Termas da Azenha

Vakantiehuisjesverhuur in Portugal

The first and only Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobe in the world

Skeptical about the septic tank

“Yes … that is completely blocked …” I say somewhat delusively, “and I don’t really feel like messing around in it …”

It also doesn’t smell particularly attractive, and I see granules of corn floating around in the brownish water.

The neighbor also sees it: “Yes, we eat a lot of corn …” he says almost apologetically.



He also is a little discouraged. Maybe they had no experience with a fossa – a septic tank. Neither did I, city girl that I am. I can still remember that we once washed turpentine and paint through the sink, and cleaned the brushes there. Hot tap on hard, and brush well. Food leftovers from the plates – stuffing it right into that drain!

No wonder we’re faced with climate change now. Nature no longer deals with our sh*t. And the septic tank as well not

In my ignorant innocence I once have tried to rinse a redundant and not-so-bright cauliflower through the toilet. In pieces, that’s a point for me, but it didn’t work anyway. The plumber put his hand in a large plastic bag and then fearlessly in the can, to surface with a few cauliflower florets and a bewildered expression on his face.

Now I have been the proud (!) owner of 3 fossas for years – without problems

Eh, that is, except for that one time, when someone flushed a diaper. How they managed to do that – nobody knows, but we were faced with a huge challenge. We had to break open a whole terrace to discover what & where it was exactly.

That was the time that I learned everything about PVC pipes, sewers, what to do and what not with a septic tank

Well, I’ll tell you: even though you’re still connected to a beauty of a city sewer, flushing a diaper through the toilet is never a good idea! And now that we are talking about it: rather throw the wilted cauliflower in the bio. (We didn’t have that yet!)

I have absolutely no desire to break my head again – and the whole thing open – to discover what went wrong. You must have done everything once in your life; this is ticked off. I quickly come up with Plan B – and call the contractor for how much a new fossa is.


Although the municipality is in the process of installing sewers in this area, it has been going on for a year or two, and no idea when that finally comes true. Moreover: I am a fan of fossas *. It works well, if you just make sure you keep putting the good stuff into it.

Corn: excellent! Bleach: out of the question! You can throw in a forgotten kilo of chicken – the fossa bacteria feast on it


After a week passing by and calling, they’re suddenly there. Surprises, that’s what contractors are fond of – but okay, this is a pleasant surprise. Sérgio drives the small excavator to the scene of the disaster and starts the good work.

I get a hunch of a decadent feeling. Kind of: I’m tired of this couch, so let’s buy another house. ON the other hand: it goes pretty quickly, and it is solved in 1 day!

Let me be decadent then …

* We may even continue to use our fossas for all eternity! Yessir, you have to have a permit for it, as with everything here in Portugal.

Every week on Sunday morning you will find a new blog in your mailbox. Every week you spend a few minutes in Portugal. Just on your own comfortable sofa.

Please wait

Thank you for sign up!

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and a small campsite, with a swimming pool, games like pingpong, foossball, pool, boardgames, and a FancyDressingRoom. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. The healing mineral water still runs through the baths, and is still of an excellent quality. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a unique bathrobe or kimono in our webshop, or order one tailor-made, completely to your wishes.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog. You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.