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Here at last

May 27, 2009. Posted by Ian B in Untagged .

Well here I am folks, I am finally living in my little cortijo in southern Spain. Luckily the local town has a free internet cafe for everyone so I thought I would drop you all a quick line. Wow what a journey. I bought a caravan to tow across Spain so that I had something to live in while I am renovating my property. I should have realised it was maybe not the best plan when we got about three quarters of the way to Plymouth to catch the Santander ferry when the car overheated. This was to be a continuing theme, more in a moment.

We made it to the ferry which at first seemed great until I realised that a huge steak dinner followed by gallons of fizzy pop combined with hurricane force winds and fifty foot waves are not a good combination for a settled stomach. Still theres only so much a belly can hold before its empty again. We arrived in Santander and found that the AA route map we printed out was less than useful, as we went back and forth to Santander several times before shredding it and reffering to a good old map, much better.

Every time we hit a hill the temp was flying to dangerous levels so the jouney was done in short spurts and long rests. We hit one hill which seemed to never end and we proceeded to break down on the side of a sheer drop at the side of one of the busiest motorways in Spain. Surprisingly we made it to my first planned stop, a camp site near Burgos called Riaza.

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Impending Change.

Mar 27, 2009. Posted by Ian B in Untagged .

Hi all,

Well, sorry I haven't been on for a while, just so busy getting thing ready, as well as both of us having a full time job and trying to finish the house for rental. Sorry, I'm rambling!

We have booked our ferry, Plymouth to Santander, hired a van for our stuff and bought a little caravan to live in so we arealmost ready for the off. By the end of May we will be on site and getting started, so I will be offline for some time.

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The Right Place?

Mar 07, 2009. Posted by Ian B in Untagged .

We made several trips to the Alpujarras over the coming year, but not much success. Some houses we liked but the land was unsuitable or the track too long. Some had fantastic location but the house didnt catch the imagination. On all our trips we stayed with Dave and Belinda which was helpful as they had gone through all this themselves so had plenty of sensible advice. Eventually we were sitting back in England and we deceided  to go out again purely for a holiday, no house hunting. We booked with Belinda and it turned out to be a red hot week, 42 degrees in the shade, even Ali who loves to fry in the sun had to admit defeat and sit indoors at the height of the day. We visited Trevelez, a beautiful mountain town, apparently it lays claim to be the highest permanently inhabited village in Europe, ( don't quote me, its only a claim!) Their speciality is the stunning dry cured ham so loved of tapas bars everywhere, something to do with air temperature and purity make it some of the best in the world. We also visited Granada, more specifically teh Alhambra Palace. WOW!! if you only have time to visit one place of interest while in Spain, this has to be the one. I wont even try to describe it, my meagre use of the English language could never do it justice. Anyway we had a lovely week chilling out. On the day before we went, i said to Ali "I know we are here for a rest, but can we just go to one property agent? I will feel like we have done something useful." Ali sighed but said OK, "But only one" I felt like a kid who had just persuaded his mum to buy him an ice cream. We went to an agent in the town (Cadiar) and arranged to see a few propertys. Up this track, down that one but nothing. We got back to his office and sat down a bit dejected. Then a picture on his board caught my eye, it looked familiar, I had seen it on the internet in my many surfings. It was a bit above our budget but we thought we would have a look anyway. It turned out to be a branch off the main track on the one we had travelled many times to Belindas. We pulled up outside, the view was stunning and not a neighbour in site. As we walked round the ramshackle property we both were silent, a rare thing indeed. We stepped outside and the agent said he would leave us to have a chat for a minute. Ali looked at me and said"What do you think?" "Its perfect." I whispered "I think so too" replied Ali. And so we had found Cortijo Serafin.

Much love

Ian B

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Mar 03, 2009. Posted by Ian B in Untagged .

Hi all,

Just a quickie as I am watching "Dexter", my favourite anti hero at the moment.

I will write a longer entry this weekend,(is it me or did I just hear a faint groaning noise?) But I have some news to impart.

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The Hunt for El Cortijo Estupendo

Jan 29, 2009. Posted by Ian B in Untagged .

Hi All,

The search for a property that would suit us turned out to be a bit harder than we thought. For one,we had no idea what we actually wanted. We had trawled through pages and pages of internet property sites and the only thing I can say is, don't trust tiny pixelated pictures, they bear little resemblence to the real thing.

We met a few agents while we were looking, one in particular stood out. She wasn't the person we eventually bought a house from but she was so helpful and very patient with us, obviously understanding that the "extrajeneros" were new to this game. The lady in question was Jan from Sunshine Properties in Cadiar. I would thoughroughly recommend her services. Check out the links page on my site www.alpujarracortijo.com for a link to Jans site.

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Real Spain.

Jan 17, 2009. Posted by Ian B in Untagged .

Hi all,

Not a continuation just yet, just a random waffle, (you lucky people!)

Just been on E Bay to try and sell a few non esentials in preperation for when we do eventually up-sticks and move. I hate technology at times, it is supposed to save us time and usually ends up wasting more than we have! My PC keeps crashing and if it keeps up it might just go crashing out of the bedroom window!!

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Deep in the Foothills!!

Jan 13, 2009. Posted by Ian B in Untagged .

Back again, I have just finished a rather long and boring seven days of work, so now you all have to face my long and rambling witterings, sorry bout that.

Where was I? Oh yes, we had arranged to meet Belinda and Dave by the side of the main road. Their place was down a "track", a thing we had not yet had the pleasure of. They were waiting for us, as promised standing by their faithful old Land Rover. Lots of greetings followed and first impressions were good, the natives seemed friendly.

I jumped into the Range Rover with Dave and Belinda drove with Ali behind us. Dave explained that the Cortijo we were staying at was down this track, which was fairly long and a bit rough in places, not easy to navigate for first timers. After about twenty minutes I was beginning to wonder how long this track was! It seemed to go on for quite a while, then irrational thought kicked in, "Who were these people?" they could just abandon us in the hills, or worse!! (Only kidding Dave) Then as we rounded a sharp little bend, there it was, nestled in the valley atop its own little hill, Cortijo Las Chumbas a beautiful little place in a lovely secluded spot.

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Blog again.

Jan 08, 2009. Posted by Ian B in Untagged .


How frustrating, I had written a lovely rambling blog yesterday and lost it all due to my ancient computer i guess. I must change the big transistor, its throwing out a lot of heat.

Anyway, after researching what appeared to be the perfect area, there was nothing left to do but try it out for real. So accomodation booked, car booked flight booked, we set out on a cold English morning to Stanstead, destination Almeria. Malaga is also an option I have since used and at a pinch Granada (but hard to get direct flights.) I love Almeria airport, it is so small and coming down the steps reminds me of those old clips of the Beatles arriving in America, with all the screaming fans up on the balcony. It is exactly the same except no Beatles, no screaming fans and its not America, exactly the same! 

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Blinkin heck!

Jan 05, 2009. Posted by Ian B in Untagged .

Just wrote a 500 word blog, then tried to save it and it crashed, bummer.

Will try again tomorrow, I an just too damn angry now, GRRRR!

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Ian B's Blog.

Jan 03, 2009. Posted by Ian B in Untagged .


Dear reader,

Finally I have been let loose with my own blog! Are they mad? I will try and make a weekly entry, but time, motivation and alcoholic influence may vary both quantity and quality of my entries.

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