Because I don't sleep much during flights I spend time watching movies, and on the trip there I watched 7 movies.
I can recommend two of them: "A United Kingdom" an historical romantic drama and the romance "Paris can wait".
|Lisbon from the air - Christ statue, 25th April Bridge, Edward VII park|
On arrival, we were picked up by my middle sister and niece and headed to Cascais where my sister and my parents live, to join the rest of "United Nations family" already there - my younger sister, brother in law and 2 nephews from South Africa, my niece, husband and baby from San Francisco and my niece from Angola, we had lunch and then spent the afternoon catching up.
My daughter and partner would arrive around dinner time from Amsterdam, and after their arrival we had our first loud and lively family dinner.
The purpose of our visit to Portugal was for the Christening of our grandchild and with a lot of planning we managed to be able to join the whole of my immediate family, plus 2 of my husband's 3 brothers for this special occasion - a grand total of 21 people!
It really was special as the last time we were all together (minus a few of the new members) was 20 years ago!!
Our son, daughter in law and baby boy had also flown from Perth to Portugal 2 weeks ahead of us and were staying in the center of Portugal with DIL's family.
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The following day the adventure started with the family divided into 3 cars for a 1 1/2 hour car trip to Leiria, a town about 30km from Fatima - a Catholic pilgrimage site, home to the Sanctuary of Fatima. Here we met up with a group of friends and some cousins for lunch.
|The group after lunch in Leiria|
After lunch, we got back on the road for another 1 1/2 hours ride to our final destination.
I was dropped off at a Cafe in Carregal do Sal, a village where we had lived for 10 years before moving to Australia, and where I was meeting up with some lady friends for late afternoon tea.
The rest of the family drove to Quinta da Lontra - the riverside country estate where I had booked accommodation for 16 of us, so they could check in, unpack and rest.
|The ladies meeting in Carregal do Sal - I'm at the back in the center|
Quinta da Lontra - (Otter Farm) - this ecological farm is situated in the countryside, 1,5km from Póvoa de Midões on land bordering the Mondego River (which was quite dry due to drought). The farm is accessible via a dirt road and is off-grid, but electrical needs are provided via solar panels.
The English owners, Toby and Nina were very friendly and welcoming. Two dogs and a cat completed the idyllic setting.
Breakfast and dinner is available on request for an extra fee and the owners use their own organic produce or locally sourced produce when possible.
|The yurts and domes (top), a bedroom in the dome, the blue house with the top and bottom apartments|
The accommodation is made up of a bricks and mortar house with an upper apartment that sleeps 5 and a lower apartment that sleeps 3, both houses have bathrooms. Then scattered thorough the property are a couple of big domes and yurts that sleep 2. Two composting toilets and 2 showers made up the bathroom facilities for the domes and yurts, and were located just above the Kitchen/lounge zone.
The Kitchen/eating/lounge area was everyone's favourite and enabled the whole family to be together while cooking, playing games, talking, or eating... Built on the higher part of the property it was a functional but cosy area too - the kitchen was well equipped, comfy sofas, books and music were available and there was a long table that could accommodate all of us.
Just outside there was a table-tennis table that the younger crowd used daily and an outdoor sitting area around a fire pit.
I was surprised when my young nephews - 18 and 21 years old, told me that they thoroughly enjoyed their time away from their mobiles (cellphones) and had fun playing cards and walking along the river chatting to each other.
The only drawback was that due to the uneven terrain, it was a bit challenging to walk from the domes up to the Lounge area at the top, my parents in their 80's also found it a bit tiring but coped.
I think we all got a bit fitter from going up and down the whole day anyway. 😉😉
|The main house - bedrooms, lounge, kitchen, deck|
|Dining room, fire pit area, Sitting room // Kitchen/lounge area seen from the bottom, kitchen, playing table tennis|
|The outdoor toilets and showers|
|The Mondego River - very dry due to the drought|
|Views over the river Mondego, Bridge over the river, Swinging boulders|
|Another beautiful view from the mountain top to the Mondego river|
Check out this youtube video of Quinta da Lontra.
Hope you enjoyed the photos of this idyllic place. You can get more information about Quinta da Lontra from this website: