas and liver. Finally I decided to go to a doctor that a friend recommended. He was qualified in western and eastern medicine. He spent a lot of time with me taking tests using vibrational medicine. Basically I was a ‘walking toxic waste dump’ he told me, in a nice way. My body was shutting down and my lymph system was not coping. I had cancer cells in the body which would become a real problem if I did not immediately start treatment. At the time I did not even have the money for extra vitamins let alone other medical related expenses. I was too proud to ask anyone for help. I simply wanted to do it on my own. And the last thing I wanted was to tell my family exactly how bad my health had become. When I walked out of the doctors surgery that day I felt deep in my heart that even if I did have all the right ‘physical’ treatment (which was alternative and natural, because I do not believe in chemotherapy) and go on strict diet, nothing would make any difference. There was a whisper from my soul that said I needed to find the answer at the spiritual level.

A week later I was on my way to work the real estate sales job and I pulled the car over on the side of the road and burst into tears. I was completely physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted. For the first time in my life I felt totally out of control, burned out and disconnected from any happiness and joy. I could not go on working seven days a week and playing ‘catch up to the creditors’. The pressure I was putting on myself was killing me. The job I was in was soul destroying. I called mum in tears. “I can’t do this anymore.” She understood and with some warm and caring words made me feel ok for making a decision to quit this real estate job. As soon as I made this decision I felt like a huge weight was being lifted off my back. I had no choice but to surrender to my soul at the time and pursue what my heart really wanted to do which was run personal development programs.

The creditors would just have to wait. I had no idea at the time how much a slave to money I had become. Being in debt had made me feel guilt and shame about being a ‘bad and hopeless person’. Even though the debts were business related I still felt like a failure. What happened to the confident, healthy, vibrant happy windsurfer that I once was? That person was no longer. I had fallen so far emotionally that I did not even know who I was anymore.

It was a dark night of the soul. During this time I was defiantly lost in Dante’s dark woods. Day after day I would drive the car down to the beach and consider just driving it off the pier, or swimming out into the ocean never to return. In fact I really just wanted to curl up in a ball, go to sleep and not wake up. If suicide was an easy thing to do, and did not affect other people in your life, then there was a part of me that would have definitely done it.

Lost in despair I did not know who I was anymore. I was lost with no direction. I did not fit in anywhere and I was too embarrassed to go out and see my friends because I looked so overweight and felt ‘ugly’. (I did not know at the time but I was going through a tremendous spiritual awakening and as a result everything in my physical world was being torn apart to be ‘re-built’.) I became so lost that one time I remember driving the car to the supermarket to get some groceries as my fridge was empty. I could not find a car park and became so angry that I simply drove home without any food. I had looked down at my swollen stomach and burst into tears. For a period of 8 months I had also buried myself in alcohol to numb the pain – to stop feeling. My self esteem was rock bottom. I was too embarrassed to be seen. Instead I buried myself in research.

I sold my four wheel drive, got an old bomb to drive around, cut all my overheads took a part time job and spent 25 hours a week researching. I was determined to find answers about what was happening in my own body. In 1998 I had attended a metaphysics course that basically said that we create our reality from our thoughts and feelings. What we think about is what we create. This had made sense to me but purely on an intellectual level. I remember walking out of that workshop recognizing that I had created all the good things in my life but I found it very difficult to comprehend that I would in fact have created all the injuries, chaos and pain in my life. Why on earth would I have created that?

As I read book after book and attended workshop after workshop on quantum science, sacred geometry, emotional freedom technique, heart coherence and human behaviour the same message was there – we create our reality. Or our consciousness creates our own reality. Meanwhile I was desperate to find answers as to why my body was so bloated still. I went to a reiki healer who helped to balance my chakras. This seemed to work in some way but still my weight did not change. I had stopped drinking alcohol and had started to kayak three to four times a week. But still no change in my body shape.

In January 2002 I flew to Sydney to meet with a lady who used a machine to ‘bring my spirit back into my body’. I was desperate at the time to find answers. I held on to these two metal handles and she told me that my spirit was 8 metres from my body. She brought it back in and immediately my lymph system started to gurgle. Within two minutes I went to the loo and started to urinate. My lymph started to clear. This definitely made a small difference and I felt more grounded. But still my body shape did not change. I read book after book that linked emotions with the body. It made complete sense to me. Finally I began to understand just how powerful emotions were. Every experience we have ever had is recorded in our own mind ever since conception in the womb.

So I started to delve into childhood memories to see if they were affecting me right now. When I was a 4 week old baby the doctors operated on me to cut out a cyst that was in my small intestine. As a result they had left a 40cm scar across my stomach and cut out 1/5th of my small intestine. The stitches later ripped in hospital and they kept me in a humidity crib for 4 months. As a kid growing up this trauma as a baby seemed to never have affected me in any way. My health had always been good but maybe this memory had something to do with my body blowing up now? I could not work it out. I went back and searched and healed each memory from this life.

