Life in the Hills Over the Hill

Life in the hills overlooking vineyards of Azaitao has for the most part been slow for us. Part of the reason is we’re slowing down. I am learning while it has its drawbacks, it also has its pleasures.

View of vineyard valley looking eastward from Alto das Necessidades.


The drawbacks include not seeing and doing as much in a new area, a harder time adjusting to a new environment (and the ever-present roundabouts), and more effort endeavoring to pick up a new language.


However, the benefits include being able to live in the moment more fully, a greater capacity to relax, and the ability to enjoy simple pleasures. I don’t pretend that my early senior-citizen crisis is easy; it is not. The cognizance that my life is mostly over has hit me between the eyes, but it has also given me a clearer focus.

The vineyards below Alto das Necessidades surprisingly have a more autumnal feel than where we are on top of a hill.


Since I am no longer able to jog as I have done most of my life, I now walk. While I don’t feel the exhilaration of my physical strength, I feel more keenly my inner strength.


The trail/road on which our villa is located, Alto das Necessidades, confuses GPS (it often comes up as “Unknown Road”) but also gives one pause and perspective.


The road is mostly dirt and is used primarily for recreational purposes. My walks are slow on the hilly terrain. A place of great interest is a ruin wherein trees are growing. It looks like the remains of an old house. Also wonderful are the views of the valley facing the Bay of Troia. There are vineyards below, which surprisingly have a more autumnal feel than where we are on top of a hill. It almost breaks my heart it is so beautiful. The pictures here don't do it justice.


A ruin along the Alto das Necessidades has trees growing from the inside of its walls.


Among the vineyards of Azeitao that I would like to visit are Jose Maria de Fonseca, Quinta do Alcube, and Malo Tojo Estates. I have driven by these walled and wonderful fortresses, and they beckon even the non-wine drinker to enter.


There’s a Price for Paradise


Deke and I are learning that there is a price for paradise. Being on top of a hill close to a radio broadcast tower provides gorgeous views in both the front and the back of the villa to the valleys below. However, dramatic weather also occurs here. The winds seem to come from the Bay of Troia and make their way up the hills. Once it reaches the top of our hill, it dramatically “falls” down the other side creating nearly nightly winds that don’t exactly howl but gust over the house.


Trail/road outside our villa - the Alto das Necessidades


We woke up yesterday with a pool full of debris and the lounge chair cushions soaked and spread about the pool patio. There was a big storm last night, and we awoke to no power today. It was several hours before it was fixed, and it needed to be fixed specifically for our villa—it wasn’t a widespread power outage.


Our time here will likely end soon, and it is on to the next adventure—likely in the Azeitao valley

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