I have been a Workawayer myself and am now making the transformation to becoming a host! After travelling through Spain I have settled down in a hamlet near Cangas de Onís with a spectacular view on the Picos de Europa. I am a 40-something Dutch woman, working as a writer and living in the beautiful Asturian countryside with 3 cats and soon 3 donkeys as well. I am trying to live a sustainable life and am learning about permaculture and becoming more selfsufficient.
Working here would make a good combination with working in the Donkey Paradise, another host on Workaway (see below).
As I moved here in the summer of 2018 I am still working on the basics. I am now especially looking for a couple or 2 friends who can help me out with collecting wood and filling the brand new woodshed with firewood, as well for this winter as the next one. So I am looking for Workawayers who know how to handle a chainsaw. Possible work for now (winter 2019):
- Collecting firewood from the forest behind the house with a chainsaw and a wheelbarrow
- Cutting and chopping the wood with a chainsaw and an axe and stacking it in the woodshed
- Help out with building a stable and fences
- Preparing the vegetable garden for next spring
- Planting fruit trees
- A few painting jobs
The first 2 things on the list have the biggest priority. If you are a native Spanish speaker I would love to practice my Spanish with you. Householdtasks will be limited to some dish washing and just cleaning up after yourself.
I am a vegetarian and cook mostly vegan food. The only creatures that are allowed to bring in dead animals are my cats! We will be sharing breakfast, lunch and dinner together. Breakfast is around 9am and normally oatmeal porridge, lunch is the bigger warm meal around 2pm and dinner is mostly soup and bread during winter and around 7pm. If you like to cook vegan we can take turns, otherwise I will be your cook :-)
If we work together, work hours will be defined in consultation. If you can work independently, you can arrange your own work hours. The same counts for your days off. They can also be consecutive, so you can spend a night somewhere else. Only exception would be Saturdays, because then I sometimes get a professional builder here that needs assistance.
Other things that are good to know:
- We will be sharing the bathroom and livingroom, so will be living rather closely together.
- The house is mostly heated by a wood burner. I will make a fire somewhere during the afternoon (depending on the weather), so mornings can be a bit chilly. There is electric heating in your room, but I will ask you to use it wise and sparsely.
- Meals are provided and you can always make yourself some coffee or tea, or take fruits. Other things that you would like to eat or drink you can buy yourself and of course use my fridge.
- I live in a very tranquil and a bit remote area. The next village (with some bars, restaurants and a small supermarket) is 4 (nice) walking kilometers away.
- There is a bus stop at 2 kilometers from the house with a few buses a day to towns in the area.
- As I have my own work to do, I won't have time to entertain you during your free hours. I do have a little library with books in Dutch, English and a few Spanish books. And you can make nice walks in the area. I don't have tv!
- There is no wifi here. You can use the hotspot on my telephone for things like checking your email, whatsapp or looking things up, but not for watching movies.
- On your days off I can bring you to the Cangas de Onís bus station and of course you can get a ride when I have to go somewhere. But having your own means of transport will give you a lot more options to move around.
- As I have been living in Amsterdam almost all my life I still have to learn loads of things about living a rural life, so in that aspect I am not yet a good teacher :-)
- I have 3 cuddly and young cats. So this is not a very good place if you are allergic or hate cats ;-) They are not allowed in the bedrooms though.
- I will host volunteers occasionally and just for 1 or - maximum - 2 weeks. That is mostly because of the short peaks in the amount of work that I have.
- If you apply, please tell me why you would like to stay and work here. A standard email will get a standard reply.
I live in a very beautiful region, perfect for nature lovers. You can see the Picos de Europa from my house (the picture is taken from the garden). Some suggestions to see and do:
- The closest town is Cangas de Onís, in about a 15 minutes drive. It is a nice, lively and touristy town with all facilities.
- You can take a bus from the Cangas de Onís bus station to the sanctuary of Covadonga and the famous lakes of Covadonga in the Picos de Europa.
- There is a GR going through the hamlet where I live. You can hike from the house to Cangas de Onís in about 19 kilometers. I can pick you up from there (or drop you there so you can walk back to the house).
- The cities of Oviedo and Gijón can be done in a day trip (but better to spend a night there).
- Visit the stunning coast of Asturias. For example take the little train from Arriondas (I can bring you there) to Ribadesella or Llanes or walk 1 or 2 days on the Camino del Norte (one of the Santiago trails).
This place combines very well with another project here, called the Donkey Paradise (host ref number 442985416842). I started my Spanish adventure there as a volunteer in the summer of 2015 and Marleen and I have been good friends ever since. The donkeys I am about to adopt will also come from there. If you would like to make the combination, I can bring or get you from there. Note that we are opposites in several ways: the Donkey Paradise is a very lively place with lots of volunteers and loads of work. This place is a very quiet one with a comfortable room, more time off and a hot shower at the end of the day :-)
As having been a Workawayer myself I think I can relate pretty well. And of course tell you my story how I transformed from an office worker in Amsterdam to living and working in the Asturian countryside. I can teach you about vegetarian and vegan cooking and help you with improving your English and Dutch (!).
At the moment I am especially looking for handy, rather strong (wo)men, who have experience with working with a chainsaw. Volunteers with special skills (carpenters, builders) would also be very welcome.
Dutch, English and Spanish
Your own spacious room in the house.
I am living in a rural area with hardly any public transport on walking distance, so there is not a lot of entertainment around. And however this is Spain, don't expect warm, sunny and dry weather. It happens, but in Asturias you'll never know when. It is lush and green here and that is for a reason ;-)
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
5 hours a day, 5 days a week