FROM EGYPT TO CAPE VERDE – HOMES FROM HOME FOR THOSE SEEKING A NEW WAY OF LIFE
Graham and Pauline Warren right, sold their home in Britain and arrived in Luxor in September 2004, with their remaining possessions crammed into two suitcases.
They have a small, one-floor villa on the outskirts of Luxor and share it with four dogs, a cat and three kittens.
Graham says: “Why Egypt? This is what we were so frequently asked when we told friends and family that we were leaving England.
“To us, the obvious answer was ‘why not?’ With sunshine all year round, a lush green environment and, most importantly, people who are welcoming and friendly, how misguided were their reservations.
“What could be better than taking the ferry across the Nile from Luxor Temple, to walk in the Theban Hills that encompass the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, Queen Hatshepsut’s temple? Then stop for a tea with one of the welcoming locals and, on your way back home, walk through the souk to buy really fresh, great tasting, organically-grown produce.
“Egypt is very welcoming to foreigners who want to live here, and a trip to the passport office in Cairo or Luxor will get you a visa to stay in the country for a year and costs about £10.
“There are many Europeans living in and around Luxor. Some stay here all year but many split their time between Luxor and Europe and there are always tourists from home to chat with as well as the locals so there is no need to ever feel lonely.”
Eating is inexpensive, say the couple. A spaghetti bolognese is £1.50 and a steak dinner £4.
On the east bank of Luxor, two- bedroom flats in the popular Fayruze area are available to buy from £15,000.
Egypt is hot, exotic and the cost of living is low, but personal safety and healthcare can be issues.
Keith Bruford worked as an electrician in the UK. He retired to Cape Verde at the age of 62 and will eventually be joined by his wife, Annette, when she retires as a teacher.
You need a provable income of about £1,000 a month to retire here and the best places to live include Sal, which is the most developed island.
Keith says: “Having played a lot of sport in the UK, I have plenty of wear and tear on my joints, which ached a lot back in England. Here, on Sal, the sun is my doctor and I feel great. I can’t wait for the golf course to be built. I miss my golf.”
He adds: “I first saw the opportunity to buy a property on Cape Verde islands in 2006. I had been looking on the internet for somewhere with an all-yearround warm climate, and Cape Verde fitted the bill.
“I visited Sao Vicente in 2008 and looked at plans for a detached bungalow in Calhau but it was going to be a while before it would be completed. I decided to take a look at Sal Island, which is more touristy, had a number of developments and the advantage of direct flights from the UK. The airport is just a short distance away.
“I bought a one-bed apartment in a complex up at Murdeira on the west coast of the island. It’s very quiet. There’s a bar, restaurant, swimming pool and some wonderful sea views but not much to do at night. I do my shopping in the capital, Espargos, as it’s cheaper.
“I am happy here but would prefer if there were more English speakers.”
The cost of living is cheap, though it is best to bring your own electrical goods, and there is little crime, though there are social problems because of chronic poverty.
There is year-round sunshine but it is very windy and the landscape is barren. Water is in short supply, but there are an increasing number of desalination plants.