Secret Serranía contributor Paul Whitelock and his then wife Jeryl were considering buying somewhere in Montejaque as long ago as the year 2000. So they decided to rent a holiday home in the village, in order to get a feel for life there and to ascertain whether it might be somewhere they would enjoy having a bolthole. The stay would also give them the chance to view some more properties in the area.
Here’s an extract from Paul’s diary of the time.
Up at 3.30 am; left home at 4.20 & arrived at Liverpool John Lennon airport at 4.50 am. Small queue, checked in, no problems!
Saw Janet T and her husband; also Anne-Marie, a teacher from my last school, St Aelred’s Catholic High School in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside.
Front seats again! Guess who was sitting across the aisle from us? None other than 1985 World Snooker Champion Dennis Taylor. He had his eyes shut throughout the flight. Fear of flying or a signal that he didn’t want to be disturbed? I left him in peace anyway.
We took off on time and arrived early in Málaga. I went for the hire car while Jeryl and Tom waited at the belt for our luggage.
Had travelled 10 kilometres or so when Jeryl asked if my bag was handy or was it in the boot – no! It was at easy.rentacar.com! I’d left it behind!
We turned around and headed back to the airport on the ordinary road. Have you noticed how Spain seems to have fallen in love with the roundabout and the sleeping policeman? It was getting on my nerves, having to continually brake and slow down, so we resumed our journey back to the airport by motorway.
With my reclaimed luggage on board, we recommenced our journey to Montejaque. The journey to Ronda took us about 90 minutes, winding up the hill from San Pedro de Alcántara. After another 20 minutes we were in Montejaque.
Collected key and went to our casita, Puerta Verde, which, despite its name, has a brown door, not a green one! It was nevertheless nice and rustic with many attractive features.
It had been pouring with rain, however, so everywhere was rather wet. After unpacking we went to La Casita for lunch on the terrace overlooking the gardens and pool and the mountains beyond.
Excellent lunch, though unfortunately I had to drink all the wine as Jeryl was still on penicillin. The post-lunch brandy had to be the biggest I have ever had!! After lunch I went ‘de chiquiteo’ while J and T went back to Puerta Verde, only to catch up with me later.
Bumped into ‘Camper Van Couple’ again. We’d met them at La Casita that lunchtime. They are actually quite boring.
Joined up with Ron Watt and his latest ‘client’, Carol, who’d just bought a place for 5.000.000 in Calle Manuel Mañara, 5. Found out quite a lot about the housing scene from Ron (subsequently found to be false, or, at least, exaggerated!).
Juan, dueño del Bar Alemán, had sold his mum’s house (Calle Manuel Lopez, 24) to a retired English bobby, Philip, and his wife Sandra, who were later to become good friends. We’d looked at that house the last time we were here and were quite interested, but, hey …
Juan told us his father’s house was for sale (Calle Manuel Mañara, 2). Arranged to view on Tuesday. Which we did, along with other properties in Arriate and Ronda.
After a gruelling day viewing mostly totally inappropriate houses, we finally fetched up at a flat that had apparently come onto the market just that day. The estate agent showing us round hadn’t even seen it!
Well, we bought it there and then, agreeing a deal that very evening! Small but ideally located in the Barrio San Francisco in Ronda, it was part of a comunidad of 10 dwellings with a shared garden and, wait for it, a pool! Practically unheard of in the town itself.
Needless to say, we spent a sleepless night worrying about what we’d agreed to. To find out what happened next, click here.
Note: This article forms part of a trilogy with The Houses That Jack Built and My God! What Have We Done?