A walk in my neighbourhood: Daimús, Valencia

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Playground + beach = happy family.

We’ve been staying in Daimús for nearly three weeks now. Our apartment is almost complete beachfront. As I sit typing this post I can hear the waves crash on the shore.

We’re told that this place comes alive in July and August as lots of people from Madrid keep apartments here and they spend the entire summer at the beach.

It’s a complete contrast to what we have experienced. Only two months after the official Summer season is over the entire town seems to have shut up shop. Stores and restaurants are closed everywhere we look.

During the week we see maybe five other people on the beach – which we go to almost every day – a few more at weekends.

I have to run down the stairs in our apartment block because ours is the only one tenanted and all those long empty hallways give me the creeps.

The supermarket is a twenty-minute walk away. It closes on Sundays and all public holidays. Twice I’ve walked all that distance and it’s been closed. I’ve had to feed Dylan ketchup and pasta shells for dinner, I now know to stock up whenever I can.


Traditional Spanish houses sit alongside multi-dwelling apartment blocks.
I often daydream about restoring one of these beautiful casitas.
Property prices have suffered here, apartments can be bought for around 50,000 Euros ($80,000NZD), houses that need work are even less. There are plenty of places to rent for around 400 Euros ($645NZD) per month.
Daimús is in the region of Valencia, famous for its citrus fruit. Orange trees are everywhere.
There are olive trees growing in public gardens all over town. People help themselves, taking only what they need.
This looks suspiciously like Pohutukawa (New Zealand Christmas Tree). A large Pohutukawa tree discovered in La Coruña in Galicia, Northwest Spain caused historians all across New Zealand to question whether the Spanish had beaten the French and British to our shores. It was quite a surprise discovering the plant here.


Traditional hand-painted tiles and letterboxes are part of what makes Spain so colourful.


The language spoken here is Valenciano – similar to the Catalan language spoken in Barcelona.  I can communicate in Castellano, everyone speaks it. No one that we’ve met speaks English.

We came here for the beach, so Dave could get back into running and we could play outside and swim every day. We have not been disappointed.

Spain has been deeply affected by the Euro-zone recession and unemployment is high. Things are tough for a lot of people.

Yet public spaces are still taken care of, there is hardly any rubbish lying about and the locals take pride in where they live. We’ve grown to love the quiet here, and will definitely miss it when we travel to Madrid later this week.