During this time I started to facilitate personal development workshops. I had finally overcome all my fears about finances, body shape and my life and surrendered to my situation. I had stopped resisting my life and started to live again.

There was nothing to fear any more. I was doing what I wanted to do, facilitating workshops, and I had started to generate income again. Yvonne Evans, a good friend, and I decided to combine services and facilitate programs together. Yvonne is a mystic and healer, as well as being a corporate coach. For the first time I started to really understand the unseen spiritual realm.

Everything is a vibration of energy. Our five physical senses of touch (kinesthetic), smell (olfactory), taste, sight and hearing makes us feel like everything is physical. However when we break the body down into tissues, cells, atoms and molecules the body is energy. Under the microscope quantum scientists realise that when they look at the atom of a cell it is actually waves of energy. When this energy is observed with physical eyes it appears to be electrons and positrons but when it is not observed with the physical eyes it is actually waves of energy. Quantum scientists have realized this since the 1920’s; mystics, sages, Indigenous shamans, healers and spiritual teachers have realized this since the dawn of humanity. We are energy. The physical world appears solid to our eyes but it is actually vibrations of energy.

We are spiritual beings having a human physical experience.

What we can see with our physical eyes is less that 5% of what actually exists at other levels of vibration. For example we cannot see radio waves or television waves or even microwaves, but they still exist. The astral realm for example is the next vibrational range up from our physical realm. Spiritual teachers, mystics and psychics can see what goes on at this level of vibration. It exists simultaneously with the physical realm but is simply at a higher frequency of vibration. Many people who see spirits or ghosts or colours or sparks of light tune into this level of vibration. I had started to realise the importance of our own thoughts and feelings and how thought forms in the astral can attach and affect our own physical body. Yvonne guided me through a process of clearing my own energy field – the aura. After doing this clearing process with Yvonne for the first time in three years I felt grounded and properly in my body. The pain in my pancreas went and my hips rotated back to their correct position. I had not known it at the time but I had had astral interference that was affecting my physical body shape. I discuss this in detail in Section 1.

A week after clearing my energy field Yvonne and I were sitting in a coffee shop discussing my swollen stomach and trying to work out the cause of it. Suddenly out of my mouth came “I think I have been stabbed in another life.”

Yvonne tuned into my soul story. (A mystic can access higher vibrational information that resides at soul level whilst remaining grounded in physical consciousness.) “You have been disemboweled on a battle field as a soldier,” she said. When she said this a burst of energy ran up my spine and I saw flashes of this life time in my minds eye. The ‘me’ that had died on the battle field was stuck in the astral level and had not gone to the Light (connected with the soul properly). I guided (in my mind’s eye) this aspect of me to the Light and felt suddenly overcome with peacefulness and love. Yvonne suggested I drive home and get some sleep to allow my consciousness to re-sort. There was a lot going on within me at the unconscious level.

As I crawled into bed this particular past life memories started to come through. I had my first physical catharsis. A physical catharsis is when your physical body releases emotional memories. This one was one from a past life. My body shook and contorted in amazing ways as the memory of being disemboweled flashed through my mind. This was not painful but it was certainly overwhelming and exhausting. The pain at soul level was being released via my physical body. This catharsis lasted for two and half hours. I had no choice but to surrender to the experience. I had to be in a state of observation without getting attached to what was happening and being released. When the contortions and muscle spasms finally subsided I lay in bed absolutely amazed at what I had just experienced.

My physical body had literally morphed!! My stomach had gone in three inches. I went and looked in the mirror. My face had changed back to normal and my body felt leaner. I could not believe it. In 2 days I lost 8 kilos! Basically I had read book after book and research article after research article from leading scientists who all talked about the body being vibrations of energy or a holograph of Light and now I had proved to myself that I was actually just that – pure energy. The discordant energy that was in my energy field from this ‘past life memory’ was now cleared and as a result my physical body was able to adjust back to its normal and healthy shape. This was amazing. I was so excited I wrote everything down.

(The mind has the template to self heal. When we allow the mind to heal it can heal. But first we must address any emotional wound or discordant thought energy that is in the mind and release it so the body can heal. The mind is the eternal aspect of self and is a field of energy – or pulsating Light vibration. The mind resides in every cell of the body and is also independent of the body. I explain this in detail in Section 1.)

