In the summer of 1997, Navino and I first came to Monte Maravilhas and we soon decided to realize our dream here. A place where people can enjoy nature, silence and the climate. Also a place where we could offer various activities, such as hiking, painting, yoga, massage and meditation.
When we came here there was no running water and electricity. We took water from the wells on the land, had a small generator and a compost toilet. We lived in tents and life was very simple. We learned to speak Portuguese and wondered about the Portuguese ways of doing and living!
In the spring of 1998 we began renovating the houses: Casa Azul, Amarela and Mimosa. The construction was done by a Portuguese contractor and we took care of the electricity, the tiling, the installation of the kitchens, the wooden floors and the painting work.
The valley was overgrown with blackberries. Once we had cleared it, a beautiful valley appeared. Trees were pruned, cistus roses were cleared from the land, terraces renovated, flowers and trees planted, wells cleaned etc.
In July 2001 we received our first guests in the houses. Navino decided to step out of the project. I went on, helped by family and friends.
In 2002, we were connected to the electricity grid.
In 2004, the saltwater pool was constructed and then the barn in the valley was converted into accommodation: Casa Mula. In 2014, the building that formerly housed the generator and batteries was converted into a studio for Prem: Casa Joana.
Because there was much demand for camping facilities, we built a kitchen and sanitary facilities for campers in the valley in 2013. We bought some caravans and made tent spots. As more and more guests came for caravans and camping, Lakshmi was built on the hill in 2015, with a second kitchen and sanitation facilities. We also built an open yoga/meditation platform.
And now… 20 years later… I still have fun at Maravilhas and in Portugal. It has really become my home. It is nice to be able to receive so many guests, and a joy to work together in an enthusiastic team and enjoy this beautiful piece of land.