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18. Five Months, Pouco Trabalho

Just when we thought we had caught the "wave" of progress when we moved into the first floor last October, that rush quickly grew to a crawl -- not only because of the New Year's flooding -- but also as the momentum of workers coming to the house slowed to a near halt.

11 March 2023


Yes, you heard that correctly: five months with very little renovation progress is fairly frustrating. I've arrived back at the villa for 20 days in early March to the tune of a handful workers coming for just a few of the days I am here. About 35% of the renovation remains to be completed, including the upper level, basement (and new drainage scope), plus the landscape and swimming pool. The project is nearly a year overdue. Many of these spaces sit demolished and incomplete. Take the Arrumos for example, which should have repaired and painted walls, ceiling, new lights, and a Portuguese-tiled floor. It has looked like this since last Spring:



While much of our energy is currently being spent determining the best way to move forward with some speed, we have had a few "wins" thankfully. Namely, the copper stove vent and countertop has been installed in our kitchen:




And, we finally have exterior lighting around the facades of the villa, making for a much richer appearance from afar -- and something that finally makes arriving at night much more convenient!



I have taken this slower time to continue and explore all the glorious places Northern Portugal has on offer, namely an inaugural visit to the surprisingly dynamic Geres National Park, Arcos de Valdevez, Lagoa de Geres, and the Espigueiros of Lindoso & Soajo:




And, as always, the sunsets in Caminha over the Rio Minho and Atlantic remain one of my favorite things in this world:



We've recently also had the pleasure of rainbows casting themselves in front of the villa as we gaze toward Spain, giving us a glimmer of hope for the project, and serving as a reminder of how very special we still find this home and this place.



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