I’ve had two very similar conversations with two very different people over the last 24 hours or so. They each have holiday homes here, and they each spend as much time here as they can. Also, each has asthma, but both mentioned that they hardly ever need to take treatment for it over here, so they wondered if there may be something in the air that was lacking in their home towns in the UK.
The conversations took me back to 2007, when we went to a property exhibition in Plymouth and enquired about an inspection visit with a view to purchasing a holiday home abroad. It was something Tony and I had talked about a lot since we got together in 1990, but we’d never actually done anything about it, so we thought an inspection trip might inspire us to follow our dream.
We were seriously considering the South of France, but as we talked to our advisor, we were persuaded that the southern Costa Blanca may be a better option, due to easier transport connections. And Algorfa and the surrounding area was considered by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to be the second healthiest place in the world for people with breathing issues and joint problems. This is mainly due to the lack of rain, average 320 days of sunshine annually, and the proximity of the salt lakes, which helps keep humidity levels low for most of the year. The Mediterranean Diet and increased supplies of vitamin D and low levels of air pollution also play a significant role.
Apparently the area has now overtaken Silicone Valley as the best place to live for people with asthma, lung conditions and rheumatoid arthritis, but I couldn’t track down the relevant data to share. However, my own experiences, and those of the people I met over the last couple of days, would seem to endorse this. Back in 2007, I lived in the beautiful but damp South West of England. Having been diagnosed with the autoimmune condition lupus around 10 years previously, the damp winters kept me virtually housebound.
Lupus is a close relative of rheumatoid arthritis, but it also affects the organs, and while I don’t have asthma, I do have to live with permanent inflammation on my lungs, which can affect my mobility, especially when dealing with hills and slopes – of which there are plenty in Devon and Cornwall! Our area of Algorfa is fairly flat by comparison, but when we first came here, I couldn’t walk up the relatively mild slope from our home on La Finca to the commercial centre without making several stops on the way to catch my breath. It would take me the best part of half an hour to walk up to Bar La Cascada, which at the time was the only watering hole open on La Finca.
These days – and bear in mind I’m 15 years older now than when we completed on our property purchase in 2008 – I can do the commercial centre in 10 minutes. The steep short cut to the Algorfa Hotel from the top of Calle Pilar de la Horradada holds no terrors for me either. In fact, unless I tell anyone about the lupus, very few people realise I am living with a chronic condition, and that’s the way I like it. There’s also the added bonus of hardly ever needing to use an inhaler or take pain relief, so I can say with authority that Algorfa is a much healthier place to live for me and lots of others who deal with chronic conditions which impact their quality of life on a daily basis.
As well as its many other obvious attractions, there’s clearly something in the air Around Algorfa that makes it a much healthier place for asthma sufferers and anyone else with breathing issues. No wonder so many people just love Algorfa!