Help to maintain my off-grid cabin near Oviedo, Northern Spain. And ideally fix the electricity!

Country

Spain

Favourited 100 times


  • rating

    Host rating

  • feedbacks

    Feedback

    6  

  • last activity

    Last activity

    17/06/2019

  • facebook friends

    Nº of Facebook friends

    285

  • Last email replied

    Reply rate

    80.0 %

  • Last email replied

    Average reply time:

    within 1 day

  • Badges

    Facebook verified
Contact Register
  2019 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
  • Description

    Description

    Update 11 February 2019............

    Some people just went to the cabin and the solar panel electricity system has totally stopped working. This sucks, because I am in Ireland and can not fix it right now. So unless you are familiar with these systems, sadly there is NO ELECTRICITY. More details below on the probable issues, it would be wonderful if someone knew how to fix it.

    Also......to make things more irksome, it appears clay has fallen into the spring and thus the pipe leading to the outdoor tap (which normally provides cooking and cleaning water) has dirt in it. This is more easily fixed by digging out the spring and flushing the pipes, but for now the only water available is from the public tap in the village 1km away.

    So, it is not exactly five star accommodation right now!!! I am leaving this post up in case someone does not care about electricity or knows how to fix the system. The location is beautiful, peaceful, but with easy access to the city. But at the moment the accommodation is pretty much CAMPING STANDARD with a woodstove in a waterproof cabin.

    .....................................................................................................................................................................

    Hi, my name is Liam. I own an off-grid stone cabin and some land in Asturias, Spain but live in Ireland. So I need someone to spend time at the cabin, do some maintenance, some digging and generally hack back the vegetation.

    I have included lots of info below, please have a good read before you get in touch, preferably by phone (please see rationale below).

    Asturias is on the Atlantic coast of Spain. It has a climate somewhat like southern Oregon or southern England. I think it's a great spot. The cabin is near the village of Caces, near Oviedo. 1 km from the cabin, an hourly bus leaves for Oviedo, 10 km away. So a car is not essential. There is a village pub half a km away and a bigger village with a good cafe/restaurant 2km away (Caces).

    The landscape is stunning and the cabin is very private, 200m past the end of a cul de sac road. It backs onto a forest. I love the place. For full disclosure, there are wild boar around and wolves very occasionally in winter. They are harmless to people.

    The accommodation is in a small stone cabin with a NON-FUNCTIONING off grid electric system. As of now (February 2019) the system has stopped working, so unless you know how to fix,there is no electricity. For those familiar with such things, the panels seem ok, the lights on the charge controller are on, but there is no juice in the 6 year old deep cycle battery. I'd guess that the battery has died of old age. There is a multimeter in the cabin but it needs batteries.

    There is a double folding bed/sofa downstairs (precisely, mattress on frames, no other bedding). But as of now, (October 2018) some of the wooden supports in the bed are broken, so the bed needs to be repaired. The mattress is quite comfy, you can put it on floorboards if you put it on tarp. Sorry, I have not been there since it got so bad!

    On a brighter note, there is a woodstove, lots of kitchen stuff, etc. Please see photos. It is like very well equipped camping. Please decide in advance if you are the sort of moderately tough person/people for this situation! It is warm enough inside the downstairs part of the cabin when the stove is on and through the night, it holds the heat quite well. You have to gather your own firewood in the forest, or you will be cold. There is mobile phone coverage at the cabin but it is a bit unreliable inside. Similarly mobile internet works there, depending on your provider. The cafe in caces has wifi, coffee and good tortilla.

    A local friend will give you the keys and get them back at the end. For people staying longer, my friend will pay one or two pre-arranged visits to check that the work is proceeding, that you are OK and to answer any questions you might have. Otherwise, you are free to do what you like, without me knocking around.

    .................................................................................................................................................................................

    Last year (2017) I had three really good sets of volunteers, who had to clear paths, pick the locks to get in, chop briars to save the orchard etc. Thanks to their amazing efforts, life will be a lot easier for the 2018 people.

