The Cave, Finca & Cortijo Forum. Andalucia..

Hi folks

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Hi folks

Post by TrogInBaza on Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:23 pm

Hi, I'm new here. Thought it would interesting to read and share experiences of cave-dwelling etc in this area. I'm Scottish and moved to Andalucia in 2003 following a job offer. When mobile internet arrived, it allowed me to live a mobile lifestyle in my caravan, while still earning a living online. I enjoyed this life for 6 years.

Then I bought a cave on the high edge of Baza 2.5 years ago, and hey the renovations are almost finished! Well a lot happened in the first few months and then progress slowed as life got in the way. I'm sure many can relate. Having a final burst now to spruce up the exterior. The improvements have ended up costing over twice what the property cost, but I'm pleased with it now.

It started as an original basic cave of 135 m2 + terrace and grounds, complete with the previous old lady occupant's furnishings and personal possesions. I took a lot of photos as it was like a museum. I lived in my caravan on-site while work progressed until the cave was habitable.

It's now fully refurbished and features:

Off-grid solar electric and hot water, for all-year-round use.
4 x Solatubes for internal daylight
4 x autonomous heliostat mirrors to direct beams of sunlight through windows (coming soon!)
Home cinema with big UltraHD TV and 5.1 sound system
2 bathrooms
Kitchen
Home gym and chillout space (ex-donkey room)
Office
Diningroom for up to 10, with log stove
Sports equipment room (bikes, kayak, etc)
Lounge, with log stove
Circular hall/morningroom
Bedroom with "Flintstones" bed (and luminous stars on the ceiling!)
Workshop/storage
Parking for 2 or 3 vehicles
Panoramic views
10 mins walk to Baza centre and 1 min walk to quiet open countryside and hillwalking
Internal temperatures, without fires, vary between about 15 - 21 over the year, with the more modern semi-above-ground kitchen and bathroom having a wider range. One room is pretty much 18 all year round. Weather here ranges from about -2 to 42 degrees.

The project was a lot bigger and more complicated than I had imagined (wish I'd learned from previous renovations!), but satisfying now it's (almost) done.

I would still consider going back on the road full-time, but meantime content here with twice-yearly trips away in the caravan.

Look forward to swapping stories with other forum members.

Cheers!

Ed

p.s. Just want to add that wasn't even looking for a cave home specifically, my original idea was a plot of land to park my caravan on have a post box - a base and place to call "home". I saw a card in a window for this cave on a Sunday night and by the Friday I was the new owner. I didn't even know Baza and hadn't even explored this neighbourhood first. Crazy, but it just felt right. And it was the first cave house I'd ever seen inside. I had many episodes of "buyer's regret" during the renovations but it's all come good in the end. What I liked was the view, the private location, the nearness to all the great facilities of Baza and immediate access to wide open spaces for walks and bike rides. I see prettier caves out in places like Galera, but I would imagine folk there are quite car-dependant.


Last edited by TrogInBaza on Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:43 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Page froze while composing)

TrogInBaza

Posts : 3
Join date : 2017-06-29
Location : Baza (GRANADA)

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Re: Hi folks

Post by Tim Cullis on Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:40 am

It's interesting to read about other people's caves.

Our place is mainly cave with an outbuild on the front.  In the mid summer it can be 25ºC in the outbuild, 21ºC deeper in the cave.  When we are not here we leave windows open for airing the cave, so when we arrive in winter months it can be 13ºC at first, then rises to 16ºC without heating.

We are at 1,000m on the eastern side of the deep Castril valley so about 200m higher than Baza town centre. We're west facing which is great for the spectacular sunsets, but in the winter months it's typically 1030 am before we get sunlight over the valley shoulder behind us.  

The heliostat mirrors sound a neat way of 'borrowing' some of the sun's heat in the winter months and I would be interested in seeing pictures/details when you get them installed.
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Tim Cullis

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Join date : 2013-07-11
Location : London and Castril Valley

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Re: Hi folks

Post by TrogInBaza on Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:56 am

Hi Tim, here is a link to the product. In April they promised delivery in August, but I won't hold my breath. I'm eager to see them in action.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/caia-a-robot-that-fills-your-home-with-sunshine-solar#/

As a backer I paid $600 for four, not including delivery, import duty, VAT.

TrogInBaza

Posts : 3
Join date : 2017-06-29
Location : Baza (GRANADA)

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Re: Hi folks

Post by pete_l on Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:06 pm

That's interesting about the solatubes.
My cave has a large chimney that drops down into the back of the kitchen. I looked at solatubes about 10 years ago when I bought the place, but they cost over £100 per metre + fixings. So I thought that for the money I might as well leave a light on the whole time (though I didn't).

Did you find a local source for yours?

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http://www.pete-lynch.com/la_casa.html

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Re: Hi folks

Post by TrogInBaza on Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:33 pm

Yes there's a local supplier/installer called Benatub, between Baza and Granada:

http://www.teclusol.com/node/989

For me the boring of the 4 holes, from below, cost more than the tubes and installation as I recall. But well worth it I'd say. I originally wanted 6 but to try to save a bit on the budget just did the 4 essentials. Now sometimes wish I'd just had the other two done as well. It worked out at around 1600 EUR each all told.

You cannot compare artificial light with real daylight, no matter what colour temperature the bulbs are or how bright they are.

TrogInBaza

Posts : 3
Join date : 2017-06-29
Location : Baza (GRANADA)

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Re: Hi folks

Post by pete_l on Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:57 pm

Thanks for the link. I had a look, but they seem to be remarkably shy about publishing their prices (I suppose if you have to ask, you can't afford it Surprised ).
The UK outfit I was talking to 10 years ago have more than doubled their price now. And the payback time on even a single installation is now between 20 and 50 years - even though I already have the chimney si I only need a tube + fittings. So I don't think I'm going to pursue it.

pete_l

Posts : 712
Join date : 2010-03-21
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http://www.pete-lynch.com/la_casa.html

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Re: Hi folks

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