After I opened the door with my screwdriver, I put it on the outside of the caravan, and get inside. I am greeted by a smell of wet socks and shoes. Two pair of once waterproof shoes appear to have had their day. I prefer my boots over them in this foggy weather at 800 meters. I rather have blisters than wet feet. I am actually very pleased with the low hanging clouds. It is more than a week ago that I felt the sun on my face after a cold night. The fog makes it a lot more comfortable in this caravan. The caravan is on it’s last legs though, it has a cracked window, loose walls and broken cabinets. But it is a dry place.

I turn on my head torch to find my toothbrush. It is not even nine o’clock, but I’m off to bed. The other Wwoofers and I are off to bed early, seeking warmth in our sleeping bags. The room we just ate our generous meal was chilly today. All the firewood got wet, so it was impossible to get a fire going. Luckily we had each other’s warmth. The six of us get on really well. We had lunch together on our day off in a restaurant in Portelo de Unhais. Combined with a nice walk through the fog, back to Casalinho, it was a day we connected.

Today I had to work again. The day started with milking a goat. While squeezing, clenching and pulling, a bit of milk drips into my bucket. The goat is still patient, but for how long? It feels like squeezing a balloon, and I am afraid for the nipple to burst. Whilst doing this, I start to think about the weirdness of it. We take this milk, meant for goat babies, lambs, for human consumption. The thought disappears when the rest of the herd enters. The group of goats and chicken impatiently wanders around, searching for the seeds we flung on the floor. Creatures of habit as they are, they know they will graze soon. Surrounded by ten goats and together with host Andrea I run to their pasture. There the calm descends and they start to graze. At least, as long as the two dogs leave them alone. They consider the goats toys.

After some raking in the garden, my day is done. A good lunch gives me strength to take a cold shower with water from the mountain. Freshly showered and a bit tired, I head towards Arades, to drink a nice beer with the other Wwoofers. If the bar is open, that is. But today we are lucky. The bar annex mini local supermarket is open today. It is another afternoon filled with good conversations and wonderful togetherness. I am quite absent again though. I feel tired and I am silent. I’m thinking. I have surrounded myself with a wonderful group of people again. I realize that I feel more connected with the people, rather than with the project and the work. But this group is splitting very soon, everybody goes his or her way. I am in two minds whether to travel on, or stay here like agreed. I am in doubt because Michel and Sina told me about a nice place. Their stories and pictures make me feel warm inside, they make me want to go there. I am considering my own wellbeing and feeling responsible for myself on the one hand, and my sense of responsibility on the other. I want to spend my weeks in this region in a way that makes me feel happy. To do that, I have to follow my gut, my heart and my feeling. In this case that means to go on, get on the bike and try the next door. Even if, in this case, it means not keeping my agreement.

digging swells

lighting a fire


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