Saturday, January 23, 2010

Portugal - Quinta Serrinha

I wish you could smell the air here! This is the olival at the top of Janet and Clive's quinta in the footlills of the Serra da Estrela. It's right on the edge of wilderness and is just one of the most peaceful places you could hope to find. The scent in the air changes everyday, a mixture of wild lavender, pines, eucalyptus etc etc. The trees here haven't been pruned for many years as you can see and it is a wonderful experience spending time with them, slowing down to tree-speed, cutting away the dead wood, clearing their centres to let in air and sunlight and choosing the best shoots to leave. The trees love the attention and its all in a very pleasant 15 degrees or so in January...

This is a very un-developed part of Portugal and all the better for it. You might hear a petrol engine a couple of times a day, mostly you hear the wind in the trees, or bird song. Rush hour is when a flock of sheep goes by with their bells clanking. Above, the farmhouse nestles in the hillside. In the distance you can just see Monsanto and again below more clearly with the benefit of telephoto in the gorgeous morning light.

It's all hugely restful and healing after all the emotional and physical upheaval of splitting up with Debi and it's lovely to be working outside in a t-shirt in the sun after such a cold, wet winter back in the UK. Much more soon!

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