Angel caves was built in the 1960s and is split on five levels. It is home to a vineyard, several orchards, four cave rooms (so far), three beautiful terraces and a small farmhouse. There are several old outhouses built on the land and in the future we hope to renovate all of them and repurpose them to make them usable spaces. The house is situated on the outskirts of Las Lagunetas, a village in the San Mateo region of Gran Canaria, however Angel Caves has very few direct neighbours and as a result is always peaceful and tranquil. Less than an hour’s drive from the capital Las Palmas, and just over an hour to the always sunny south of the island, it is easy to feel connected to others if the calmness and solitude gets too much! Angel Caves used to grow and produce its own wine, a tradition we hope to be able to continue when we are more settled. Originally the caves were used to store the wine and the barrels, although now we are converting them into part of our family home.
There are a multitude of fruit trees surrounding the house and after only a few months here we were grateful to be harvesting every type of plum, pear, apples, figs, almonds and walnuts from our land. Fast forward few years and with a bit of pruning and some regular watering we have also got oranges, lemons, strawberries and tree tomatoes! We’ve just started planting a vegetable patch and hope that in a few months we will also be growing a selection of vegetables and herbs, making us largely self sufficient! The views from Angel Caves are literally second to none and we wake up each day and step outside to see the stunning view of the mountains opposite us. We are on the ‘Solana’ or sunny side of the mountains, facing the ‘Umbria’ or shady side. This means that we have sunshine all day, from morning til evening and our plants get lots of sunshine to help them grow.
When we still lived in London we were making an effort to reduce our plastic use and to recycle wherever possible. This is something we wish to continue and develop at Angel caves so that we only make a positive impact on our surroundings and can live harmoniously with the land. We are trying to reuse as many of the existing materials as we can, repurposing any wood or building materials that are already around the house rather than throwing them away and buying new. We hope that our house will continue to fit in with the other buildings in the area, using materials that respect the landscape. We separate all of our rubbish and recycle everything we can. We keep organic waste and use it on our compost pile, to create our own healthy compost for our land. We are getting better at reducing our energy consumption although we recognise we still have a way to go. Currently a lot of our electrical items are from the UK and they have high energy consumption compared to the same products in Canaries. We have changed all of our lighting to use energy efficient bulbs and we use a smart system so that we are able to keep a track of what is on in each room and turn it off remotely. We use solar panels to power the lights in our outhouse and have small, individual solar lights around the house and land to make it safe to walk around in the evening. We have our own water supply on the land, a cave full of 300,000 litres of spring water from the mountains. We use this to water our crops and share the excess with neighbours who are growing their own crops.