We had to get up nice and early to meet up with Lucas to make our way to the Oficina de Extranjeros or Foreigner’s Office. It was not easy to drag out of bed because, although the bedroom was toasty warm, the bathroom and downstairs were muy frio! After making coffee in the french press (also left by the previous owner) and having eggs, bread and marmalade, we were ready to head out. (As a side note: we noticed that the eggs were super “eggy” if that makes any sense. A little like when you buy organic, free range chicken eggs in the States, but even more “eggy.” They were awesome.)
Once again we felt like we were in some movie, because Lucas told us to meet him at a roundabout just off one of the highways on the way to Almeria. We stopped at that roundabout and waited for his car. Some guy pulled up and stopped on the other side of the roundabut and we thought, “Is that him? It looks like a different car…” and when we drove over, we did indeed find that it was some other random guy waiting for someone else. I guess it’s normal to meet people at roundabouts!
Lucas arrived shortly after that and we followed him to Almeria. On the way down, we saw lots and lots of greenhouses. I mean LOTS! Apparently millions of tons of vegetables are exported from here each year. While that’s great as far as the production of fruits and vegetables goes, it wasn’t too pretty for the landscape. From the car, it was hard to get a good picture, but it was literally miles and miles of greenhouses.
Almeria is a nice city on the south eastern coast and is the capital of the province of Almeria. We had never been there, so it was nice to drive down and see it. We followed Lucas downtown and went into the Foreigner’s Office. There were a lot of people in there waiting around, and we were obviously the only Americans there (Curt’s baseball cap is always the dead giveaway!) Lucas told us, “Wait here. Don’t move.” and left us. He rushed around and in a few minutes he came back and said, “Okay, stay here. I’m going to see if I can jump the queue.” Of course we did as we were told. There was a huge waiting room of people behind this glass, but we were on the other side where there was a huge room of desks and people rushing here and there. The next thing we knew, Lucas was back and said, “Come on! Follow me! Have your passport ready!” and we walked quickly to a lady’s desk at the back of the room. He spoke to her, she asked for my passport, she stamped a paper, and Lucas said, “Okay. That’s it! I’ll file it with the notary and everything will be fine.”
It just goes to show you that it helps when you know people who know people. Luckily Lucas is in good favor with the people there and was able to get us in and out of there quickly!