Hi there, my name is Peter, I've been living in Portugal for the past 8 years, first in a converted van, then 3 years ago, I got a opportunity to buy a small piece of land in the mountains near Castanheira de Pêra. Ive built a cabin and started a vegetable garden but with the pandemic I need some help to make it more self sustainable. My electricity needs are met by the sun and solar panels and the river provides water all year long via a ram-pump I built myself. It pumps 200l/hour of water from the river, 6m vertically, up to the house without any fuel or electricity. This year I'm hoping to try a hydro electric generator which I've built and been testing recently, but right now there is not enough water in the river. There is a vast diversity of wild life ranging from Javali (wild boar) to deer, Mongooses/mongeese?, Genets, Foxes, Owls(various types), Eagles, wood pigeons, and also Hoopoes. Colourful birds with Mohicans.
The cabin still needs some finishing touches and some re-organization, because it has become my workshop as well as my home. At some point in the near future I would like to build a outside work space and a bread/pizza oven.
There is no WiFi in these woods, but you get a better connection.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
My nationality is Irish, and I am a car mechanic and metal fabricator by trade, but since I left Ireland I've learned carpentry, stone masonry, electric circuits, plumbing and tree surgery, which were all skills i needed to be able to build my cabin. I work locally as a tree surgeon and with land maintenance and in my spare time I make copper jewelry, crystal jewelry and study psychology, alternative medicine and sacred geometry because I feel those subjects are the least understood in our modern society and I would like to share my knowledge and experiences, with like minded travelers.
Im in the process of creating a area for chickens and ducks, and would like some help with getting parts of the garden ready for next spring mainly weeding and digging/planting. There is plenty of pruning to be done also, from grape vines to cutting back elder, oak, peach and plum trees. This year it didn't go as well as planned with the "pandemic" doing it's thing. Also with winter approaching, fire wood is a necessity, so there is always work going into the forest to find and gather wood, which creates great opportunities to see the local wildlife. After the fire here in 2017, the landscape and wild life suffered considerably, so I've been trying to nurse the trees and flora back to life as best I can, which in turn, promotes a great habitat for the local fauna. We have just had the first rain of the winter so over the course of the coming months I'd like to plant as many fruit trees and as many native hardwood trees as possible here in the valley and let the river carry and spread their seeds every year to help reforestation. There are stone terraces that need some TLC after years of neglect and overgrowth, so putting them back together is kind of symbolic of rebuilding the world in a symbiotic union with nature rather than a domineering conquest over nature. I have ideas to build a covered platform as a communal space to chill or practice yoga/tai-chi, share stories and feel cosy. All going to plan, I'd like to build one or more tipi's so I can accommodate more guests. I want to build a outside shower close to the caravan so it's easier for guests if they need to wash.
The accommodation, is not very fancy, basic, a 2 berth caravan, with log burner and gas hob for cooking/making tea. The caravan sits under a large cork oak tree which keeps it cool. The daytime summer temperature is usually in the mid 30's. The land is situated deep in a valley in oak woodland, with minimal wind due to trees and location. I would like to provide food for light lunch and dinner and guests are welcome to cook meals as part of their work hours. Toilet is compost type, and there is a hot shower in the house which runs off the solar panels.
The local town has a vast selection of cafe's and pastelerias, 2 supermarkets and a local open market on Saturday mornings. There is lake and river beaches within ten mins drive and many public walks through the nature. It's also possible to rent canoes at the local campsite which on the edge the lake. Pria do rochas in castanheira de pêra is about 15 mins away which has the largest wave machine in Europe.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host can provide space for campervans.
Maximum 4 hours a day, 5 days a week