We first lay eyes on Cortijo Opazo in June 2002. We were holidaying in the Alpujarrras and were toying with the idea of buying a holiday home. Our hearts weren’t 100% committed to the idea since a holiday home brings with it responsibilities and maintenance, but we were open to options. Having spent too many hours in the small rental car with the estate agent we were beginning to wonder about the viability of our plan. The estate agent was doing her best to find out what we wanted but we didn’t really know ourselves, all we had was a restlessness and a desire for something new.
“You see that small road on the right? We have a lovely ruined cortijo down there full of potential, but you are not looking for a renovation project are you?” declared the estate agent as we approached the unknown village of Pórtugos.
William and I looked at each other and said in unison: “Well, we might, why not just take a look.”
The car turned off the main road of the high Alpujarras and started a bum clenching descent towards the tiny village of Atalbeitar. After unfeasibly sharp bend number three, the view opened out and there was the ruin, nestled on a lozenge shaped piece of land with the most spectacular views we had seen all day. My heart reached out to the location and the neglected old stone farm house. It was clear that other potential buyers had passed over this property but almost immediately we knew that this was the place that we wanted to spend the next part of our lives.
The idea took seed, the location in the high Alpujarras was perfect for us - we had never been the biggest fans of the principal town of Orgiva. Close enough to a village to be able to walk - in fact close enough to seven of them - but in the countryside with no immediate neighbours. Near to a main road for good communication, but actually on a quiet back lane. Close to services such as electricity and main water, along with a good supply of irrigation water from the ancient system of acequias that criss cross the area. Also, at a height of 1250 metres above sea level, meaning the summers would not be unbearably hot and that we had a good chance of having some great winter weather - even snow at times. The house was big enough to reform into three apartments, one for us and two to rent out and therefore secure an income. But above all there was land that was ripe for establishing what was gong to be our life project, a significant garden that we could share with visitors. The plan was not new to us, we had explored the possibility of doing this in the UK but simply the finances would not work. Now, all of a sudden the dreams that had drifted around in our heads for a couple of years as just that, dreams, now seemed very possible. We could take the plunge and start to live the dream, now.
More than 20 years later, we have lived this dream and all that it brought us, our rental business is secure and our garden flourishes and is enjoyed by many different visitors. It is time for us to plan retirement so we are looking for someone to take on this reality of this dream and develop it in new and exciting ways.
For more information see: Cortijo Opazo for sale.