When Andres Canto was 14-year-old, he got into a minor argument with his parents when they told him he couldn’t go into the local village wearing a tracksuit.
In retaliation, he stayed at home and grabbed his grandfather’s pickaxe, using it to take out his frustration by angrily attacking the ground in the garden.
But Andres’ act of petulance bizarrely became an obsession, and six years after the now 20-year-old first broke ground, he has created his very own underground cave, with steps leading deep down to a structure comprising of a living and bedroom.
Andres, who is now an actor, says he has no idea what initially sparked the idea of using his frustration to dig a hole at his family home in the town of La Romana, Spain, but he began using it as a way to wind down in the evenings after school, working on his excavation by hand several days a week.
The project stepped up a few gears when his friend Andreu brought round a pneumatic drill, and the pair spent up to 14 hours a week digging almost 10-foot into the earth in his parents’ garden.
The layout of his retreat was often determined by the obstacles that got in the way of the project. He said: “Sometimes I came across a big stone and it could be frustrating after hours of digging that I had done almost nothing.”
The soil was originally removed by hand using buckets, but as Andres went deeper and deeper, he began to study excavation techniques and later developed a pulley system to take rubble to the surface.
He estimates the project has cost him a grand total of £43 (€50).
Andres has plans to expand yet further, with the cave currently boasting two rooms, a heating system, Wi-Fi provided by his phone transmitting from the cave entrance, and a music system.
The underground escape even provides a cool place to relax in the summer, with Andres explaining it stays at a constant 20 or 21 degrees in the hottest months of the year. However, he adds that it does occasionally flood during heavy rain and often attracts insects, spiders and snails.
He says his parents were fine with the build – but that authorities did visit to ensure it was legal, finding no issues as it couldn’t be defined as a basement, extension or storage structure.
Andres said: “It’s great, I have everything I need. It can be tiring to work here as it is wet and there is not much air going around, but I have found my own motivation to keep on digging every day.
“I have always liked to build little huts. I live in the countryside and often when I found abandoned wood there, I would build a nice house.
“I was a kid with a lot of imagination.”
Credit: The Mirror