More time has passed than intended since the first part of successes and setbacks; but now we can share what happened over the following weeks.
Whilst the 1st week was eventful and deserved an entry all of its own, thankfully things settled down as we started to find our feet in our new home 🙂
Our second weekend saw us heading to the market near Arboleas (about 40 km from us), to meet up a chap there who made furniture from recycled wood . In hindsight it may have been a good idea to contact him first, as the cold weather had obviously scared both him and many of the other stall holders off ! That aside it was a nice day out. The contrast was amazing to our more rural part of Spain, we heard more British voices in the first 10 minutes than we had since arriving !
We bought a couple of plants for the start of Josie’s herb garden and detoured via the village of Tijola on the way back. There is a naturally heated outdoor pool in the centre of the village, I imagine it is stunning in the summer. In January though the water was certainly warmer than the air temperature – you could see the stream rising off the pool 🙂
Later that week we drove to Malaga, as Josie was heading home to check up on our dogs . I took the opportunity to catch up with an old friend of mine, Paul, who had previously lived in the Turks and Caicos. He works remotely and lives in a motor home and was spending a few weeks in the area, taking advantage of the warmer weather.
I had misconceptions of Malaga as being a party town of drunk holiday makers. This was soon put to rights – the old town is simply stunning, there is also an imposing looking fort and the remains of a roman amphitheatre. We had a great Moroccan meal before I headed back home.
Having been left alone for a couple of days, I thought I would get on with some DIY (more time to clean up my mess) and set about demolishing the wardrobe in the future rental cave, as well as starting to deep clean it (we had friends arriving in about 3 weeks and the rental made our place look like a palace).
I caught up with Paul again a couple of days later in Antequera. Being less than an hour from Malaga, it broke up my journey to collect Josie from the airport. The town of Antequera is stunning and worthy of a later blog entry all of its own – the half day I spent there certainly whetted my appetite for a return visit.
February finally saw both internet and a landline installed; after nearly 3 weeks we were back in touch with the real world 🙂
A repeat trip to the market near Arboleas saw us find our furniture guy and arrange for him to make tables and chairs for both our caves.
We opened a PO Box in Baza (no postal delivery to our little hamlet) and made a second run to Ikea. We were well and truly fed up with sleeping under an array of blankets and covers and so caved in and bought a duvet (among other things). The rental saw further improvements – I finished work in the bathroom, removed the old electric hob and replaced it with a gas one, re-wired a broken plug socket and glued and re-attached the window that had fallen out in our first week.
My friend Paul arrived in his motor home and stayed with us for a week. This was an opportunity to take a break from the non stop work and spend a few days relaxing. We visited the markets, drove to the summit of Mount Jabalcón and explored the Sierra de Baza (up to the snow line).
The mobile phone SIM card from Habland arrived after a mere 5 weeks (our first post). Then despite downloading the installation app we couldn’t get a signal. After a week of fruitless email conversations we gave up and drove to the Habland office in Huescar. They tried everything but to no avail and tried to imply it was our iPhone. I suggested they try it in another phone and still no joy … eventually we got a different SIM and as if by magic we had a signal (and still do).
We went to Purullena, which is about 40 km from us and famous in the region for its ceramics. It’s an easy place to part with your hard-earned money, that’s for sure ! We also started out first attempt at vegetable gardening, buying 30 lettuce plants for 3 Euros. I sense a lot of salad in our future if they all survive.
The first (smallest) of the tables was ready for collection. We made a day of it and visited the coastal town of Mojácar. The journey itself was worthy of a day out – blossom everywhere, orange and lemon groves and fields of wild flowers.
A few more chores were completed – we found the access point for our ‘pozo negro’ (septic tank) buried under the gravel – now all we have to find out is when it needs to be emptied !
We also built a yoga deck, bought an oven and gas hob and had both fitted in our cave – Josie now has a 5 ring hob and is very excited.
Our table and chairs were delivered and we treated ourselves to a couple of hammocks 🙂
As the weather improved and the basics were dealt with, we took the opportunity to do some more exploring. We enjoyed some short walks in the Sierra de Baza, discovered new cycle routes, had a day trip to Almeria and spent Andalucian day with friends – having a picnic at the outdoor pool at Orce (yes I did go for a swim and it was freezing).
We successfully applied for Josies NIE and the builders arrived to start work on the next phase of our cave renovations. We had hoped the work would begin whilst we were heading back to the UK to collect our dogs, the builders however had other ideas. So we endured 2 days of dust, noise and chaos … to top it all off the water boiler next door literally exploded and so we had an unexpected cost of getting a new one installed before we left *sigh*
And so successes and setbacks (part 2) ends as we begin our journey back to the UK to collect our dogs (who have been in quarantine since December) and bring them out to their new home.
I am pretty sure our next entry will follow our route through France and back home to Spain.
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 …
Furniture – El Mueble.
Pool – La Piscina.
Table and Chairs – La Mesa y La Sillas.
Lettuce – La Lechuga.
Boiler – El Calentador.