‘Elca Seriu’


From April 2016…

We have had some wonderful times here in “Elca Seriu” (the mis-named Valenciano Spanish farmhouse that should be called “El Caseriu”.)  I came here in 2010 with the idea of buying two donkeys.  I rented this place overlooking a nearby field where I could see the donkeys and built that vision around my first donkeys Rubí and Matilde, who came to live here and soon gave birth to two foals, Morris and Aitana.


“Elca Seriu” was just the right place for us to start, and in many ways the donkeys and I have been really blessed here.  Yes, there have been problems with the hunters and various nutcases, but the gentle life with donkeys in a sunny and rural life has been wonderful.

This year, looking at my present situation, coming up to retirement age but cannot afford to retire, I decided to work part-time in September and devote more time to the donkeys. Also I decided to buy a plot of land. The foals born in 2011 have only ever known this field so they will be surprised when we finally move out and I know all the donks will miss their field. My future pension will not meet our present rent, so I need to buy a property!

“I poo on your plan,” says Morris. “I was born in this field and it’s my home.”

And this may be the site. A possible home for me and the donkeys.  Terraces of almond trees with spectacular views of the mountains.  Extraordinary!  Could it be that we will end up living here?  There are a lot of questions about putting a house on the land, electricity and water etc., but we are beginning to think it through.

Thank you Alys, my daughter, for raising the level of the game, and investing in the property.  Readers and commenters on this blog: we have a new phase and a lot of work ahead!

Yes,the donkeys will have to adjust to a new life.  So will I.  There will be a lot of hard work ahead and some of it will be very physical.  I am now looking at an extraordinary property of  10,000 metres of terraced fields just 10 minutes drive from our present field.  When everything is ready I can walk the donkeys there.  My friend Carl who is a builder can build a property on the site, within my budget.

This is the property: terraced fields of almond trees
And this is the view!

19 thoughts on “‘Elca Seriu’

  1. How exciting. Wonderful plans for the future. All the best, just spare a thought for us here in the freezing cold!!!! Love to the Donks. Sandra (North West England)


  2. Looks completely marvellous, and having lived previously in a somewhat similar olive terrace with a somewhat similar mountain view and somewhat similar Mediterranean on the horizon, I’m little other than chuffed by such lovely prospect.

    You may need a man for the olive gathering etc, but that will be a joy.


  3. Hi Reb! I guess you know the trauma of Spanish property buying much better than me, with no experience. I am stressed out already from the complications! When you look at a property they have no answers to essential questions (e.g. access, permissions, boundaries…) It’s a nightmare!


  4. Simply marvelous Gareth. How exciting! I wish you the best and will pray for the success of your plan (and that you will continue to write).


  5. Thanks, Grandpa Zeke. Yes, it’s very exciting, and it is certainly time for a change. That place is spectacular, but there are a whole load of questions around electricity, water supply, access to the entrance of the land, and building permissions; so I’m looking at other properties as well, just in case this one turns out to be too complicated. I’m looking at places in this same area, Sella, near Finestrat where I live now.

    These are the coordinates for the plot shown above: https://www.google.com/maps/place/38%C2%B036'16.1%22N+0%C2%B016'51.0%22W/@38.604471,-0.282942,574m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The link provides a fascinating view of the area. It looks as if the entire area is terraced! Imagine the manpower that went into that. I am also interested to see that rivers run down to a lake that almost looks (to my untrained eye) like a crater lake of some kind. A most formidable landscape for farming, I would think. I see there is a house or structure or two in the area but that appears to be all. Have the terraces been there for several generations, do you know?


  7. Several generations, yes… All the terracing and the water channels in the valley follow the lines originally established in the Islamic period before the Christian reconquest of this region by the armies led by El Cid. So yes, they go back a bit… 😉


  8. Wow! How exciting for you. I used to drive through the almond growing areas of California quite a bit. Much different–all flat land there. Are there beekeepers who will bring their hives to you for pollination?


  9. Having done something similar not to very long ago, I wish you all the best. Be prepared for a great deal of stress and second guessing, but it will work out if you keep at it. I’ll be looking forward to more updates. Good luck!

    And, those terraces really are amazing. I shudder to think of the work that took.


  10. Looks wonderful Gareth! Reminds me a little of my time in Greece, although no terraces…but the type of terrain and views, together with the almond trees takes me back. May God bless you every step of the way. 🙂


  11. Thank you. Just two things now: surveyor’s report and an assurance from the town hall about the future of the closed quarry. Both seem to be likely to indicate no problems: I can’t believe it yet, but it looks like we are buying a permanent home.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Bryn. Did you get a password? I’ll send you one if not! You must be one of the early followers of the blog (from 2010 I think?) Hey ho, whatever happened to the Staffroom. I’ll toast it with Banda fluid at the house-warming. All good news today. See the project page just going up in an hour from now. (Password protected.)


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