Newsletter May 2015

Farewell to Phine

"During my years at Pomarinho I've welcomed a lot of guests together with Dolf, our sons and the many enthusiastic volunteers. A multicoloured company! I enjoyed it very much and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. However after 12 years I've decided to stop working and living at Pomarinho and really choose for myself. I'm going to live in Castelo de Vide so we might meet again some day. The dogs can't move with me. Therefore we are looking for a new home for them. Thank you for the cosy conversations, contacts and pleasant cooperation." 
Phine Verhoef

Looking for a new home

Because Phine is leaving we are looking for a new good home for Boef (12 years) and Luna (10 years). Little Boef dropped by 12 years ago. About 2 years later we got a puppy: Luna. They've been together for 10 years and surely are best friends. They're used to space and living outdoors.

Because they love hunting together (rabbits, sheep, actually everything that moves…) Boef always wears a collar. Luna has got a nose cap when we go out walking. Luna defends us and can be aggressive towards other dogs in her territory. If you're interested and want to know more about these loyal tetrapods, please contact me at

Walking holidays with 20% discount

Fancy a ‘last minute’ walking holiday in Portugal? Book your holiday before May 15th and you'll get a discount of no less than 20 percent! Valid for May, June or another 2015 group walking holiday. During springtime the Alentejo is like a sea of flowers in all colours of the rainbow. The temperature is very pleasant for walking but also good enough for swimming already. Even in May. We hope to see you soon!?

Volunteers at Pomarinho

Ella and Maarten have left after another half year of wintering at Pomarinho. For the sixt time already! On the picture they are cleaning the drinking water filter, their final chore this time. We would like to thank them for all their work, they very often lend a helping hand. A big THANK YOU and.... goodbye!

Ella and Maarten aren't the only ones who like volunteering at Pomarinho. Koos van Kampen and Marlies Jansen think we are a great place for experienced terrain- and housemanagers:

"Act like us and look beyond your own country when you think about volunteering. Pomarinho is the only Friends of Nature House in Portugal and it's been run wholeheartedly for 12 years by Dolf Janssen. Together with a lot of volunteers he manages to create a little paradise (a house with 4 rooms, a large camping area and 2 apartments) all year round for walking and cycling enthusiasts, nature lovers, fowlers and people who are looking for a peaceful and silent environment (whether or not for wintering).

As volunteers we love to come back every time to Pomarinho to temporarely take over the daily management, guide the walking tours etc. The 'job' is multilateral but of course there's plenty of time to relax and enjoy the surroundings which you're very likely going to love (just like us). Curious? Enthusiastic? Available for at least one month? Contact Pomarinho! Because of all the activities, a couple is most suitable." 

Paradise for bird watchers

Of course we already knew that around Pomarinho there're at least about 60 species of birds to be seen throughout the year. However, we weren't really aware that Pomarinho is a birders paradise! Some bird watchers, who are currently walking around here, pointed it out to us. Kees is one of them.

Kees knows many bird areas, amongst others in the Extremadura and Southern and Western Portugal. According to him Pomarinho exceeds them all. We're now busy determining places where we can build a lookout. From such a hut bird watchers can shoot great pictures. According to Kees, the spot near our own small lake is going to be a prime location.

At this moment Kees his camera is posted beneath a camouflage net, aimed at a bush near the swimming pool. Here a lesser spotted woodpecker is hammering nesting holes into an almost dead eucalytpus tree. Meanwhile, while writing this newsletter, the lesser one has been chased away by the great...

 Bird watcher Kees about Pomarinho

“By not interfering with nature there's a beautiful biotope at Pomarinho for birds, butterflies and many other animal species. Because there were so many bird species to be photographed, I skipped all my walking plans.

I've been able to shoot (over 5000....) pictures of the hoopoe, Cetti's warble, bee-eater, common nightingal, monk vulture, crested lark, black Kite, sparrow, cirl bunting, wood lark, European serin, rock bunting, Sardinian warbler, lesser spotted woodpecker, Southern grey shrike, subalpine warbler, lark, Eurasian golden-oriole, finch, great tit, blue tit, blackbird, European stonechat and goldfinch.

We also enjoyed the lovely nature at Pomarinho with it's many blooming plants, sweet smells, beautiful colours and superb views. Dolf and Phine, thank you so much for all the effort both of you took to make our stay unforgettable. And also a big thanks for the delicious joint meals we had together." Kees van der Klauw

Bird excursion at the Tague

Recently we organised a 'bird watcher' try-out. It was amazing. We went with a group of 9 persons on a professional whisper boat to Portas de Ródão, the hole between two enormous rocky outcrops where the Grifos (vulture) Gyps fulvus is staying and nestling. With 15 picures per second everything was recorded. According to all participants this trip should absolutely be repeated.

Cycling from Pomarinho

The surroundings of Quinta do Pomarinho are very suitable for cycling, cycle racing and mountainbiking. Our Friends of Nature House can be rented by a group. If you like we can arrange the complete catering for you but self supporting is also possible. At the pictures a group of Belgian mountainbikers.

Recipe: trutas (trout)

Trutas a moda de Brangança or trout in a jacket of smoked ham. It's the way they prefer it in the impressive city of Bragança, city of the former Portuguese kings. Nice to know: the estate of Senhore da Luz, situated at 2 km from Pomarinho, has recently been inherited by the current Duke of Bragança.

Wrapped in a dark red jacket of presunto and baked in pork lard. The flavoursome smokey taste of the ham and the gold coloured fat make it one of the best ways to prepare this fine river fish. You can also use common raw ham but for the authentic taste you really need the smokiness.

Ingredients (4 persons)

  • 4 nice fat, cleaned trouts, including the heads
  • 4 thin slices of presunto (smoked raw ham)
  • 2 thick slices of bacon with a lot of fat to it, cut into small dices

Side dishes: gold coloured (jacket) potatoes. Chicory salad or (briefly) boiled chicory filled with blue cheese (Pomarinho tip).

Wrap the trouts carefully in their ruby red jackets and place them aside. Heat the diced bacon in a pan with a thick bottom. Fry gently until all the fat is out. Spoon the crispy bacon from the pan and set aside. Now fry the trout gently in the bacon fat (about 10 minutes). Turn the fish around to make sure both sides will become golden brown. The fish is done when it feels firm. Serve the trout on the boiled potatoes and sprinkle the fried bacon and some leftover fat on it. Enjoy your royal meal!

Have a nice spring!

Here in Portugal the weather is already very pleasant. Hopefully the sun will also show herself in Northern Europe this spring (and summer)! Enjoy!

 groeten van pomarinho

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Quinta do Pomarinho   |   7320-421 Castelo de Vide   |   Portugal   |   (00351) 965 755 341   |