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Posts Tagged ‘rural’

Around 5pm on Sunday afternoon I decided to break free from the keyboard, take advantage of the warm sunshine and head out from home for a walk.

My circuit took me through the banana plantations, along the headland, across a ravine and back along a quiet, palm tree lined road until I reached the junction with the main road. Reluctant to end my idyllic rural walk with a hundred metres of busy tarmac, I opted instead to divert through the tiny hamlet of Los Rechazos which lies hidden behind the main road.

Presumably before they built the ‘new’ road, this would have been the main thoroughfare. Barely wide enough for a single vehicle to drive down, tiny cottages with Hobbit-height front doors donate most of what little pavement lies outside to window boxes and planters filled with tumbling geranuims.

Rounding a bend in the lane, I spotted a gathering ahead. Four small, dilapidated tables teetered single file on the pavement with a chair either end, on which eight elderly people were sitting, marking off numbers on bingo cards. Some were using paper cut-outs to cover the numbers, others were using assorted old buttons, and the ‘cards’ were dirty old paper ones which looked as if they’d been handmade many years ago. On the other side of the street, about two yards away, two women were sitting. One held a cloth bag which she shook continuously while the other reached in, pulled out what looked like a child’s building brick, and shouted the number across the street.

I walked quietly past the intently concentrating faces and smiled to myself. So this is what passes for nightlife in Los Rechazos? Street bingo – I can see it catching on.

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Before I left the UK to live in Tenerife, I was an avid watcher of programmes like A Place in the Sun, Through the Keyhole and Location, Location, Location.
Okay, I admit it, I’m nosey and seeing around other people’s homes is something I never tire of. But it seems I’m not alone, as all of these programmes attracted millions of equally nosey viewers many of whom, like me, were inspired enough to make the move themselves.

When it comes to buying a new home, particularly if you’re looking to move somewhere abroad, having as much visual information about the property and the area as possible is essential. Photographs are naturally a major tool in any Estate Agent’s kit but having a video of a property goes that step further, allowing you to get a better idea of the size, shape and layout of a property and to see exactly where your new home is located.

Well now you can browse your dream home in the sun from the comfort of your keyboard as Tenerife Magazine has launched their new ‘Through the Keyhole’ feature in which  Sarah Negrin not only provides a whole portfolio of photographs and detailed descriptions, but also takes us on a video tour of properties for sale.

The series kicks off this month with a beautiful house in the very popular residential area of Chayofa which lies in the hills above Los Cristianos and ticks those location, location, location boxes beautifully. Currently on the market with local estate agents Crossley, Morfitt and Lennox, this is one of those perfect properties where all you have to do is move in and make it your very own place in the sun.

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“That’s where I want my fridges to go” says Jo, pointing to the metre and a half high mound of volcanic rock, old concrete, rubble and compacted earth that forms the floor of her new shed.
“So we need to level it out”. She hands me a pickaxe, a pair of goggles and some gloves and wanders off to get a shovel.
This is Los Aceviños, high up in the mountains on the neighbouring island of La Gomera. It’s Saturday and I’m helping Jo to clear the floor of her new shed.

When I say ‘shed’, it’s not the sort of neat, wooden-slatted structure with chintz curtains and a doll’s house front door that you see in garden centres or on 70’s UK sitcoms where the husband retreats with a bottle of sherry to escape his wife’s nagging. No, this is four uprights constructed of odd bits of old planks rudely nailed together and wedged up against the cliff face by more bits of wood stuck into crevices in the rock and shored by stones. There are no sides and the roof is an old, discoloured piece of corrugated plastic. In anybody else’s garden, this would be known as an eyesore; in Los Aceviños it’s Jo’s new shed.

I swing the pickaxe and bring it down on the rock face, dislodging big boulders, rubble and earth. Pretty soon I’ve got a system going; flat stones which could be used in a future path-laying project in a pile to my right; big rocks for removal in the wheelbarrow, rubble in the bucket on the left and soil (ish) in the bucket with the handles. Each time the barrow fills to the point beyond which I won’t be able to move it, I puff and grunt my way along the path and stop by the horse chestnut tree. Then, with as much precision as I can muster, I throw each rock down either side of the tree to land behind the compost box and return to start again.
Two backbreaking hours later and I appear to have made not a jot of difference. The fridges aren’t going to be moving anywhere in a hurry.

At 3 pm we down tools, crack a beer and watch the match. During the course of the afternoon as the tank re-heats we take it in turns to shower in the hot trickle of water in the bohemian bathroom where the wind whistles through the open eaves.

Sunset on Mount Teide from La Gomera From the end of the terrace we watch Mount Teide burnished crimson as the sun goes down and we pull our collars up around our necks in the cool mountain air. The hot winds of calima have finished now and the autumn is moving in as quickly as the clouds that fill the valley so that you can no longer see beyond the palm tree where the washing line is strung. Darkness begins to fall and the birds noisily settle down, bidding their ‘good-nights’ across the valley.
We open a bottle of cava and decide to watch a couple of episodes of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 7’ before cooking. Tomorrow I’ll head back to Tenerife laden with apples, pears, figs, hazelnuts and lemons which we picked this morning.
It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.

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