Ten months ago, on Monday 29 June ’20, and more than three months later than planned, we finally arrived in what was to become our new home. We had taken our time for the journey and stayed overnight twice, which immediately gave the trip a nice holiday feeling. On arrival, we were enthusiastically greeted by our neighbour, Welshman Dennis, who solemnly handed over the keys to the gate and the house. He had a somewhat strange look in his eyes, which we would understand a few moments later.
The domain had been left unattended for 7 months and that had its consequences… The gardens and terraces were completely overgrown with man-sized weeds and the debris of some fallen trees had not yet been cleared away, let alone the damage repaired. The dream already seemed to turn into a nightmare!
Honestly? We never thought for a second about jumping back into our car and cancelling the whole project. But we did have to swallow a few times. The first days and weeks were filled with both hope and despair, but each time we were able to cheer each other up enough to take on the next task. Moreover, we could count on some neighbours who were so kind to come and help us, not least Nick, Sergio and Dennis who treated us to a welcome BBQ in the first week. This gave us the opportunity to meet some other nice neighbours!
The days became weeks and the weeks became months. Slowly but surely we could bring Finca Soñada back to life. Fortunately, the house itself had been left in tip-top condition. The guest rooms had been beautifully renovated by the previous owners and were ready for use. So we could mainly concentrate on ‘sprucing up’ the rest of the domain. We will limit ourselves here to a few examples: The tennis court was completely renovated, the garage was cleaned up and redecorated, the chicken coop and stables were transformed into a wellness area, garden walls were repaired and given a few coats of white paint, debris was cleared away, the gate was replaced, the lampposts and all the fencing were given a new colour, the terraces were tackled with the pressure washer, The swing was given a new place, we built a petanque area, the swimming pool was reanimated, the solarium – sombrarium and the breakfast terrace were renewed, a parking lot was set up, trees and hedges were trimmed, the house was painted inside and out, new windows and a porte-fenêtre were installed, and so on.
The days were long and the nights short, but it was incredibly pleasant and motivating to see the property regain its former glory day after day. And along the way, we were able to add our own touches. We found a nice spot for Joke, our mascot and playful symbol of our love for the naturist life. The clock from Hoegaarden, the masks from Cameroon and the Grenspaal by Adi Steurbaut (‘the man who colours the clouds’) were also given a prominent place. A few trips to the garden centres in Muro provided the necessary plants and flowers to brighten up the whole.
We have also welcomed our first guests in recent months. Admittedly, we were quite nervous. Hadn’t we forgotten something? Was it clean enough? Would the new loungers be to their liking? Would they like the surroundings? All worries for nothing. Our first guests were sweet, nice people with whom we could quickly connect. How nice to see that this place and the whistling of the birds also has a healing and calming effect on them! And when after half a day a couple comes to ask if they can extend their stay…you know it’s all right, don’t you?
By now you have understood: our dream has become reality and we are ready to welcome you and your loved one. Not with a handshake and a hug, unfortunately. But with a sincere smile and a big heart!
Luc y Valérie