Having groceries delivered to the boat (in Spain)

When we were preparing to untie the lines in Almerimar the first provisioning trip we did was on the day of our arrival. We made sure to make the most of the fact we still had our rental car. (We found before leaving on this trip that it was cheaper to rent a car at Almeria Airport than to take a taxi to the boat. Bonus: we could leave the car at a hotel nearby the next day.)

We drove 20 minutes to get to a Lidl outside Almerimar and stocked up on drinks, dry goods like pasta and couscous, tins, snacks, sealed baguettes, frozen meat, deserts, chorizo, eggs, and fruit and vegetables for about 5 days to make sure they didn’t spoil before we ate them.

A couple days later, now without car, we walked to a Mercado and bought mainly perishables, a few bottles of water, some milk, breakfast cereal and, much to the delight of our kids a few days later: a bag of popsicles you freeze yourself (those long plastic tubes of lemonade in various colors – ideal on a boat!).

To get these groceries back to Blue Pearl we used our carry-on suitcases and a backpack. It did work, but was a bit of a hassle and next time, we probably won’t have our suitcases with us anymore. We are still on the lookout for a good, collapsable pull-cart (recommendations welcome in the comments!).

When we checked in at the marina in Cartagena, they told us that the supermarkets there (a Mercado, Spar and Carrefour) also delivered to the boat!

That would be great! But how would that work? We didn’t know. Here’s what we did and our experience:

We went to a Mercado and asked, with the help of google translate, if they delivered to the boat. They wrote down our information, name of the boat and we showed the location of Blue Pearl on google maps. They handed us blue bags for fresh goods and green bags for frozen items. The next morning, between 9 and 11, they would drop our groceries off, free of charge. They told us that we were to shop as usual and then leave the carts at the cash register.

And we did. It was great! We bought a lot of heavy items like large quantities of water, milk, soda, wine, beer, taking advantage of the fact we didn’t have to lug it around ourselves. We paid our groceries (two carts) and that was it.

The next morning around 10 am a Mercado minivan stopped next to Blue Pearl (we were moored at a quay so a street was next to us) and unloaded all our, carefully packed in crates and plastic bags, groceries. We gave him a tip, and he left. We didn’t have frozen goods this time but our fresh goods were cool and nothing was broken or damaged.

We were super impressed with this service and won’t hesitate to make use of it again!

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