Living in the sun
I almost named this entire blog “Living in the sun” and let you feast on someone else’s bumbling. To begin with, there was the electrician, who told us that the cable, which Pedro has buried under the new road for about 200 meters, is not heavy enough. A thicker cable must be used for connection to the EDP. That certainly costs € 1000 plus the digging of Pedro … you can do the math. Then we got two days of heavy storm and the strong winds blew off part of the roof of the gîte. The chainsaw died after 15 years of faithful service. To open a Portuguese bank account, we spent more than 2 hours at the bank; a real joy for impatient people like us. Then we went to Loulé to buy a wood burner and to order a kitchen: more paperwork and bureaucratic rubbish.
But, Mario and Sueli made our week. Once a week – usually on Sunday – they have lunch with Mario’s parents, who also live in Monchique. This Sunday we were also invited. Mario’s father Joaquim had already been here a few times with Mario to cut firewood, but Mario’s mother Idalina was very curious about us and our place on Picota! And so we had an extensive hot lunch at Mario and Sueli’s home. In many ways a delicious mix of cultures: conversations in two languages, French quiche, Italian pasta, Portuguese wine and English merengue. Idalina and Joaquim have been living in the Serra de Monchique all their lives. They are – just like their children – open-minded and warm-hearted and of course they know a lot about life here. Very nice people!
Where the hearth is
After lunch, we did a guided tour of our little piece of mountain. It is heart-warming how enthusiastic these people are of our place and what we are doing with it. And especially when we showed them the pictures of how it was a few months ago. True, a lot has happened in the houses: water, electricity and sewer are connected, bathroom and pantry are equipped with a ceiling and insulated walls, above the bedroom is a mezzanine and we have a wood burner. The kitchen will arrive on February 20, which is still pretty fast. And once that is installed, we move to the “Casa das Cabras”, the Goat House. The gîte we call “Casa Medronho”. Hold on, did you say a wood burner? In subtropical Algarve? Yes, and we also had rain gutters made! Nobody has that here! Sure, but we are and remain Dutch 😉