A cold night at Quinta da Marka, Douro Valley, Portugal
At Quinta da Marka, the cold in my arms was between a desire and some discomfort. However, the silence and peace of that cold night were the magnets holding me on the balcony.
Some comfortable and fluffy wicker chair cushions helped me to resist. Still, dozens of bougainvillea petals were dragged across the floor by a breeze insisting on countering me.
The day seemed already distant to me. So much had happened.
I was alone at Quinta da Marka.
Although delighted to have the place all for me alone, I was not surprised, it was still a long way from the high season, so I could enjoy this peace and beauty just for me.
Despite the warm day, the night was pleasently cold.
The clear sky allowed me to see all the constellations the moonlight almost hid.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could still see the sleeping lights in the living room. Maybe I should have turned off all the lights in the house. Perhaps I should have.
There were no other houses around me, just a few spots of light far away, here and there.
Quinta Nova was one of those little dots of light you could see in the distance. Until two hours before, I was there dining with the clients.
Quinta do Crasto behind my back was not visible from this balcony. I just know it is there, like closing a high-quality circle around me.
Maybe I should have turned off all the lights in the room. Now I can only imagine the beauty of this deep dark night.
There wasn’t enough light in the living room to read, only the essentials. But I could still distinguish the room’s traditional decor, comfortable, and very inspiring.
I cuddled myself even deeper into the friendship of the cushions and started to feel my eyes getting heavier.
For the pleasure of having one more customer in the group, I gladly gave up what would be my room at Quinta Nova and also the last one available. Was a last-minute customer.
So, I had to go somewhere else to overnight for the next two days.
Quinta Nova is a beautiful place, there’s no doubt about it.
The rooms, the restaurant, and the service make Quinta Nova a difficult lodging to replace. However, fortunately for me, I have other opportunities to enjoy Quinta Nova.
Quinta da Marka was the perfect solution, allowing me unparalleled isolation and perspective and still not far from my group fo guests.
It was a spectacular day, one in which everything went well. The walks without clouds on the horizon or burning sun, the guided tours flowing smooth and without other groups pressure, all this ending in a fabulous dinner where the group gave themselves over to the most passionate and hilarious conversations.
But the day was no less demanding just for that.
There are moments when it seems the stars line up, so everything goes smoothly, and they leave in me an indelible trail.
Demanding but positive and confident customers, the weather neither cold nor hot and, critical, a set of details that run as expected and coined these days as rare.
I resisted thinking about the next day, I did not want any mental exercise to revise the plans.
I just wanted to be able to fall asleep under the stars.