Our Andaluz Adventure began with seeking out our “place in the sun”. We chose a not-so-old “cottage” just outside a whitewashed village in Andalucia. It is up in the mountains – we are living at around 2700 feet! This has it’s advantages – it doesn’t get as hot in summer as some places like Seville and Cordoba – or the Costa del Sol. But likewise – in the winter we can have temperatures below freezing and …. snow!
We chose this particular house because of the proximity – but not too close – to the village where there is a bar and village store – open all hours. It means we are not totally isolated but have a large amount of solitude and quiet. The other massive selling point was the view!
When we bought it, the property consisted of a house, bounded on both sides with animal sheds, about 30 olive trees and some fruit trees – apricot, plum, cherry, fig, nectarine and, of course, grapes. The owners were using it as a “day out”! In other words, they lived in the nearby town but came up to the casa for the day, especially during the summer, to enjoy the fruit, vegetable garden and tend the animals. In the winter they only came to pick the olives and, briefly, tend to the animals. So basically, the house was not lived in.
We completed the purchase but were unable to “move in” for a little due to commitments in the UK. Finally, my husband took time off work and headed out. The first month he “camped” in the casa, as we had absolutely nothing here. He slept on a camp bed, cooked with a primus stove, washed in a sink in the yard and visited the olives when nature called – having discovered that the plumbing left everything to be desired!
When I came over, I insisted we purchase the basic necessities – a bed, a cooker (bottled gas) and a fridge. That first winter, we just visited for a month or so – the bar had lent us a table and 2 chairs (and let us use their “facilities”!), we made a sofa of straw bales found in one of the out-houses and for warmth we lit the open fire in the “kitchen”. The solicitous ex-owner kept popping back for things he’d left in the out-houses and to give us advice on how the house worked – such as, we had to leave the kitchen door open and the one to the stairs in order for the fire to draw – otherwise the kitchen filled with smoke!
Around this time was when I decided I HAD to make an income online so that I could leave my jobettes in the UK and be fancy free to enjoy the rural life afforded here in our corner of Spain. You can read about THAT venture at “My Online Marketing Journey”