A Sombra da Alfarrobeira
BY: FREEK STEINMAN
So…. There we are, on July the 2nd, 2021. Our Outbase adventure in Portugal started by finding a little paradise in Moncarapacho, not even 30 minutes driving from Faro Airport. It was a property full of opportunities to make a peaceful camp ground, to grow and harvest fruits and vegetables, go on beautiful hikes and meet up with other travelers!
From the first day here we started working together with friends and family, locals and volunteers to build our dream – opening Outbase Explorers Portugal.
We had so many projects in mind, but prioritized a thorough cleaning of the property first before starting on the renovation of the little farmhouse (‘quinta’ in Portuguese). All the work that needed to be done was very hard and physical. Because it was already the middle of summer and we were heading for high temperatures, this work was very exhausting and getting used to a Portuguese siesta was no problem at all.
When we first viewed the property, our eyes were drawn to the big Alfarroba (carob) tree at the back of the house. In that moment she was no more than a beautiful tree, and we never considered that later on it would provide valuable safety and protection during those days of hard, sweaty work in the full blasting sun. Everyday we had breakfast, lunch and dinner underneath her and she even gave us a feeling of sitting in a cozy living room. She must have heard all the stories, the laughter and tears, the conversations and maybe even some little arguments now and then…
She has given us so much during our short time here, that we wanted her to play a central role in giving name to our lovely Quinta.
This was easier said than done -as beginners in Portuguese we had a hard time in finding the right words to describe what we felt. That’s why we reached out to our Portuguese community – it was Humberto who helped us install the water system, who was able to find the perfect words.
Dutch words like ‘geborgenheid and ‘veiligheid’ didn’t seem to work either in English nor Portuguese, but he understood us perfectly just by looking at this beautiful tree and her central place in the courtyard.
Of course, we were delighted by his idea and the next day we immediately asked the previous owners and our Portuguese builders what they thought of it. The answer was short and identical – very original and appropriate for the place!
And so, the new name of our Quinta was born – ‘A Sombra da Alfarrobeira’
The shade of the Carob Tree