I live in a part of Spain called the Sierra de la Nieves, which lies in the Province of Malaga, Andalucia, Southern Spain.

I flew out there with my partner to visit her relatives and explore the possibility of buying property in the area of Alhaurin El Grande where they live and have a town apartment and a typical Spanish Finca. (Some dictionaries define Finca as a "Country Estate" which sounds a little grandiose. They are usually small houses on a few acres of land. Many have been in the same family for countless generations and are farmed. Most of the others are weekend retreats for Spaniards from the bustle of life in the towns and cities, but some are owned by people from all over the world, either as holiday homes or a place to live.)

Courtesy of the Estate Agents that abound there we visited a number of different types of property, some of which were rejected but others were very attractive, but not attractive enough for us to reach for our wallets.

 Then we were taken to see a Finca that lay on the road from Ronda to Malaga (A-366) between the villages of Yunquera and Alozaina. Also close by are the villages of Tolox and El Burgo, all four being stunningly beautiful. Spanish roads have a large marker every km and the drive to the house lies around 200 metres to the west of the KM 38 marker.

We got out of the car, totally ignored the small house that was under construction, and stood speechless (As anyone that knows me will testify, I am rarely speechless)) at the view for a good five minutes totally ignoring the Estate Agent asking us if we wanted to look at the house. Eventually we did but, at that moment, I had decided to buy it.

The house is new and almost finished and is a typical small Spanish Finca house. It is not allowed to be anything else in this part of the Country as it lies in protected land on the border of the Ronda National Park. The view into the National Park is breath taking and very difficult to describe with a vista of at least a hundred square miles stretching into the valley of the Sierra de la Nieves between the mountains and, in the whole of that view, I can clearly see one other house in the distance, but recognise that there are probably 3 or 4 others hiding behind trees.

It's so quiet up there that you can almost hear the silence in the middle of the afternoon when all the sensible Spanish wildlife is sleeping. At night it is be extremely dark, with no light pollution and last I am able to use my astronomical telescope properly.

The land is a plot on the western slope of a hill comprising around 3 acres of land (or 13,000 square metres) and is roughly rectangular in shape with dimensions of around 70 Metres on the E/W boundary and 200 Metres on the N/S boundary and the house lies at the eastern edge of the property, looking down over the land and the view into the National Park. Torecilla, the highest of the mountains I can see at around 6,000 foot (1919M), is snow covered in winter on the top and I can't wait for the first time I see it like that.

Behind the house but hidden by the hill is the beautiful Hamlet of Jorox, nestling in an almost circular, deep valley with a narrow gorge breaking the symmetry of the circle and forming the outlet for the Rio Grande, which arises within the valley. It is very close but we were unaware of it at first as we can't see it. When we explored it we found it a wonderful bar-restaurant and the most friendly people. Looking at the geology I think it was probably a huge waterfall in the past that carved the valley as the river thundered off the mesa and then sank down over the eons until all that is left now is the most wonderful tasting water flowing continually from springs in the valley. Great cave openings on the valley wall show where the river found outlets as it sank down through the limestone. My well is sunk into this aquifer and I have tasted the water from the well and its more than good. Reminds me of what I remember water tasted like when I was a kid.

Both electricity and telephone lines stop at the entrance to my property, which is set back around 100 metres from the very quiet, twisty, but good road so we will have certain modcons. Even TV and mobile 'phone reception is good and if I put in a satellite dish I can get the UK TV programs from Sky, should I so wish and I will have an Internet connection.

I have been advised that my total property tax and costs of refuse disposal is likely to be the enormous sum of 90 per year. Water, of course, just costs the electricity needed to pump it from the well into the water deposit on the hill above my house where it feeds the house by gravity, giving protection for several days against power failure.

The house comprises of 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a lounge-kitchen area with an open fire place for burning logs. It's small by UK standards but its the size of house we were seeking.

One thing I learnt was how little time Spanish people spend inside the house, conducting almost everything outside on a covered terrace.

We believe that this property is right for us and we felt it strongly the moment we saw it. Perhaps I will regret buying it, who knows. The one thing I do know is that if we hadn't taken the plunge we would both have regretted it for the rest of our lives.