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Paradise: We travelled to the Mountains of Portugal. – Sandra Cross

After several years dreaming of a different lifestyle, we finally hit the road. We set out on our journey from Brighton, England, with our boy, a dog and three horses… fate led us to Paradise…a derelict, dirt floored ruin on the banks of a crystal clear river in the mountains of Portugal. Steve, my husband, and myself, were both enchanted at first sight by the stunning location of the ruin. It was surrounded by trees, and so quiet, just birdsong and the burble of the river. But the ruin had no electricity, running water, or telephone connection. There were no services at all. It would be the biggest challenge of our lives. We were stepping back at least fifty years in time. It’s been an amazing experience to breathe life back into the crumbling walls of the ruin. Steve and I are both proud to have done it, in fact we are still doing it to this day! Another big part of my story is horses, they have always been my passion. We brought our three horses from England with us, and started offering horse riding holidays. This added a whole different adventure to our lives. Within a year we had seven horses, three dogs and 3 cats, most of them were rescued. Over the next few years, two beautiful foals were born at our little farm. All of these animals have etched their own character into our story. Our son Craig was only nine years old at the time, we were amazed at the way he overcame some huge obstacles; like starting at a Portuguese school. We have had some great adventures, and some tough times, but I have loved every minute of it, and I hope you enjoy sharing our ongoing story.

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Written by sidrahassan

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