A Travellerspoint blog

And she's off again! QdV here I come! 19 Nov to 13 Dec 2010

rain

What can I say!! I left my heart in the Serra di Estrela! Or I am a bugger for punishment, willingly going back to pointing walls, cooking, cleaning, baking and all that fresh air, stunning views, fun hosts!!!

I got the times all wrong for the departure of my bus, especially in light of the fact that it's a huge NATO conference here in Lisboa. Arrived at Sete Rios station at 12 midday and only left at 6pm. A journey spent mostly in LaLaland, I am met by Steve in Oleiros at 1030 - it rained all the way so took longer than usual.

Alex and Tanguy are still here and have prepared a delicious dinner for us - thanks guys - you are stars!!

I am so happy that I made it back in time for the big party in Amieira, our closest village. It's called a Magusto, a not-to-be-missed affair! The Magusto is a popular party, whose forms of celebration vary slightly depending on regional traditions. Groups of friends and families come together around a campfire where they roast chestnuts or acorns to eat, proudly offer their local wine and jeropiga, serving mountains of sardinhas, grilled pork rashers, yummy bread, then consume more wine to encourage laughter and jollity. Ours had an auction of local produce donated by the villagers. Simaõ, our friend from Urraca, a close-by village, successfully bid on a duck. I must add that this poor creature had been sitting in a lidded basket from when we arrived, every now and again giving a mournful quack. Little did I know why he was there!! And to add to the weirdness, after his purchase, Simaõ invited us all over for dinner the following Tuesday and asked if I would prepare the duck!!! Well, that was me!!! But, undaunted, I checked out traditional recipes for Duck Arroz. We spent an amazing evening in his home and with the help of friends came up with a great meal ~ Simaõ said I was a good cook, so I guess I did OK! You too can make it - here's the recipe!!

www.food52.com/recipes/1945_jacintas_duck_rice_arroz_de_pato_da_jacinta

The French connection

The French connection

Us 3

Us 3

The auction begins

The auction begins

Simaõ's successful bid on the duck

Simaõ's successful bid on the duck

Steve Tanguy and Alex

Steve Tanguy and Alex

Sardines and chestnuts

Sardines and chestnuts

Like an old pro!

Like an old pro!

Having a ball at the magusto

Having a ball at the magusto

Happiness is

Happiness is

Hanging on Steve's lips

Hanging on Steve's lips

eating drinking laughing

eating drinking laughing

Caroline and Violet from UK

Caroline and Violet from UK

On the Sunday, we welcomed the Dutch girls - Rosa and Chen, who would be on the quinta for about 10 days, picking olives. It was a full and busy kitchen for the few days before our French couple head off to Lisboa. Here's a pick of one of the funniest moments on the quinta - I nearly fell of my chair laughing....and it was the 1st of 4 similar incidents that make for great memories - I wanted to take a toothpick out of the container, Steve said "Here let me do that for you" and then proceeded to shower the entire place with toothpicks!! Well done, sir!
Toothpick anyone??!! Bbwwwhaahahaa

Toothpick anyone??!! Bbwwwhaahahaa

Rosa and Chen arrive

Rosa and Chen arrive

'Shrooms from the quinta

'Shrooms from the quinta

Work is full steam ahead. Still working on the wall at this time - the pics of the entire project from start to finish are on the 1st Quinta da Vinha page, in case you missed them. I also started doing the pointing on an inside wall, pruned the vines, got all mucho with a machete and cut out some straggly saplings that were not in the right place; also cleared out some weeds and other rubbish from the top terrace, prepared vine cuttings for planting, and of course prepared some meals and washed dishes - Rosa and Chen shied away from that unless asked!!!
New staircase in casa velha

New staircase in casa velha

Lee's other project - cleared the terrace and pruned the vines

Lee's other project - cleared the terrace and pruned the vines

Lee's other project - another wall!!

Lee's other project - another wall!!

Lee hard at work....again

Lee hard at work....again

Nice!! Or so I've been told

Nice!! Or so I've been told

Didier hard at work as always

Didier hard at work as always

José - one of my favourite people - see the orbs around him

José - one of my favourite people - see the orbs around him

Casa velha new landing 2

Casa velha new landing 2

One of my family favourite dishes, became a favourite here in Portugal as well and I made it at least once a week. I will share the recipe ~

Broccolli Pasta

To start with, those that know me, know that I cook with my heart and hands, not measuring spoons, so all quantities are rough guides - taste and add as you like!!

