The builders have left the cave…. for a short while anyway! We do have other jobs on the list for them to finish but, for now, we have a respite. And, so do they!
I must say that I am extremely happy with the results so far. If you recall we have 8 separate areas around our cave. So far we have concentrated the work on areas 3 and 5. The rest of the land is work in progress! The builders have worked from my computerised designs which have been tweaked here and there by me and/or Miguel (our Spanish builder). Sometimes dare I say it, the tweaking has improved the overall look and/or enhanced the areas uses.
For now, within these two areas, all that is required is for me to add the finishing touches. I’m not going to rush this final stage as we plan to use the areas and see what it is that is needed or desired. Shade is one of the main finishing touches, especially in area 3 at the rear of the cave. There simply is none but, you may have guessed already, I have a few ideas in my idea box located in my head! The patio at the front has wonderful shade from the original trees and again early evening as the sun drops behind the cave and down from the sky.
Secret Garden (area 3)
The first picture was taken of area 3 (now named Secret Garden) when we purchased the cave and the second photo shows the rear of the cave.
Many changes have been made and the landscape has change considerably. The following pictures show how it is now. We need to add extra grey gravel, there will be a few extra plants and trees scattered around over the next few months and, as I have said above, some shaded areas, but I want to live with it for a while and decide what type of plants and shade, where to put them and how many I want. Then it’s shopping time again. Sorry John but…..
Front Patio (area 5)
This photo was taken of the front area of the cave in its original state. It was used as a large car park with a couple of trees overlooking the views.
Here I pictured three built up areas – one being the main area to be concreted and used as a seating platform and the other two for ‘show’. I was looking at putting cacti in one and pots and art in the other. The main patio was to be higher than the other two, but once I had marked the areas out with my trusted paint aerosol can, I realised that this main area would be too high. We are already in an elevated position so any higher and we would be sitting with the Gods. So after a little tweaking we came to the end results.
I am so pleased with the finished patio design. It is the perfect place to sit and watch the sun rise in the morning and set in the evening, watch the bee eaters and the woodpeckers go about their daily duties and sip a long cool drink in the shade of the trees.
From here we have a beautiful, peaceful view where your eyes and imagination can wander, for hours, around the hills with their secret empty caves. It is a great spot for our three dogs Charlie, Barney and Alfie to sit and look out for intruders (i.e. the farmer with his tractor or the shepherd with his goats). Alfie is our new pup. I say pup but he is growing at a good rate of knots. At 10 weeks he was 17 kgs. More about him later!
If you recall, our cave is in two halves. The second half of the cave needs to be repaired and made good so that we can turn it into a holiday let giving us a little income. This will be the next main project and will begin on Monday. The builders need to yeso (plaster) all through and repair some of the walls that have saltpetre in them. Once that is complete I need to design a ‘Spanish’ kitchen, shelves for the bedrooms and built in seats for the lounge and dining room areas. The rental cave will have two roof patios which are now complete and will be used by our guests. They give wonderful views and privacy, I just need to furnish them to a high standard and add a few plants!
In the rental cave I am thinking along the lines of the designs below. The finished look will be different but it gives you an idea of what’s going on in my head!
When the yeso man has finished this side of the cave he will complete the work outside by coating all of the exterior walls of the cave in capa fina (exterior plaster) giving the outside a cleaner finish and new look. Then…. we have other areas of land that we need to work out what to do with. Do we have turkeys (2 were advertised recently and John was very keen!), do we have a veg patch (only if Chris is here to water daily!) or….. The list goes on.
But for now, I am happy to sit and consider how to advertise our soon to be holiday cave next door. I need to look at why people would want to stay in the area, what they would be looking for and what their needs may be. Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated. So far, I believe that people come to this wonderful area for one of four reasons.
- To experience living in a cave.
- Explore the wonderful area around and its many nature reserves, lakes and interesting villages.
- To enjoy tapas (well, that’s me anyway).
- To relax in an area of beauty and tranquility with a good book and a glass of wine.
Our cave is in just the right location to do all four and much more so hopefully we can provide something for everyone. We are so lucky to have found this spot.
Once the next phase of the work has begun I will be happy to share the progress but for now it’s back to plans and measuring tapes.
Please, please, please follow my blog by adding your email on the top right hand side of this page. You will then be alerted when any updates are made. It only takes a moment – promise. Thank you for reading and taking part in our cave adventure.
Love, peace and happiness to you all.