A Travellerspoint blog

The Locals From My Favourite Valley

Here are some of the wonderful people I have had the good fortune to meet. Each one brings a gem of memory! Thanks for our time together, no matter how brief!
Senhor Fernando's olive machine

Senhor Fernando's olive machine

Senhor Fernando's olives

Senhor Fernando's olives

Senhor Fernando's house

Senhor Fernando's house

Laurinda and Vittoria

Laurinda and Vittoria

PICT1636.jpgAbitureira garden

Abitureira garden

Enigmatic Steve our host

Enigmatic Steve our host

Jose's village

Jose's village

Jose's place of birth

Jose's place of birth

José our amazing friend and builder in his adega -'scuse the quality of the pic

José our amazing friend and builder in his adega -'scuse the quality of the pic

Posted by Gypsy Lee 04:33 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

QdV - more work projects Nov & Dec 2010

Here's some more stuff that we have all been doing on the quinta. Each day brings good progress and we all lay our heads down at night, satisfied and content.....and sometimes spinning a bit from long "kuier" hours in front of the fire, playing the Canadian version of Scrabble and tasting all 17 of Steve's different liquors. Oh my word!!! Drink lots of water, guys!!!
Yay! Got the bread oven going

Yay! Got the bread oven going

Success! Bread oven going

Success! Bread oven going

It wasn't the best bread ever, but it sure was gobbled down quick enough, with butter and honey...scrummy!!!

Us chilling after a hard day's work

Us chilling after a hard day's work

The Dutch girls hard at work

The Dutch girls hard at work

Rosa and Chen picking olives

Rosa and Chen picking olives

Richard and his humungous bonfire of brambles

Richard and his humungous bonfire of brambles

Medronho distillery roof

Medronho distillery roof

Lee's next project - the medronho distillery

Lee's next project - the medronho distillery

The caved in medronho distillery

The caved in medronho distillery

What a mess

What a mess

It's hard work but someone's got to do it

It's hard work but someone's got to do it

Posted by Gypsy Lee 03:43 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Amieira ~ Picking Olives with the Neighbours ~ 11 Dec

sunny

This time is right up there with my best Portugal experiences, without a doubt. Steve asked if we would like to help the neighbours, José and Eugenia, pick their olives. We started at about 9:30 on Saturday morning. What a treat to see the experienced men, rolling into action, setting up ladders, laying down nets to catch the falling fruit, buckets everywhere, a bustling hive of activity and mine to share!!
José's stunning quinta - that's the adega you can see

José's stunning quinta - that's the adega you can see

Steve helping the nieghbours pick olives

Steve helping the nieghbours pick olives

Olive picking as it always been done

Olive picking as it always been done

Zé, family member and our friend

Zé, family member and our friend

Richard hardworker

Richard hardworker

I was truly amazed to watch Joaõ and Eugenie, the elderly couple who are Steve's closest neighbours, as they did what they have been doing for probably 70 years. Nimble fingers clearing the branches of their luscious, deep-purple fruit. Agile old legs clambering up very tall ladders, oft times precariously balanced on one leg (both the ladder and the man!!). Eugenie would climb up logs and other obstacles, as sure-footed as the goats up on the mountains, balancing perfectly and going about her task with ease. Amazing!! Singing, sunshine, banter was (or is it were??!!) the order of the day.
Joaõ, Eugenie's husband

Joaõ, Eugenie's husband

Eugenia - one of my most favourite photos

Eugenia - one of my most favourite photos

One of the reasons why this was my best day yet

One of the reasons why this was my best day yet

Joaõ Eugenie's husband

Joaõ Eugenie's husband

Bobby their dog

Bobby their dog

We break for lunch, lovingly prepared by Donna Maria - José's mother. She is just a bundle of joy, and on first meeting her in the village the day before, I felt an instant and deep connection. Such a gracious lady and turning 89 this month! And of course the food-lover in me was over-joyed with our meal. Yet again, I got emotional and the tears welled-up - so I'm a pissy, what can I say!!! We sat around a lovely big wooden table, under the open courtyard, had a delicious spread in front of us, the home-made aguarpé flowed and conversation was animated. The perfect ingredients for a perfect memory!
Lunch made by Donna Maria on the right

Lunch made by Donna Maria on the right

After a respectable amount of time to allow the food and wine to settle we were back to the groves. The gentle sun beating down on my back was heaven. Seeing how the picking was done, probably much as it has been for hundreds of years, was a treat. The camaraderie and hard work were amazing and at the end of the day, I felt good.
What a harvest - bursting with life and taste

What a harvest - bursting with life and taste

O Steve working hard - when he wasnt throwing olives at me

O Steve working hard - when he wasnt throwing olives at me

Lee...I think!

Lee...I think!

