We were recommended to come here by friends that had come across the site whilst we were staying in France! They were offering a winter deal for a month or more for travelling families and we thought we would book in as our furthest stop down the east coast! We decided it would be a good opportunity to plan where we would settle based on what we had seen and start the process of bank accounts, school enrolment, rental contracts and so on!
We weren’t even sure what to expect to be honest! Oria is a small village but people often get lost on their way to Shepherds Rest so one of the owners came to meet us at the local garage!
We had both said previously that it would be great to spend some more quiet time but if we’re honest I think in the back of both our minds we were anticipating being bored… Not a chance! Our time here went by in a flash and if we weren’t so keen to begin work and get the kids in school we most definitely would’ve stayed longer! I’ve said before in my previous post about how we were gradually won over by the area and my initial anxiety surrounding feeling isolated in a small area soon dissipated. It’s actually not small at all, it’s amazingly vast and unspoilt – and If anything it was the opposite to my first feelings, because the longer you spend in the Andalusian countryside the freer you feel! – Certainly true for Ben on his new MX bike anyway!!! 😉🙈
We’d had a long journey and several issues with our car before finally making it there! By this time Drew had either spilled his drink down his trousers or totally soaked himself in wee. Either very likely. 🤔 So we arrived in true us fashion, late, with noisy kids and possibly one that had wet himself! Corri and Joel were unfazed by our obvious chaos and immediately after chatting we felt at home in their company. We chatted about lots of different things and it was clear that we had found a real family. We ended up spending Christmas Day with them too!
Our first few nights we were affected by high winds that left us without power! In this time we actually spent more time talking and doing things as a family than we usually would! It pushed us out of our comfort zones and away from the tv that we like to claim we don’t watch much of. (News flash, we all probably watch more than we think we do 😆) though I’d probably argue that these days I watch more Peppa pig than anything else. How lovely it was to spend time in their beautiful garden with stunning views! Our kids don’t seem to particularly like days out that involve lots of effort or people or noise – give them a stick and some mud or sand anyway! They may be wild balls of crazy but they seem to create their own calm in nature. Take them on a walk or let them dig holes and they are actually a whole lot more bearable! 😉 Here we were spoilt for choice with many scenic walks! The good thing about staying in winter is that you still see the sun everyday but it’s not too hot to go on a long walk or climb up a mountain, Ben can vouch for that one! Though I’m sure if he was writing this he would advise taking a beer for when you reach the top! 🤪
Oria has a village pool too and a stunning church, you’re also within walking distance of a basketball court and local shops. The drive on the way in is unreal, like something from a film – that if our car wasn’t stopping us every 20 seconds anyway we would’ve intentionally stopped to take a hundred photos! 😆
Maggie Maes diner forms part of Shepherds Rest and we ate in several times – their home made food is delicious as well as being really reasonable!! It’s really refreshing to see a wide range of food available too.
We were also only 20mins from the town of Albox which has all the shops you could need as well as plenty of English and Spanish owned eateries. There’s also a bowling alley there and some lovely play parks! Though the best bit Ben would tell you is driving down the Rambla to get there! Which is a riverbed turn dirt track road when not flooded!
Ben even went to the conversational Spanish class held in Maggie Maes on a Saturday afternoon! I know 😆 I should’ve got photo evidence! That proves how at ease the family make you feel if Ben is self motivated to go to Spanish class!
We could see the play park out of our window meaning that the kids could take themselves to the park when they wanted!
You don’t just have to take our word for it, as you can see Shepherds Rest on ‘A New Life In The Sun’ on the new series next month! We’re looking forward to seeing it. 😊