Three weeks ago we arrived in Portugal. It was early in the morning and still dark when we finished our night drive from Spain to Lafoes, an area in the north of Portugal, where we had our home for more than two years.
When we woke up the next day, everything was different than we expected. First of all, our hidden forest hideout, where we spent the night with our camper, was suddenly a private land of a friendly farmer who gave us a bag of his green beans and a few tomatoes as present for our baby son Hugó.
But what was really strange was the fog in the air. We thought it would be the wetness from the night, but during the day we realized, it was not fog, no, it was smoke. We did not know yet, but the fire was already on the way.
We talked to friends and to the old people in the area. They told us: It was the driest summer they remembered. In the whole century it has never been like this.
We did not mention yet, that we actually came to sell our property. It is a land in a beautiful valley, an old dream of us, that we grew out and lived to the end. Now it was time for a change. People from all over the world wanted to come, some of them with the money in their pocket, ready to buy.
The first days we cleaned our property and enjoyed the area. Although it was true and it was drier than we ever saw before, it was still a paradise.
Then the fire came. It started little, but got bigger than we ever thought.
In the end we heard that 515 forest fires started on the same day, that the whole North of Portugal was in flames.
In the first night of the fire we slept next to the bridge of Pouves, close to a little river in a small oasis. We woke up for the heat. Our dogs were thirsty, the air full of smoke and the sky glimmering red.
In the morning everything had drowned in smoke. It was colder than in the night, Joshua remembered the end of the dinosaurs, people around us were wearing breathing masks and the internet and the phone connections were lost.
We tried to find out where the fire could be, but nobody knew anything. So we decided to escape to the coast. This video we made on the way.
After a while it was suddenly better: No fire, no smoke, but fresh air.
We were thinking we could already look for a place where we can spend the night. We found a dirt road into an eucalipt forest. It started to get dark and we got a phone call from a friend. They left their home and also escaped from the fire to the nearest town. She was a bit surprised that we stopped in a forest. “No forest is safe now”, she said.
We started to think. In the far we saw orange light, that seemed to be fire. We packed our car and left. As we drove out of the forest we saw on the top of the mountain a big wall of fire coming down, and on the other side of the road the same, fire eating down the mountain.
We drove for a few hours until the fire and the mountains were behind us and stopped next to a river. In the night rain came and the next day the fires were gone. We were really happy.
We drove back to show our land to Ady, Chen and Teva Tahor from Israel. They were the first that came to watch and they directly decided to buy. We will tell you more about them later in an interview on Blueberry Beach.
If you are curious of the previous episode of our travel diary, you can read it here: Travel beyond – shit happens
If you want to read the Hungarian version of this article, click here: Utazás a végtelenbe és tovább – Az évszázad nyara
Zoé and Joshua