Andreas Schäfer

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since Feb 05, 2015
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Recent posts by Andreas Schäfer

What search? I am getting confused now.. Did you read the thread?
5 months ago
Hello Helen,

I didnt have succes in buying land lately, but I didnt try. So I cannot tell you anything about websites, I dont know any more than stated above. I would recommend to look at land for sale on websites, just to get an idea, but keep in mind, most land is for sale, but not online. So good you are planning to visit the peninsula this summer, the best way to find (cheap) land is to ask around in local bars.

You dont need a lot of money to buy some land, some small plots costs just a few hundreds of euros.

Good luck!
5 months ago
Hi, I am in central Portugal, between Coimbra and Viseu. Here the spring and summer was quite cold and with a sufficient amount of rain. The heatwave started just a few days ago, and the forecast is average summer weather (max around 30C is the long term average in july and august). for the coming weeks.

Last year was worse, worst! First a very dry spring and a very hot summer, then the wildfires of 15th october. At you can see a lot of fires at this moment too, but not around my area. I guess I am lucky now because the bad luck last year, alltough I still am a little concerned. A lot of people say after such a big fire it takes about 15 years to build up enough  material to give the next big fire a chance. But because of the great amount of ashes, in spring everything turned green, lots of fast growing weeds, and now those are mostly dead and dry, so maybe I still should be aware..

I started watering daily (yes that was not nescessary until a few days ago!), and I give more. Still some plants and little trees have a difficult time. I guess what I would do different next year, is even more mulch.. I also need a lot more shade, so that means I have to keep planting trees.

But like I said, temperatures are usually always high in summer here, so most plants and trees adapted to it, or are known for liking hot weather. So the mature trees (olive, orange, corkoak, pines, mimosa) that survived the fire still look nice and green, no stress.
10 months ago
Hi Alex,

since I am not looking for land, I am not the best guy to ask. I remember when I was looking for land online, I found a lot of info on websites to be outdated. One of the well known websites for land for sale in central Portugal (not only Coimbra but also a lot in Castelo Branco) is Please note I wouldnt advise to buy something from that website, or expect to pay double price. Maybe you think its that cheap, you dont care to pay too much, but please keep in mind that foreigners buying land here above market prices, affects the local people, who see themselves outbid.

But just to get an idea about whats for sale, looking online can be helpful. It might be a good idea to check also for plots for sale. But since almost everything here is for sale (not everything is on the market, but most people would like to sell), it would make more sense to get to know the area, decide where you want to be, and go investigate in the local bars to find a suited plot in that area.

Good luck, and if you find yourself in my area, feel free to contact me. Maybe you could become my neighbour!
1 year ago
Hi Jen,

Yeah I feel the same, about doing everything alone. Also my family don't really seem to understand what I am doing, and after the fire there was not much support from them. On the other hand, doing so much alone also made me more self confident. But sometimes its lonely, so it would be great to meet someone to do it together.

The fires are scary for sure, but after this fire in the whole area there is nothing left to burn, it will take about 15 years before a fire gets a chance to get big. So for the coming years we will be really save there, and in that time I want to plant all kinds of fire resistant trees. Like that I could save my land from the fire the next time. I also will buy a good waterpump (so far I did everything by hand, with buckets), so I can wet my land when a fire comes close.

And yes, gardening and travelling are difficult to combine, for me the fire made it possible to do some travelling. It was a good choice for me, leaving the mess behind, escaping the winter in Portugal. Now I feel like I have more power to rebuild everything. Today I will continue to look for a cheap way to send jutebags to Portugal. I can buy those bags here for only ten rupies a piece (about €0,13).

So keep me informed about your plans to come to Portugal!
Hi Jen,

Thank you for your post. I am currently in India, but in two weeks I will fly back to Portugal to start up again. I will do it on a even lower budget than before, it will be adventure. Right now I am looking if its possible to buy second hand jute bags here in India, ship them to Portugal, and make a fire resistant dirtbag house. It will be hard work, but cheap.