Of course no decent olive picking day is complete without a visit to the adega, where we enjoy more wine, more yummy tit bits in the form of cured ham, chouriço (the well-known Portuguese spicy sausage), corn bread. This particular adega on José´s quinta, has a lovely setting. It´s across the river from the casa, cut into huge, solid bedrock by his grandfather and is adorned with stunning old tools of the trade - a wine scoop fashioned out of cork, barrel doors, huge old oak barrels, and more. Steve tried to convince us that it was unacceptable for women to be in the adega and that it was a strictly male environment??? Not so, sorry, mate!! Seems the Portuguese are genteel and not as chauvinistic as the Brits ;P. Women, welcome and adored, for sure!!!

Posted by Gypsy Lee 02:57 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Felgueiras, the Abandoned Village ~ 3 Dec 2010

overcast

Just down the way from Quinta da Vinha is a stunning village that, after it's last surviving resident passed on some 10 years ago, has been abandoned. We have taken 2 trips to show the volunteers this lovely place so all photos are together here.

I was speechless when I first arrived at the entrance to the village, and a deep sense of sadness overwhelmed me. The lives lived, lost and forgotten were tangible. Rooms still contain furniture, some items of clothing, as if the residents will pop their heads around the corner any moment. There was even some food in the fridge (didn't look too closely though!!) and dishes left to dry. Quite heart-wrenching for me ~ I guess I could never just leave my family stuff like that.

I see the potential to restore this place into its former glory. The view is breath-taking, as are most in these mountains. There is a very good olive grove, plenty of vines, beautiful terraces for veges and an abundance of great-tasting natural spring water. With loving care I am sure a transformation will be quite magical and satisfying. Anyone interested in buying a village with me??? Is this where I can have my healing sanctuary??

If you can dream it, you can do it!!

Stunning view from Felgueiras

Stunning view from Felgueiras

Shrine at Felgueiras

Shrine at Felgueiras

Rosa in Felgueiras

Rosa in Felgueiras

Richard inspecting ruins of Felgueiras

Richard inspecting ruins of Felgueiras

Lee and her windows again!

Lee and her windows again!

I just love this photo - quiet contemplation

I just love this photo - quiet contemplation

I am in love with this place

I am in love with this place

Forlorn and forgotten

Forlorn and forgotten

Felgueiras the abandoned

Felgueiras the abandoned

Felgueiras ruins

Felgueiras ruins

Felgueiras - postcard stuff

Felgueiras - postcard stuff

Felgueiras - one of my fave pics

Felgueiras - one of my fave pics

Do you also love windows

Do you also love windows

Creaking floors

Creaking floors

Beehives of old

Beehives of old

Another window

Another window

And what have we here

And what have we here

And once it was a bustling home

And once it was a bustling home

We explore

We explore

With a little love and care this could be a great new home

With a little love and care this could be a great new home

The Dutch girls and Steve

The Dutch girls and Steve

The brambles rule now

The brambles rule now

Take a peep

Take a peep

Step into the past

Step into the past

So much forgotten belongings

So much forgotten belongings

Sadness

Sadness

Porta velha

Porta velha

Nature does not give up

Nature does not give up

Moor influence

Moor influence

Moi

Moi

Inner courtyard

Inner courtyard

Hanging on to life

Hanging on to life

Felgueiras the Forgotten

Felgueiras the Forgotten

Begging to be restored

Begging to be restored

Alex and Tanguy

Alex and Tanguy

A forlorn jersey still hangs on a peg in this bedroom

A forlorn jersey still hangs on a peg in this bedroom

Wow!! Never realised I had taken so many photos of Felgueiras - she is worth it though!

Posted by Gypsy Lee 02:26 Archived in Portugal Comments (1)

Snow!!!! 29 Nov 2010

snow

It has taken me 54 years but I have finally experienced snow 1st hand!!! I was still cosily tucked up in bed, in my little goatshed room, when I heard Steve calling me - unusual as he allows his volunteers to awaken at their own leisure!! And then I heard, through the fog in my half asleep mind "Lee come quickly, it's snowing" Well I shot out of the bed like a jack-in-the-box!! And there it was!! It took about 3 seconds for me to be transformed into a little girl again. I ran around catching snowflakes on my tongue, marvelling at the beauty of God's creation, feeling with all of my senses, until I realised the wetness on my face were tears of sheer joy!! This was such an emotional moment for me and one that is imprinted on my mind so firmly.

It wasn't a heavy fall, but for me it was perfect. Check out my childlike exuberance! (Note after publishing this vid - I played it back for the 1st time - ek het snot en trane gehuil, never mind - have a good laugh on me!!!)

View from my room after snowfall

View from my room after snowfall

Snow! It's not much but enough to turn me into a little girl again!

Snow! It's not much but enough to turn me into a little girl again!

Snow daar doer ver

Snow daar doer ver

Posted by Gypsy Lee 02:09 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

(Entries 36 - 40 of 73) « Page .. 3 4 5 6 7 [8] 9 10 11 12 13 .. »