We had already arranged before we left England to meet up with Sarah from P.P.Property in the town of Alvaiázere which was about an hour or so from the hotel. We went down for breakfast reasonably early, and from what we could determine it seemed that we might be the only people staying in the hotel, breakfast was brought to us on a tray! There was all the usual suspects on the tray, but there were some rather interesting looking croissants, when bitten into they contained a custard type filling and I have to say we both agreed they where the most delicious thing we had eaten, ever I think.
We arrived in Alvaiázere about 10:30 am and soon found P.P.Property’s office, a small very typical Portuguese type shop right in the middle of the town, simple, nothing fancy, just a couple of desks and chairs, but then again what else did they need. After a brief discussion in the office and determining that Sarah’s partner had a rather painful problem with his teeth and was hastily trying to ascertain the services of a local dentist, therefore was unable to really look after their very young baby, it was decided that the baby would come with us.
We all set off Teresa and I following Sarah and the baby in their car to the first of 4 properties. Don’t ask me to try and remember the exact locations of each of the 4 as we seem to be driving all over the place, down main roads, round tight corners, down tiny country lanes and dirt tracks, but we did take some photos so we could remember, a few I will share with you.
Property 1 – [Photos] A small stone building on an L shaped piece of land, about the size we felt would be manageable. The lady in the house next door, I say house but it wasn’t a lot different to the building we were looking at, was very pleased to see us, as I think it was her that was trying to sell the land and she was desperate to sell and reap the benefits (Euro’s) we were to see this quite a lot as we visited various plots. The plot was very interesting, the building had potential, access was OK, but rights over entry seemed a bit iffy, but it was very barren of trees and fruits so lacking in character. It was the first so did give us a base line.
Property 2 – [Photos] This property was inhabited, the lady of the house was very keen to demonstrate to us that it had running water and electric lights and despite Sarah’s best endeavors the owner persisted in following us around to show all that was included. The house was built on a very steep hill and most of the land was separate across a track, which gave access to the neighbours. At the bottom of the garden, which was down a long embankment there was another half building, well it was a ruin and it was a whole building but the property only owned half! This is not uncommon in Portugal as over the year’s families build housing for the children and buildings and land are sold as they feel, quite often meaning that buildings are left to ruin or are split. The house was typically Portuguese and habitable, but we were immediately, mentally, pulling down walls and opening up the rooms. Although the house was ok, the land was weird and bearing in mind maintenance it was a no, but again gave us a slightly different view of what we could afford.
We stopped for coffee and cakes in a small village and for the first time was able to sample a pastel de nata, a small egg custard type cake that Mark, one of the people on our Portuguese language course had recommended. Suitably refreshed and baby fed and changed we set off again.
Property 3 – [Photos] This was a much larger and a lot more remote. The plot was huge, but very flat; it had a stone ruin at one end, but like the first property was very barren and had little character. Access was lovely, down a long lane that winded around down the hill; the views were ok, but limited. However like all the properties we were visiting, I wanted to see everything, being a large plot Sarah wanted to show us but didn’t want to drag the baby around, so Teresa seemed to be volunteered as a surrogate mother for a period whilst I and Sarah tracked all the way round the property including scrambling through the brambles at the far end to gain some height to get the view. We later discovered that Sarah and her partner actually were the current owners of this plot; they were very good in not letting us know at the time, it was only as this was a favorite on the day that they then let us know.
Property 4 – [Photos] We had picked this one before we left the UK just because it seemed to have a number of interesting buildings, which we thought, may give us some different ideas. Sarah was a little reluctant but as we had insisted we visited the plot. Well we soon realized why, it was totally wrong. Yes it did have a lot and I mean a lot of different buildings, all run down. Whilst once we got to the top of the plot there were some lovely views, it would have taken us 20 years to clear the plot of derelict buildings and what would we do with all the rubble, it would cost us a fortune just to get rid of it. So a definite no no.
After a short review back at the P.P.Property offices ensuring we knew where we all stood, e.g. we are not buying this trip and this is our first day visiting plots we drove back to the Hotel. The mood in the car was high, was impressed with what we had seen and there was a clear winner on the day which was the 3rd property. Although not perfect it did tick a lot of our boxes.
Again we eat in the Hotel, there was another couple this time but it was still very quiet. The upside was we got the attention, the down side was the food at dinner was not the best, In fact it would be true to say it was pretty rubbish, but it was food. We returned to our room to try and email but again the Internet connection to the hotel was out, so back to linking up via the phone.