Casa Camiño: house on the hill
I have a proficient knowledge of the Spanish language, a passing familiarity with gallego (the local Galician language), and many years of familiarity with the Spanish culture and way of life. If you were to ask me to take on, even the administration of, a major restoration project in deepest rural Galicia, I would quake at the knees. I can’t even begin to enumerate the myriad façades to carrying out such a project, but our friends Kim & Sue Renkin jumped in at the deep end and are swimming their way successfully to completing a major piece of restoration.
The old farmhouse, probably the equivalent of an old ‘pazo’ or ‘estancia’ was in a completely ruinous state, but its major appeal was its location, perched on the side of a hill at over 700 metres above sea level. It is a stunning position, located right next to the Camino Primitivo, one of the ancient routes to Santiago de
Compostela. When it is completed, they will open it as a small, select B&B (hotel rural). Guests will be guaranteed magnificent views over the lush green Galician countryside, and a swimming pool will lie invitingly awaiting its first customers.
And when I say a ‘project of restoration’, I mean just that. This is not a mere refurbishment of an already existing building. This is an ambitious undertaking of creating a whole new infrastructure that didn’t exist before, but retaining the ancient stone shell. They have not only had to battle with the perversity of two different languages (Spanish and Galician), but also the perversity of Spanish planning laws, working practices, the availability of materials and labour, as well as the endless details of the legal mechanisms that go with owning property in a foreign land.
They hope to finish, and be open for business, by the summer of 2013. If you like quiet rural retreats, or need a stopping place on the Camino Primitivo, I would recommend heartily that you stay at Casa Camiño. Take a look at their website here.