On the 3rd of September 2012 we arrived in Galera to meet our estate agent Sean, he said he had 5 caves for us to look at….we headed off on the A-330 but had to stop for some petrol at a little garage where the lady who greeted us must have been at least 90 years old, her Guard Dog (who was also getting on in years) barely lifted an eyebrow and certainly wasn’t coming out from under his bush to investigate us further.
First stop was a cave that was owned by a couple of artists (somewhere along the road from Galera to Cullar), it was a great place and finished beautifully the only problem was that it was smaller than we were hoping and there was no amenities nearby.
Next we headed for Benamaurel (a rural village with about 300 bars). Here we met Mat KT who has since helped me immensely in my seemingly endless path of mistakes (Thanks Mat). The cave here was really nice It had amazing views up the rambla (riverbed) and it had a reasonable amount of space indoors and outside. The main thing that put us off this property was it had shared access with a neighbour and had other caves in every direction including one that was directly below and it’s chimney was in the garden of the property we were looking at. It was however great to get an idea of the contrasts between how remote and how on top of each other these caves can be.
The next trip took us to Cortes de Baza (a sleepy place that reminded my of the Comic Strip Presents A Fistful of Travellers Cheques) to see a large “YELLOW” cave (that I had previously seen on the website) This place was really big, originally two houses that had been knocked through into one, It had a big secure courtyard with a lovely big Ash Tree in the middle. This cave was our favourite so far as it had plenty of space and was about a five minute walk to the village, the only thing it was lacking was a view….. but it did need some work doing, nothing serious just things to make it more like a home and less like a cattery, there was a big area of purpose built kennels for dogs and cats that would have to go.
Onward, this time to Cortijo del Cura to see an “ECO Cave” as we were running recycling centres in Devon at the time this cave sounded the most interesting as it featured Hemp Brick for Insulation and some new fangled heating system. This was another nice cave and had some lovely rustic wooden features but again it was very small and was nowhere near a shop or more importantly a Bar….. The would be next door neighbour here had a Jacuzzi that was set in it’s own cave looking across the valley which would have done nothing more than make me envious every time I went past.
Our final destination was Huescar.
Huescar was the only village on this trip that we had visited previously and not particularly liked (for no reason that I can think of). The Cave here was Massive, It had a few really big rooms with really high ceilings, It also had a big outdoor area that had stunning views across the Rambla and onward to the Sierra de Castril Mountains. This property also had another separate cave that was in need of full refurbishment. Overall loads of space and loads of scope for the future but all these things cost money and we weren’t really taken with Huescar anyway.
So we headed back to Sean’s office in Galera, said our farewells and promised that we would be in touch………..
We were both thinking about the “YELLOW” Cave in Cortes de Baza….
and then the questions started: how many people could comfortably stay in it? could you put a pool in the yard? could the kennels be removed? would the two “craft rooms” be better converted back into bedrooms? would it need an extra toilet? how many cars could you park at the front? etc etc………