Overland Spain – Rural Exploration
One thing that you will encounter if you overland Spain are ruins, in Andalucia it’s hard to take a trip without passing by at least a dozen or so old cortijo’s/forestry buildings and even whole smallholdings that have been left to the elements for decades.
Why so many? What tends happen is that when owners leave the building to their children no-one can then agree whether to keep the property, sell it, renovate it etc and it simply gets left empty and abandoned. One such case is the home below [or more like a mansion] from days gone by.
This property above is a typical example of what you might find overlanding Spain, Cortijo Don Bruno [above] is actually just outside our own village, the owner explained that all the brothers have been arguing for years about what to do with it and every year that goes by the cortijo falls into a worse state.
Old cortijo’s like this are common, you may also find old churches, cave houses and mills, they are certainly worth exploring but enter at your own risk, some are very shaky indeed.
Old buildings like this present good photo opportunities, they’re a great backdrop, offer an element of grit, rustic appeal and are typically Spanish. In the Andalucian region you may also stumble across old cave homes, back in 2004 we renovated a cave and there are still many dotted across the landscape, a good place to stop and cool off – you’ll be surprised how cool they are inside especially during the height of the Spanish summer.
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Ruins like these add to the Andalucian landscape, some can be found by the roadside while others you’ll see inland some of which are located in seemingly impossible places. Each is unique, has it’s own character and oozes Spanish family history, imaginative thinking will take you back to when these properties were bustling with family and staff, gardeners and farm workers, a real shame they lie in ruins but nothing lasts forever as they say.
If you do decide to enter these buildings to have a scout around do so with caution.