We arrived in Ponte da Barca in the middle of an unseasonable heat wave, after a drive that was much longer and more gruelling than we had expected, and still had not been able to connect directly with our host, who spoke no English at all. We were exhausted and prepared to be underwhelmed. All we wanted to do was connect with our families -- and the wifi wouldn't work:-((
But Piedade brought a young friend who spoke English perfectly, and then later another friend who also spoke English, and yet another friend who understood technology and together we muddled through on Google Translate and felt we became great friends! It turned out the problem with the wifi was the stone walls, so I hope she's able to work this out. If not, it certainly won't be for lack of trying. Such a kind, generous host!!
Our only complaint with the house -- which was large, spotless, with lovely linens, etc -- was that it was missing many of the basic items a rental usually has. Salt, pepper, cooking oil, sugar, etc.. We asked if there was salt and a toaster, and half an hour later she was back with salt and toaster, a pepper grinder, a bottle of her lovely homemade white wine, her eggs, veg, and jam -- all this on top of the homemade cake and vase of flowers that greeted us on arrival.
The property is lovely, with a huge vegetable garden, several balconies, and a walled garden off the master bedroom, with full double doors and shutters.
Really, all Piedade needs to do to make this a perfect rental is to outfit it with a few more basic items (salt, pepper, oil, etc.), a few wine glasses, and a few more utensils (spatula, etc.). Since she doesn't speak English at all, it would also be really helpful to have a binder with instructions (leave the wifi portable hub outside, how to use the stove, a warning that an automatic sprinkler comes on in the walled garden in the night!!) and information on the local area (restaurants, stores, sights, etc., maybe some brochures). We also wished there had been a guest book so we could thank her wholeheartedly for all her many kindnesses.
We had a wonderful stay at Quinta Tras o Rio. The house was well maintained, well equipped, and had ample space with all the bedrooms and bathrooms. The pool and patio were relaxing, and the gardens were extraordinary, truly beautiful. A wonderful property. Thank you,