Solo Travel/Workaway Days 2&3 Portugal 2016

Day 2

Friday May 27th 2016

Later on in the day…

Mello, Portugal

At the moment I am sitting in a a converted horse box, where I will be living for an unknown amount of time (a week?). There is no electricity in my box (just motion censored lights that stay on for 10 secs) or running water and I just peed outside in the grass. **chuckles

My host Annie, picked me up from the train station. As soon as I got off the train we saw each other, quickly greeted and were off to her place. We talked, she’s from England and moved to Portugal one year ago from Bulgaria with her life partner, her 6 dogs, horses, pony, and chickens. The drive was beautiful. They live at the bottom of a mountain range, and the scenery is just spectacular. We were greeted at the gate by a few of her dogs. All so cute! I’m in heaven. They had guests over when I arrived, their vegan neighbours were sitting and talking with their one guest (a vegan blogger). I joined them and everyone was very friendly.DSC_0632

I don’t think I have ever in my life been surrounded by more than one vegan at a time. Actually I can’t really remember ever meeting another actual vegan. So this was something new. At some point in the conversation we went around the circle and everyone told their story of how/why they became vegan/vegetarian. The neighbour said she became a vegetarian when she was 18 when she witnessed a pig giving birth. My host had chickens as pets when she was a child and didn’t want to eat her friends. The blogger said she watched a documentary or something. Meanwhile their dog Mishka made herself comfy on my lap. And she is, by no means, a lap dog. It was nice to get some puppy lovin’.DSC_0377DSC_0641

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Day 3

Saturday May 28th 2016

Mello Yellow

DSC_0274Soooo….trying to fall asleep alone in a converted horse box in the middle of nature and darkness was unnerving, to say the least. Images from every horror film I had ever seen invaded my peace. Luckily I was equipped with some scissors in case of emergencies, funny but serious at the same time, haha. I talked to my mom for a little with the little battery that I had on my phone. (Tomorrow I’ll charge it, if there’s enough sun to power the solar panel–#offgrid) Thank goodness that I surprisingly get such good cell reception up here, that was comforting. And thank goodness for mommies. Instant comfort. So, I lit a candle and tried to fall asleep, eventually I calmed my mind and my scary movie thoughts and fell asleep. I did pee in a cup during the night so that I didn’t have to risk going out into the spooky forest at night. 

So I made it to the morning. I awoke at 9 and made my way across the property to the compost toilet. Then to the kitchen where Annie was already at her computer. She said that at 11 we would either go to pick tea leaves if it stopped raining, or crack some walnuts if it did’t. Soooounds good to me. So easy. It looked as if it was going to be a relaxing day. As it turned out, not so relaxing.

After lunch I found myself carrying large pieces of wood down a hill. Many large pieces of wood. That part I liked. It felt good to some strenuous physical activity, and in the sun. Until it started raining. Like super hard. Annie let me borrow a raincoat, thank goodness, because we continued to work. Right now I just noticed that my arms are sore. Good, hopefully I’ll lose some weight here……………………Sorry for the pause, just peed in a cup again. I have no idea how I did that last night in the dark..lol.

It was a nice day, the rain just made it cold. Also I am not used to being so active. So I got tired before 4 o’clock. But it did make me think about how convenient modern life is. Like, I can live in my little apartment wherever I am in the modern world and have as much electricity as I want, as much clean water coming out of the sink as I want, a toilet that I don’t need to empty. I don’t need to go out in the rain to do any of those things. Today I had to go fill up two buckets down by the shower (outside) and carry them back up a hill (small, but still a hill) to wash the dishes. Outside. In the rain. My goal is to live a lifestyle that doesn’t negatively effect the environment but I HOPE, WISH, and DREAM that it is possible to live simply with just a little bit more comfort and a little less rain.

I admire them for living like this. I look at how much work they put into their place everyday, I’m so impressed. They seem like they enjoy what they do and are happy.

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Jessica

They have so many animals here!!! The dogs are the best. But I think that I wouldn’t mind having a cat, actually think I want one. Here the cats just have so much personality and they’re super friendly. One’s name is Jessica, and she totally totally looks and has the personality of a Jessica. It’s funny.

Today I met the horses! I found myself quite intimidated by their huge presence when they walked right up to me. I don’t remember the last time that I was so up close and personal to a horse, so it was a learning experience. I’ve got myself to a place where I don’t think that I’m going to be kicked with their huge back foot at any moment, so that’s good. Still, I’m going to keep my distance.DSC_0414

Embarrassingly, Annie asked me to make dinner. Which I politely said, sure no problem!! In my cheeriest voice. Well, cooking for yourself is one thing, it’s okay if it tastes horrible. NOT the case when you are cooking for others, especially people whom you just met and are hosting you in their home. And you know me, I can be so awkward. Why don’t I have better social skills, I ask myself this often. Anyways. I spent an hour this morning looking for vegan recipes online. I found something that looked easy enough and involved pasta. Cool. Turns out Annie doesn’t eat pasta, so there went that idea. I roasted some broccoli, zucchini, onion, and garlic in the oven, and we ate it with leftover plain white rice. The veggies tasted good, no doubt about that, there was just not enough of them at all. I’m pretty sure everyone was still hungry after that meal. I felt so bad as they thanked me. I hope I don’t have to do that again! I hope I hope.

It’s still raining like crazy here.

So I think that I going to plan on limiting my stay here for one week, tops. Annie said that the weather forecast said it would be sunny two days from now. I’ll see how I feel a couple days from now. But I think in the morning I will start to do some research and see what I might like to do next.

It’s only 8pm and I’m ready for bed. The sun hasn’t even set yet, it’s still pretty bright out. And I have to pee again.

So I’m hoping for good and happy things tomorrow! Especially for happy things like the sun.

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