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Volunteer at our Quinta in Nogueirinha, Central Portugal.

Country: Portugal

Updated

Workaway Host rating
15
Last Activity
20/08/2014

Description

Writing this update in August 2014 we don't have any availability until October unless previously arranged.

We've been hosting 'Workawayers' for some time now and on the whole it's been a positive experience. In addition to running the quinta we also advertise property and land for sale on behalf of local Portuguese people and accommodate people searching for property in the region. For this reason we can't guarantee 'Workaway' availability at all times shown in our calender, we're sure you'll understand, we do aim to respond to all enquiries promptly!

'The quinta is located in the rural village of Nogueirinha, near Oliveira do Hospital in Central Portugal. The traditional house has been fully renovated and has two bedrooms, the lower level is self-contained with a combined bed/sitting room, separate shower room and toilet. Within easy walking distance of the house is a small shop with adjoining cafe/bar and the local Associação (social club).

The 1.2 hectare quinta sits on hillside with a mix of woodland and terraces. The (upper) wooded area supports native trees, and the (lower) terraces are used for cultivation of our seasonal crops, vines, Olive and fruit trees.

We are an English couple, Patrick (56) & Elaine (46), we share the house / land with our dogs, Daisy, Rrrags & Eccles, we also have two cats and two hens.

We've a number of ongoing projects, we are improving our 'garden' (as well as our cultivation areas), We also have vegetable planting and (seemingly endless) weeding to do in addition to normal land maintenance.

A self motivated volunteer with horticultural experience would be ideal, is this you?


IMPORTANT!

We endeavour to have a sustainable lifestyle, however our quinta isn't an 'eco project'. Where appropriate we use powered machinery for land preparation, insecticides and fertilizers on our crops and herbicides for control of problem species. We feel it's important to make this clear to potential volunteers to prevent them working in an environment in which they would be uncomfortable.

As is common, we provide food for three meals a day (prepared with 'workawayer' help), we don't provide between meal snacks, or drinks when visiting bars or other events. We eat practically all 'conventional' foods, anyone with an unconventional or 'alternative' diet should let us know when applying to volunteer. If you have specific dietary requirements causing us greater expenditure, please be prepared to make a contribution.

Area

Coimbra and Center

Type of help

Language practise,
Animal care,
Help in the house,
Farming,
General Maintenance,
Cooking / shopping,
Building,
Gardening

Help

IMPORTANT! At a household level we expect our volunteers to integrate, this includes some mundane housekeeping jobs, (completed faster with more hands)! Preparation of meals is also shared and we (usually!) welcome new culinary experiences.

We enjoy an active social life, we visit many local and regional events and are regular visitors at the local Associação and cafe bar, hence we're not always early risers! 'Workawayers' are always welcome to join us as long as they don't mind buying their own drinks, snacks etc.

As mentioned above, we are looking for self motivated volunteers with horticultural experience.

Languages spoken

English, a little Portuguese (embarrassingly)

Accommodation

Self-contained with bed/sitting room, toilet and shower rooms. In winter months, the spare bedroom is sometimes used as the other accommodation isn't heated.

What else ...

Due to the terrain, volunteers need to be 100% physically and mentally fit. Due to the risk of forest fire and the environment in general, we prefer non smokers. The nearest main town (for bus transport) is Oliveira do Hospital (6Km). There isn't a railway station nearby, the nearest being at Nelas (35Km, approx 45 minutes). The quinta is not suitable for children due to a plethora of hazards including wells and mines (water not land!).

When not working, volunteers can visit the spectacular Serra da Estrela (mountain of stars, peak 1993m) where you can ski in the winter months with a full range of other outdoor activities throughout the year. When standing at the summit, you can see where the name comes from!!

Locally there are many walks and areas suitable for mountain biking. We regularly use our mountain bikes and quads in the forests that surround the quinta. Rock climbing and kayaking facilities are also available nearby. Although we are an hour or so (by car) from the sea, we have many beautiful local river beaches (Praias Fluviais) with freshwater swimming, bars, cafés etc.

For those less energetic (or needing a rest) there are excellent museums, annual cultural attractions (festivals etc), local bars and restaurants. The large cities of Coimbra & Viseu are both about an hours drive away (Regular luxury coaches to Coimbra). The Spanish border is about an hour away by car.