    Here are some of the sort of people I am looking for this time around. None of these criteria alone are deal-breakers, but are preferable...............

    1. People with references on Workaway.
    2. People who are tough and self-sufficient.
    3. People who commit to at least 2 weeks there.
    4. People able for 1 or two hours manual work per day, weather permitting.

    Here are some of the things that will make life more enjoyable for you there, but are NOT part of my selection criteria.

    1. You like solitude or bring along your mate/spouse/girl/boyfriend/dog.
    2. You speak Spanish. The villagers are super friendly but no one really speaks any English.
    3. You have a car. It is a 1km walk from the bus stop and Asturias has lots of great outdoory stuff to do.

    ................................................................................................................................................................

    A lot of people project super enthusiasm during initial discussions. I think they are in job interview mode, i.e. they are supposed to be 110% committed/passionate blah blah, but really they intend to decide after an offer is made. This is understandable but please don't do this, it inadvertently wastes everyone's time.

    Also, people like to ask short questions via email that require long typed answers, such as "what's it like to live there?". What I prefer to do is move more or less straight away to a phone conversation where I answer people's questions in detail without having to write out massive emails. I am too lazy to type long messages but am happy to chat (am quite talkative, actually), it's the best way to exchange the info. With the greatest of respect, if people can't get it together to call me, they are not going to make it in an off-grid cabin in rural Asturias.

    I know I sound a bit intense with my rules and procedures, but they are the product of experience, I'm afraid. Actually, for the right person or people, it will be a very easy going set up. I won't be about to interfere in whatever routine you establish, and you will have privacy and time to relax in a beautiful, quiet location.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    In terms of cultural exchange etc, the village and surrounding areas are fairly intact examples of rural Asturian culture. Asturias in general is quite distinctive from the rest of Spain in language, architecture and food, maybe because of the climate and maybe because it was the only area never ruled by the Moors. The city of Oviedo nearby has a pretty centre and a fairly relaxed pace. Gijon, which is at the coast half an hour from Oviedo, is more contemporary and lively.

    It is an excellent place for working on your Spanish, as there are few foreigners and the locals rarely speak English. They have their own distinctive food, drink and general culture there and are fond of expounding to foreigners on the virtues of these things.

  • Help

    Help

    Apart from general maintenance, the mission is to fight the encroaching vegetation. The place is turning to jungle and as I am not there to keep grazing animals, so it will get overgrown.

    There are power tools there to help with the work (hedge trimmer, self propelled lawnmowers) as well as old fashioned stuff hacking stuff, slash hook, scythe, etc.

    PLEASE NOTE THIS NEXT BIT

    The off-grid power, as of now it is only intermittently working (see above) but I need someone who (a) is confident with this sort of off-grid equipment or (b) will not be devastated if the system stops working.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    Spanish, English

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    A stone cabin with a loft, that contains a double folding bed sofaThe mattress is comfy but the wooden parts of the frame are in need of repair. The cabin has a stove, a semi-functional off-grid power system and lots of kitchen stuff.

    I have ticked the box for limited internet access, because smart phones do work off the mobile network at that location, but not really inside the cabin.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Asturias is a beautiful, fairly rural province. There is good hiking, proper mountain climbing and excellent surfing within an hour's drive. In fact the cabin is reached via the first 200m of a hiking trail.

    Nearby Oviedo has lots of old building/culture stuff etc. Google can tell you all about it!

    A bus leaves from within 1km of the cabin and goes to Oviedo every hour for a euro. So you don't need a car.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    Two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    About 2 hours, 5 days a week

September 2018
Play a de xago, 40 mins away
Cabin interior.
DC TV
Fancy floorboards
Photo from the top of my property, my little greenhouse is visible bottom right, cabin not visible
Nearby Las Caldas, across the river from Caces





Host ref number: 564612968439