Trip to Portugal was very short and pleasant. Awesome views till we turned away from the coast. copy-banners-4.jpg We have stopped many times along the road to just enjoy stunning images of sea and mountains at the same time. blog fotos 3 We have arrived in Portugal with fresh energy and right away started our first housesitting assignment in Arrochela. It was a beautiful 2 story house with pretty view, large garden to take care of, situated beautifully in quite remote location. Our host, Jerome, happened to be a very open and welcoming person, who just let us enjoy his place for another 2.5 months while he was gone for France.

The house in Arrochela

The house in Arrochela

It was awesome! In the house we got everything we needed, lots of room, lots of space around it, peace, freedom, tons of great weather. The vacation of dreams! house 10

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Fun in the sun

We learned how to care for all the plants, because of hot weather these need a lot of watering. Beside that we just enjoyed time with the family and tried to squeeze some work there too.

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Some clean work..

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…and some dirty too..! I decided to do a makeover on the garden. A small one, but visible. So I am getting a rid of all the unnecessary parts like dead leaves, sticks or parts of plants and some plowing.

 

Arrochela is a quiet tiny village of few houses, located 8 km away of Pedrogao Grande, a town next to amazing river dam. In Pedrogao we shop at the local market for great fresh produce, usually every Monday. There is also a little local store (supermercado) in the center to shop every day, a couple of banks, restaurants, church and some playgrounds.

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River in canyon, behind the dam, Pedrogao Grande

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a Lake created by dam – still not easy access to water due to steep surrounding

Trip to Porto.

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Beautiful palm driveway along the ocean side.

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In Porto – “magic water” pond near the beach. Kids wanted to play they forever..

After few weeks of settling down we have decided to take a two day trip to Porto. Just 2 hours drive. Seemed super simple, but unfortunately our car broke down and small trip became a big trouble, In the middle of the night, while returning back home the engine started to behave really strange, we smelled gasoline and noticed white smoke coming form back of our car. We had to stop right away.

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Kids were quite upset when we told them no water park today…

To make long story short, after sleepless night we ended up in a local repair shop where nobody had a clue what to do. Fortunately our guy back from Poland who knows the car very well told us the trick so we were able drive the car for a little more to bring it to an authorized service. We have made it. And they fixed it quickly, claiming that only some infuser broke down. Next day we went back home. hotele 2

Temporary resized car while our Doggy has being repaired – it actually was not so bad to fit in that little cutie!

It would be to good to be true if it has ended just there. Everything was great till the last few kilometers of the trip.

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Doggy back again on a platform…

So, believe it or not, same story happened, just this time we knew what is the problem. Since it was only 12km left to our destination – home in Arrochela – we kept driving carefully and slowly, stressed out but hoping to get home safely, so we don’t spend another night like that again. Kids were asleep. We were very focused. The longer we drove, the worse sounds engine has made and the slower it went. We were scared so much but wanted get to Arrochela so badly. It would be so much easier to deal with that from there – we said to each other. Last kilometer seemed like 1000 miles but we finally have arrived. We have stopped and relaxed. It was a feeling like huge boulder dropped down the ground.

We put kids in their rooms, unpacked a bit and went to sleep.

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during tests and check up

Next day Doggy was taken to repair shop and we got replacement car and few nights in a hotel close to the car service. This time we insisted to check all possible things that could be a real cause for this, so no turning back again. And after few days of searching they found a burned cable… But before that we had to wait and since we were put in such beautiful place, why not enjoy it! Hotel treated us amazingly, weather was awesome and kids have fun constantly for those few days…

 

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Convento da Serta – a modern hotel made out of an XVII century Convent. Hidden pearl in Serta.

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Beautiful breakfast – lots of fruit – sweet melons, ripe local figs, fresh orange juice. Just perfect!

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At the pool

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Amazing bathroom and amazing suite that we lived in for those few awesome days 🙂

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After bath, waiting for dinner, eating fruits…

And finally we have returned back to Arrochela few days ago,  with our fixed Friend! We will spend here rest of September looking for another location, some place nice, some place warm. At the moment we are enjoying our beautiful home, great weather, good fruits, and ourselves. Yes it is our home. It is not our house. But home is not a building, home is people. Sometimes our car becomes our home, when we are on the road.

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Bowl of nice cream – made only out of fruits – bananas, raspberries, dates and carob molasses on top.

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Homeschooling – school doesn’t have to be boring or difficult. It actually can be fun and entertaining!