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Send us some Hendo’s!

The day that every Sheffielder dreads is fast approaching – we’ve nearly run of Hendo’s! In case you didn’t know, Henderson’s Relish is made in Sheffield and (in my opinion) is the only condiment for pies, cheese on toast, in fact, just about anything savoury- and it’s awesome in a Bloody Mary. Problem is, you can’t get it in Portugal (I’ve tried), so this is where you come in.

Send us some Hendo’s!

In return, we will reward the sender of the first bottle we receive here in beautiful Moita Negra with an extra night in one of our glamourous tents for free! So, if the winner books a summer weekend with us (or longer), we’ll throw in an extra night (and breakfast) for nowt!

You’ve got until the end of this month, so get cracking! Send us some Hendo’s! Post a pic of you sending the stuff to us on our FB page, so if we get two bottles (or more) on the same day, we’ll know who sent it first!

NB The prize can’t be used in conjunction with any other daft offers or competitions we may have. If you’ve already booked for this year, and you bring a bottle of Hendo’s with you, we’ll swap it for a bottle of wine. Or some pop, if you’re not a drinker.

One feller…

Bill with chainsaw.

This is Bill. Bill knows what he’s doing when it comes to tree felling, forest clearance and land management in general. He’s taught us so much over the last week – we are deeply indebted to him. If you need him to help you with your land here in Portugal, you can contact him via Facebook. You will find details on our Thanks page.

When we moved here in 2016, our land was very overgrown, had been untended, unmanaged, unloved for many years.

Wild and overgrown.

Impassable

Over the last two years, we’ve been making slow progress, strimming and mulching and burning through brambles and gorse and 15 foot high heather (I never knew it could grow so tall!), but last week Bill came to help, and our forest has been transformed.

Got wood…

Top of the land.

Room to breathe.

Into the valley.

You can see our house from here…

Ali in the olive grove.

Now you can walk from the top of our land right into the valley. There is space for quiet contemplation, and the forest can breathe again. We have given indigenous trees (olives, cork oaks, holm oaks, medronhos and more) room to grow without competition. It’ll be ready for you to explore when you get here.

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It’s holiday planning time…

Now, you’ve had your turkey and your Christmas pudding, pulled your crackers, fallen asleep in front of The Wizard of Oz again, and all of a sudden, it’s Boxing Day! Now Boxing Day, as you know, is traditionally the day on which you decide where you’re going on holiday next year.

Here at Dolittle Holidays, we’re offering you a little incentive – if you book directly with us, and send us a 50% deposit via PayPal before 31st January 2018, you’ll be charged at 2017 prices (€28 per night, per tent)! Please note, you’ll have to organise your flights yourself (we’re good, but we’re not *that* good).

So what are you waiting for? Email us at dolittle@sapo.pt as soon as you can and check the dates you’d like to stay with us. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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Well, who’da thought it? Updated.

Back in the long hot summer of last year, we told you about finding a well surrounded by willows. So, fast forward to January, and after a pretty rainy winter, the well has filled with water! And not just water, but newt tadpoles, too! Lots of the little blighters! After a bit of online research, we think they may grow up to be Iberian newts. We’ll update as they grow up…

This place never fails to surprise. We’ve got some willows on our land, and they were being slowly strangled by brambles and ivy, so as part of the ongoing land clearance, I thought I’d give them some room to breathe. So, with the aid of my trusty strimmer, I set to work… and lo and behold, turns out we’ve got a well! It’s about 6 or 7 foot deep at the moment, and I suspect it has a wooden well cover, cos it bounced a bit when I threw a rock at it.

This means the idea of a natural pool could be edging closer and also an alternative source of water for the house and showers may be available.

Exciting times!

We have a well! Well.

Dave and the well wall

Ali and the well

View from the well

If you have nowhere to go, we can help.

Para quem perdeu sua casa nos incêndios terríveis aqui no centro de Portugal, temos três tendas em nossas terras que têm camas e são confortáveis. Existe uma cozinha ao ar livre, banheiros compartilhados e um lugar para se sentar, fora do sol. Se você não tem para onde ir, você pode ficar, gratuitamente. Estamos em Moita Negra, perto de Santiago da Guarda, em segurança. Envie-nos um email para dolittleholidays@sapo.pt para mais detalhes.

For anyone who has lost their home in the dreadful fires here in Central Portugal, we have three tents on our land that have beds and are comfortable. There is an outdoor kitchen , shared bathrooms and somewhere to sit, out of the sun. if you have nowhere to go, you’re welcome to stay, free of charge. We are in Moita Negra, near Santiago da Guarda, in safety. Email us at dolittleholidays@sapo.pt for further details.

 

What we’re about

We’re open!

So the tents are up, and we’ve had our first guests. A lovely group of people from our home town of Sheffield! They’ve loved it here – a real get away from it all break.

And we went to some new places with them – one of them was the reservoir at Pedrógão Grande – we all went on a dinghy and had a great adventure!

We were sad to see them go, but they enjoyed it so much, they’re going to come back as soon as they can!

That was then, this is now

Back in January of last year, when we were looking for somewhere new, we visited a property in the tiny village of Moita Negra in central Portugal. It was a grey day,  and this was the last place on our list. Turned out it was the one. The land was untamed, hadn’t been managed for a few years – and there was a lot of it – and the outbuildings needed (ahem) quite a bit of work, but the house was neat, recently renovated, and most importantly, habitable.

Fast forward to April of this year. As you can see, we’ve made a lot of changes.

We’ve cleared the land and converted the dilapidated old barn into bathrooms (with a lot of help – names and links are on the Thanks page).

And now, we’re ready. We’ve got hot water and electricity in the bathrooms, we’ve got fully-furnished tents, we’ve got nature. Lots of nature. We’re ready for you to visit, to stay with us for a while, to discover the beauty and tranquility of our new home, this gorgeous country called Portugal. If you’re looking for somewhere to unwind, to relax, to get back in touch with yourself, then Dolittle Holidays is the place for you. Just give us a call, email us, get in touch. You won’t regret it.

Busy, busy, busy…

Millhouse.

This is Millhouse. She’s kind of in charge.

This year we’ve been busy. Very busy. Doing all sorts of things. We’ve been clearing land.

We’ve been deconstructing buildings (ready for rebuilding), and generally tidying the place up.

Millhouse has been overseeing the various projects, and she has constantly reassured us we’ll be ready soon. To cats, all times are soon.

It’s taken us a while, getting things organised. Worthwhile things take time.

And now, after a year, we’re ready. We have bathrooms (with showers, sinks and toilets), an outdoor kitchen with a sink and a gas barbecue, we have a place for you to eat and relax, and we have three fully-furnished tents. All that’s missing is you. Welcome to Dolittle Holidays.

(We’ll update this blog regularly, telling the story of the creation of Dolittle Holidays, our experience of life here in Portugal, and of course, Millhouse will pop up on the odd occasion.)

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