Its always good to hear that more people are interested in living in Portugal, I would like to see more likeminded people settle in the central part of the country. Now, after the fire it is a good time to buy. Prices are low, a few days back I checked online offerings of land, and found one of 2,5ha for just €6.000. Of course agricultural land is more expensive than forest, and a house (or ruin you could rebuild) drives the price up. And I would pay more for a good water source.

So if you are serious about moving to Portugal, I guess you would come to visit and look around? You would be welcome at my place, maybe I could help you find your ways around a bit. Let's keep in touch!
Thank you guys for your support!

Yesterday I heard the major of my village wants a list with items that got lost in the fire, he want to help with replacing! So it looks like I don't have to buy more wood to rebuild the house. My neighbour got an offer from a restaurant owner, he can go there daily for free lunch and dinner. Its really amazing how everyone wants to help!

A Dutch newspaper covered a story about my situation.
1 year ago
Dear Permies friends,

most of you will have seen the news about the latest forest fires in central Portugal. It was a absolute horror.

Sunday morning I woke up at six to continue building my tiny wooden house. Rain was forecasted, so I had to prepare for that. The whole day I was working, and in the evening I sat down for some internet. At around 8pm the internet connection was lost. I went for a walk upon the hill, to take a look at the fires that started that afternoon. The whole afternoon the sun was red because of the smoke in the sky. So I went up on the hill, and what I saw was a bit scary. Fires raging all over the Serra da Estrella mountains, multiple fires in a row. But the fires where also in the west, a lot of fires.. But the wind came from the south, and there I didnt see fires, so I assumed to be save. I was very tired because of the work I did, and went to bed at around ten. One hour later, my neighbour woke me up and saved my life. I just had time to put on a trousers and some shoes, and took my wallet with me. I didnt think about saving papers, laptop, phone, nothing.. We went to the village, there we could find shelter near the church, surrounded by stone buildings. The fire came fast, the wind was strong. In a short time the valley was on fire, and the explosion of my gas bottle made sure nothing is left of my temporary house, and new builded one.

I went back in the middle of the night to see the damage. First the fires where still too hot, and I had to go back to the village. One hour later I managed to get to my quinta. Most of the centuries old olive trees were still burning. I tried to save the tries with some buckets of water, but I guess most of them will die.

I tried to sleep a few hours between the dieing fires, smoke and ashes, but I couldnt. I went to collect my dead chickens for the compost, and went away, hichhiking to Ciombra to escape the mess.

Now, a few days later I start to think about the future. I think I will go back and rebuild everything. It wont be easy, because I dont even have enough money to replace everything I lost.. But I think things will be OK, so many people are willing to help, its heartwarming. People started to collect clothes, shoes, things to cook, food, and so on, to help the victims of this terrible fires. The foreign alternative lifestyle community of central Portugal lost a lot, because its the foreigners who live on the fields, the Portuguese prefer to stick together in the villages. I think this all will lead to a much more connected community, something many of us here were already hoping for. We all went through the same..
1 year ago
Hi, interesting topic. I also would like to find a way to get things started on a larger scale without tilling. Last spring I tried seedballs, and I failed. I share it so you can hopefully learn from my mistakes and tell me how to do it better.

One problem I had, was that seeds sprouted while the seedballs were drying. Probably making them now in summer would allow them to dry quick enough to avoid that?

I made sunflower seedballs, small ones with only one seed covered in the clay-compost mix. Too small, my rooster found out quick he could crack the ball to get to the seed. I suppose I have to keep my chickens locked in when the seedballs are tossed and wait for the rain.

I can't wait for the rain in about a month, there will be plenty to grow here in Portugal in autumn and winter. One thing I did last autumn succesfully, was to toss lupine seeds around, just on the bare soil. They did very well, and I could harvest a lot of seeds.
1 year ago
Just be your own central bank, and buy physical gold and silver!
1 year ago