It was an early morning start to our final week on holiday in Andalucia, as I was heading to Almeria airport to pickup my sister who was arriving at 9:30am.
There were lots of wind farms along the way …
as well as an intriguing looking castle sitting alone on a hill on the edge of the Sierra Nevada. I later googled it and found out it was Calahorra Castle – its duly been added to the ‘must visit’ list.
The journey there took about 2 hours and was pain-free, with well maintained, empty roads and good signage to the airport itself. The airport is well laid out and obviously caters to the English as the advertised breakfast was a ‘full English’ !
Josies mum, 2 sisters and niece also arrived later that day – so the current family count is 11, plus myself and Josie – It made for an entertaining evening at a local restaurant !
Family numbers started to dwindle with Tony and Ginnie leaving early the next morning. The rest of us headed in convoy to the village of Castril, a day out worthy of a blog entry of its own.
That evening the family finally got to see inside our caves as Sean had kindly arranged to give us access. At the same time we met up with Mauricio (our proposed builder recommended by Sean) to enable him to see the properties, discuss and quote on the work that needed to be undertaken.
We were finding it difficult to make arrangements with so many people, especially as they were staying in different properties and all had different needs. To make life simple we returned to our tried and tested formula of the pool at Orce. Max and Emilia left in the afternoon and Josie and I went on a mystery driving tour of the countryside – parking the car we clambered up a hillside to see one of the many old moorish watchtowers up close and personal.
Thursday was a father and son day. My dad and I headed out to the beautiful hill-top town of Benamaurel.
The village sits atop a cliff top, looking down on a fertile valley. As you approach the village you can see the entrances to the old moorish caves in the rock face.
Arriving in Benamaurel, we parked up in the Central Plaza and headed towards the ‘Mirador de las Hafas’ (viewpoint of the Moorish cave houses). The view from there was spectacular with stunning views over the cultivated fields in the valley below. Looking down we could see a walkway with a wooden safety fence which led to some of the Moorish caves we had seen in the cliff face from the valley below.
It made for a fascinating walk, the view was breathtaking and you could enter many of the cave houses which dated back to the 12th Century.
On our return, we stopped off at Cafe-Bar Emilio in Los Carriones to further sample their full english breakfast
Back in Galera I headed to the Bank to see if my Visa card was ready for collection, only to find that rural bank hours run from 8:30 – 2:30 !
Friday started with a very constructive morning. Firstly I successfully picked up our bank card from Caja Rural. Then we headed to Baza to meet up with our solicitor at notary. We arranged a ‘Power of Attorney‘ and provided the necessary details to enable him to sort out our NIE tax number (due to lack of time on our part).
Meeting up with everyone else in Baza, we headed to Lake Negratin for an afternoon of chilling. This time though we headed to the recreational site at Freila. There is a bar/restaurant on the water’s edge and a pebble beach to laze on. The water was cold but we braved it anyway, swimming along with the non fazed fish. To date this is the most beautiful part of Lake Negratin we have visited. The views are spell binding.
Josie had suffered from severe headaches for a couple of days and nothing would ease them. Enough was enough and so off we went to the ‘Centro de Salud’ in Huescar. It was a Saturday so only the emergency room was open and no one spoke any English ! With my limited Spanish I conveyed Josies symptoms but was struggling to understand all their questions. Everyone there was wonderful, after a short phone call they found a woman from the tourist board who spoke perfect English and translated for us. An injection and prescriptions saw us on our way. This was our first experience of Spanish health care and we cannot find fault with it.
That evening we had a last family meal at our favourite restaurant in Cullar.
How time flies … our last full day of our final week on holiday in Andalucia. It was time to say our farewells. All of our family were heading home, whilst Josie and I were flying to Barcelona to catch up with old friends.
We cleaned up the caves and headed towards Granada airport. Spending the night at a hotel conveniently close to the airport we reflected on what we had achieved in 3 short weeks in Andalucia and started to plan our return trip.
So … Who are one foot in the cave ?
We (Danny and Josie) have spent the last 10 years living and working in the Caribbean. In 2015 we decided we wanted to move closer to family and friends so bought a cave house in the Granada region of Andalucia, Spain. We moved there full time in January 2017. Now we write about our experiences of cave living and how we are adapting to life in Spain.
We also have a Facebook page full of pictures, experiences and information that we have found useful along the way. If its your thing, you can also follow us on Instagram 🙂
5 words related to this blog entry …
Castle – El Castillo
Father – El Padre
Valley – El Valle
Beach – La Playa
Health Centre – Centro de Salud