From Portugal with Love
Updated: Jun 6, 2021
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The Portugal Story was my initial trip to meet up with people I did not know before.
this emoji is quite fitting: 😬
Why Portugal? Well, why not? What I did not know at the time was that Portugal is actually a hotspot for people who want to live off grid and re-populate rural areas.
I was going through the workaway profiles and it seemed endless. It all cleared when I filtered the results using the "permaculture" term and came up with Isabel and Jason’s profile. A Swiss/English family living off grid in the south of Portugal, at Zambujeira Do Mar village.
I send them an exciting message and they reciprocated that excitement!
One thing led to another and arranged to be there for November 2018.
I landed in Lisbon, beginning of November and the instructions was to catch a bus to get to the village. It was a 6 hrs drive and somehow I ended up in a bus full of male strangers, in the middle of the night, going through rural roads and stopping in dark places to let people off. Is what you call sketchy.
Emoji feeling: 😅
Zambujeira do Mar seemed to be one of the last stops and by that time, my anxiety levels were considerably high, questioning why I was doing this in the first place.
It was around 11pm when we reached the right stop, got off and met with Isabel. Suddenly I could feel safe and relieved, not only because I joined a woman, but also because of who she is and what she emitted; good energy.
I got greeted with a warm welcome and guided to my quarters. I was really lucky to get my own space, a huge truck that was converted into a lovely home, named Glesny.
Bed bunk and kitchen living room! what more could I ask!
I got cozy and put my body to rest. At least this is what I hoped for! Later that night I got to experience what it means living in nature. The sounds of mice or rats trying to get in Glesny. I woke up to the horrid grinding and scratching sounds. I was sure that they would succeed in entering but there was not much I could do, so I shielded up by hiding under the duvet, like a proper hero. Later on, I got my own cat so we could hide together under the duvet.
In the morning it was time to meet the family and get accustomed to the new surroundings.
Next to Glesny was a motorhome, of Diego and Lola’s. A couple on the search of a place settle down. Part of the gang :)
Walked down the valley to find a beautiful spot and the house, an off the grid cabin where the family resides. Everything seemed beautifully crafted and an all windows room, called "the sun room" was catching all impressions. There, I met Jason and Evan, their little boy.
Around the property you could definitely sense that life was flourishing! Green and Luscious. Later on I found out that their property used to be the village's veggie garden. All the veggies were produced there because of its unique landscape and proximity to water.
Next to the house, a beautifully crafted pizza oven where we had pizza nights every friday!
Bit further up, up on a hill, there were two wooden cabins, now called zambu cabins that were being renovated at the time.
The plan was to rent them out so people could come to visit and get an off the grid experience. To be close to nature and eat handpicked organic vegetables, among other things.
The property was surrounded by large man planted eucalyptus forests. Everywhere. Just before I arrived, the neighbour had cut down some of them to sell and part of the land looked very very sad because of that. I was happy to contribute my manure and urine for the restoration of that area.
If you want to see more pics, I post weekly portugal collages at waru.tales instagram account
Be safe and thank you for joining me in this!