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A description of life in a village in the Andalusian mountains

Village life in the Andalusian mountains

Why I chose Pruna
03 August 2017 @ 13:23

Village after lovely village, Andalusia is packed with beauty and places to buy. So what is so special about Pruna, why did I choose it above all the other places I visited and viewed?

I wanted 'real', I wanted a village where the locals did not speak English, where menus were not written in understandable English, where locals went about their daily lives and waved a greeting. I wanted views of mountains. I wanted great bus services, that the closest airports would heave with budget flights. I wanted a 24/7 medical center, great tapas, good food. I wanted authentic, I wanted donkeys.

And as soon as I saw Pruna I knew this was the place. It had come up time and time again in searches as being really low priced. (There are other 'cheap' areas to live in Andalusia, less mountainous, industrial scale agriculture, further North, no donkeys.)

I had been scheduled to view the properties in Pruna on the last day of my house search tour. But in fact it had so attracted me that we drove there the first morning, just as dawn was truly breaking (8am in winter!) and as I entered I got such a feeling of being home. We parked at the back of the church and walked around, eventually finding the square that we would, just eight short days later, buy a house on.

Everyone said Hola, buenas, yo, adio, or some other greeting, the children stood and stared. I saw a donkey with an old man sat on it laden up with veg in the side panniers, I went to take a photo, he shouted at me. Ah, grumpy old men, love em.

Everywhere else I looked at was dismissed, with my low budget the houses were too small, not enough outside space, locals unfriendly (in one village on the coast,the estate agents and I were loudly abused by a local Spaniard who was clearly unhappy about more Brits buying there). Many villages have too many Brits for my liking, the signs were: chalkboard menus in English, and posters for Bingo/quizzes/bisto gravy). Pther villages villages were inundated with industrial level pig farms, or surrounded by hundreds of acres of poly tunnels,or situated in mile after mile of unrelenting flatness.

On the day that Olvera Properties met up with me, we first viewed houses in Olvera, what a gem! But the places I was shown for my low budget were tiny with no outside space to speak of. But I did love Olvera! On the drive to Pruna from Olvera, just 4 miles, I was dumbstruck with the beauty of the mountains and within minutes we were parking up and walking into houses, large houses, but still not enough outside space.

And then I was shown my own true love. A four bed house in need of tlc (complete gutting more like lol) but, it had a garden, and a stables/workshop that could have the roof terraced, and it backed on to an olive grove. It ticked every box, but was, of course over budget. Funny how you can find the extra when you find the right one.

Before I made an offer I did some thorough research, bus services, population, percentage of Brits, authenticity, crime levels, anti social behaviour. To a large degree I trusted the opinion of the estate agents: befriend the neighbours, they will protect your house; there are three families to watch out for; and remenber, not all the dodgy charcters are Spanish, the only times I have been cheated or robbed it was by Brits!

But why so cheap? Well Spain has no real benefits system, the young tend to move away and then the houses that should have been passed down to them need to sold to pay for university fees, or weddings.

Other advantages to Pruna only became apparent after buying. It is ideally places for trips to Cadiz, Seville, Cordoba, Granada, and the Malaga coastline. It is great place to start from, and then to feel a warm glow as you return.

The Pruneans are very welcoming, they thrive on friendship and respect. When I arrived I could not count to ten in Spanish, but duolingo helped. Only watching Spanish TV (OK, I confess, in English but with Spanish subtitles!). And from day one reading the Spanish newspaper with a dictionary in hand every morning in a local bar along with my cafe con leche and tostado, means that I can prattle away and even make jokes. So you will get there! Do not be daunted.

And when I could speak enough then the barriers were really down, and I have had the pleasure of watching babies grow into children, teens into adulthood, young adults into parents, all on my doorstep. A pleasure and a privilege.



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1 Comments


Tina1956 said:
03 August 2017 @ 23:31

Beautifully written and sounds like a love story.

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