It was love at first sight. It was love over the Internet. I had seen the perfect home for John and I to ‘live out’ the rest of our lives.
Was it a villa with a pool? No, already got that in Cyprus.
Was it a farm house in Tuscany? No, France can be a little too cold and wet.
It’s a cave! Yes, a cave. Thankfully, John instantly fell in love too and that is quite surprising from a man who weighs up all the options a million times before committing to anything, (even going to the cinema).
We talked for hours about ‘what if’, ‘when’, ‘how’ and all the things you both need to work through when processing such an idea or project. After much debate and many many unanswered questions we both came to the same humungous decision – we both agreed we wanted to buy this particular cave. This is where it all began. We contacted the estate agent in Spain, made an offer and waited for a response back.
Common sense then kicked in. Perhaps at least one of us should go and see the ‘property’ in person before things moved on. I was nominated to travel to Spain with my son Chris who would give me a second pair of eyes. We both have had different life experiences so hopefully we could cover most, if not all, bases.
Sean the estate agent was extremely helpful. We had met him before when looking at a reformed cave in the same general area. We missed out on this property by a matter of hours but as I always say – if it was meant to be!! Sean told us that the cave was a 10 minute drive from the main road via a rough track, that you had to cross a stream/river before you arrived at the property and ideally you would need a 4 x 4 to gain regular access especially in the winter periods. Did this concern us at all. No not one bit. We love 4×4’s and if the stream got too big to cross well, you just have to be prepared don’t you?
Living in Cyprus has it’s disadvantages when travelling to Spain during the winter/spring period. There are no direct flights to the south where we wanted to aim for. The planning of routes, stop overs and timings were not as simple and straight forward as you may imagine but eventually I got everything to tie up and Chris and I arrived at Malaga, picked up the hire car and off we set. We arrived in the area quite late so decided to have a good night’s sleep and view the property the following morning.
This was the moment we were looking forward to. Would I like it as much as I had thought, would Chris feel the same? – the cave would become part of his life too one day. It may be an understatement to say that I was a little nervous and feeling a little ‘mad’.
We came off the main road heading down the track towards the cave when we stopped about 5 minutes into our journey to take in the sights around us. Fantastic. I was in love with this dream already and what I was now seeing only strengthened my feelings. Chris was extremely quiet but I could see from the smile on his face that he was loving it too. Arriving at the cave was simply magical. It sounds far fetched and exaggerated but that is exactly how I felt. I could see my whole life mapped out with the white washed walls, chickens and outdoor life surrounded by the wonderful 360′ scenery that surrounded us. This was it – our next and final adventure.
We walked around the caves many times trying to come to terms with what we were seeing. Yes, it was a number of holes in the rock; yes, the rock was a combination of hard and soft rock; yes, there was no water and electricity readily available and yes, we freely admitted that we did not care. It could and would be magnificent. With a specialist builder, a little artistic talent and a lot of money , this cave could be a dream home for me, John, our two rescue dogs Barney and Charlie and our family to share.
The following day we explored a little further and went to one of the nearby lakes. Again, if was all breathtakingly beautiful. We travelled into the nearby towns, Benamaurel and Baza, had tapas and continued to dream about what may be. Chris and I loved the Spanish way of life, loved the tapas and the people where all so very friendly. We would certainly need to speak Spanish and quickly, but I personally am not worried about that as I can already count in Spanish and order the bill. It’s a start isn’t it.
What more can I say – are we going to continue with our dream? Well, why not? You only have one life and that life can be pretty short sometimes.
It was not long before we heard from Sean. We did not think our offer would be accepted but it was! I knew that this was the start of lots of hard work, planning, honest talking, dreams and nightmares. In my head it was already my new home. But, there was certainly a long way to go yet. Lots of planning, legal papers and meetings to prepare for first. Everyone knows that nothing is secure until the final stage of completion and we are weeks away from that. Those weeks are going to feel like years.
But… the journey has begun……..