Homage To Carlos

We learned early on we did not have the physical strength to be carting around 100 kilo granite rocks. So Carlos and company entered our lives.                     Over the summer we asked Carlos if he was willing to help us restore the interior of the old farmhouse. It would be a tough job since we could not get any heavy machinery into the house so all the gutting and removal of rock, concrete and interior walls and floors would have to be done by hand. So with an enthusiasm that would melt your heart Carlos began to swing his sledgehammer and the walls came tumbling down.

It was a dirty job in the Portuguese summer heat. We had already cleaned and re-pointed the interior stone walls using about 40 bags of cement.

 

 

 

 

We also had to remove the old stone oven used for baking bread and smoking meat from the old kitchen.    Needless to say the stone walls were charred with decades of soot. A number of none to healthy solutions were tried until we decided the blackened walls held a patina and story of older ways.The old oven was moved by hand into the lower section to be rebuilt in the new hostel eating  area. The worst part was the oven was supported by a mountain of stones underneath to support its weight.

 

As the walls came down the space opened up to reveal huge other worldly design ideas which we quickly shut down after working long and hard with our architect Paulo. But there was a strong temptations to leave the whole space open seeing all the beautiful stone work uninterrupted.

 

 

 

The walls were still true but Carlos needed to fill in some gaping wholes. He describes it as trying to solve a puzzle in stone. Below where he is working is the stone foundation for the the stone oven he has removed. It will be going out the lower door one stone at a time.

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile out in the pastures life goes on.