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Puntos de vista - a personal Spain blog

Musings about Spain and Spanish life by Paul Whitelock, hispanophile of 40 years and now resident of Ronda in Andalucía .

My God! What have we done?
Saturday, April 17, 2021 @ 4:25 AM

My God! What have we done?

Pablo de Ronda recalls the time when he and his first wife, Jeryl, were looking for a property to buy in the Serranía de Ronda. Here is what happened during a visit to the area with their son Tom in October 2001.


27 October 2001

“Are you awake?”

“Yep. Can’t sleep.”

“Me neither.”

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?


“My God! What have we done?”

Light on. 3 am. It’s mid-October 2001 in the tiny village of Montejaque in the Serranía de Ronda mountains.  The house is cold and damp. Someone has disturbed the dogs penned in on the outskirts of the village and all hell has been let loose!

The evening before we had agreed to buy and had put down a deposit on an apartment in the nearby town of Ronda.

We saw the flat in the late afternoon at the end of a long hot day viewing totally inappropriate places offered by our Spanish estate agent.

Had we panicked?  At the time we didn’t think so, as we’d been looking for over a year, but in the cold, damp, dark, sleepless early-hours of an Andalucían autumn morning, we had begun to question the wisdom of blowing most of our recently matured endowment on a jerry-built flat in a community of owners, all of whom were Spanish.

What had we done?


Fast forward nine years to 2010 .....

Well, our little flat, which we called Piso Blanco, turned out to be a sound investment.  It has given our family, relatives and friends several years of fun holidays.

When we bought a run-down little house around the corner in 2003, our flat was an ideal base, as we set about renovating the house, christened, rather predictably, Casa Blanca.

Forgotten a tool?  No problem!

Hungry? Just nip up the road to the flat for a bite to eat.

Loo out of action?  There was another 50 metres away.

Tired?  Take a siesta in the flat.

Five years later, Casa Blanca, now renovated, had to be sold to finance the purchase of a house in England for the recently divorced me to live in, but Piso Blanco, the apartment in Ronda lives on and continues to be enjoyed by family and friends, as well as Rita my second wife (we married in 2010) and I, both now residents. If we fancy a night out in Ronda and don’t want to drive home .....


Update - February 2021

Times and circumstances change and I sold Piso Blanco in February 2019. I even made a small profit, a rare phenomenon in the current financial climate.

Unhappy with the ridiculous interest rate on savings (0.025% I think) I decided to invest in another property to do up. I bought Casa Pablo in Montejaque in October 2020 and started work on the reforma. After several weeks of stoppages caused by Covid-19 lockdowns the work has stalled yet again, but we’ll get there in the end …..


Note: This article forms part of a trilogy with Montejaque Diary – First Ever Stay and The Houses That Jack Built , all available to read on EyeOnSpain.

Like 2


anthomo16 said:
Saturday, April 24, 2021 @ 10:42 AM

I have visited Montejaque and found it a delightful place but it was a summers day. The area around it again was so pretty.

PablodeRonda said:
Sunday, April 25, 2021 @ 3:42 AM

Since we opted for Ronda over Montejaque 20 years ago, things have changed somewhat. My wife back then, Jeryl, and I sadly became a divorce statistic after 30 years of marriage, the last five of which we had enjoyed visiting Ronda and the surrounding area whenever we could.
In 2008, after two failed relationships in quick succession, I met and fell in love with a German lady, Rita, who was already living in Montejaque.
She worked in a surgery in Knittlingen, the twin town of Montejaque and Benaoján, and visited the village which so many of her patients (Spanish emigrants or the family of emigrants) had recommended to her.
The day after arriving she bought a house, had it renovated, named it Casa Rita and moved there full time in 2005.
Back to 2008. We met at the Feria de Pedro Romero in Ronda in September of that year.
By December I had emigrated and we lived in Montejaque for three years. We married in 2010.
In 2011 we moved to Fuente de la Higuera, just outside Ronda, where we have been ever since. We still have Casa Rita, which is a casa rural, as well as a holiday home for us.
As I mentioned in the main article I bought an old house in Montejaque last year and we are currently doing a reforma on it. I had planned to use it as a casa rural, but given the Covid-19 circumstances I might sell it instead and invest in another property to do up. After all, I'm still a young man - 71 next month!

ChristineB said:
Sunday, April 25, 2021 @ 9:41 PM

I have such fond memories of Montejaque from 1972. I was there as a 20-year old and the village was completely devoid of men. Only women and children! All of the men had gone to Germany to work. I remember the women, so kind and laughing, inviting me and a girlfriend to sit with them at the "mesa camilla", a huge round table with about 8 other women, with the tablecloth over our legs and our feet toasty under the table with the "brasero", filled with hot coals. The women went to the well to fetch water.

ChristineB said:
Sunday, April 25, 2021 @ 9:43 PM

It was so OLD, OLD SPAIN. I loved it, I believe it was February or March and we went out searching for wild asparragus, and made a paella on the rocks with a fire. It seems so strange now that it must be so modern , with foreigners living there! I have lived in Spain for 50 years , but must go back to Montejaque. Perhaps to stay in Casa Rita , casa rural!!

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