Saturday, 28 June 2014

Life in the Extreme...............................a postcard from Extremadura

Well, here I sit, on the terrace admiring the most amazing views and I am aware of how blessed we are to be able to live in such a glorious place.

It is hard to believe that we have now been in Spain just over 4 months and living in our house for just over 8 weeks.
Although we started off looking at houses in the Alcantara area, 

We finally ended up,in the centre of what has been referred to as cultural triangle of Trujillo, Merida and Caceres, each about 30 minute drive away


We probably saw about 15 houses in total, some suitable, many way off the mark, however each house affirmed for us, what we did and what we did not want.  On each house visit we armed ourselves with pen and paper, making notes, positive and negative, trying not to be swayed by the pretty pretty.  In some houses we could see faults, and the house would not overcome the faults, in others the same faults did not seem as much of an issue.  All the time our main mantra was to ensure we stayed within the budget we had set including any renovations.  Eventually we narrowed it down to 3 houses, and we returned to each for a second look.
None of the 3 where "Perfect" but then we knew, they would not be, but it came down to which one we could put our stamp on with our limited funds.  What were the Upsides and could these negate the downsides. 

We agreed that we would not discuss with each other each house until we had seen them all, then we wrote down which of the 3 was our preference, that way, neither would be influenced by the other, after all this is a home for ever now, no "popping" it on the Market and hoping for a quick sale.  Fortunately we both agreed on the same house.  I suppose its a bit like getting married.  My daughters used to ask me, "Mum how do you know the"one", its a bit like that with a house you know when you know.
So our home is a 3 bedroom, 1 Salon, tiny kitchen and Huge Dining room +  1 bathroom, Finca with just under 1 hectare of land.  We are moving the Kitchen into the dining room to create a nice space, keeping everything simple. 

We have started with the basics, there was solar here already, but it needed upgrading, which after a few stressful weeks is finished, satellite internet connection has been installed, which has enabled us to skype family back home whenever we like, this has been great, as most of them have already had a walk around the Finca, equally for them, they can see where we are living.

We already had several outbuilding which contain our water deposits and all the Man Tools.   A chicken shed is next on the list for the outside.  

Since we have lived here we have been lucky to discover some wonderful people, especially our Spanish Neighbors, who generally are here at the weekends, and are always, popping in to ensure we are OK, usually with gifts of  fresh veg and fruit.
On the housekeeping side we have our residencia sorted and our healthcare for the first 2 years, we are hoping that Extremadura will follow suit and allow early retirees to pay into the health system, but for now we wait, we have purchased a car and now we live life as we want.   Oh yes and we now have 2 dogs added to the family along with our existing UK cats, who apart from each having a visit to the vet, one a bad eye the other a gash from the fencing,have settled in really well to finca life

Meg & Zara

Meg the Border Collie and Zara the Mastine Both arrived via our builder covered in tics and god know what else, Zara has a hernia, but now they are happy healthy and lucky dogs... as we are equally lucky owners

It has been a very stressful 3 months, moving abroad is not to be done lightly, there are many hurdles to overcome and so far we have managed to get over most of them. I am sure more will be up before much longer, but each day that passes, we settle more into a new way of life, its not better or worse than what we had in the UK, its different, but the main difference is, that we could not have this life in the UK, We could not at 55 years old, be sitting on a terrace, deciding what to or what not to do.
 Who knows what the future will bring, but I refer back to a quote in my very first post

If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary - Jim Rohn

There is not really much more to say on this chapter of our lives we now move forward to the actual living life rather than planning what will be,  I have titled this blog post, "Life in the Extreme" because, I will now be writing a new blog about our lives here, which will include my hobbies, issues we come across and daily life on the Finca. The good, the bad and the ugly!

I hope you will join me there at 



1 comment:

  1. So glad it has worked out as well as it has, as you so rightly say, it's not a life that you could do back in Uk at this age, there would still be years of work/mortgage etc.

    Isn't it wonderful to be able to open the window in the morning to blue sky, sunshine, and the most amazing view! Some one once asked me if that got!