Central Portugal – Off the Tourist Trail



This time last year it was unusually warm and sunny, every one was talking about the lack of rain, and about the rivers being low on water.

This year the conversation is a  little different . Every one is talking about how much rain we are having, and of the damage the wind and rain has caused. For the last week or more, it has  rained every day. The rivers are in full flow, and it is a very different picture to last January .

On the news last night there were pictures of other areas, where rivers had burst their banks and water was more than a metre up people’s houses. It also showed roads with big holes in them, and others where parts had broken off and fallen down the  hillside, due to the amount of rain that had fallen.

The 130 kilometre  high winds  also caused  a lot of damage  across the country. In comparison to some areas  we seem to have gotten off pretty lightly ( fingers crossed). In my village we were without electricity for 24 hours, and due to a number of trees blocking the only road out of the village we were unable to go anywhere until the owner of the trees came to cut them up and remove them. However, no one was injured and no buildings were damaged.

I went for a walk the day after the storm, and  it looked like the  mimosa and eucalyptus trees took the brunt of it . Many were broken in half or completely ripped out. That could have been the reason for the power cut also. It is quite likely that a tree fell and damaged one of the lines running through the woods, between villages.

It is amazing the knock on effect 24 hours without electricity has. I went into Gois the day after the storm ,and headed for a coffee and cake in my favourite bakery . Although it was open, the shelves were pretty much empty, and only four lonely little  cakes were left . People kept popping in asking if they had bread yet. All the ovens were electric, and had gone off in the middle of  the baking the previous day, causing a shortage of fresh bread.

Bars which  make a living from people popping in for a morning coffee, were almost empty as the coffee machines were out of action .

Yesterday, a friend went to give advice on how to  install a wood burner  as quickly as possible. The house only had electrical wall heaters, and the people had been without  power for 4 days!  Last night the outside temperature was just above freezing, and so  the wood burner was  crucial.

When I bought this house , I did not think about  surviving  a Winter, or about power cuts. It was originally only going to be a Summer holiday home. However as I prefer cooking with gas, I bought a gas cooker. I also  had a  chimney  sticking out of wall in the living room, and so I bought a wood burner. I thought it might be handy if it was ever a bit nippy. It was also a bit of a novelty, as I had never had one before !

Now that  I am living here allyear round I am so pleased that I made the choices I did, what ever the reasons.

Although it was a bit of an inconvenience being without electricity, my wood burner kept me nice and cozy, and I was able to make a yummy stir fry on my gas cooker. In fact, maybe I am a bit odd saying this, but I had a lovely evening the night the power was off. I drank wine, played my guitar, and read my kindle by candle light.

If you are coming to live in Portugal or thinking of renting a place in the Winter months, then do consider what type of heating and cooker you have in the house.  In the event of a power cut , it makes a BIG difference.

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Author: portugalholidayguide

I love making and creating , and trying out new ideas .

2 thoughts on “STORMY WEATHER…

  1. Glad you managed to stay safe! In the area where I live the wind destroyed quite a few things, but luckily I managed to suffer no major damages.
    Fire places or wood burners are a must if you’re living in the country – and they’re great to grill some sausages and chouriços! xD

    • Glad to hear you remained safe, and came through the storm damage free . Woodburners are great for cooking on aren’t they .I roasted loads of chestnuts on mine this year ,and often put stews on top to bubble away. Haven’t tried sausages yet though , will give them a try – Thanks

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