For the first time since arriving in Portugal almost a month ago, we set our alarm as we had to be up and out by 6.30am. Still struggling to get hot water we boiled up pans and kettles. I set the fire and sorted the washing, Mark went up to the long house to open up the gates and building before covering our belongings with dust sheets as Raphael and his dad were arriving at 8am to start prepping for work on the roof. Mark also had to cap off two waterpipes in the kitchen so that water was accessible to the builders without it leaking out from where he had previously removed pipework. Wanda and I had our morning trot around the plot, although she really didn’t seem comfortable with Mark not being there with us and keep looking for him.
8.30am and the team from Ecositana arrived and started to unload the scaffolding into the courtyard. Antonio, Raphael’s father had a chat with us about the wall of the building, it is bowing out and although there is nothing that can be done to straighten it, a metal banding will be placed around the top of the walls to make sure that everything is structurally sound before the new roof is fitted. Shortly after they arrived we needed to set off for Castelo Branco, so left them to it.
We arrived in good time for our 11:15 appointment with Lilliana and spent a few minutes in her office while she explained that there had been yet another chaotic morning regarding the sale with the potential of it falling through yet again. The solicitor appointed by the sellers had failed to present the appropriate certification of ownership. Also, there had been some confusion regarding how much money we had already paid, which in turn caused more confusion with the tax office and caused further delays. Lilliana had managed to persuade the Notary to accept the certification if it was submitted today so we headed off to the bank to pick up a bankers cheque. We walked the 100 yards or so from the bank to the Notary office only to discover that the certification still hadn’t arrived. We arranged to reschedule our meeting for 2.30pm.
We spent the next couple of hours doing some errands that we needed to do, We replenished the two gas bottles which were extremely empty and we stocked up on enough provisions to last us 2 or 3 weeks. Once we manage to get an extra freezer working we will be able to stock up a little more, but in the meantime will cope with the little one we have in the annexe. While we were in the shopping centre we took the opportunity to go and get some spare keys cut and was shocked that this came to 75 Euros.
2.30 and we were back at the Notary office. After a short while, we were seated and the clerk read out the deed in Portuguese. Lilliana then read it to us translating into English. Also in the office was Oscar from Remax, looking quite frazzled and a representative of the sellers solicitor. We signed the deed, handed over the cheque and thought that this was job done. Not so. We were asked to stump up an additional 382 Euros to cover the cost of the electricity and council tax for the period August 2019 to date. Pointing out our original agreement when we signed the promisory document was to pay for the electricity for the month of August 2019 only, we stood firm and Lilliana took up the cause. She can be a fiesty little thing when challenged and a lot of words were spoken on the phone between her and the sellers solicitor. We paid for the electricity for the month of August and left.
Outside Oscar invited us to have a drink with him in the nearby cafe and we chatted about how long this had taken and the journey it had taken to get us to completion. Almost 2 years in all. He seemed very appreciative of having Lilliana to help with things and promised to pop in to see how we are doing if he is ever in the Vale de Prazares area.
Around 6 hours after we had left home, we arrived back. The builders had gone home but we found that the scaffold had been been erected around the long house and that some of the granite blocks has been moved to create a pathway for when the crane arrived.
Weary from our busy day, we walked the plot as proud owners of this beautiful dream and shared our news with family and friends back home. On a footnote, with the news of the UK once again going into full lockdown, we have never felt so blessed to be living in semi-isolation in such beautiful and tranquil surroundings.