Andorra is only three hours south of here, so we took off on Thursday lunchtime intending to buy a few essential blogging supplies before nightfall. 4 litre bottles of whiskey for £15, cartons of duty free cigarettes at £20 a time, the little details that make blogging an endurable existence. Regrettable, Andorra is one of the most unpleasant places on earth, second only to Runcorn and Aberystwyth. I am told that when covered by three feet of snow, and ensconced in an expensive ski chalet it is quite bearable; however the snow had melted, leaving acres of grey rubble exposed, the sky line is a forest of cranes as developers scrabble to pin ever more outlandish blocks of ‘studio apartments’ to the hillside to accommodate the thousands of people who wish to maintain an official tax free ‘Andorran residence’, and the one town La Valla, is home to literally hundreds of half starved Rottweilers all with a semi-comatose new age traveller on the end of a length of rope, begging for their supper with snarls and growls. It is no place for a fragile blogger to spend the night.
So it was that we drove on for a further hour to the Mediterranean coast, and lit upon a small Spanish fishing village. The temperature was still around 24 degrees when we arrived, the sun setting blood red on the horizon. We sat in a restaurant on the harbour front, dissecting fresh barbecued sardines washed down with the local red wine and marveled at such perfection. A narrow cobbled ‘road’ barely wide enough for a car wound round the front of the old fishermen’s cottages, with nary a safety barrier in sight. Brightly coloured ancient wooden fishing boats lay piled up on the foreshore. Not a modern block of flats in sight.
After dinner it was still warm and light enough to take the dog for a walk, so we wandered down a dusty unmade road and discovered another hidden cove, untouched, unmodernised cottages leant against one another; just a few yards offshore was a small rocky island where precariously perched was yet another cottage in a garden of cacti and flowering cherry blossom (in February!) – I fell in love instantly. I had seen nothing like this since I lived in Ibiza over 40 years ago.
‘If you like it that much’ said Mr G, ‘why don’t you buy something here, a four hour drive is no problem’. Naturally as soon as I was back at my computer I did some research.
It seems that Cadeques is the jewel in the Spanish property market, the prices per square foot are higher than anywhere else in mainland Spain. It was the home for many years of Salvador Dali and government edicts dictate that it is all to be preserved as it was when it inspired him to paint. There is a garage for sale for 200,000 pounds – and one house for £1,250,000……dream on!
If you ever win the lottery, go and buy yourself a piece of Cadeques, it is probably Hell in the summer, knee deep in tourists, but on a February week-end, it is sublime.