How we came to be in Haria
We first came to the original Real Lanzarote in the late 70´s. We were sent by a Late Bookings company to Puerto del Carmen and were immediately struck by the stunning unspoilt scenery and absence of Costa del Sol mentality.
We were lucky enough to be able to buy a property because, as a ´newly-found winter holiday spot´, property was not at all expensive. We then enjoyed the benefits of having a villa abroad and it was renting enough to keep us, not in caviar, smoked salmon and champagne but half a bottle of red and a cheese sandwich of an evening.
When, in 1994 we migrated here for good, Puerto del Carmen had changed and would have been an artificial life for both us and our young children. So we plumped for Haría (close by Arrieta, Maguez and Orzola) and the north for its beauty, tranquillity and welcoming people.
As ex-advertising and photographic people there was no obvious way of earning a living (no requirement for advertising services), unless we wanted to clean pools (resorts), work for commission only in an estate agent´s office or sell Timeshare (bad joke).
So, as very sociable folk, we thought we might like running a small rural hotel so bought an historic 250-year-old house with that as a purpose. But, after being full on on a very regular basis with visiting friends and family we realised that the life of Basil Fawlty would be far too work intensive, up at dawn and bed at dawn and we´d soon need permanent intensive of another kind ‘care’.
So, it became an ambition to renovate this old house (which was a functioning ruin) and rent out Cesar Manrique-inspired villas to a very small but selective clientele. Artists, photographers, architects, professionals, interesting people and just good blokes seemed to totally love it. It seemed to fill a very special market and we’ve made many fabulous friends whilst maintaining an improved lifestyle of a bottle of Lanzarote red and a healthy chunk of goat’s cheese per day.
We were given such a huge welcome by the locals and they seemed to be surprised and delighted that we stayed and also sent our kids to the local school (the first foreigners to do so in Haría). So we thought why not try and put back something into the village and surrounding areas as an appreciation as well as put a kipper on the table for tea.
Therefore, all the people represented on our site are friends and neighbours and all the income from their bookings stays with them and on the island and that, unfortunately is very rare! It makes them happy and it makes us very happy!
So far it´s been a huge success, we´re part of the social fabric of the village, we guide charming, friendly clients to all the local services, our kids are bilingual and are enjoying not having to feel the necessity or reading daily about the artificial celebrity world of our western world.
We don´t have to see or listen to Katie Price and stare at her artificial unique selling propositions and we can live without Kim Kardashian’s ridiculous arse in our faces.
We struggle to understand the importance of these people in the world press, this empty, shallow interest in celebrity life would be laughed out of town (or village) here, life is family and it´s valued.
When asked by Aythame, our local petrol pourer what was it with Katie Price being front page news in The Sun every day (sold in the petrol station, who knows why?), I explained the boob fascination, I also told her Katie´d written a best seller but actually HADN’T written it. Can’t explain that one…