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I am Ian, a retired psychologist from the UK, age 62. For the last three years I have been living for part of the year in a simple stone 'cortijo' house with 1.5 hectares of olive and almond trees in the mountains south of Granada, about an hour from the city and from the sea, and a short walk from Orgiva, a unique town with a very diverse community and reputation for it's 'alternative' scene. During this time I have hosted at least 60 working visitors, many of whom have left feedback which you can read below.
I'm looking for someone who is available for a month or more to look after my house and land, particularly watering, strimming, weeding and clearing, composting, and care of the trees, chickens and vegetable plots. I often have to be away for weeks at a time, so I am unable to accept volunteers who need a high level of supervision or who wouldn't be able to manage the independent planning of work and use of tools and equipment that is required to maintain this amount of land. I am only looking to host up to two helpers at a time, and I prefer experienced and possibly older Workaway travellers who are looking for a long term stay in a quiet environment, close to nature. As well as sharing living space in the house, there are two wooden cabins on the land which are available so that volunteers can have their own private space for living semi-independently. Gay visitors are very welcome here, and I am also gay.
When messaging please be clear about your proposed dates and your experience of garden/farm work (sorry but I generally don't respond positively to copy and paste messages). Please also note that I am not likely to be able to host for short stays of less than a month, although it may be useful to plan a one week trial period in the first place. Thanks.
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
This is a fascinating area, both historically and geographically, and the main benefit of a stay here is to get to know the region, and experience living in one of the most beautiful and relatively unspoiled parts of Europe. The oldest olive trees on the land were probably planted by the Moorish (Islamic) population who settled here in these valleys for centuries, up until the final ‘reconquista’ of Spain by the Christians in the 16th century. Their ancient ‘acequia’ watering system still works here, making it possible to grow vegetables and fruit trees as well as olives and almonds. The views of the valley and the distant mountains are beautiful, and there is an atmosphere of complete peace and tranquility in the natural surroundings, with wild animals also inhabiting the land. The traditional white villages, established by the Moors throughout the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada (the area known as 'Las Alpujarras') can be seen on the distant hills.
Looking for help maintaining the house, garden and the vegetable plots. The land is spread over seven terraces of olive and almond trees, with rough and sometimes steep tracks in between, so unfortunately I am unable to accommodate visitors who are not able to manage this easily. The normal hours for volunteers are 5 hours per day, Monday to Friday, the hours divided between morning and evening in the summer. Practical skills in house repairs, experience of use of power and hand tools, and gardening and horticultural knowledge would be a big plus here.
Accommodation is based in or near to the 3-bedroomed stone house, which is quite basic but equipped for reasonably comfortable living. Visitors sleep either in a twin bedroom which leads directly onto the covered terrace (see picture) or in a separate comfortable wooden cabin with double bed and own fridge. The house is small and open in the arrangement of rooms, so personal space and privacy inside the house are quite limited.
Meals and meal preparation are normally shared, with food provided as part of the exchange, and housework in the cortijo is also shared. Vegan and other diets can usually be accommodated. Drug and heavy alcohol use are not welcome.
The Alpujarras is a popular area for visitors throughout the year, and there are many interesting sights in the various white mountain villages, and possibilities for hiking and other outdoor activities. With a car, several beaches (including three nudist beaches) can be reached in under an hour.
The local market town (Orgiva) is only 15-20 mins walk away, so visitors are able to be fairly independent without a car here. There are buses from there to the local mountain villages, the coast, and to Granada city (75 mins). Malaga is a 3 hour direct bus trip away, although can be reached by car in about 90 mins.
It is important that all visitors have their own arrangements in place to access healthcare (European health insurance card or private insurance), and are prepared to accept liability for their own safety during their stay, including only taking on work tasks in which they feel skilled and confident. Copies of identity documents and emergency contact details will also be asked for.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.
More than two
5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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