We are Rob and Cate, both from England, age 52. We left the UK in a van in 2011 to come to Portugal as volunteer workers ourselves, via Workaway.
When we visited our place it was love at first sight! We have been here coming up to 7 years and probably could have used help right from the start! But we have had time to settle and get a sense of what fits here...
The land hasn't been worked for many decades, and you can see from the pics the house was not much of a home. We had no plans to rebuild, thinking we would live in the caravan we brought with us.
Not that we didn't want a house, but we didn't have a budget for one. But soon we began to see it was still more Rammed Earth than it was cracks, and decided to dedicate ourselves to turning it back into a habitation for us. So, we are aiming to complete our home here!
One of our neighbours in the hamlet says we are building our house out of "lixo"= rubbish, that's not a bad thing at all, in our book!
If we HAD a bigger budget I think we'd still aim to incorporate serviceable items that have been unwisely thrown out.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Travellers will benefit from the opportunity to stay in a beautiful place, in nature and off grid. The property is in a beautiful rural location with the river Seixe it's border. They could learn natural building techniques and alongside us, aim to live more sustainably. Team working and problem solving are also a daily part of life.
We need help with building and lots of other aspects of our project too, natural building, building rammed earth walls, landscaping, creating pathways and seats! Therefore we are looking for folk who enjoy the pleasure of physical work. But we aren't maniacs either and don't want to crack the whip for 10 hours a day, though we may continue working longer than we expect you to.
We welcome visitors with enthusiasm, ideally experienced, but we would be happy to share any relevant skills that you might bring.
We have established the methods that work well for us through practice, so we aim to host people who can maintain our same standards.
The beauty of building with earth is that the materials we work with are mostly those from the land itself SO if you liked making mud pies as a kid you'll fit here. We do try hard to minimise imports and waste. We predominantly use lime as an carbon - neutral alternative to cement.
We would prefer you to stay for a minimum of two weeks if we all get along.
We can offer a comfy caravan for two or a compact camper van and there are a variety of places to pitch your tent or your van. We have a compost toilet and an outside shower. We do have hot water too! We have installed a Solar electricity system, so our infrastructure is improving!!
WE ARE UNABLE TO HOST FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN.
We offer mainly vegetarian food but cannot cater for vegans.
We are situated in a beautiful part of the Northern Algarve countryside with access to some fantastic beaches, including award winning Odeceixe beach.
The local villages host cafes, bars and restaurants. We can loan bicycles or you can hitch a ride with us when we go.
There is a cheap bus to Lisbon if you fancy going further afield. You can also get local buses from the same village (about 10 minute drive). Visitors are welcome to explore the local countryside with our gentle dog Nelly.
We also have 2 cats and keep a few chickens for eggs.
We like to live quite simply and quietly and we get a lot of satisfaction from being on the land. We do like to socialise, meet friends, go to beaches and are also involved with the anti fracking community. We would hope that our visitors would be respectful to the nature around them and sensitive to other people they are staying with.
We found our place by travelling up the West coast & out of curiosity started looking in Real Estate's windows. That led us to buy this place.
To begin with we spent our time clearing paths. Our 2nd visit to the land was spent with borrowed machetes hacking a path through the 3 metre high blackberries to get to the river we could hear but not see...that mission took more than just one day!
We arrived with a varied skill set and being here is teaching us more. We may be slow but we like what we've done so far, and don't feel we have compromised our initial ideas. We are influenced by books like Shelter and Homework, trying to reclaim and reuse as much as we can.
We're not big on planning, so our house is becoming what it is by a process of beginning and seeing how it all shakes out. We DO have friends who CAN plan however!, and we regularly feedback our experiences and learn from each other.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week