Some more information

Internet access
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers

Volunteering hours expected

5 or so a day - flexible

Photos

Click to enlarge

Here are the animals (Daisy & Rrrags the dogs) with two of the cats (brothers Preto & Branco) enjoying a relaxing sleep in front of the fire!
Here are the animals (Daisy & Rrrags the dogs) with two of the cats (brothers Preto & Branco) enjoying a relaxing sleep in front of the fire!
This view is taken from the terrace, it shows one of the veg' plots after rotavating. The water mine (from where we get our domestic water) is also shown.
This view is taken from the terrace, it shows one of the veg' plots after rotavating. The water mine (from where we get our domestic water) is also shown.
This is the view from the upper terrace toward the Serra da Estrela which is about 20Km away.
This is the view from the upper terrace toward the Serra da Estrela which is about 20Km away.
This picture shows the path down to the chicken area from the house with our pool on the right.
This picture shows the path down to the chicken area from the house with our pool on the right.
This is a distant view of the house and lower part of the land where we grow our crops (or not depending on the amount of water available).
This is a distant view of the house and lower part of the land where we grow our crops (or not depending on the amount of water available).
We added the canopy at the main door this year (2012) it lets us sit outside without getting too hot in the summer and gives us a bit more protection on the wet days.
We added the canopy at the main door this year (2012) it lets us sit outside without getting too hot in the summer and gives us a bit more protection on the wet days.
We have clear views of the Serra da Estrela, the snow doesn't always come down this far!
We have clear views of the Serra da Estrela, the snow doesn't always come down this far!
This is the lower level where visitors stay, there is one large bed/sitting room, a curtained doorway leads to a shower room and separate toilet with washbasin.
This is the lower level where visitors stay, there is one large bed/sitting room, a curtained doorway leads to a shower room and separate toilet with washbasin.
Eduardo, Emilie, Elaine & Patrick near the summit of the Serra da Estrela close to 'Nossa Senhora da Boa Estrela'.
Eduardo, Emilie, Elaine & Patrick near the summit of the Serra da Estrela close to 'Nossa Senhora da Boa Estrela'.
Margherita and an unknown TV presenter at Lagares da Beira carnival (Feb 2013)
Margherita and an unknown TV presenter at Lagares da Beira carnival (Feb 2013)
If 'Workawayers' are using the second bedroom / office, they use this bathroom (on the ground floor).
If 'Workawayers' are using the second bedroom / office, they use this bathroom (on the ground floor).
This is our second bedroom / office, on the first floor, we sometimes use this for 'Workawayers' it's slightly warmer and cozier than the basement suite in the winter months.
This is our second bedroom / office, on the first floor, we sometimes use this for 'Workawayers' it's slightly warmer and cozier than the basement suite in the winter months.
The second bedroom / office, a handy place to study.
The second bedroom / office, a handy place to study.
Patrick, Diogo, Tiago, Rrrags & John at the Serra da Estrela on 20th March 2013
Patrick, Diogo, Tiago, Rrrags & John at the Serra da Estrela on 20th March 2013
Ian & Claire wine tasting at the Festa do Queijo in Oliveira do Hospital on 9th March 2013
Ian & Claire wine tasting at the Festa do Queijo in Oliveira do Hospital on 9th March 2013
In Chamusca da Beira with Antonio on 21st April 2013. When they ran out of cold white wine, we started on the champagne!!!
In Chamusca da Beira with Antonio on 21st April 2013. When they ran out of cold white wine, we started on the champagne!!!
30th July 2013, Amanda, Patrick & Elaine with Rrrags and Daisy at the summit of the Serra da Estrela (1993 metres)
30th July 2013, Amanda, Patrick & Elaine with Rrrags and Daisy at the summit of the Serra da Estrela (1993 metres)
Pod, Roberto, Juliette, Elaine & Patrick, 25th August 2013
Pod, Roberto, Juliette, Elaine & Patrick, 25th August 2013
Roberto & Patrick busy bagging Potatoes, 17th August 2013
Roberto & Patrick busy bagging Potatoes, 17th August 2013
Son Tae Ik (known as 'Sonic') enjoys late night karaoke with José Duarte in Nogueirinha on 20th August 2013
Son Tae Ik (known as 'Sonic') enjoys late night karaoke with José Duarte in Nogueirinha on 20th August 2013
Richard (Ricardus) enjoying an 'after work' beer in 'Casa Benfica' (the local cafe) in January 2014.
Richard (Ricardus) enjoying an 'after work' beer in 'Casa Benfica' (the local cafe) in January 2014.
Vince and Kailey enjoying a drink at Lagares da Beira Carnival on 4th March 2014
Vince and Kailey enjoying a drink at Lagares da Beira Carnival on 4th March 2014
Elaine, Erin, Jemma & Patrick enjoying the snow on the Serra da Estrela on 12th April 2014
Elaine, Erin, Jemma & Patrick enjoying the snow on the Serra da Estrela on 12th April 2014
Jemma & Erin enjoying an after work 'cocktail in the local bar on 13th April 2014!
Jemma & Erin enjoying an after work 'cocktail in the local bar on 13th April 2014!
Elaine & Tamera enjoy bottles of Superbock in the local bar on 16th April 2014, the owner 'Jose Maria' looks on!
Elaine & Tamera enjoy bottles of Superbock in the local bar on 16th April 2014, the owner 'Jose Maria' looks on!
Host ref number: 796867855741

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