For six months leading up to this catharsis I had been meditating for two hours a day. During these meditations I was drawn by spirit to do toning. Toning is when you use the voice to resonate certain sounds that correlate with our chakras. The chakras are the ‘wheels of energy’ that represent our Light body. They connect us with the etheric and spiritual aspect of Self. When I toned my entire body would buzz with a higher vibration of energy. This higher vibration of energy is also called spirit – Light. The Indians may call it Prana, the Chinese may refer to it as Qi (Chi), and Christians may call it the Holy Spirit. It is pure source energy – or pure divine love from the creator (God/Goddess/All there Is). This high vibration of Light would flow right through my body and often last for over two hours. I would feel incredible divine love and in a bliss state when this would happen. At the time I intuitively felt it was my own Higher Self healing me. So from these experiences I understood that we were simply vibrations of Light. So when my body morphed after healing the past life of being disemboweled it only confirmed to me that we are a hologram of Light – that appears to be solid to our physical eyes, but is not solid at all.

When you heal the energy field (or the mind field) – at the spiritual and emotional level you can heal the physical body. So much for diet I thought!!

The day after I healed this past life I bumped into my neighbor and she could not believe the differenced in my appearance. My entire face and body shape had changed. “What on earth happened to you?” she exclaimed. She could not believe it, and of course I could not put into words what had actually happened at the time, it was all a bit ‘out there’ for anyone else to understand.

After this experience my full mystical abilities returned and I was again able to communicate with the Angelic realm. I had been able to do this as a child but had lost the ability as a teenager. Yvonne had told me in a meditation in early 2003 that the Arch Angels were going to ‘wake me up’. I did not know what that really meant at the time, but simply went along with it. I had not idea what kind of ride I would be in for.

For a period of two years I would have one past life memory flood through my consciousness to be healed and transformed, to the Love, after another. With every new memory came new awareness about self, pain and healing. I realized that I was able to help heal the pain that my clients had and also help them heal past life memories that were affecting their current life, or ability to have healthy loving relationships. (All of our lives are happening in the eternal now moment at soul level. Beyond the third dimension of the physical world there is no such thing as time and space. Einstein confirmed this in his own scientific research. What this means it that all of our ‘past lives’ are in our hologram of mind right now and very often there is unfinished business that we have to heal in this life. I discuss this in detail in Section 1 and the nature of learning spiritual lessons in this life.)

With other clients I would help them heal physical pain in one hour that stemmed from deep memories in the unconscious mind – at soul level. With practice I developed ways to clear the energy field. My clients would burst into tears because they felt spiritually grounded and connected to their Higher Self and their Soul (the true Self) for the first time. When Yvonne and I facilitated our Soul purpose and emotional intelligence programs we could bring in the higher frequencies of Divine Love and fill the room with this energy so people could experience it. Some people would burst into tears having never felt divine love before. At our highest level, the Soul, we are divine love. Anything less that divine love is the ego self which is stuck in the emotional roller coaster of life. (I discuss this in detail in Section 2.)

Finally I was back feeling great, happy with my body and enjoying life again. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to finally fit back into my size 12 jeans. I could even look at myself in the mirror again without feeling emotional pain.

It will not be every person’s journey to go through such amazing mystical experiences. However, it just happened to be my own journey to learn to heal many different emotional wounds and to understand consciousness at these levels. The more emotional wounds that I healed on myself the more I would be able to help other people to heal their own. We all have emotional wounds in the psyche, and for some of us they affect us in our lives now as physical symptoms, conflict, weight gain, chaos or illness.

It is important to look at the body in a wholistic way. We are not just physical. We are physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. The spiritual and emotional affect the physical and the physical can affect the emotional, mental and spiritual. For example the fish accident affected me physically which affected me emotionally. The drugs in my physical body affected my ability to connect to the higher vibrations of Light and my spirit for example.

When I was a Personal Fitness Trainer I realized within the first month that there was more to weight loss than simply doing exercise. How could I get my clients to be self-motivated? Why would they do the exercise with me only to go home and eat all the wrong foods, or too much food? It was my days as a Personal Trainer that contributed to me becoming interested in being able to understand human behaviour.

This book will discuss in a simple way what we can do at the physical level, the emotional level and the spiritual level to help balance the body, mind and soul. I speak not only from the perspective of being a Personal Fitness Trainer and former professional athlete but more importantly from the perspective of being a mystic, metaphysical counselor and healer. My work is about healing and addressing the ultimate cause of any thing that we suffer from rather than treating only the symptoms.

There are thousands of diet and exercise programs out there for people to choose from. So rather than giving you what you already know in the physical body chapter I will give you some tips on diet and exercise that perhaps will be new to you.

In the emotional intelligence section you will learn the importance of feeling your emotions and how to interpret them and transform them so that the body can be freed up of emotional charge. All emotions are stored in our mind and also in every cell of the body as polarized electro-magnetic charge. It is our subconscious and unconscious minds which run our physiology. When we transform emotional charge our physical cells are more freed up to operate in a balanced and optimal way. All addictive tendencies such as over-eating stem from emotional, physical and spiritual imbalance.