Caramelise 2 large onions in lashings of home-grown olive oil
Add garlic, lots

Whilst this is getting nice and brown, boil up a big saucepan of water with salt. Cut a scrumptious, fresh broccoli head from José's garden into bite size florettes. Use the stalks as well - they are sweet and delicious. I add the stalks to the boiling water 1st, and then the florettes. Cook them for a very short time - they must still be crunchy, not grey and boiled for hours like a dirty kitchen cloth. Remove and set aside. Add the pasta - a type that can catch the yummy sauce in its curls is best.

Back to the onions! Add a carton of fresh cream. Season with salt and freshly-ground (HEY!!! That reminds me of the SA band - need to hear their music again!!) black pepper. Add grated cheese that melts well and is strong and tasty - whatever you have available! Add milk to thin a bit so that it coats the pasta well. Add the little green trees and heat through. Throw into the al-dente pasta, serve and swoon!

Tuesday is market day! A big treat for the Wwoof volunteers on QdV! We get to go to town, check the internet (for free) and then Steve always treats us to the MOST delicious braai chicken. A family come with their huge, well-designed mobile kitchen on wheels and barbeque flatties on cut 44 gallon drum fires. We sit on plastic chairs, eat off the plastic table, set with a large paper cloth, make a roll with crusty bread and down it all with a good dose of red wine. Perfect!! It's the highlight for the old folk, many of whom live in the retirement centre across the way. There is also a farmers market - for me sadly lacking in fresh produce - I would like to see some home-grown veges, honey, olive oil etc on the stalls, but you can pick up some really good bargains in the clothing line. Many of the stall holders are gypsies - quite an experience to bargain with them!! They get p'd off if you show interest and then don't buy :)
Chen and Rosa in the bakkie

Chen and Rosa in the bakkie

Big day out for the local oldies

Big day out for the local oldies

Best Braai chicken in the world

Best Braai chicken in the world

Pete and Sue

Pete and Sue

Hey back off this is my Ma's car

Hey back off this is my Ma's car

We are all excited to welcome our newest volunteer - Richard, from the USA. Especially the girls, as he is 23 years old and probably much more fun to be with than us oldies!! NOT!! We also are fun to be with ;D Richard slips into life on the quinta with ease - he is a bomb to have around - works hard, plays harder, has a great sense of humour and is always there ready to help with whatever tasks need doing. And he is good eye candy!!! I suspect these endearing qualities have much to do with the fact that he was born in South Africa!! Yaaay - a real African-American. He and I spent a lot of time preparing meals together, chatting, laughing, talking some deep stuff as well. Thanks Dick-Koll!! I am so glad you came into my life. Our safari in July or so is a definite, ´kay??
Richard hard at work

Richard hard at work

One Sunday (our official day off), Steve took us to Cambas, further down in the valley. It was really cold and the HUGE log fire was a welcome sight when we popped into the local for a drink. Yummy galaõ all round - Portugal's version of latté. When we went out to head home it was raining - no ways that any of us were going to get wet so we all bundled into the front of the bakkie - yip, you got it!! All 5 of us - it really is possible!!
Rosa warming up

Rosa warming up

You really can fit 5 people in the front of a bakkie!

You really can fit 5 people in the front of a bakkie!

Struggling to breathe with 5 in the bakkie

Struggling to breathe with 5 in the bakkie

us tumbling out the bakkie

us tumbling out the bakkie

Us_having_..Camba_a.jpg

I will have to make a few entries for this time on the quinta - just too much to share in one page! See ya later......

Posted by Gypsy Lee 08:43 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Things I dislike about Lisboa

As much as I am totally in love with this place and now consider Lisboa to be my home (at least until I reunite my body with my heart in the Serra di Estrela!!), as with all big cities there is a side that saddens me. As any good journalist should, we (ok, so I am an amateur, but still!!) reflect life in all its gory details. Here are my reflections of the less pleasant side of Lisboa - and even then it's not that bad!!! With love and respect to its citizens

Ok, so by now, you probably realise I really don't like grafitti especially this type that has no atistic value for me
Uuuuggggh!!

Uuuuggggh!!


The worst about this scene is that, most often, the ones I have seen that have to clean up the crap of litterbugs showing disrespect for themselves and others, are elderly women - and that REALLY gets to me.
Things I dislike about Lisboa1

Things I dislike about Lisboa1

Things I dislike about Lisboa2

Things I dislike about Lisboa2

Things I dislike about Lisboa3

Things I dislike about Lisboa3

So, that's my bitch for this journey over and done with!

