The Alpujarra with a Difference is a truly off-grid multi-activity rural retreat based at a secluded farm 5,403ft above sea level in the Sierra Nevada Natural Park. In the high Alpujarra, rush hour is a herd of goats! Off-Grid have negotiated a 10% discount on the published tarriff. Just mention us when you book.
Water is from two springs which are fed from snow melt on the mountains. Hot water is heated by solar panels. Power is from solar panels converted to 220 volts by an inverter. In the winter hot water is backed up by butane gas and power by a generator. Effluent is via septic tanks.
The chalets sleep four and cost 500 a week in high season. The discount applies to room only. British hotel owners specialise in catering for walkers, runners, ornithologists, horse riders, and athletes seeking high-altitude training.
The secluded farm in this hidden corner of mainland Spain’s highest mountains has guests quarters in well equipped cottages facing the 11,000ft peaks of the Sierra Nevada, snow capped for nine months of the year. To the south, there are dramatic views over the Alpujarra foothills to the distant Mediterranean.
The price includes a self-catering kitchen with Hob, oven, fridge, pots and pans and ample utensils and cutlery.Always available and included in the price are basic condiments, washing up liquid, tea towels, toilet rolls and soap.
Adjacent to each kitchen is the original threshing floor when the place used ot be a mill. This looks onto the orchard, with apple, pear, peach, nectarine, cherry, walnut, and grapes in abundance.
The self-catering price includes a starter pack of groceries.Guests can buy home grown fruit and vegetables in season and home produced eggs and many staples such as milk, bread and rice.
This is real rural Andalucia — five miles up a mountain track and untamed country is on the doorstep.
Owner David Deacon tells how he found the place:
Christine and I decided some 6 years ago to look for a property to renovate ready for our retirement in 2015. We looked at information on Greece, Portugal, Spain and parts of India. The property should have several criteria land on which to keep at least 2 horses, a cottage capable of being renovated to 3 bedrooms over 10 years, a sunny clime and within our budget.
Some friends of ours went on holiday to Pitres in the Alpujarra mountain range in the Sierra Nevada of Southern Spain. They returned raving about the scenery and the cheapness of a ruined cortijo [cottage]. At the same time we saw an editorial in the Telegraph about a firm of house hunters based in Bubion a white washed mountain village close to Pitres. We booked a short break, met them, discussed requirements, paid a modest fee and said we would return in a few months for viewings.
In spring 2001 we returned and were shown several ruins and a large remote cortijo on the side of the valley that required some work but essentially was habitable. It was however nearly 5 times our budget and as such unaffordable. Eventually we put in an offer [all our spare cash] for a cortijo on the edge of the National Park and sat back to wait our offer was accepted but at the last minute we were gazumped.
Disappointed we returned a few months later and a second time after that to view several ruins but considered none to be suitable. Dejected we sat in a bar one night knowing that we were to view another unsuitable ruin the next day but as it was half way up the track to the unaffordable one we asked the house hunters if we could view it again. We then proceeded to list all the things about it that made it not viable for us
1. Too expensive the only way to do it would be to sell up completely in the UK
2.Too remote 10 kms from the nearest bar and 20 from the nearest shop
3.Too bumpy 7 kms along a dirt track
4.Too high in winter the definite possibility of heavy snow
5.No mains electricity currently only equipped with a very small solar panel and 1 battery providing limited 12 volts lighting
6.No mains water water came from a natural spring
7.No central heating the only heating was a log burning stove backed by portable gas heaters
The list went on and on and the next day we set off knowing that we would return to the UK without a property on the cards
We walked through the gates; past the large strawberry patch looked at one another and the decision was made. Home we went to make plans for a total disruption to our lives give up jobs, put the house on the market, break the news to family, arrange for the move. In January 2003 in freezing cold weather we arrived with our dogs, and Chris horse Springsteen was to arrive by lorry a few weeks later
We had made plans to set up an accommodation and horse trekking business.
We had plans to:
1. Renovate a ruin on the property
2. Buy several more horses
3. Install solar lighting
4. Install solar water heaters
5. Renew the septic tank
6. Redecorate the house
7. Build a stable
8. Plant alfalfa to feed the horses
9. journey full of interest and setbacks some of which will be detailed in the near future
31st March 2005
email: information@TheAlpujarrawithaDifference.com Tel: 00 34 645 23 29 47,
Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site
Leave a Reply