The majority of emotional themes and patterns of behaviour are unconscious – meaning we are not conscious of them. We do not know we even have them. This chapter will help you identify the behaviour traits, beliefs and emotional wounds that affect you today, whether it is over eating or self destructive habits. It will also help you to understand why you have put on weight in the past even when it has had nothing to do with what you put in your mouth.

In the Section 1 (Taking back our spiritual power) I explain several techniques that you can apply to clear yourself energetically of negative thought forms that you pick up in your environment. There is a meditation process to help ground your energy field properly in your body and help balance the chakra system. In this chapter I discuss the importance of understanding the chakra and energetic systems in the body. Each chakra is connected with the endocrine gland system of the body. The glandular system of the physical body needs to be in balance for us to have physical and emotional health. The glandular system is largely ignored and misunderstood by many Western trained physicians.

When we are overweight the reasons will vary as to why we are overweight. For example many people blame it on their genetics. However research shows us that genetics only account for less than 25% of the whole. So we cannot blame it all on our genetics. We must take responsibility for Self and when we learn more about the ‘bigger picture’ and why we do things then we can be truly free to change.

We all have free will – the ability to choose what we think, say and do. We make our own choices in life. If we do not like the way we are, or do not like the fact that we eat too much food then we can change. As soon as we become aware of those parts of us that are either addicted to food or simply have no discipline we can work with each of them. To be disciplined is to be a Disciple of Self – the True Self, the Soul, rather than a slave to the ego. As we work with each of these parts of our self – each persona, we can heal each one, one at a time. We have the power; we just need the right tools.

In regard to weight loss, when we shift what is playing out at the unconscious level of our own mind our body can shift very quickly. I lost 8 kilos (approx. 18 pounds) in 2 days, and 18 kilos after 4 major emotional shifts. In my case diet and exercise had little to do with my weight gain.

Fiona Taylor

92 Olympian,winner of 7 World Titles in Windsurfing, consciousness coach and mystic

Copyright February 2007.www.barakaya.com

Places worth seeing in Barcelona – Part 2

Barcelona is a beautiful city, whether you’re in the Barri Gotic, the Ramblas, the Placa Catalunya or even taking a tour of the Nou Camp. There are so many things to see and do even before you’ve started with the shopping!

Having been there quite a few times now, I have a few personal favourites. High on the list is the Nou Camp stadium, home to the world famous Barcelona football team. This is truly one of the most impressive stadia in Europe and you can take the tour of the stadium and museum for a bargain price. The tour starts in the museum and moves into the main body of the stadium, including the away dressing room and down the tunnel onto the touchline and dugouts. It’s an incredible feeling walking down the tunnel imagining the footballing greats that have taken that walk both in the past and the present. You even get to the press box, high up in the main stand. The view of the pitch and the surrounding seating towering above you is truly incredible.

That said, my favourite place in the city is much quieter and much more serene. I like to go to Parc Guell, in the north of the city. For those that don’t know, the park has a great many buildings and public areas designed by the architect Antoni Gaudi. Those familiar with Gaudi will be aware of other attractions in Barcelona like the Sagrada Familia, the Casa Mila and the Casa Batlo for their outstanding beauty and extraordinary design style, but Gaudi was also commissioned to design for public spaces such as the Parc Guell.

The entrance to the park is flanked by two fantastic buildings with intricate detailing and ceramic covered turrets, leading you through the gate to a dual staircase guarded by his famous brightly coloured mozaic lizard. This feature is truly fantastic and is always a draw for visitors looking to have their photograph taken.

High above the staircase is a column-supported public area, surrounded with tiled bench seating, offering a fantastic view across the cityscape. The park is built on a hill, steep in places, but is excellent for walking. A brisk walk to the highest part of the park will bring you to a monument and viewpoint, which, once climbed, will give you an even more spectacular view of the city and out to the Mediterranean Sea.

To get there, a taxi from the city centre is sensible. You can walk but it will take a while. Alternatively the underground is excellent in Barcelona although you will still need to pound some shoe leather to get there as there doesn’t seem to be a station particularly close to the entrance. Don’t let this put you off though, it’s worth effort and you’ll want to go back – I guarantee.

Why Buy a Fractional in London?

The World’s most expensive cities are those where rich international buyers congregate, and no other city is as international as London. With its time-zone and language convenient for businessmen from the US to the Middle East to Asia – all conspire to make London the leading financial centre. Coupled with its unrivalled rich heritage, culture, arts and entertainment facilities, London is continually accoladed as the greatest city in the World.

