The Calm of the Countryside

herdade-do-moinho-novo_14It is not considered Alentejo yet, but has everything that reminds us that area. And it is so close to Lisbon. In Canha, Estremadura, well hidden from the eyes of passers-by on country roads, is the Herdade do Moinho Novo. The dirt road makes us dream with the simplicity of the countryside and the preservation of what is natural. A first plate, with an arrow pointing to the left, protects us from having to make the decision about whether we follow one path or another, and later, a new plate with an arrow to the right says further: “You are almost there” as if we were not already very enthusiastic about what we would find, that message leaves us even more ecstatic.

We reached the homestead and hear only silence. The perfect antidote to neutralize the stress of everyday life. The homestead of 60 hectares consists of 8 wooden modular homes fully integrated into the hillside that leads to a swimming pool overlooking the lake. Much of the space is to the animals treat that live there on the loose, from cows, horses, deer and sheep. They roam freely through the pastures, with no rules, no schedules, no traffic and no grips. In another area of the homestead, they organize weddings, christenings, birthday parties and parties of the happy people with the straw bales as a background,  that makes us imagine how it would be the decor of these parties. They have a dog´s hotel which makes it a very inviting place for those who do not leave theis pets home alone and like to share the good life with their animals. The homestead is so spacious that also has other animals, chickens, pigs, piglets, ducks, turkeys, ostriches and you may be part of the daily chores of a farm where you can feed the animals and ask whatever you want to the friendly staff of the Herdade.

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We were presented to the central house that serves as a common space to all guests, since it’s there that breakfast is served and has also a TV, something that the other houses don’t have. We liked this concept of antiquity, where people talked, told stories, and shared and expressed themselves woth their voice and with signs and not just being present. One thing is certain, with no television, love happens!

We were in the Colonial house, decorated like if we have made a trip to the past, with a suitcase full of badges stickers, a four-poster bed with a mosquito net as if we were a former colony, chairs in the dining area similar to those of our grandparents homes and an old ark. The balcony … Well, the balcony has a view of the field, the kind of view we wanted to have every day, when we opened the window and there they were, the horses, the cows, the cork trees and holm oaks, all in harmony and a sunset like the one that makes us want the new day to come really fast, to contemplate it again.

The bathroom, I have to confess that it is super original, with a high glass down next to the shower. My favorite part of the house … why? Think with me, bathing overlooking the field, bathing with the sun to warm the body behind the glass shower, almost like a feeling of shyness, knowing that someone may be watching you, but who? The grazing animals, then there’s no problem 🙂

All houses are equipped with kitchen utensils, so I advise you to take some food to cook and take advantage of those fantastic balconies for your meals. Cook calmly, with love, think of all the ingredients as if they were magic dust and that it will do wonders to your inner body. Then enjoy the meal, share what makes you feel food, talk, imagine yourselfs in the environment that characterizes each house and dress the characters.

Preprare yourself for the busy morning. Breakfast is from 9am to 11am (normal time to those on holiday) in the central house, but if you want to enjoy the morning, I advise you to take breakfast very early in order to reach on time to feed the animals. They also have the right to take a big breakfast. Then follows the jeep tour. Prepare to dust, it’s what you get when you go on a safari, right? Only with this tour you can understand how big is the homestead and hopefully you will find deer, horses and cows, all confortable and in their daily life in its territory.

It’s time for a well deserved rest … the pool! The images speak for themselves, but it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful pools and most well integrated in nature that we have seen. There’s this portuguese website NIT.pt, where there is a top of the 30 best hotel pools in Portugal, and this is one of it. The water is salty which makes it even more attractive. In front of the pool there’s a lake where you can go canoeing when you want.

The best moment; when the sun still warms you but now it’s with the colors of the sunset and we can take advantage of this heat into the pool, facing the lake, just to contemplate.

This homestead has everything to make us happy. Leaving it’s the worst part. But the desire to know the remaining houses is a lot, so see you later!

Here’s the website for you to take a peek:

www.herdademoinhonovo.com

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