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The Yurt is Up!

The first structure is completed at Quinta da Mizarela!

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We ordered a beautiful Mongolian yurt from Sophie and Andy at Pure Portugal. It was built in Mongolia, shipped to the UK and then on to Portugal, eventually arriving at the top our track about a month and a half ago.

So you are probably wondering why did it take us a month and a half to set up a yurt! Ahhhhh because setting it up is only part of the picture!

First we had to get all the bits down the track. There were 9 different bundles and some of them weighed a ton!

Then we had to build a huge deck for the yurt to sit on. We hired Reg, the yurt deck specialist in this area that came recommended to us by Sophie and Andy. He told us what wood to order and we did. To make a long story short the wood took a very long time to arrive. In the end we aren´t quite sure how it all happened but somehow someone showed up with a truckload of planks and poles.

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Over the next 10 days the deck continued to materialize. I remember one day looking down on it and I thought, ´what were we thinking building a deck this high, we must be crazy´ Thank goodness it was too late to turn back so I just hoped for the best.

Our volunteer Andrea spent hours painting the wood so the insects wouldn’t eat it before we had a chance to use it. She had some help from me, Pete, her boyfriend Al, and another friend Ana but Andrea was the driving force in getting this completed. Thank you Andrea!

Painting the wood was one thing but then we had to move it all down the terraces to the deck below. This is no small task and again we were lucky to have friends help us.

Reg worked tirelessly, sometimes in extreme heat to get the deck completed. The wood came in all different widths and lengths. It was quite a job for him to make this all fit which he did. I think he used about 10,000 nails and screws!

Once Reg finished the deck we moved in with a highly specialized team of 7 yurt assemblers. 6 of the 7 had actually never done this before but we were full of enthusiasm and optimism so in our eyes we were highly specialized. Our friends Danny and Anna from Ibiza from just happened to call a few days ago and tell us they were in the area and asked if they could come and see us. Danny had put up the exact same yurt in Ibiza so the timing of their visit couldn’t have been better. Danny was elected the yurt assembly leader and it made it a lot easier to have his experience at the helm.

Our other team members included Pete, Andrea (volunteer and master painter mentioned above), Paul and Nathan (friends who organize and lead meditation retreats and are trying to buy a quinta close to us and will soon be putting up their own yurt!) and me.

To start things off we formed a human circle about where we thought the yurt would sit. We decided this probably wasn’t exact enough so we followed it up with a tape measure and pencil markings.

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In 3 short hours we had the base completed.

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We probably could have gotten it done a bit quicker but we had to stop for the Mongolian Blues Band to play a few tunes. We had Pete on guitar, Paul on bass, Danny on drums, Nathan as the roadie, Andrea and Ana were the groupies and I was the official band photographer.

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We took a short break and with only an hour left to work we sprung into action and the roof emerged!

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Just when we hit our stride we had to stop as we were all headed off to the Friday night meditation group.

Danny and Ana had to leave the next morning but the remainder of the team was ready to go bright and early (OK maybe not so early, more like around noon) the next day.

Just as Danny, our fearless leader had said, the hardest part (the lattice framework) was already done. The Yurt has 4 layers of sides and top. The inside layer is white cotton, the next is a very thick felt for insulation, then on top of that is a really think canvas and then a beautiful white and blue top cover.

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We had a great time figuring out how all the bits fit on and then getting them to cover the whole yurt. In a couple of hours we had a beautiful yurt fully assembled, sitting majestically on its base overlooking the gorgeous mountains that surround the quinta.

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With our work completed we were off for a dip in the waterfall below the quinta.

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This project was so much fun and working with everyone was a complete joy. If Pete and I had to put this together by ourselves I know it would have taken us at least 10 times longer. Thank you everyone!

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Today is Saturday, on Tuesday Pete and I will be moving into the yurt. It will be the first time in over 60 years that someone will be living at Quinta da Mizarela! We are hoping our house will be finished soon.

Stay tuned for the a post on the progress of our house and also of Jacqueline´s house and yoga/meditation/meeting room By the end of the year we should have 3 finished buildings sitting above the yurt!

Cheers,

Cynthia

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