We’ve seen that house prices are much, much, cheaper over the border. So, off we go to have a look. You can follow along on Google Maps – start at Ayamonte right on the P/S border, right at the south. From there there’s the A449 that runs straight north. Villablanca, San Silvestre de Guzman, Villanueva, Pueblo de Guzman and off to one side, El Granado.
So, it’s different, very different. The P countryside is market towns, sure. With villages, hamlets etc strewn between. Scatterings of cottages and so on.
This 449 going north was entirely different. Every 15 km or so there’s a little town of 2,000, maybe 2,500 souls (numbers found by looking them upon Wiki). But inbetween there’s absolutely nothing. No villages, no hamlets, not even farm cottages.
I assume – but don’t know – because the area was big haciendas, ie feudal not peasant farming.
The towns also tend to come to an abrupt halt at the edge. This is urban, then the other side of the road is country. No blend and merge at all.
In the towns there seems to be near nothing. A couple of Spar type supermarkets, couple of bars/restaurants and pretty much nothing else. OK, some of that could just be me being wrong. My mental model might well be of larger places – 10k little towns, not 2k people ones.
But one, El Granado. We went into the main square – obviously it was, church, ayuntamento (ie, town hall) and fountain. And yet there was nothing else there. That’s where I’d expect the cafes etc to be but not a single one.
All of these places were near entirely empty on a Saturday as well.
I don’t know. Maybe it’s all really different. Or perhaps it’s just that it’s all so much more lightly populated than pretty much anywhere I’ve ever been.
Pity, because we’ve seen several houses that look great. Proper small city little merchants/professionals houses at very reasonable prices. Already refurbed 200m2 places at €80k. Like this, this and this. But then that’s 30 to 40 km from the nearest metropolis of more than 2.5k people. You’d either need to really like driving or be very selfcontained.
Which is, obviously, one good reason for the pricing.
Pity. Having a place there was a serious thought for a time. Not sure that thought survived going there.