When Iva and I started viewing fincas, we were shown Finca Flores Amarillas during our first viewing. It was the last one we saw that day, and it was love at first sight. Everywhere we looked, countryside. No villages, no towns in sight, and yet we were only a mile away from the nearest one.
We were shown a few more fincas on two more occasions, but Finca Flores Amarillas remained our favourite, and while on our honeymoon, we decided to go for it and called the agent to give him the news. We were newly-wed, starting a life together, everything was perfect.
Well, nearly everything. There was one thing that wiser heads had been warning us about, but we were in seventh heaven and anything seemed possible from up there. And you know what, it turned out we were right. It only took a few candid conversations with our kind neighbours to sort it out.
So Iva arranged to have a chat with the owners of the finca on the right-hand side of the lane, Jacinto and Rosi. She asked them if they would allow us to knock down the stone wall in a few critical places, promising we’d build it up again, as soon as the house was finished. But they seemed sceptical. Jacinto, a builder himself, couldn’t imagine big lorries and cement mixers coming up the lane without breaking branches off his olive trees that had been (strategically?) planted at every turn.
Clouds started to gather in Iva’s head, we’d already taken out a loan, hired the builders, accepted a grant... it seemed the wise heads had been right after all. But then, out of the blue, Rosi and Jacinto came up with an ingenious solution, one we’d never have thought of. They offered us to drive across their finca and avoid the narrow lane altogether. Hands were shaken and the building could commence. Hooray!
Fast forward a couple of years, and we are ready to start welcoming guests at our bed and breakfast. As they slowly start to make reservations, so they start to leave reviews. Staff 10, Cleanliness 10..., Location 7.5! WHAT???
We were so shocked our guests didn’t like the location of our bed and breakfast. We thought the location was one of its biggest attractions, the olive and fig groves, pasture land, sierras all around... what was there not to like? Moreover, if they were not after the country setting, why did they choose to come here? Was it not because they wanted to be surrounded with nature? Why didn’t they book elsewhere? Were our listings and the website, and the pictures, not clear enough on where our bed and breakfast was located? We were baffled.
And then it dawned on us. It wasn’t the location per se, it was the ‘getting to the location’ part. The narrow lane turned out to be a harrowing experience for our guests. Most came in rented cars, and they feared not only scratching them (the annoying beeping didn’t help), but also meeting another car from the opposite direction. Who was going to reverse in such a narrow, bendy lane?
Of course, they didn’t, they couldn’t know that no one except us lived up that lane, and that it was only us and our guests that used it on a daily basis. Occasionally, a farmer would use it too, but our itineraries didn’t overlap. In fact, in five years of driving up and down that lane twice, sometimes three times a day, we only crossed paths with another car three or four times, and always in places where one of the cars could make way for the other. How lucky is that?
Once the mystery of our location’s reviews was solved, we embarked on a mission to do something about it. This time, Iva approached another neighbour, Manolo. Manolo’s finca separates ours from a wide country lane by about 50 metres. If only he would sell us a small stretch of land, we could use it as our new access.
But Manolo was adamant he couldn’t sell it. Our hopes were shattered, but we didn’t want to keep asking. Iva was very patient about it and only occasionally introduced the idea in her friendly chats with Manolo. Her remarks were always met with a smile and silence.
Years went by, reviews continued to reflect the state of affairs, and then we decided to build a shaded carport. It just felt like it was now or never. The carport would look so much better with a new access, our car could do with a new access, our guests would definitely appreciate the new access... Manolo?
This time, Manolo was like a chatterbox. He explained he couldn’t sell a stretch of land that small (legal implications), and he definitely didn’t want to sell all of it (his cows graze on it). Needless to say, we couldn’t afford all of it anyway. But once again, the solution came from a farmer. (Local farmers are really resourceful ;-).
Come and check it out for yourself. Book here. And once here, we dare you to check out the old one, too. Just so you can appreciate the new one even more. We sure do.
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