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FARMSTAY ECOLODGE OPENING SUMMER 2021

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Almost a year. That’s how long it took us from the moment we first saw the property we fell in love with to the moment we signed the papers that made us its official new owners. Well, 11 months to be exact. Ten, maybe, if you count from the moment we decided we wanted to buy the place. No matter how you look at it, it has taken quite a while. We are partly at fault, because we wanted to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s –

Many of you are probably wondering what we are up to, where things stand with our project, and what we are doing with our days. I have to admit, I have been pushing off the writing of this blog for months in the hopes that instead of a lukewarm update, I could share some epic and exciting news. Today, I have decided to rip off the Band-Aid and share the frustrating truth – but rest assured, all that means is that the big news is on hold. Let

The Vinha da Manta experience starts with the drive there. Skirting Guarda*, you head to the Mondego Valley which hugs the Serra de Estrela mountain (a natural park and the only place you can go skiing in Portugal). Through a few picturesque villages – including Chaos! – that boast a gorgeous view of a dammed (not damned) lake, you then turn towards Faia before finally seeing a sign for Vinha da Manta that takes you up a dirt track lined by old stone walls. Arriving at Vinha da Manta,

and why you should plan a visit This is an ever-growing list about why we love Portugal, a reminder to ourselves and an invitation for you to come and visit to see what we mean and why we love our adoptive country so much. We love Portugal because of… 1. Its truly cosmopolitan population stemming from a rich (if relatively unknown) history mixing cultures in a very open-minded way. Quite the contrast from their neighbors coughcough-spanishinquisitionanyone 2. Vinho Verde, a type of white wine made with very young grapes, often slightly fizzy and

The last official stop on our around-the-world honeymoon was Costa Rica, the country so renowned for its breathtaking nature and a government that manages to stay at peace with its neighbors in spite of not having an army. Having been there however, Costa Rica to me is a bit like prom – or a high school dance for those who did not grow up in the US. It’s something you hear so many stories about, see in movies, and have such high expectations for that when the day comes

Disclaimer: Under most circumstances, it would be a toss-up between my spontaneously gushing about Bolivia or trying to act nonchalantly enthusiastic with a “don’t even get me started on how much I love that place”, with the odds firmly in favor of the gushing. I lived in La Paz back in 2005, enjoying a life I had barely dreamed of before taking six months to volunteer there and get to know my roots, staying on for almost three years of sheer adventure and happiness. I left because it was

While in Colombia, we spent two weeks volunteering on yet another great project we found through Workaway: an eco-tourism Bed & Breakfast (B&B) called “Finca Agrreste”. The name is inspired from the word “agreste” with one “r” which means “savage” or “wild” in Spanish. The property lies a few hours North of Bogota, between the towns of Nemocon – known for its salt mine – and Suesca. The manager, Felipe Galindo, used to work in petrochemical engineering. Today, he manages six B&B properties in the general region of the

Buenos Aires is probably the best city to visit as an introduction to Latin America. That’s why we chose it as our end of year destination, given that Francois’ parents were flying out to meet up with us for Christmas and New Year. The city is full of old, glorious, historical buildings designed based on French architecture, yet the vibe is decidedly Latin. Streets are full of colorful graffiti, and music – often but not only tango – can almost always be heard coming from someone’s apartment, a

[Inspired primarily by the restaurant Desnivel in San Telmo, Buenos Aires, and Pablo Neruda’s Odes to the onion, tomatoes, and the lemon… ]   Your name emerged From Google Maps and the Guide du Routard With such promise We timidly peeked Into what was a nondescript entrance Only to be welcomed By a glorious smell Of roasting meet And the visual delight Of an overloaded grill Right there in the entrance Waiting, beckoning us   So we dove in And ordered a few cuts Of red meat Red, like a heart full of love Red, like a rose in bloom Red, like full lips waiting for a kiss So

Up in the hills outside of Rocha, a small town North East of Uruguay’s capital Montevideo, sits what looks like a hobbit house. Three geodesic domes built of wood, mud, and thatch sit overlooking a gently sloping piece of land called “Tierra Alegre” or “Happy Earth”. This is Juli and Libre’s little piece of paradise. They moved here a few years ago when Juli was pregnant with their son Indi – who has the longest eyelashes I have ever seen and is now two years old. Also a part

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