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Updating our Spanish House, January to May 2007
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Having fallen in love with Spain, and particularly the Almeria area, we finally bought our dream house. Well, ok, perhaps not our total dream house but as near to it as we could afford. It's in a little village of Saliente Alto, about 17km north of Albox and the same amount south of Chirivel. And if you've not heard of either of those, and that's not surprising, then it's half-way between Alicante, to the east, and Granada, to the west, on the N92. And so the alterations have begun, building a pool, knocking down a wall or two and adding an en-suite to the main bedroom
Unfortunately, some of the photos aren't as clear as we'd like because they are from a variety of sources, such as the property details when we bought it or mobile phone cameras.
This is the front of the house as it looked when we bought it. It doesn't do the house or the area justice but fortunately we could see the potential! First to go was going to be the green 'whatever' that was strung over the pergola. Fortunately, the snows of January 27th, the worst snow for 65 years, got rid of it for us - the pergola collapsed under the weight of the snow. So that was the first job done and we'd only had the house for 24 hours. And this is part of the potential we saw. This is the valley looking from the top of the pass down towards Albox and our house is where the arrow is - easier to see if you click on the picture to enlarge it
And this is the view toward the back of the house, still on our land and on the ground where the pool is going to be installed This is what the worst snow for over 65 years looks like. It was taken on Darryl's mobile phone so not good quality. We got snowed in with no electricity, water or phone but at least we had the log burning stove for warmth and to melt snow for water. Not quite what you think of when you think of Spanish weather. This is the pool liner going in. The hole for it had been dug a few days earlier until they hit solid rock. I suppose that's what happens when you dig into a mountain!
And this is the pool still going in. In fact it stayed like this for the whole day as the crane broke down and it was going nowhere fast. But it did eventually go in before night-fall And, once full of water and with the cover over it, it looks the business. The surrounding ground needed to be leveled and we will be tiling around the pool and building/planting a wind-break and shaded area at the far end - and to hide the derelict school in the background! And we even have an outside shower as well as two inside of course. This one doubles as a garden watering system as the water just runs away to the plants. Waste not want not.
And so we turned to the inside work. There was a wall dividing the lounge from the dining area. "Was" being the operative word. Just past the ladders you can see the corridor to the bathroom and main bedroom And this is the view the other way, toward the kitchen. The entrance from the front door is stage left. And again with the wall finally gone. You can just about make out that the door used to be in the centre of the old wall so must have been moved to stage-left at some point - and then we knocked it down completely!
This is the view from the other direction where you can see the step between what were the two rooms. We'll get this re-tiled at some point of course. Outside again, and this is the foundations of the en-suite and storage room being laid. We think it used to be the goat shelter and it was about 2/3rds the size of this. It will be divided into two roughly at the point where you see the builder. And then the rear half, being the en-suite, knocked through into the master bedroom which is the other side of the wall. This is the view down the left-hand side of the house towards the back and the pool (the blue cover) showing the mini-JCB and dumper truck which has been flattening the land and getting it ready to tile round the pool
And the view toward the house, past the pool showing the amount of soil that has been moved ... .... and just how much is yet to be shifted! A week or so later, and this is the progress on the en-suite showing the inside of space
... and a view from up the drive showing the new side view of the house (except you can't see some of it for the pile of roofing tiles) Returning in late April, Stuart had sworn to go into the pool no matter what the weather. Whilst it looks sunny and warm, and it was, the water was definitely not - actually about 14 degrees. Nevertheless, Stuart did swim four lengths before getting back out into the warm air.
And the following day, after receiving instructions on cleaning from our friends out there who already have a pool, Stuart started the first clean And on the Saturday evening we celebrated our new house with friends and family (L to R) Stuart, our friends Alison and Paddy, and Darryl's Mum and Dad, Iris and Pete. Darryl was behind the camera. Our final two days there this visit were spent tidying up and painting. And relaxing on the patio.
And walking up to the top of our land. This is the view from there back to the house. Our neighbours garage can be seen to the left (behing the greenery)

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