Day 2 was originally planned as a rest day, we had thought one day looking, one day resting, one day looking, etc, just so we could pace ourselves and got some site seeing as well, but just before leaving the UK, a property had come up on GekkoPortugal via Facebook, which looked extremely interesting, so a last minute email before we left we arranged to visit it on the Tuesday.
Property 5 – [Photos] We arranged to meet the estate agent at the gates of a cemetery just off the motorway (A23). It all seemed a little peculiar the estate agent was a German lady, a very nice German Lady, but meeting a German Estate agent in Portugal outside a grave yard, well! Anyway the agent joined us in our car and off to the forest we drove, about half an hour later we turned onto a dirt track and drove for a further 15 minutes along a pine tree lined dirt track until we came across the house complete with 2 street lights, huh! How? What! Huh! The agent explained that in Portugal the local councils were obliged to provide street lighting wherever a house is built, but it did seem weird.
The house was lovely, again typically Portuguese with some lovely views. Two old ladies who were sisters apparently owned it but it was too much for them to manage these days. There were some new power windmills on the hill opposite, you know those great big metal things, which while many people would find this a problem, we actually quite liked them, there was little or no noise and they were somewhat hypnotic.
There were a couple of orange trees just outside the house, along with about 70 olive trees. We were both very impressed; the thought of our own olives and being able to pick our own fresh oranges was a real winner. It also reminded us that one of the more important things on our tick list was the requirement for fruit trees of some sort. The house was great, very sound, we inspected the roof space, where the ladies had been storing potatoes, so it was nicely boarded out and very dry. There were two good storage areas under the main living area, but again we were mentally ripping out the inside to open up the whole space.
This was a winner, exactly the type of thing we where looking for and we could afford it, just one thing initially concerned us and that was could we manage 70 olive trees especially as they were all planted down a reasonably steep embankment.
It was then when Teresa was surveying one of the open terrace areas, said “We could put a nice swimming pool here” the estate agent proclaimed “Yes and you will probably get a grant to help with the construction”. Huh, tell us more? Yes she said so if there is a forest fire the helicopters could swoop down and use the water”. Ring, Ring, screams, flashing lights, yes every type of alarm started ringing, water, helicopters, fire. It was then it all became apparent; of course we were in the middle of a forest. So however much we liked it, insurance, huh that would be a laugh! We were later to discover that the region we were in was known locally as “The Fire Zone”.
After returning to the Grave Yard we said goodbye to the agent, but asked her to let us know if anyone else was interested as despite everything this was our new favorite.
We spent the rest of the day driving around the area, beautiful was not enough to describe the area, and the views and scenery were just outstanding. We found our way round to those windmills I wrote about earlier and managed to pick the house out on the other side of the valley. Remote it certainly was, surrounded by trees it certainly was, but the risk of fire was just too much.
We returned to the hotel, a little down, but still very optimistic on the whole project, after all we are still only on our first exploratory trip and we expect it will take us up to 3 years to find the right place and we still liked Sarah’s plot we had seem the day before and we still has another day of visiting planned for the next day.