There are many benefits of fractional ownership but why should you consider a fractional in London? We have compiled a list of just some of them:

12 MONTH SEASON: Traditionally fractional ownership has been popular at Beach and Ski resorts, however, due to the shortness of the season, these units may only be used for a limited period of the year, meaning the owners do not get use out of it in key times. London provides 52 weeks of entertainment with events, exhibitions, festivals and shows throughout the year. A city where 8 million people live doesn’t really have a low season! Although many holiday makers visit London in the summer there is a whole wealth of things to do and see in the other 3 quarters of the year too! This means that whether you are in London for Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter, you will be always be visiting London at a time when the Capital is bustling.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! London’s residential housing market is diverse indeed. Where your property is situated will have a dramatic effect on your experience here in the Capital. Fractional ownership enables buyers to part own a residence in a far more affluent and desirable location than they would perhaps be able to if they were buying a unit outright. London Fractions only promotes fractionals in the very best areas of London including Knightsbridge, Tower Bridge, Westminster, Belgravia and Chelsea.

SAFER INVESTMENT: Due to the fact that London Fractions properties are in the best and most sought after locations means that your property has the greatest chance of consistent price growth going forward. Demand for luxury properties in key London neighbourhoods will continue and these properties are far more resilient in periods of global economic downturns.

YOUR EUROPEAN HEADQUATERS! London is ideally situated to access the rest of Europe. With 5 International airports within 45 minutes of Central London, the UK is an ideal base for anyone wanting the ability to see Europe. With the numerous low-cost flight carriers, you can (usually) fly to Barcelona for lunch for example and the flight may very well cost you less than the food!

CONCIERGE SERVICE: With priority booking for London’s top shows, events and restaurants plus affiliations to a range of private membership clubs, you can live here and enjoy all the benefits and inside knowledge of a full time London resident.

YOU CAN’T LIVE IN A HOTEL! With a fractional apartment in London – you can feel as if you have a home away from home. With beautiful kitchens, outdoor areas, lounges, multiple bathrooms and bedrooms, your environment can be enjoyed to the full. A fractional apartment also gives you the ability to entertain other people rather than having to go out every night!

FUTURES BRIGHT FOR LONDON: With the hosting of the 2012 Olympics and some £10bn of investment into facilities and infrastructure, the future of London looks as strong as ever. Approximately 65% of London’s luxury properties (£4m+) were purchased by foreign investors in 2007 and International demand is set to continue as London continues to be the economic and social Capital of the World.

TIME & EXPENSE OF WHOLE OWNERSHIP: Quite simply if London is not your primary residence and you only spend a limited time here, why pay for outright ownership? With London Fractions the entry price to the luxury housing market is slashed and the maintenance and taxes associated with the property are shared between owners. You also do not need concern yourself with the property when you are not using it as it is looked after by London Fractions’ Management.

Culture in Barcelona

Nationwide studies show nearly 40% of the people visit a historic site or structure when they travel. Boomer retire and they’re looking for interesting historic experiences. Barcelona has a long beautiful history left behind by not only the roman times. Impressive architects and painters grew up in Barcelona. All these stories are told in the museums Barcelona possesses. A couple of interesting museums in Barcelona are:

Museu Picasso
Picasso started his artistic career in Barcelona, he grew up in Barcelona and gave his collection to the museum. The museum collects some fabulous art work. From early works, engravings, lithographs, pottery to the Las Meninas sieries and portraits of his wives. There are also regular temporary exhibitions which focus on the different aspects of the activitities of Picasso. This museum is the most famous museum in Barcelona and attracts a lot of tourists from all over the world.

Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
This jazzy building is designed by Richard Meier in 1995. It combines the elements of the contemporary American architecture with the Mediterranean rationalist tradition. It holds a collection which is donated by Catalonia’s great artistic institutions. It exhibits the work of modern international luminaries such as Broodhaers, Klee, Basquiat and others. There are temporary exhibitions of international artists, it has a library, bookshop and cafeteria. It is in front of a university of Barcelona in the area El Raval. The square in front of the museum is always full of students who are skating, chatting or reading.

Museu Maritim
One of the best museums in the city is Museu Maritim, it is located on Avinguda Drassanes which is, offcourse, close to the harbour. It is in a typically 13th century gothic building. This museum shows you the history of the Catalan fleet by old sailing ships, paintings, figureheads, instruments, maps and charts. The art of the wooden shipbuilding, charting of the oceans and launch into the steam age. The museum holds two permanent exhibitions. It offers various educational activities for children.

Museu De La Xocolata (Chocolate Museum)
The place to be for women who are addicted to chocolate! But also for children and men, this museum is opened in 2000 and shows you the history of chocolate and cacao. And the future of the chocolate. They offer a workshop so that you can learn how to make your own chocolate!

