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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 .

Paradise Found I
25 April 2021 @ 03:47

This is the title of 17th Century English poet John Milton’s follow-up to Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. It is also the title chosen by Pablo de Ronda for an experience he had recently.

I entered paradise the other day. A friend of mine invited me to visit El Molinete, a defunct windmill with outbuildings slap bang in the middle of the last remaining rain forest in Europe, namely in the Genal valley below Algatocín.

My friend bought the place just before the Covid-19 lockdown in the UK and was trapped there for months. Now she’s back with a vengeance and her dream of creating a retreat for shiatsu, tai chi , yoga and other meditative pursuits is back on course.

With no mains electricity or water the place runs on solar energy and water from a spring up the hill.

“Green” to her roots my friend is dedicated to re-cycling what is on site, what she can find at the basura or what friends donate. This professional interior designer, furniture-maker and former teacher is the most competent female DIY-er I have ever come across. She can turn her hand to literally anything.

With the help of a few “workawayers” (see below for details of this scheme), she has turned a large wooden roundhouse into a delightful living space with outdoor kitchen, WC and shower. It is an official vivienda rural and is available to rent. It’s called the Round House in the Forest.

The first ever booking has just ended. A young Spanish couple, both doctors, spent the Easter puente there with their dog and were thrilled to bits with the accommodation, the location and the get-away-from-it-all atmosphere. They happily joined in meals and other activities with the two “workawayers”, one Italian and one Dutch lady, my friend and me.

After a couple of well-deserved days off, the work has started again to renovate a second roundhouse, to convert a large alberca into a swimming pool and make other improvements to the amenities.

For details of “El Molinete” and how to book, please click here:


The Workaway Scheme

Workaway is a worldwide platform founded in 2002 that allows members to arrange homestays and cultural exchanges. Volunteers or "Workawayers", are expected to contribute a pre-agreed amount of time per day, say five hours, in exchange for lodging and food, which is provided by their host.

For more details click on the following links.



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