Update: IMPORTANT PLEASE READ
We are currently looking for help with building works which may include heavy lifting. General fitness and strength are therefore important. There may be some land clearance too.
Hiya, we are Mel & Rick both from the Sussex coast in England. We started our adventure in January of last year travelling through France and Spain and then on into Portugal. We had a great time travelling around Portugal meeting interesting people and finding some wonderful spaces but our hearts drew us back to the magical mountains and landscape of beautiful Monchique. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have found our own 'slice of heaven' and now have land with a couple of ruins that we are beginning to renovate along with two caravans that we are also renovating. We are living completely off grid with solar power and a fresh water mine.
Rick is a professional builder and has a vast amount of knowledge and skills to share. I am more a 'Jack of all trades' and more than happy to take instruction in areas I know little about which is quite a lot when it comes to building! I love to make things and all things 'crafty' and have a few projects lined up from designing and making meditation and relaxation areas to sourcing materials to make curtains and cushions for the caravans etc.
Our wish is to have a sustainable lifestyle and we are learning new and wonderful things all the time about the environment we live in. We are also learning about permaculture and preparing to put this into practice beginning with a reed bed. We are already growing and producing many fruits and vegetables and have also harvested our own olives. We also have chickens that give us delicious fresh eggs daily.
In our spare time we enjoy the many beautiful beaches and walking through the spectacular landscape with the dogs. Rick loves fishing, playing guitar and surfing and what he lacks in agility he makes up for with enthusiasm :)
We are not party animals, been there done that, but we still enjoy a couple of beers in the evening. We love good food and although we are not vegetarian we would very much welcome anyone who has vegetarian and/or vegan cooking skills.
Our aim is to provide two caravans and also an area for tents to Eco tourists. All running off solar power and with compost toilets and eco showers. Along with secluded meditation/yoga/relaxation areas where they may reconnect with nature and themselves or simply enjoy a peaceful snooze!
Between us we're pretty well travelled and are always interested in hearing other peoples stories and experiences of travels and life. We look forward to hearing from you.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Opportunity to learn building skills, gardening & planting, growing fruit, vegetables & herbs. General maintenance and design. Share knowledge and skills. Meet like minded people from other countries and walks of life. Improve language skills. Meet our lovely dog and her adorable puppies. We also have a wonderful cat who's kind of the boss! Experience living off grid and gain knowledge of solar power and permaculture (we're just learning ourselves so you may know more than us!) Put your creativity into action helping to design/make meditation areas.
And enjoy the beauty of the Monchique mountains, the blue skies the sunshine and the wildlife.
We are looking for help in building, gardening, land clearing, general maintenance and some help with our animals. Also sharing in the cooking and washing-up.
Off-grid living can be hard, and charmingly rustic! Much of the work can be quite physically demanding. We do expect our volunteers to be able to do physical work outdoors, so if manual labour is not for you then maybe our space is not your ideal choice. There may also be less demanding physical work but please be aware you will need strength, energy and enthusiasm! We don't expect you to be jumping around with joy every morning! But happy and with a positive outlook would be good :)
On the ''heavier'' side of work we are looking for help to clear the land and to also help Rick with building work including the restoration of our ruin, building paths, steps and terrace walls (this may include lifting stones) building compost toilets and eco showers.
On the '' lighter'' side there will be some garden maintenance such as weeding and planting fruit, vegetables and herbs. There is also painting and some light general maintenance.
Help with the restoration of the caravans inside and out.
We welcome people happy to share their skills and knowledge although we also believe in learning through experience and therefore no skills are necessary just a genuine willingness to help and a happy go lucky nature & positive can do attitude.
Working days are Monday - Friday and will be five hours daily.
Accommodation will either be a caravan or large tent. If you are travelling in your own van you are welcome to park up, There are compost toilets and eco showers. As these are running off solar the temperature of the water is obviously effected by the amount of sunshine we get. In general this is not an issue other than in the winter months when there are more grey days.
There is a communal kitchen and eating area. All food for breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided by us (unless you decided to eat out in the evening) along with tea, coffee and water. Breakfast and lunch will be 'buffet' style with food put out and everyone helping themselves whilst dinner will be where we all sit down and enjoy a cooked meal together. Occasional help with cooking would be great though not essential, however clearing the table and taking turns with the washing-up is :)
There is a free bus that goes to and from central Monchique three times a day four days a week including Sunday. We often pop into Monchique too it's only a twenty minute drive away and of course you can jump into the car with us (room permitting!) We are surrounded by wonderful scenery with great photographic opportunities everywhere! There are lots of great hikes and walks to enjoy and hidden little gems to discover. The beaches on the south coast of the Algarve are around forty five minutes away while the west coast is around thirty five minutes. Both offer stunning scenery and on the west coast great surf too. We often go to the gypsy markets and car boots at the weekend and you'd be very welcome to come along with us. There is a little bar/restaurant fairly close by that we sometimes go to on a Saturday evening which occasionally has live music. We are not heavy drinkers but enjoy a beer in the evening when we go out. We are both ex smokers but we wont preach if you smoke we just that you extinguish cigarettes properly, this is very important.
We would be able to collect you from central Monchique when you arrive and can arrange times etc with you. It's important that you know where we are and that you plan your journey here Before the date you intend to arrive!
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