Writing this update in February 2015 we don't have any availability until March as this is when we do the annual forest tidy up after winter and clear the water passages before the April 'showers'. This work is quite hard and the weather can be changeable, a person with experience of this type of work would be ideal.
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.
In March (2015) work will mainly be tidying the land up before the winter, this involves brushcutting, raking and burning and can be heavy and tiring work.
A self motivated volunteer with forestry / horticultural experience would be ideal, is this you?
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.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
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 forestry / horticultural knowledge and experience.
English, a little Portuguese
Self-contained with bed/sitting room, toilet and shower rooms.
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.
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.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
5 or so a day - flexible
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