Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Winding up the genny
For most of Spain the model is that rural communities lived in villages. There are almost no individual buildings for miles on end in the Spanish countryside. Farm workers travelled from the villages each day to work the fields. Alicante province and some surrounding areas are different in that the houses are scattered around the countryside. I was told, that this is because the irrigation system, built by the Moors back in the first Milennium, made it possible for farmers to locate more or less where they wanted.
When things began to change the isolated nature of those country houses made it costly to supply them with mains electric and water. It's one of the reasons why so many rural properties were available to the Northern Europeans who have invaded Spain over the last two or three decades. They brought sufficient wealth from their homelands to run power lines and water mains in to these buildings and the Spanish owners were more than happy to swop their picturesque, but impractical, stone piles for enough money to buy a nice little flat in town. Gross oversimplification but basically true.
Not all the incomers were quite so wealthy and many traded off practicality for picturesque settings or stunning buildings. Their power is supplied by a mix of generators, solar panels and batteries and many have their water tankered in every so often.
Our friend's house isn't an old property but neither does it have mains electric nor water. It's a good place for John to practice his guitar though - not a lot of neighbours to upset.