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***(Please do read to the end)***
We are a musician and a yoga teacher, who live in an old Cortijo near Mojacar in Andalusia, Spain with a rescue cat and dog called Squeak and Shaun. The property is quite big, with five bedrooms in the main house and two separate apartments with three bedrooms between them. We also have a big pool that is open for half of the year, and our own almond, orange, lemon, lime, fig and mandarin trees. We are looking for someone to help with general maintenance, painting, and gardening, and maybe some light housework also; we would be interested to hear from someone who is willing (and able) to help paint some fabulous art onto a side of an outhouse or a section of wall around the property; we have recently started a tradition (which we love) of each workawayer who wants to leaving a piece of art behind somewhere around the house or gardens, in addition to the less exciting painting that needs doing. So far we have a fruit mural behind the bar and an upcycled chest of drawers (see photos), but there is plenty of opportunity for more. Extra points also go to anyone who would like to repaint all the metalwork on the property black - there is a lot.
The house is quite secluded, with miles of walks behind the property, and only shepherds with their goat herds occasionally passing our front door, but the local village of Los Gallardos, where you can find small supermarkets. shops and four bars, is only a ten-minute walk away. Larger, more bustling towns by the sea like Vera, Garrucha, and Mojacar, with a multitude of bars and restaurants, are a fifteen-minute drive or an (infrequent) bus ride away. The weather is generally warm throughout the year (sunbathing is still possible in most of December and January) but the nights can be a little chillier in winter and we sometimes light our log burner, although we stopped that mid-January. Temperatures regularly reach forty or more in the shade during the summer, and even in winter, the thermometer in full sun reached 38C on one occasion this year. Our pool is not overlooked and we, our helpers and our guests, are able to practice naturism around the pool area if they wish, and it is totally acceptable, although not compulsory, in other areas of the property and around the house. If you are not comfortable with this, no worries, as long as you don't mind other people who may choose to do it.
We have successfully hosted several Workawayers over the past year or so, so we know how things work. We only expect about three hours of work, five days a week, for accommodation only, or if you prefer more work and less play we can include you in our meals (often vegan) for six hours a day. (***please see update below***) We are happy for you to do more some days and less others, and pick your days off as you wish; we are quite relaxed about things. Some Workawayers may be happy doing a little housework during their hours, others may prefer not; we have listed our current main projects below.
We both speak English and are happy to teach that or try to learn a new language also, but especially we would enjoy improving our not-so-good Spanish. If you are interested in music, acting or yoga and wish to have some lessons with us, we can do that too. Andy was a musician and conductor in London's West End working on musicals including Les Miserables, We Will Rock You, Thriller, The Lion King, Chicago, Cats, and more, and Khatija is a yoga teacher and a chef and baker extraordinaire.
Your accommodation will be a private room in the main house, with your own bathroom. We can accommodate singles, couples, and occasionally also families, but right now we more often host one person at a time as there is not so much work to do at the moment. You are welcome to join us on trips to the supermarket and to town for drinks and tapas, but independence is also welcomed if you have a car or wish to use the semi-regular bus service to the playa. We are very vegan and vegetarian friendly, but not militant about it; Khatija is vegan but Andy eats seafood and sneaks some meat occasionally (maybe more to be honest). If you would like to cook for us on occasion too, that would be great, we will return the favour. Andy is here full-time, but Katt does spend some time in England for medical and family stuff; if you would like to chat to a previous Workawayer to check everything is as it seems and hear a first-hand account of what it's like to be here, that can always be arranged.
***Update - our Workawayers have been (mostly) so successful and brilliant that we have only a few jobs left to do. For that reason, we are currently only offering a room and good company, in exchange for a bit of help around the house and gardens, painting metalwork and repainting white walls after a recent sandstorm and mud rain (not pleasant, but it's over now). If you would like an easy-going break in the sun, some chilled hosts, with yoga and beach time, maybe space to create some original art if you want, and of course visits to a few bars and cafes too, drop us a line.***
If you would like to chat about staying with us, please send a message. Katt is currently abroad until the end of August.
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
You can immerse yourself in the local culture, swim every day in the pool or in the sea, be a hermit in your room if you prefer, practice yoga, singing or piano, have some monologue coaching, talk about theatre, relax in the sun, enjoy some vegan cooking (or non-vegan, if Andy is in charge), and generally enjoy a fairly chilled existence.
Travelers of any age, gender, orientation, race, or religion are welcome. We are looking for help with general maintenance, lots of painting, some gardening, some light housework, and pool cleaning. We are hoping to complete a few projects this year also, which our guests are welcome to choose from; they are listed below. If you are happy to help with housework, pool cleaning, and gardening, then roughly an hour a day on that would be good, but the rest of the time can be spent on your chosen project. During the summer, we will not be carrying out any big garden or maintenance projects, so workawayers who are happier helping with cleaning, food preparation, and looking after the pool and pool bar are more welcome then. As mentioned above, we love the idea of workawayers leaving a piece of art on a wall somewhere around the place, if they would like to. Paint is provided...
Our current projects:
Painting all the metalwork - if you want to do this, please write to us... ***
Stripping and oiling doors and shutters. (Completed!)
Painting the inside of one apartment. (Completed)
Cutting back a very big bush. (!). (Completed)
Putting up a bamboo fence. (Completed!)
Taking down a wooden play castle and designing/building something to replace it. Like a rock garden or a seating area with a canopy. Or something else....? (Completed !)
A bit of plastering, inside and out. (Ongoing)
Lots of painting around the outside of the house and grounds. (Ongoing, especially after recent mud rain...) ***
Painting lots of metal gates and fences. (Yes! See above)
Repairing balconies. (Completed!)
Build a barbeque and seating area ***
Repairing the outside wall. (In progress)
Refurbishing the pool bar. (Completed!)
Painting some original art on an outhouse, or on a wall somewhere ***
Painting a little stone wall yellow again. (Completed)
Renovating a garage ***
Any electricians, please write as we need some help in this area.
At some point, we need to replace an entire bathroom. We could discuss food/payment if your skill set covers this.
This host offers a language exchange
We are happy to help with English, and we also speak reasonable French and are learning Spanish - native Spanish speakers who are willing to help us are very welcome.
A big old Cortijo - a Spanish farmhouse. There are rooms available in the house, and two separate apartments.
The local villages provide everything one might need to comfortably survive, including many bars and restaurants that are open all year round. In Garrucha, Vera, and Mojacar playa, there are loads of bars, restaurants, and a few clubs, which during the summer season are quite busy. Alternatively, you can relax at home here, with peace, quiet, sunshine, miles of beautiful walks, and as much solitude or company as you desire. There is also a dog and cat shelter nearby that often welcomes additional volunteers, although you really need a bike or a car to get there (we have a bike).
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have a good wifi connection in the main house, the apartments and most the pool area.
There is plenty of room for parking.
We have a dog and a cat, and are visiting-pet-friendly.
About three hours a day, 5 days a week, but we are pretty chilled about that.
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