Bonjour! We are Eyal and Tia. Our home on a forested hill above farmland has an ever-changing view of the Pyrenees. Glass doors light the double-volume lounge, opening onto terrace, pool and garden. We and our cats, Caramelle and Magic, want to share it with you.
Our day jobs involve programming and writing. We also host Shakespeare readings and are interested in developing creative workshops for personal growth. We value your creative, DIY, housework and gardening skills to create a comfortable and stimulating environment for all our guests, including volunteers.
We love to work hard, and to relax! We enjoy yoga, walking, cycling, swimming, and exploring local sights, gastronomy and events like the Marciac Jazz and Madiran Wine Festivals, as well as skiing in the Pyrenees.
Our local Tourist Office offers guided walks in summer. Restaurants, markets, wine farms, galleries, museums and horse-riding are nearby. Within 2hrs by car are climbing, skiing, river rafting, spas, caves, and beaches.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
- Local events include music, dance, food and wine festivals, flea and farmers' markets.
- There are also classic car rallies, art and photographic exhibitions, walks, seminars, etc.
- We share most meals with volunteers, with interesting wide-ranging conversations.
- We speak English at home. We can teach English vocabulary, grammar and writing.
- To learn French, you can study with us, watch French TV or DVDs, and join local activities.
- Eyal's mother tongue is Hebrew. He is also fluent in English and is learning French.
- Tia's mother tongue is English. She also speaks some Afrikaans, Hebrew and French.
- We want to learn which music you like and are happy to share our favourite music too.
- You can participate in the amateur Shakespeare readings which we organise and host.
- You can read, write and translate poetry with us for pleasure.
- Join us for sci-fi, classic and foreign films or series in English and French or with subtitles.
- You can join us when we visit local art galleries and musical events or go on your own.
- We can teach you computer, Internet and programming skills and learn from you too!
- You can learn to make lovely vegan and vegetarian meals, including fresh hummus.
We value your skills in housework, building, painting, stonemasonry, tiling, paving, electrics, plumbing, carpentry, landscaping, tree surgery, gardening, IT, or admin. We also welcome teachers of yoga, French, dancing, drumming, keyboard, recorder, guitar, or singing.
When we have non-paying guests, we may ask you to help clean guest rooms and bathrooms. Non-paying guests are considered part of the family, so no wages apply in these cases.
Note: We're organised. You must be able to follow a schedule, show up on time without reminder, clean up after yourself (clean and tidy your room and bathroom often, clean and store tools and equipment after every use, etc.).
We prefer you to stay for 3 weeks. The minimum is 2 weeks, including the 5-day trial. Volunteer turnaround day is usually Saturday (arrive p.m; leave a.m.).
Hours: Approximately 5 hours per day 5 days per week, plus help with meals (cooking, clean-up, etc.). By agreement, you can sometimes do more hours one day to free up time on another day.
We are early risers. We awaken at 06:30 and do yoga at 07:15. Breakfast/coffee is at 08:00, followed by regular morning chores and then whichever special projects we've planned for that day. Unless we arrange an afternoon session instead, volunteering usually finishes by lunch, except for a few evening chores (e.g. help with dinner, water the garden, close shutters, etc.).
This leaves you free after clearing away lunch to relax by the pool or go out exploring until dinner. You can arrange in advance to skip dinner and related chores to go out for the whole afternoon and evening. But note that the house is quiet by 22:30, Sunday to Friday.
On weekends, volunteers help as usual with all meals of which they partake. Apart from this, you are free on weekends and usually spend at least one weekend day out, to give us all some space. If we're doing anything exciting, we'll often invite you to accompany us. Saturday eve may be late, and we may sleep late on Sunday morning, but Sunday evening is always an early night so that we can all rise fresh on Monday morning.
Note: If this pattern doesn't suit you because you need to party or to watch Netflix until midnight, or because you're naturally grumpy until mid-morning, then this is not the post for you!
English, Hebrew, French, Afrikaans
We prefer to host couples or friends who can share a bedroom and a bathroom. Our own room and two guest rooms each have a private bathroom. There is also a separate guest WC. Some spaces in the main house can accommodate occasional extra guests. A spacious garden cabin can also hold up to four people. Those staying in the cabin use bathrooms in the main house. You might change beds, depending on guest configuration.
We eat mainly vegetarian food, mostly from a vegan cookbook, i.e. fresh salads, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and grains. We try to source organic and minimise refined foods, and follow a low-gluten, low-sugar diet. Our meals are tasty, healthy and filling. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or omnivorous, you will be well-nourished!
NB: We are not religious about diet. We do use some dairy, eggs, fish, seafood, poultry, pork, etc. and enjoy the region's delicious desserts, cheese and wine. We do not cater for picky eaters, i.e. we do not offer multiple different meals for a single sitting, other than a vegetarian option if we are eating animal products. (We are happy to adjust meals for a genuine allergy, but this means changing the food for everyone, not just the allergic person.)
Note also that we practise intermittent fasting, so do not partake of all meals and sometimes shift our meal schedule if entertaining or going out. However, you can always have three meals a day if that makes you happier! :)
- Our 12m x 6m outdoor swimming pool is open from May to November.
- We offer good WIFI. Your use must not interfere with our access.
- We use Skype or WhatsApp for outgoing phone calls.
- We normally do laundry on Monday and finish ironing and packing away by Wednesday.
- Musical instruments include a keyboard, recorders, electronic drum set, cajon, etc.
- Books and DVDs include classics, drama, sci-fi, thrillers, philosophy, self-help, etc.
- We have board games such as Scrabble, Catan, Backgammon and CashFlow, and cards.
- You can practise yoga with us, and/or attend classes with an excellent teacher nearby.
- Many walks and cycle rides are possible. You can borrow our bicycles, at your own risk.
- The Chemin de St Jaques—the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostelo—passes nearby.
- We are in the Madiran wine region where several vineyards offer tasting experiences.
- We love animals and our cats are friendly, but we do not usually accept visiting pets.
- The property is not suitable for children.
- Ours is a non-smoking home. We do not allow smoking anywhere on the property.
- Our house is 2.5km from Maubourguet centre (car 7min, cycle 12min, walk 30min).
- There is no public transport between our house and Maubourguet.
- We have extra bicycles and secure parking for your own bicycles.
- Car rental is available from Tarbes, or from our local SuperU, and we have parking space.
- Car time to airports (mins): Lourdes 36, Pau 52, Biarritz 110, Toulouse 118, Bordeaux 122.
- Trains run from all airports to Tarbes Station, then buses to Maubourguet (except Sun).
- On Saturdays, we can often help with lifts to and from Tarbes Station or Maubourguet.
- Compare ways of getting here and click through to providers: rome2rio.com
- Compare train routes and book tickets: trainline.com/
- Local bus timetable: keolis-pyrenees.com/maligne/les-horaires/
- You must get travel insurance before you join us. See workaway.info/links-insurance.html
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Approximately 5 hours a day 5 days a week
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