This is the first view I had of the lake house in Saquarema, RJ. It is perched on top of a huge hill that has been terraced. Vacation homes or weekend homes are quite popular in Brazil. In Rio, weekend houses outside of the city are preferred, and this community grows dramatically in size on the weekend with a smaller group of locals during the week. There are a lot of retired people too. Saquarema is perched between a large lake and the ocean in the Lake District or Lakes Region of Rio de Janeiro state, about 3 hours from Rio. It is also a great surfing area, and calls itself a surf capital. Seems true enough since Quicksilver was having a surfing tournament while we were there.
Can you imagine driving up this driveway everyday when you came home from work? Or imagine walking it every day, up and down, to go visit the neighbors or the lake? I walked it almost every day. What a workout!
We visited the lake a lot, but Akylis also made friends with a little girl named Julia who lived at the bottom of the hill. He kept asking to visit “Hu-yah” and he’d start calling her name when he saw her house. Usually we could hear her yell something back and pretty soon her mom would be opening up the door. It was a really cute relationship to watch grow. Too bad she doesn’t live closer to us!
This is the side of the house. I had a hard time getting photos while the crew was working. The house has been remodeled from a small cottage to a much larger vacation home with an enormous pool deck added to the front. As I mentioned before, this is M’s boss’s vacation/retirement home. He is drastically changing it. He asked M to come out for a week, but when we got there, M thought it would be more like two. Then his boss stopped in and changed his mind about a few things, which stretched us into the third week. And finally the rains slowed down the workers drastically and we stayed for a total of four weeks and M didn’t finish everything.
The views were absolutely fantastic. Akylis preferred the pool. When M was working on the brickwork around the pool, Akylis “helped.” The wood poles became a cable and post railing that mimics ship railing. This is Lake Saquarema, a salt lake that connects directly to the ocean. I’m really happy we had this opportunity to travel to a new area. But with the house under construction, certain things were a little rough.
This was my outdoor kitchen. It was lovely to work in on sunny days, as long as I wore sunscreen. It was horrible at dinnertime, because the mosquitoes swarmed. When the rainy days came, we pushed the stove under the eaves and made do. Remember it is winter here too. The temperature dropped sharply at night, and the rains only made the change more dramatic. Imagine me out there trying to cook food while the icy rain splashes off the roof and the wind blows out the fire. Good times!
Before we left, I discovered I sprouted a black bean plant. Akylis helped me pick through the beans and tossed them all over the place. I wonder if they are going to be picked fresh beans in a few months.
The food scraps that we tossed out also attracted the local wildlife. Akylis loved chasing this fat rooster that came around for the rice and veggie offerings. M wanted to catch him for BBQ. There were several hens in his crew and two neighborhood dogs that stopped in fairly often. The dogs made me slightly nervous because Akylis was determined to catch their tails.
Akylis loved the cooler we brought. It became not only his tub, but my laundry machine and dishwasher. That’s right I hand washed our laundry. It didn’t work so well so we made one trip back to Rio for the weekend to run all our clothes through the washing machine and I did a much better job of packing for the return trip. I was only prepared for a week the first time.
At night, these crabs would come out of their holes near the lake and search for food. This one ended up in a newly tiled front room where the refrigerator was. I am so glad the light was working that night, so he didn’t get my toes. We had to dodge these little guys when driving at night. We weren’t always successful and a few times we hit one and it sounded like a little explosion or firecracker popping under the car.
I have so much more to share, but it is going to have to wait! I’ll be back soon.