Museu Militar
A really interesting museum to visit is the Military museum. This museum possesses a big collection of weapons from the 15th century to these days. Also; antique paintings of events, rooms of armor, uniforms, weapons and instruments of war. An interesting museum if you like to know about the wars in the history of Barcelona and Catalunya.

Museu Nacional d’ Art de Catalunya
This is national museum. It was built in 1990. It holds some greatest collection of Romanesque murals paintings in the world, including some real gems from the Pyrenean region. Museum is also the home for an impressive array of 14th and 15th century Gothic art paintings from the Europe and Spain.

Museu de la Musica
This museum is the best place for music lovers, in this museum you can find the history of music from the 16th century to today. This museum holds a lot of instruments and you can find an organ from the 18th century. They have a nice collection of phonographns, gramophones, jukeboxes and documents which are related to Catalan composers.

About Barcelona
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, It is located on the Mediterranean coast, with one of Europe’s principal ports, and its airport is the second largest in Spain. Founded as a Roman city, Barcelona is today an important cultural centre and became a major tourist destination after the 1992 World Olimpics. Particularly renowned are architectural works of Antoni Gaudí that have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Finding Accommodation
Bcnloft.com Apartments Barcelona offers online bookings for short term holiday rentals at top locations all around the city center. You can book private rooms and small apartments for groups from €18 per person. BCN loft provides an affordable option compared to expensive hotels, hostels and B&B so that you can have a pleasant stay in Barcelona. Contact: www.bcnloft.com Email: info@bcnloft.comIf you are looking for affordable accommodation you can always contact BCNloft.com Apartments Barcelona and you will find rooms, apartments and vacation rentals in the city center next to la Rambla.

A visit to the main resorts of Valenica and Catalonia, Spain

Barcelona

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, and covers a large expanse of the Catalonian coastline. The city is built around its port, which is one of the busiest in the Mediterranean, though many would believe that it is built around its football club FC Barcelona (Barca) which is a major player in both the Spanish football league as well as the international.

Much more than just the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona with its international airport is a “major league player” on the world stage, having hosted the 1888 World Fair and more recently, the 1992 Olympic games.

The city can be dated back to a Roman settlement in the 2nd century BC, and has been occupied by differing Mediterranean tribes over the centuries each leaving their own identity on the area. The old town is the best place to see this within the many architectural designs and facades that adorn the buildings. Barcelona’s most famous street is Las Ramblas, a busy street 24 hours a day, though more so at the weekends and during the evenings. Market stalls, souvenir sellers, street traders, musicians and street acts keep you entertained as you stroll along the tree shaded walkway or drink cafe americano from the many cafes lining the street.

The Barri Gotic, Gothic Quarter is home of the cathedral and royal palace and the oldest part of the city. The Sagrada Familia is a work of art by Antoni Gaudi, it is the city’s most bizarre building and was built when the city was in a period of modernist revival.

Valencia

Situated in the middle of the Costa del Azahar, which runs down Spain’s eastern coastline, Valencia, the city where El Cid, a famous Spaniard and folk hero who battled the might of the Moorish armies, is one of the most vibrant cities in Spain. Renowned for its nightlife and outdoor living, the city is bathed in a micro-climate, which explains both the party atmosphere and the garden plantations of oranges that surround the city and the local area. Valencia has both an International Airport and also a busy port. You can catch a ferry to the Balearic Islands from here.

Built by the Romans in the 2nd century BC, Valencia again, as with most Spanish cities, has a wealth of history and Moorish influence that is still evident today in some of the buildings that mingle together with more modern and modernistic designs. The city centre is dominated by the cathedral, originally built in 1262. The towers of the cathedral offer fine views over the city. Valencia has a modern tramway system which also connects the beaches to the east with their lively promenade full of bars and eateries.

Gandia

The small city of Gandia, is on the southern edge of the Costa del Azahar. Valencia is the closest major city to the north by about 1 hour and it is here that you will find the international airport that serves this region. Once an important cultural town, formally run by the Duke of Gandia, the city is now more of a tourist destination, though the region is still important commercially for the orange industry, which is evident from the millions of orange groves that surround the regions and the fragrant aroma they exude.

Spanish Berths as an Alternative Investment

Since the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, and the start of tourism and package holidays, Spain has been transformed into one of the leading European economies, with a diversified market covering both the manufacturing and service sectors. Between 1961 and 1973, the so called years of development, the Spanish economy grew at 7% a year with a per capita income of $500 per year. After joining the EU in 1986, Spain once again had one of the world’s fastest growing economies, with annual growth averaging 4.1% in the period between 1986 and 1991, compared with an EU average of 3%. Likewise, foreign trade grew from $23.8 billon in 1975, to $52.5 billion by 1980, and to $143 billion by 1990.

