We arrived back at the hotel feeling as though we had made our decision, but … we were still in Madeira and still had Estate Agents to see.  We agreed that rather than make our final decision, we would see another estate agent the next day.

The feeling of deflation that we had felt at the lighthouse had worn off and we were now feeling a little scared – had we truly made our decision?

The next morning (our last day in Madeira) we went to meet another estate agent in Arco da Calheta.  We were being enticed with 5 acres for only €uro 40,000 – seemed a real bargain.  It wasn’t a surprise that he had cancelled our appointment earlier in the week, with the rain we had experienced one night the road required a 4-wheel drive or walk!  Although he did try to get his vehicle up the road, we agreed to park and walk.

In all our experiences of looking at properties, we had always met the owner (who in all but one case did not speak English).   This viewing was no different.

To get to this property we had driven up into the mountains.  The land we were to look at was at the lower edge of the treeline.  It was explained to us that we could only build a woodern structure and that for every tree we felled we would need to plant another.

When we got there the first thought that came to mind was ‘mountain goat’.  We were being offered 5 acres on the side of a hill … yes, it was all up/down and no flat.  Another concern that became very obvious was that the road we were standing on (4-wheel drive only) we the ‘main’ road to a small village and small hotel.  As the tourism in this area developed, this road would become a lot busier and the property ran along the side of this road.  Therefore anything that was built would not be in the quiet secluded area that we now found ourselves in.

The smell of pine was fabulous.  Although this was an incredible piece of land it was obvious why the price was so low – building would not have been easy and restrictive to specific requirements.  We had earlier in the week met an English builder who build Norweign Log Houses, so although we knew building in wood, would not be a problem, the idea of building a new house on the side of a mountain was daunting.

We drove back down to where we had left our hire car (a very underpowered 1.2L car for the hills and tracks), and drove on up on Porto Moniz for lunch.  Over lunch we got out our notes and started to work our way through the masses of photographs we had taken (you never get given Estate Agent details), the notes we had jotted down, the memories we had.

What a fabulous experience this week had been!

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