28/06/2008
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Flor De Vida

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WITH such a huge glut of expensive second-hand properties in the urban areas, and the cost of new property soaring, we have discovered a great alternative. We now live in a brand new, quality park home in one of the most desirable locations on the Mediterranean coast.

We have realised our dream at a mere fraction of the cost of buying a bricks and mortar property, and there are no legal problems involved, no council tax, no estate agents – no hassle!

Flor de Vida, where we have made our home, is a developing site with the potential for 70 park homes in all. Already 35 have been sold, and like residential sites in the UK, you can live there all year round. The park is 10 minutes inland from the town and port of Aguilas, which is about half an hour on the coast road south of Mazarron.

Aguilas is on the Costa Calida – the ‘quality coast’ – and is in the province of Murcia. The park is close to three main airports and the flights are so competitive you can afford a long weekend in Spain. It certainly beats our train fares in the UK!

We first came to Flor de Vida at the beginning of 2004 to visit friends. We were completely bowled over. It was unlike anywhere we have ever seen and we had already spent at least 13 long winters in Spain. It was like unraveling a magic carpet.


Pioneers


Johnathan and Terry Callwood are the dedicated pioneers who have invested their lives and abilities in the project and are realizing all our dreams. Jonathan moved mountains, leveled plateaux and prepared pitches. He spent months laying water pipes, sewage pipes, electricity, satellite and internet to each pitch. When we first came to the site it was like mission impossible, but we could instantly recognise the full potential and what was to come and immediately put our own place up for sale with a view to moving to Flor de Vida.

Johnathan has also installed a reverse osmosis plant and chlorination pumps. The plant filters the irrigation water that, in turn, removes all of the dissolved salts and other chemicals. In plain English, we have a unique Spanish mobile park home park with drinking water from
the tap!

Flor de Vida is still undergoing construction but it is set in a valley of 30 acres of unspoilt countryside flanked by mountains and endless orange groves, lemon groves and olive trees. Terry has worked hard on the layout of the park, positioning each mobile home very carefully to ensure that each person enjoys the fabulous views. There are a variety of models and sizes available to choose from and Terry could not be more helpful with designing and drawing up plans.

Our luxurious park homes (‘casas’) are supplied by Masters at Burgos. The quality and finish is excellent and they work hard to accommodate all our quaint English ideas! Everyone has an individual casa that meets their own requirements on a 200 square metre pitch. Unlike many other mobile home parks, each casa is permitted to have up to two animals each. It is a retirement mobile home park and young children are welcome to visit but not to live. The park continues to enjoy enormous potential with its natural, beautiful environment and a fabulous finca, now almost completed, enhances the skyline. We all enjoy peace, tranquillity, almost perfect weather, glorious sunshine and endless views.


Buzzing


We are fortunate enough to be only ten minutes from Aguilas, a beautiful yet buzzing Spanish seaside town and fishing port, which enjoys a spectacular week-long fiesta in February. There are many and varied restaurants in town and in the many and plentiful coves dotted along the coast. The shops are many and varied and there is an excellent all-round market on a Saturday morning as well as a delightful old-fashioned indoor market in town.

For the golf lover, we are spoilt for courses. The nearest is Golf Cortigo Grande at Mojacar, 40 minutes away. The ride there is spectacular, all coastal with magnificent scenery, and the golf course has been created on a lush green mountainside and beautiful valley. Another is at Murcia, 75 minutes away. A further two courses are nearing completion, each only twelve minutes away, one at Lorca and the other at Jaravia.

For the horse and riding enthusiast, Johnathan and Terry have built a corral and stables. There are spare stables available should you wish to keep a horse in Spain or take it with you on holiday. There are horse riding lessons available locally and hacks with Jonathan and Terry.


Commitments


Our only problem is that we cannot spend enough time there! We still have a home in the UK and large family commitments so we only get out for a few months at a time.

The benefits of being ‘part time’ are amazing – during the past three years we have seen so many changes and vast improvements. The park is becoming more and more established and roads have been laid all around. Johnathan and Terry have worked very hard on planting out all sorts of conifers, lavender, rosemary and cacti and they are all maturing splendidly.

The same can be said of people’s gardens – and enormous amount of energy and enthusiasm that has been expended by residents to create these individual plots, and the overall effect is staggeringly beautiful!

On our most recent visit, we found a typically Spanish bar had been built inside the finca with tables and chairs on the patio. The drinks are incredibly cheap and there is a wide selection of bar food. There is a weekly quiz night and the place is very well frequented. We have also been to BBQs and Curry Nights, the standard of which has been remarkably high. We have enjoyed many good evenings there!


Future plans


The pool (to be solar heated all year round) is almost complete, as are the beautiful natural stone walls that are being built throughout the park. The secure entry barriers are almost finished and will soon be in place. There are plans to create a permanent bar and restaurant with separate smoking and non-smoking facilities, an on-site shop with fresh bread baked daily and all the Brit specials in the very near future.

A communal BBQ area will be constructed, together with a picnic area, as well as a boules (petanque) piste, crown bowls pitch for all weathers, practice nets for golf and a short play putting green. A variety of dance classes are being set up, alternative therapies are available as well as a professional lady masseuse on site, fitness classes are up and running and Spanish classes are progressing. There are information sheets for the area and there are seven quad bike owners on the park – the perfect way to discover the countryside, mountains and coves! If you prefer something more conventional, a minibus is planned for trips to and from Aguilas and will also include journeys to discover the real Spain.

We have made many good friends at Flor de Vida and it is a thriving, happy community. We are delighted to be residents and much look forward to our trips out there. It is always reassuring to be part of a close community – everybody looks out for each other and are only too pleased to lend a hand when called upon. We look forward to our next visit!


Give it a try


Johnathan and Terry recently had a stand at an exhibition in Olympia, London, and the response was extremely encouraging. We have a new motorway (toll road) five minutes away that takes you to San Javier (Murcia) airport in 45-50 minutes. Alternatively, there are airports at Alicante, a 90 minute drive, and Almeria, a 75 minute drive. If anyone decides to come out on an inspection trip, Johnathan and Terry will collect them from the airport and arrange accommodation. If they purchase a casa, they will receive a refund on their flights. Come and see for yourselves, it really has to be seen to be believed!


If you would like any further information, check out Johnathan and Terry’s comprehensive website: www.flordevida.com.


This feature was published in the July 2008 issue of Park & Holiday Homes magazine. 

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