Why I love living in a cave





I love living in a cave ! There, I’ve come out and said it, in the hope that others will come to understand why we chose a cave as our home ūüôā

As with most things in life it started off quite innocently, in our case with a newspaper article on cave living in Spain.

I was initially attracted by¬†the financial benefits of buying a cave house and the flexibility that gave us ¬†(Josie … no surprise there, and rolls her eyes !).

Natural walls and a roof means less bricks, tiles and mortar, which means you can get more for your money. (well you could¬†before the EU referendum fiasco !). ¬†For us this meant¬†spending less on a property and bringing forward our ‘semi-retirement’ plans by a couple of years. Oh, happy days ūüôā

But¬†it wasn’t¬†just about the initial savings, low maintenance costs are¬†another benefit. With no¬†external walls and no roof to worry about, we will¬†be able to keep our maintenance costs to a minimum.

living in a caveFinally¬†because the cave rooms are sunk into the rock they maintain roughly the same temperature summer and winter. ¬†Between 16 and 19¬įC. There is no need for air conditioning in the summer. ¬†In winter heating requirements are significantly lower than in traditional¬†houses. As a result electricity¬†costs are much lower.

But enough of this … finances may¬†be important, but they are also dull and impersonal (Josie nods in agreement).

I love living in a cave for more than the mere financial benefits !

I love the setting and location of our new underground dwelling.

living in a cave

That’s us on the far left ūüôā

Almost all cave homes are built on the outskirts of villages or towns and ours is no exception. We have the benefit of peace and tranquility; no noise or light pollution. At the same time we are only a couple of miles from the supermarkets, bars, restaurants and hospital, which meet all our day-to-day needs.

 

 

I adore the uniqueness of our cave and in fact all the caves houses I have seen.  Because almost all the modernised cave homes are made from older dwellings, each carved out by hand, no two caves are alike. So there is no danger of ending up with a dull, uniform box designed house.

I sometimes even catch myself flicking through photos of our new home !

living in a cave

 

Now I’ve lived in more than my fair share of properties over the years and don’t think I have photos of most of them, let along look those pics.

 

There is just something about a cave. I think that for me, looking at a photo is the equivalent to pinching yourself to make sure your not dreaming.

I love that I can make small alterations to our home with a hammer and chisel (no honestly). Want a shelf then simply cut one out ! My next project is to cut out an area in our bedroom to slide a chest of drawers into Рan instant space saver !

living in a cave

 

I love walking into our underground home on a hot day and instantly feeling cooler.

I am sure that when I experience a first Winter I will welcome the warmth and coziness of being underground.

 

 

our newly renovated cave, living in a cave

 

I love just sitting on the sofa in our home¬†(it’s base has been carved¬†out of the rock)¬†and taking it all in. ¬†I love¬†the shape of the cave and the texture of the walls. I love that you can see the tool marks from when¬†the cave was cut and shaped.

 

I often wonder how the cave¬†came to be built …

Was it dug out by the moors ?

How many centuries was it inhabited for and by who ?

Was it simply a large animal pen and storage area ?

Finally, I love getting¬†into bed at night. ¬†It’s wonderful that I can sleep under a duvet year round due to the constant internal temperature. The thick walls shield us from even the slightest of noise. No windows means no early morning wake-up as the sun rises. I would go as far as to say that my deepest and soundest sleeps have been¬†whilst living¬†in a cave ūüôā

For all these reasons and more … I love living in a cave ūüôā

I am sure that fellow cave dwellers reading this can agree with many of my reasons.  Maybe they can add a few more of their own ?

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¬†ūüôā

5 words related to this blog entry …

Love – El Amor

Temperature – La Temperatura

Outskirts – Las Afueras

Photo – La Foto

Duvet РEl Edredón

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Why I love living in a cave

  1. David & Elizabeth Stone

    Wonderful reading your blog, guys! Hope E & I will see it up close one day. One Question : I see you have electricity inside ( at least I think it is – from the sconce on wall next to sofa). How do you get it inside and then how do you “hook it up” to lights or appliances ? Maybe I missed a post or two ???

