We thought we would share with you how it all began. We don’t want to give too much away until the TV programme is aired, but we will let you know once the date is confirmed.
Mark and I came on holiday in January 2013 for a short break. We wanted to go somewhere different other than the coast in Spain and decided to try an inland area instead. As we were only going for a few nights, Mark challenged me to find something within a 2 hour drive from our home, which, at that time, was in Murcia. I found a cave house which we could rent through Holiday Lettings. Having never been in a cave, I booked it not knowing what to expect. We were both anxious about it at first, but thought if it wasn’t for us, we could easily head back home. We laughed about staying in a cave house like Fred and Wilma Flintstone and were pleasantly surprised how much we both liked it. It was such a change from a hotel room or an apartment.
This is when we fell in love with this part of Spain, as it is so different from the coast. We loved the scenery and the pace of life. We also loved that this region of Spain still serves tapas with a wine or a beer. It’s always interesting waiting to find out what you’ll get with your drinks. Over the next few months we visited lots of places in the area and stayed in several different caves. Every cave is different, so each time was a new experience and some were better than others. Through these visits, we knew this is was the area we wanted to find a place of our own.
In May 2014, I contacted a few agents and we arranged some viewings. We had our budget and a list of “must haves”. We wanted a location that was not too rural, had easy access to a motorway and was near a village. I had carried out some on-line research myself, gave the agents a lists of caves in which we were interested and asked them to arrange viewings.
We looked at 15 caves over 2 days. All were different and some were in very unexpected places. We soon learned that there were key factors to be considered when cave hunting. It must be dry, services like water and electricity must be available and it needs to have a good Hat. This means it must have good height on top. These are only a few of the things we had to take into account. After viewing all the caves, we decided the first one we had seen was the one we wanted. Typically for us, this was the cave that needed the most work. It was previously an animal cave and had no water or electricity but the views and the size of the cave were outstanding. It was detached with land and we soon found out this was rare and difficult to find in the region.
We called our agent Nick at Rusticom the next day to put in our offer. He was surprised that we were going to take on this cave, bearing in mind the amount of work involved in the reform and the fact that we had no previous experience of this type of work. However, we thought if we were going to take on a project like this we should start from scratch and that way we could create what we wanted.
Nick was fantastic and we can’t recommend him highly enough. His knowledge of cave houses and the surrounding area is exceptional. In addition, he also helped us through the legal process and found us a reputable contractor to start our reform. On my birthday, 2nd June, the legal side was completed. This was a very special birthday present.
We started planning how we were going to reform the cave and this was very exciting. We more or less had a free rein on the layout, although we were guided by our builders on what we could and couldn’t do structurally. This way we were able to create our own unique cave. Plans were submitted and passed. Work began in October 2014 and our first cave was completed in December that year. We absolutely love it. Coming from Edinburgh, we certainly never expected that we would ever live in a cave house. Not only that, we decided to start another cave on our land and turn it into a guest cave.
I don’t want to say any more at present you can watch us on the new series Our Dream Hotel on Channel 5