THIS MORNING, just like yesterday and the day before, I watched the sun rise over the Sierra de las Nieves. It’s been my daily routine since moving to the Guadalhorce Valley four months ago.
It’s a peaceful way to start the day – but then again, living in The Valley is proving to be a pretty peaceful way of life.
What drove us to choose a finca on a hillside just outside Guaro? We simply fell in love with it after years of coming out for family visits. But as every expat knows, visiting and living here are quite different.
The summer months have been taken up by hordes of visitors – I don’t think we have ever been so popular. And – I am sure you can relate – not all visitors are equal.
Plus, they are on holiday, you’re not. But my point is, we got so ambushed by guests wanting us to help with their own itineraries – beach trips, visits to other resorts, rounds of golf, rural pursuits – we haven’t had the chance to explore the countryside on our doorstep, until now. But we’re putting that right.
We have driven into the biggest town, Coin, laughing at others complaining about the rush hour traffic. We still have the memory of the M25 fresh in our minds and there is no comparison!
We have eaten Spanish food with a twist at Coconut in Coin, where owner Rafa is fast gaining a reputation as the go-to restaurant in town.
Heading out, we have discovered great ventas where we can eat royally and drink copiously – and for less than the price of two coffees and a plastic-tasting sandwich back in the UK.
We have walked around El Chorro’s shimmering lakes and hiked some of the Caminito del Rey – we have made a promise to do it all one day and try kayaking on the lakes.
The tiny town of Guaro with its winding streets and traditional bars where you can eat a delicious tapa for €1, holds a special place in my heart, and we can’t wait to explore the Valley’s white villages … Alozaina, Tolox … they’re all on our lengthening to-do list.
We have enjoyed cinematic views from our terrace, watching the hawks hover elegantly on the thermals before diving down on their prey. We have listened to birdsong in the morning and wished there was a way of identifying these sweet sounds. Surely there must be an app?
We did find an app for the constellations and spent many an evening with a glass of vino tinto in hand and phone held aloft in the other, scanning the purple velvet sky for the Plough, Orion Jupiter and Saturn, gasping in surprise as a shooting star soared over our heads.
It’s a very different way of life to the one we left behind in Britain – more relaxed yet, somehow, more real. But the question we get most asked is: ‘Aren’t you bored yet?’
How can we be! Even if you ask us that again, 10 or 15 years from now, somehow I think The Valley will never run out of ways to convince us we made the right choice in coming here.