Posted by Gypsy Lee 07:00 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

This is weird, man!!!

Can anybody offer an explanation please?? Taken with my mobile - 'scuse the quality but I have to share these pics of Teeta and Ninha in their favourite spot when we do our healing work.

What you think????
Our co-therapists

Our co-therapists

Ninha doing what she does well

Ninha doing what she does well

Posted by Gypsy Lee 06:55 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Back home for a few days ~ Lisboa ~ 11 to 18 Nov 2010

Well I didn't even get a chance to throw myself down on the couch and just be, when we were into a healing session!! I am back in Lisboa, full steam ahead. This is a week of workshops and training and healing sessions for some clients, so it's nose to the grindstone. It's good to be back with my Portuguese family...I have missed them.
Teeta

Teeta

Ninha

Ninha

Gatas helping in our work!

Gatas helping in our work!


This weekend, my fellow tribe member and dear friend from SA, AfrikaTert visits to say farewell – he is on a flight back to home soil, and as much as I miss my loved ones, I am so relieved it's not me on that plane!
Cheers brother - glad I am not on that plane!

Cheers brother - glad I am not on that plane!

How I will remember Tert!

How I will remember Tert!


My time will surely come though. Despite my full intention to remain here and apply for permanent residence, I will have to get back to SA at some stage and sort out all my belongings which have been in storage for nearly 3 years. Can't believe it's so long since I started this nomadic journey, and would never have dreamt it would bring me to this awesome country. Life is full of surprises...don't you just love that??!!

Here are some random pics of Lisboa.
Typical Lisboa street

Typical Lisboa street

Typical Lisboa facades

Typical Lisboa facades

The funicular in Baixa Chaido

The funicular in Baixa Chaido

Moi on the funicular

Moi on the funicular

Lisboa winter sunrise

Lisboa winter sunrise

King José I

King José I

Hippy hang-out in Baixa Chiado with cops keeping a keen eye on all

Hippy hang-out in Baixa Chiado with cops keeping a keen eye on all

He's been drinking coffe here for yonks!

He's been drinking coffe here for yonks!

Golden skies

Golden skies

Down into the depths of the metro

Down into the depths of the metro

And even further down!

And even further down!

Metro art

Metro art

More Metro art

More Metro art

Candle shop

Candle shop

Posted by Gypsy Lee 06:21 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Quinta da Vinha, Abitureira ~ 3 to 10 Nov 2010

Now I am truly in love....with the beautiful mountains, Serra da Estrela, in the central region of Portugal. These are the rolling green hills of my vision of 2001 I am sure!

Follow my trip on the bus to Oleiros - why must I be the only one that gets car sick ;P

I connected with Steve on the Workaway web site – a place for volunteers to find farms on which to work. After a 3,5hr bus trip to Oleiras, I was met by my most gracious host in his van and off we went to the lovely Quinta da Vinha, about 3kms from Abitureira. Steve has been on the quinta for about 2 years, a delightful place that was abandoned for 15 or more years. He and his volunteers have done an amazing job of restoring some of the old building, clearing the land, repairing the roof structure from trees on the property...that means lugging huge Eucalyptus trunks up the terraces and onto the walls...no mean feat and definitely requiring some pretty impressive muscle!! Well done guys!!
Quinta da Vinha 1

Quinta da Vinha 1

My room, the goatshed

My room, the goatshed

My very own log burner

My very own log burner

Many textures and colours

Many textures and colours

My 1st job clearing brush

My 1st job clearing brush

What I see on a sleep in morning

What I see on a sleep in morning

The hammock for lazy Sundays

The hammock for lazy Sundays

Room with a view

Room with a view

Original old roof receiving new life

Original old roof receiving new life

Oh how beautiful is my valley

Oh how beautiful is my valley

Myriad of colours

Myriad of colours

After a few hours of typical farm tasks, oft times in hot sun and others in soft drizzle (once in pelting rain), one truly appreciates the delicious simplicity of an artesan bread, chunky basic salad, scrumptious olive oil from the quinta, cheese, ham....perfect!! Not to mention the yummy glass of red wine (also home-grown). After the most civilised and necessary afternoon siesta, a few more hours work brings us to another satisfying home-cooked evening meal, and the winding down, unknotting of muscles in front of a crackling log fire....this must be heaven!
My favourite spot for early morning galaõ - on the terrace overlooking the valley

My favourite spot for early morning galaõ - on the terrace overlooking the valley

Simplistic style of my own pastelaria (coffee shop)!