    Reply
    1. Danny Post author

      Hi David,

      It would be wonderful if you could both come visit in the future.

      I think using the word ‘cave’ often gives the wrong impression on the homes themselves.

      Refurbished caves normally have full electricity, internet access, running water and sewage treatment. Really rural properties tend to be more off the grid.

      In our case we have mains electric with electric oven and hob, water heater, lighting etc. We are connected to mains water and have our own septic tank as we are too rural for main sewage treatment.

      When the caves are refurbished, channels are cut into both the walls and floors to install and conceal all the wiring. They are then plastered (or tiled in the case of the floors). All the wiring leads to breakers or is concealed behind panels so that maintenance can be undertaken as necessary. Then it all connects up to a electricity meter.

      We hope to reduce our reliance on electricity (its about the most expensive in Europe), by switching to a gas oven/hob and water heater. They will run off bottled gas which is economical and regulated. Heating costs are minimal – we currently have 2 open fires places, but will be changing them to wood burning stoves, as they both give out more heat and burn less wood.

      Hope that answers your question ?

      Danny

      Reply
      1. David & Elizabeth Stone

        It does, beautifully. Thanx. E & I were talking this morning about the heating, electric and then wondered about sewage, plumbing etc. Is there any concern though (probably not or you’d not be doing it.) about fire or propane being burned or is air circulation not an issue. I guess I am thinking cave dwelling is more primitive than it truly is.

        D

        Reply
        1. Danny Post author

          No problems with gas build up or fumes as the caves are well ventilated. Pay us a visit and all your idea of cave houses will be changed forever ūüôā

          Reply
  2. Kevin

    Hi Danny, my name is Kevin. Your sister Estelle told me that you have just bought a cave house in near Baza in Spain but she can’t remember what village it is in we are in huescar lovely little market town and quite often visit Baza to do our shopping in lidl. We will be in Spain in September Estelle suggested that we should meet you when we come out maybe at Lake negritine in the restaurant by the caravan park.

    Reply
    1. Danny Post author

      Hi Kevin,

      Good to hear from you. Small world – Estelle said you have had a cave house for a number of years. We are in a hamlet of less than 10 homes, its too small even for a name ūüôā We are only 3 miles from Baza though. Visited Huescar last September on market day and thought it was a beautiful village. What dates are you there is September as we are only there for a little over a week ? We move out on a full time basis in January next year.

      Reply
  3. Su and Sid

    Hi Danny, really enjoyed your blog. We’ve had a cave just outside Baza for nearly 10 years – initially for holidays (I work in a school – so decent time in Summer), but with every intention of retiring out here – hopefully Brexit won’t affect that. You are right caves are so cool in summer and we’ve been out when it’s been cold and a few logs of olive wood in burner soon makes it cosy. We have all the luxuries we require including wifi. We are semi rural but only 7 minutes drive to all the supermarkets Baza has to offer. You could not pay me to live in a normal building out here. Good luck on your move.

    Reply
    1. Danny Post author

      Hi Su and Sid, thank you for your kind words, We obviously don’t need to sell the benefits of cave life to you ūüôā

      We will be back in September for a couple of weeks to see how the latest renovations have gone (watch this space) and then move out full time in January 2017.

      Like you, we have the benefits of rural life but with all the facilities on the doorstep.

      It’s very exciting and a little scary at the same time, but we know we are making the right decision.

      Only time will tell …

      All the best.

      Danny and Josie

      Reply
      1. Su and Sid

        We are soooo jealous but also pleased for you that you are moving in January. We’ve been here in January – mornings -2 degree or lower but as soon as the sun comes out and you see that beautiful azure blue; life doesn’t get much better. I will think of you when I’m setting of for work in the cold damp windy weather of Yorkshire. Will be reading your blogs as a means of “cheer me up”.

        Take care

        Reply
        1. Danny Post author

          Bare in mine we are moving from the Caribbean! It may take a while to get used to -2 ūüėČ Maybe we will get to catch up with you next year ūüôā

          Reply
          1. Su Hore

            Hi. Sorry for the delay but have been celebrating son’s 18th plus repainting inside cave – urgh – never ending job in a cave. It will be lovely to meet up next year.

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