We spent our first full day at the house (except for sleeping there, as we have no bed as yet), and I have started cleaning the swimming pool. I thought this would be a pleasant and generally enjoyable thing to do, but was quite wrong. Apart from anything else, unless you have diving gear on, it´s almost impossible to get any force behind your scrubbing brush when you´re standing at the poolside and the brush is six foot under the water. And then there´s that dashed sun. I can´t get in the pool, ´cause it´s too dirty, and I can´t stand around it when it´s too sunny or Í´ll get burnt to a crisp (I know this, because I am that crisp). Then there are all the chemicals – chlorine for this, sodium for that, something else for the other thing. And the pump, and the filter, and the dead frogs in the water, and the insects, and the leaves. And finally, I thought I could solve the riddle by just draining the pool, giving it a good scrub and filling it back up. The problem is, it holds 60,000 litres of water, and our water tank holds 2,000. The water tank is fed from an artesian well in the garden, and it took an hour and a half to fill it up with the little green water pump we have. So….I empty the pool, we´re immediately into, what, 30 tank-fulls at 1.5 hours = 45 hours of pumping? And anyway, we have a small stream at the bottom of the garden, and the environmentalists among you will think it pretty not-on to pump 60,000 litres of dirty, chlorinated water into it. Jeez – I´m already thinking of filling it in and planting an herbaceous border instead. (Only joking).
On a more exciting note, we had 5 visitors to the garden during our first full day there. Firstly there was a big fat froggy-toady-thing in the pool (and still alive, as no significant chlorine in the pool at this point). So I helped him out and chucked him down the hill towards the stream. No doubt he will return.
Second visitor was a preguica, or sloth. We thought it was a monkey, until we saw him reach out veeerrrryyy sllllooooowwwwlllyy to pick something off a branch.
Shortly after this, we had a pair of collared monkeys come up to steal fruit off one of the trees. They´re Sauím-de-Coleira monkeys, quite small and on the endangered species list.
Third visitors were a pair of toucans, who were playing footsie in and around the garden for a while, making quite a racket (tsk tsk). I´ve seen one in the wild before, but it was much much bigger, so I think these were red-billed toucans.
And finally, we had a big green iguana lolling around in the top of one of the trees.
Quite a toing and froing really, and long may it continue! Other than spending time trying to identify our guests, it was just Naice doing some tidying up and me getting burnt while trying to figure out how to clean the pool. But it was really great to finally get our own space, although we´re still sleeping at Sao Jose as we haven´t much in the way of furniture yet.
I´m hoping to get some photos posted up soon, but until I can get wireless access, it isn´t going to happen. In the meantime, I can tell you that the house is quite small and unassuming, with two bedrooms, a through lounge-dining-kitchen affair and a couple of wee rooms which could be an office and a store room maybe. The main bedroom has its own bathroom and there is a separate, so-called ´social´bathroom for guests (although at present it´s not very social, I must say). This is all on one floor. There is a separate area below the house for the live-in (no, we won´t be having one), comprising a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen/utility area. The grounds slope down towards the house, so that above the house is a swimming pool and covered barbeque area, and at the very top of the garden, near the entrance, is a small kennel block and the water tower. And that´s it, really, except for the view. To the rear and left of the property is a small valley surrounded by rainforest. We have no way of knowing when this will all be chopped down (tomorrow? next month next decade?), but you can be sure it will be. Until such times, we will enjoy it and look after it as best we can. Hopefully it´ll still be there when you come to visit, and who knows – maybe the pool will be clean by then too!