The year 2020 has certainly been a year to remember. It was the year when everyone was told to stay at home, and life was put on hold. Life on pause, that’s how I saw it, and also heard many others say the same.
Trex Andalucia was a family-run farm that offered, dog kenneling for those wanting to get away, horse-riding for locals and holiday-makers, Sunday Club for children over the age of 6, and a warm and welcoming place for a cuppa. But as soon as lockdown hit us, holidays were canceled, everyone was told they couldn’t leave their houses and we were left trying to keep our head above water with no way of making money to pay our bills.
The first lockdown was a real struggle. I could even notice a difference in the animals as it was clear to me that they missed their regular visitors too. Instead of just burying ourselves in self-pity, we asked for help! Even though at the time it felt so difficult to do, I knew we just couldn’t accept this, life is much too precious.
“After a month in lockdown, the reality is hitting me hard. Although this goes against all my principles I am asking for donations to help feed our animals those who don’t know us, we have a total of 52 animals living at Trex, horses, dogs, cats, goats, peacocks, ducks, chickens, many of which are rescues.
I understand in these uncertain times that this is a big ask, but I have no other choice. Please if you can make a donation however small, I will be forever grateful. I send love hope & please stay safe.”
I still remember how down and how upset I was when I pressed the post button on Facebook! One thing this past year has shown us, is that the world can change overnight. We have totally depended on our friends, our family, and our own self-belief.
Our lesson learned in 2020, is that it’s ok to ask for help. The support we received from friends, family, and even complete strangers, was so uplifting. It made us stronger in these unprecedented times and our minds went into overdrive, on how to move forward.
With the great help of my daughter Kirsty and her Digital skills, we launched this beautiful website. A place where people can find out all about what we do here in Spain. Having to adapt to the “new normal”, we knew that there were some things we needed to change and our dreams became a reality.
We wanted to transform Trex Andalucia into a Sanctuary, a place where we could rescue more animals and provide them with a forever home.
With Kirstys Social Media skills, we have run successful virtual events, online raffles, found new volunteers and our Facebook page has gained 700 more likes! We even managed to fund and complete two of our projects. Dave has built a new Peacock house and Kirsty and Ryan have landscaped and started our Eco Garden.
We have been able to provide veterinary care for the animals that needed it. We have rescued a new kitten, her name is Arya, and we have successfully raised the money for her vaccinations and future neutering.
Last week through the website we received our 100th Donation!! We have received lots of heartwarming children’s reviews from past and present members of our Sunday club and we have made new friends throughout the year. Then to top all that, we finally registered as ‘Trex Andalucia Sanctuary’ just before Christmas.
Besides all that, sometimes our care of animals takes a different route. On this occasion, it took us to the UK, and as much as we were concerned about traveling in covid times, we knew deep down it had to be done! And both of us were needed for the four animals.
We had an all-around successful trip, a joint force of Dave’s Transport & Trex Andalucia Sanctuary uniting Bandit & Trixie with their elderly owner Maureen, who has moved back to the UK to be with her family after sadly losing her husband. Also, the felines Cersei & Daeni, safely delivered to Billy in their new home.
Feeling quite anxious in these current times, armed with all the correct paperwork we set off on our travels. Our first stop was picking up the Cats in Salou south of Barcelona, then driving up through France, where we encountered our first surprise!
The custom stop by the French Doune, some 15 minutes after the border all was in order and we were sent on our way. Once we reached the ferry Port we then endured a Customs search at 04:30am, it was a nightmare, freezing cold we were told to sit on chairs whilst they searched the van! Then all clear and reloaded we boarded the Ferry at Dieppe to Newhaven.
With only 15 people on board, it felt very strange! After filling out our Track & Trace forms with our pre-booked hotel “Travelodge” for the duration we were off the boat hassle-free.
The two dogs were delivered first and were so happy to be back with Maureen, who was so grateful to have them. Then straight onto Harlow to drop off the two kitties, who also were glad to be in their new home!
We then traveled to Essex to pick up a van load of household goods, for a lovely couple moving to Spain with their beautiful German Shepherd.
On our journey home we took the Ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao, then after a temperature check and another locator form, we landed ashore. Our ongoing drive was 3 hours to “Hotel Venta Juanilla”, so as to be locked-in safe & sound for the 22:00hr due to the Spanish Curfew!
It was stunning, a 10th Century Monastery. We were given a warm welcome & a nightcap, then in the morning a look around this amazing Hotel, Hotel Aure Venta Juanilla, well recommended.
On the last leg of the trip, 6 hours of driving, we passed 2 separate roadblocks, but mostly had clear roads to ourselves. Stopped to refuel & a very quick menu-del-dia, which was strictly 1 in 1 out with outside seating only. Then lastly off again to our drop off at U-Store in Antas, All in all, a safe & hygienic repatriation successful mission!
This coming year we should praise ourselves for fighting so hard throughout 2020! For facing our unsureness in lockdown and for being able to face the waves and waves of bad news and change.
We all have been through so much. Now let’s enjoy every minute of life!
We have totally depended on our friends, our family, and our own self-belief.
Who knows what next year will bring, this year we should just say ‘well done’ at the stroke of midnight. So yes, 2020 has certainly been a year to remember. Well done to us all!