Today, the economy of Spain is the fifth largest in Europe, accounting for around 9% of EU output. Income, at 78% of the EU average, is among the lowest in the EU, although it is well ahead of Ireland, Portugal and Greece. Spain’s main trading partners are France, Germany and Italy for exports, and Germany, France and Italy for imports. Spain’s most important industries include tourism, chemicals and petrochemicals, heavy industry, and food and beverages. Spain is also Europe’s fourth largest manufacturing country after Germany France and Italy. The principle growth areas include tourism, insurance, property development, electronics and financial services. Tourism is one of Spain’s most important industries, especially in Andalucia, earning approx. 4% of GDP and employing some 10% of the workforce, both directly and indirectly. With over 5,000 kms of coastline, and a unique blend of almost perfect year round weather and Mediterranean lifestyle, Spain has become a Mecca for holidaymakers and boating enthusiasts alike.

With the advent of the low cost airlines, a weekend trip to Spain has now become the norm for many European travellers, and the huge Eastern coast, all 750 miles of it, is still home to more British boats than anywhere else in the Mediterranean. Whilst the booming economy and influx of foreign visitors in the seventies and eighties certainly caused it own unique problems, the development of smart marina complexes such as Sotogrande, and the hosting of the 2007 Americas Cup in Valencia, are undoubtedly attracting the boating enthusiasts back in huge numbers. Increasingly, many of these enthusiasts are also buying second homes, either as a holiday home to enjoy their boat on trips to Spain, or indeed to retire.

In terms of demographics, the generation of buyers termed the ‘baby boomers’ (currently 42 – 58 years old), is now due to retire within the next 10 years. With considerable wealth, which has been built on property, business interests and inheritance, they have little desire to see these assets taxed on death. This trend is now being seen throughout Europe, and in a cultural change, this age group is retiring earlier, spending more of its wealth, and in general enjoying life to the full. In the UK, this exodus which was once a small trickle has now become a torrent. Increasingly wealthy, and healthy, individuals are moving abroad, encouraged by the media and low cost travel, in order to enjoy a more relaxed and enjoyable life in the sun. With global demand for recreational boats estimated to reach $24 billion by 2006, projected growth of annual sales worldwide of 7%, and with Europe experiencing the highest growth in the last five years, there seems little to stop the European market growing and expanding further in the next few years.

Owning and maintaining a boat in Spain is becoming easier, cheaper, and considerably more enjoyable than the UK. With the advent of cheap flights, more scheduled services, and new infrastructure, it is easier and quicker to reach the Spanish coast and be on the water, than it is for an owner in the Midlands to reach his boat in Southampton. The Spanish coastline is divided into six Costas – the Costa del Sol is the most southerly, followed by the Costa Calida, Costa Blanca, Costa del Azahar, Costa Dorada and the most northerly, the Costa Brava. The atmosphere on Spain’s coastline varies enormously from Costa to Costa and from marina to marina. From the small and beautiful Cabopino to the glitzy Puerto Banus, where yachts are squeezed in purely to be admired by the less well off passers by! Major cities such as Valencia, Almeria, Malaga and Barcelona offer marina facilities right at their centre, an option that is becoming more popular as many cities are being turned into world class destinations. Valencia in particular is beginning to rival Barcelona, as the impending America’s cup has drawn billions of euros of investment into the area. Marinas and boating facilities on both sides of Valencia such as Denia, and areas to the south of the city, are feeling the benefits.

The islands of the Balearics cover a tiny fraction of the Mediterranean, yet are perhaps one of its most popular cruising areas, and as such are the most densely populated with boats. In recent years Mallorca has shed its night club image, and a huge marketing campaign has pushed the relatively unknown and more beautiful aspects of the island. A recent article in the Majorca Daily Bulletin outlined the amount of money being invested in property and yachts on the island by UK city traders. With bonuses in excess of 1m euros, these buyers not only want a house, but a yacht to match. This, like elsewhere, has led to unprecedented demand for mooring space. Whether boat owners want a quiet laid back marina, or one with a busy night life, the one thing they all have in common is a lack of adequate berths, both in size and availability.

The shortage of berths in the Mediterranean is getting worse. There are currently an estimated 160,000 boats waiting for a long term space and skippers lucky enough to have one are sitting tight. Only recently, a report commissioned by the Spanish Government concluded that in 2005, a total of 2,300 yachts will be looking for berths in Andalucia alone, and by the year 2020 that this figure would leap to over 5,000 yachts in just this one area. The report concludes: The demand from the nautical sector of the tourism market, on the Costa del Sol alone, is reaching unprecedented figures, which can only be remedied by a dramatic upgrading of facilities. Indeed the 11 ports on the coast, which cater for yachts, only have 4,200 mooring points between them. Figures issued by the Costa del Sol Tourist Authority suggest the Costa’s ports would need to increase by 300% the number of available mooring spaces just to satisfy current requirements.