Simplistic style of my own pastelaria (coffee shop)!

Many a great meal enjoyed here

Many a great meal enjoyed here

Roof repairs to casa velha

Roof repairs to casa velha

Roof completed

Roof completed

Renovation of old house 1

Renovation of old house 1

2nd job rebuilding stone barrier

2nd job rebuilding stone barrier

My saving grace - the log burner

My saving grace - the log burner

I learnt about aguarpé, the 2nd run wine and helped Steve make his - once you have decanted the wine, water and sugar are added to the remaining "mulch" of skins and stalks (and who knows what else, after all this is an organic farm!!) - after about a week you have the lighter less alcoholic wine commonly enjoyed by farmers, labourers and Wwoofing volunteers after a hard days work (and sometimes in between!!). Then there is aguardente de medronho (Portugal's fire-water, equivalent to slivovic I would say and our South African "Witblits"), made by distilling the soft juicy fruit of the wild strawberry, which, when eaten off the tree tastes just like strawberry jam. It is dangerous stuff if not respected - you need to drink a lot of water and too much of the fresh fruit has a tendency to give you a trip, not dissimilar to 'shrooms (or so I am told!!).
Steve's wine making area

Steve's wine making area

Fermenting grapes

Fermenting grapes

Decanting the wine for bottling

Decanting the wine for bottling

And into the bottle it goes (but not for long here in Abitureira!)

And into the bottle it goes (but not for long here in Abitureira!)

Wine she's good

Wine she's good

Wine she's very good!

Wine she's very good!

Wine maker he's happy

Wine maker he's happy

I am an accomplished pointer as well now!! Pointing is the process of covering a stone wall with limestone mix and then rubbing the excess off to leave a beautiful white wall with the rock surfaces “pointing” through. The front wall of the casa velha (old house) came tumbling down in June and Steve rebuilt it - no mean feat. The locals use huge rocks and how to get them up there and keep them in place is almost as mind-boggling as the Pyramids!! My main task was to clear out the excess clay between the rocks, plaster with the limestone and then use a wire brush to remove that excess, leaving a beautiful, solid wall. Here are the pics of my progress and the finished product - my pride and joy!!
Bob the Builder Day 1

Bob the Builder Day 1

I scraped the clay out from between all these rocks!

I scraped the clay out from between all these rocks!

There's a lot of work here 2

There's a lot of work here 2

The Wall Day 1

The Wall Day 1

Making progress Day 4

Making progress Day 4

Aaaargh...so much still

Aaaargh...so much still

It may seem like its taking forever, but in between I cook and clean...and for fun I bake!! Day 10

It may seem like its taking forever, but in between I cook and clean...and for fun I bake!! Day 10

The Pointing Sisters Day 12

The Pointing Sisters Day 12

You would say I was working in Chernobyl!

You would say I was working in Chernobyl!

Lee's wall almost there

Lee's wall almost there

Lee's wall is done!

Lee's wall is done!

Feet up after 3 weeks work on this darn wall - at times I insisted on a break cos I was getting cabin fever staring at rocks and limestone!!

Feet up after 3 weeks work on this darn wall - at times I insisted on a break cos I was getting cabin fever staring at rocks and limestone!!

Isnt it beautiful

Isnt it beautiful

I met the most kind, salt-of-the-earth people, José & Gracinda, Laurinda, Simon (who so lovingly prepared one of the most delicious meals I have had here – heart-warming bean soup and a rabbit casserole with potatoes) and many others. I feel such an affinity to these people. It's like I belong - the lifestyle in the harsh, and often neglected interior, really appeals to me. It's the mountains!!
Moi and my new friends at our fave hang out for a quick bica - small, strong, black coffee

Moi and my new friends at our fave hang out for a quick bica - small, strong, black coffee


O José my dear friend

O José my dear friend

Two new volunteers arrive in their motorhome - Alessandra & Tanguy, from France. A lovely couple, full of enthusiasm and joi de vivre. Good to have some new company for a change ;P
Alex & Tanguy from France

Alex & Tanguy from France


The new wekkas Alex and Tanguy

The new wekkas Alex and Tanguy


This was such a great week for me...satisfied my soul, made me aware of how happy my Oupa would be with his city-raised grandchild doing hard, manual labour on a farm and loving it...at night when I laid my head down to rest it felt good...and muscles I forgot I had were aching but getting stronger each day.

Thanks Steve...it's hard to leave but my commitments in Lisboa beckon. I will be back!

Posted by Gypsy Lee 00:10 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

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