Newsletter June 2014
In the last few months we have said goodbye to all wintering guests. They enjoyed the winter in Portugal very much. For many of them it wasn't the first time. We have guests who come over every year for several till six months! A lot of the guests who just left us, have already booked again for the next season (2014-2015).
Altogether it was cosy and busy and now, in June, the campsite is quite full again. And once more we have welcomed a lot of guests who already stayed with us before. They are not only coming back for Pomarinho but also for the ' cabrito assado' (goat) of restaurant ‘Os Amigos’! Thanks to the help of Marlies & Koos from The Netherlands, we ourselves could take a short break.
In March, April and May of this year we have held several successful group walking holidays. Thanks to Jits we have learned a lot of new flower species. I hope we can remember them all! Wow, did we see a lot of flowers, animals and birds this time. A meadow with red clover, fennel giant, vulture, hoopoe, kingfisher, bee eater, golden oriole and a few weeks ago 3 deers in the cork oak woods near Ribeira da Nisa (a thank you to Annelies, Alied and Diederik for their beautiful pictures).
This spring we 'officially' reached our goal in becoming the hiking centre of Portugal! Our own group hiking tours were fully booked and we also attracted a lot of walking clubs. They can find us nowadays thanks to the efforts of our son Merijn, who is taking care of the marketing and communication of Pomarinho. This year we welcomed, amongst others, the Dutch walking group ‘Wil Slob’, the French ‘Les Amis de la Nature’, the 'Maastrichter' walking group (Netherlands) and the ‘Belgian men’.
When groups overlapped it was quite hectic every now and then. But with the help of a lot of hands and thanks to the support of many volunteers we managed, each time, to welcome the new guests in a clean and ready accommodation.
In the kitchen we got a lot of help too. Thanks to Annelies (guide also), Ineke (volunteer for many years, guide also), Eileen, Annemiek, Phine and now Selma, delicious meals were being served. A few guests had to loosen their belts...
For those who would like to book an organised walking holiday too, we still have options in autumn! There's availability in October as well as December. If you prefer to stay with us individually we have several more options in our holiday homes and campsite.
We have recently added a new hike to the group walking tour programme: the Triangle walk. This walk includes two overnight stays in very special accommodations. One of them is the former station restaurant in Beira, which has been transformed into a beautiful guesthouse.
With the May walking group we walked the Triangle: from Beira (overnight accommodation) to Marvão (overnight accommodation) and back to Pomarinho. The hike is absolutely worthwile but we discovered that the walks could be a little longer. Therefore we are going to lenghten the current 3 x 10 kilometers.
We asked the May 2014 participants to share their 'Triangle' experiences with us. Thank you Marian & Jan, Willeke & Jop and Leen & Annette for the feedback! We would like to share their final judgements with you:
"The Triangle is a fantastic 3-days hike, well organised through a beautiful area, plenty of variation. If you are a regular walker, the level is fine. High quality food and accommodation, pleasant and interesting accompaniment. Highly recommended!"
"In brief: the Triangle walk is a very good addition to a walking holiday at Pomarinho!"
"Wistfully we are looking back at another very pleasant holiday in Portugal!"
About five years ago Dolf (and five witnesses) spotted a lynx during a walk. Very recently an Iberian lynx has been spotted at Pomarinho, in the very early morning at the nature campsite. Later we have found clearly visible footprints near the Ribeira de Nisa river too. This is very special!
You can recognise the lynx by his characteristic long whiskers on the face and tufts of black hair on the tips of his ears. He has got large, padded paws for walking, a relatively short body and a short, thick tail with a black tip. His body colour varies from medium brown to goldish to beige-white, occassionally marked with dark brown spots. During the winter his fur gets thicker (for warmth).
The lynx has about the shape and size of a the 'boxer' dog species. Because he hardly makes any sound, he's very difficult to spot. Only during the mating season he makes humming noises or screams out loud. This often happens at night and is quite similar to the noises a cat at rut makes.
Clams can be found anywhere in Portugal but also outside Portugal they are often available. Please find below a simple but delicious recipe for 'Ameijoas a bulhao pato': clambs with coriander, garlic and lemon.
- 1 kilo clams (not too small)
- 2 spoons of olive oil
- 1 spoon of butter
- 2 thin slices of lemon (in quarters)
- 2 garlic bulbs (chopped)
- 1 or 2 pinches of piri piri powder
- juice of 1 lemon
- pepper and salt
- 2 spoons of coriander (chopped)
Probably the clambs are yet relieved of any sand. If not, put them into a strainer and then into salted water. Refresh the salted water several times. Rinse them and leave them to leak before use.
Put the garlic and slices of lemon together with the oil and butter into a large pan. Bake until the oil and butter turn brown, the garlic starts to smell and the lemon is getting soft. Add piri piri and bake another few minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the clams, lemon juice, pepper and salt. Turn up the heat, put the lid on the pan and boil for about 10 minutes until the clams open. If necessary, let it rest for another few minutes with the lid on the pan. Remove the clams that stay tight. Shake the clams back and forth, add coriander and shake once more. Delicious with some bread. Bon appétit!
Have a nice summer!
We have had a good winter and spring at Pomarinho and are ready for the summer. We wish everybody a very good summer too!
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