The Director-General of the Costa del Sol Tourism, Ana Gomez said “We are lacking many mooring points and because of this waiting lists are tremendous”. She went on to explain that due to the marinas being at saturation there was little benefit to be had from marketing and promotion. Nearly 60% of owners were tourists predominantly from Germany, France and the UK. With the lack of availability, prices of berths have risen dramatically, along with the annual rentals demanded by owners. This has compounded the problem, as investors are now moving into the market with the prospect of long term capital growth, coupled with excellent rental returns of between 8% and 15%. Berth prices vary enormously and depend on several factors, including the size (length and width), location (both of the marina, and position within the marina itself), and the length of lease remaining. In general they start at 50,000 euros approx. and go to several million for the very biggest. As an example there is currently a 20m berth in Sotogrande for sale at 600,000 euros – a similar size berth in Puerto Banus would sell for well over a million (if one were available!)

When a new marina is established, it is leased to the port operator by the Government for a fixed period. These periods are normally between 30 and 50 years. The berths are then bought and sold on a leasehold basis only. Gradually over time, the length of the lease left on a berth becomes shorter depending on the date the original lease was granted to the port operator. Typically berths will have leases remaining of between 15 and 25 years. Naturally in a brand new marina, the berth would have a full term lease. Each berth will have its own escritura, essentially a land title document, which is signed and witnessed by a notary in any sale or purchase. Each berth is defined by its size and a reference number on the port authority plan. Berths are always quoted in length and width ie. (8m x 3m).The bigger the boat, the wider the berth has to be! Berths are bought and sold by brokers. The largest of these is Genus Marine Leisure, who has been working in Spain for nearly 20 years. The prices for any particular berth are dictated by supply and demand, and with so much experience, Genus know all the marinas intimately and can therefore price their berths to sell at sensible market prices. If it is considered that the owner is asking too much, the berth sale is refused. In some marinas it is only possible to buy the berth, but not to rent it out to someone else (this was a condition of the original lease to the port authority). We can supply a list of these (if required). In these marinas boat owners can only use the berth themselves. Sailing conditions in the Mediterranean are virtually perfect, as there are no tides to cause problems either in sailing conditions or in entry or exit to marinas. In the UK (as elsewhere) trips have to be planned extremely carefully to ensure that the boat can both leave and enter the port with the tide. This can mean waiting for hours for the correct conditions – something that never happens in the Med! In the UK, boating is restricted to the summer months (3 at best) – more and more owners are now moving abroad to have access to 12 months of sailing in warm and calm water.

Motor boat enthusiasts tend to berth around the Costa del Sol marinas for two reasons. Firstly the diesel in Gibraltar is substantially cheaper than in Spain. Secondly the weather conditions are smoother and calmer. (The Costa de La Luz facing the Atlantic is noted for its windy conditions and attracts the windsurfers) Sailing enthusiasts tend to berth further North, towards the Balearics, as there is generally more wind, and therefore better sailing conditions. In Spain, as elsewhere throughout Europe, there is an extremely strong environmental lobby which has grown in strength in the last decade, particularly with the election of Green MEP’s to Brussels. Throughout the world, environmentally sensitive areas are being protected and designated as areas of outstanding natural beauty or as nature reserves. The argument for building more berths has never been stronger, but neither have the environmental pressures on an already developed coastline.

The Spanish Costas, and particularly the Coast del Sol, have been warned of impending environmental catastrophe if development is not brought under control. The Government is an extremely awkward position, since eco tourism is destined to be a major growth market in the next decade. However it is also acutely aware of the lack of facilities and berths for boat owners and operators. Plans for new marinas are constantly proposed, but generally drag on for many years through lengthy planning and lobbying meetings. Motor boats in particular are not considered to be environmentally friendly. Accidental fuel discharge and emptying of tanks in port (accidental or otherwise) do not help. Whilst the Green lobby is fighting to prevent further marina development, the availability of berths becomes more acute. In Italy recently, a new law has been introduced banning motor boats from coming within 200m of the coastline, making it illegal to anchor in rocky inlets and coves.

All of this helps to push prices of berths even higher. Berths that were selling for 10,000 to 20,000 euros a few years ago, are now changing hands for 80,000 to 100,000 euros. This trend can only continue with the lack of new marinas being built. As a specialist marine financial services company Marinablu offers a unique facility with our Spanish banking partners to provide berth finance, tied directly to the berth itself. This facility is only available via ourselves. This allows our clients ( whether boat owners or investors ) to raise capital against the berth itself. Existing owners are also able to release equity from their berths to buy a bigger boat or simply to re-invest in another berth.

PS-We are currently selling one of our berths in Estapona – a 25m berth – please email for more details.