10 years ago Buy a Home Spain, originally called Rent a Home Spain, was started by Angela Taylor from her villa in Torre del Mar. Angela and Austin Taylor had bought a second villa in Spain and therefore decided to rent out their holiday villa for £1,500 a week. The a few friends who wanted to do the same, asked for help. As Angela had run a number of her own businesses in the UK and, ever the entrepreneur, she was happy to help and soon Rent a home Spain was launched with Angela working from home. In 2006, they moved permanently to Spain to retire; however due to the recession, Austin ended up going back and forth to the UK continuing with his previous business whist Angela built up their business in Spain. The business took off immediately and became too much for Angela firstly to run from home and secondly to run on her own. Austin found commuting back and forth from the UK exhausting, so they took the gamble to invest in their business and open up a shop front for their Rent a Home business in Torre Del Mar. The idea was to continue with rentals but also diversify into house sales too. The location was Avenida de Andalucía, a great spot, but the premises soon became too small for them and they moved to a bigger office as the business grew. In fact, it was house sales that were becoming the more dominant part of the business, so not only was there a location change they also changed their name to include Buy a Home Spain.
Unique and specialist walking tours and mountain walking lodge From the Himalayas, to the Blue Mountains, the Andes to the Drakensberg, The Rockies to the Golden Triangle, the natural, historical and unique wonder of these spectacular regions is equalled here in Andalusia, and particularly in the Axarquia mountain ranges. David and I have trekked and hiked extensively across the world, and here, in the mountains surrounding the beautiful white washed village of Competa, we have found a walking and hiking paradise. And it is our mission to share and teach about the immense history, the wonderful landscape, flora, fauna and wildlife of this splendid region, so that it may be enjoyed, understood and preserved. Preservation of this region is most important to us and we have started a programme to provide education about the environment here, free to children and their families in Andalusia, so that we can not only promote the area, but ensure that the next generation grow up appreciating as much, its importance in this little corner of the world. Working with Axareducacion, and the Ayuntamiento Park Rangers, we walk with children once a month, providing a fun and insightful day of information, games and prizes, finished off with food and refreshments at our walking lodge, Finca Los Pinos.
Last month I had an absolutely fabulous day out on the Optimist of London 11 a luxury catamaran based in Marina Del Este harbour. My family and I arrived at Marina Del Este and found Stephen and his boat on berth 60, opposite the Pizzeria. Having already pre booked the 3 hour cruise, which left at 12.30pm; we waited for others to arrive. There are various cruises to choose from, 3 hour or 6 hour trips or you can book the Catamaran for your own exclusive use. You can check availability on the website www.sailandstay.eu just put the date and time you want to sail and you can see how many places are left on the boat. I would suggest booking well in advance as places fill up incredibly fast.
It was a pleasure to interview Alick and Debbie as they celebrate their 10th anniversary. The Grapevine was with them from the start and has often advertised their services and seen their business model change and grow over the last 10 years. 10 years is a fantastic achievement, even more so as foreigners in a country only just coming out of recession. For those of you that weren't here 10 years again let's start at the beginning, how did Debbie and Alick come to build a business in Competa 10 years ago? Alick started his working life in the Metropolitan Police Service but found this profession wasn't for him and moved into financial services while Debbie enjoyed rising through the ranks of a pharmaceutical company. Both were successful, busy people enjoying their working lives and accepting the stresses that went with it. However, Debbie was hit with redundancy and this marked a re-evaluation as to what was important to them. Did they really want to continue with their fast paced lives or should they use this moment to make some changes?