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I have the honour of living in a beautiful piece of mixed deciduous woodland in the Serra da Estrela mountains in Portugal. Life is pretty basic, but very fulfilling;
I have 2 caravans, one of which I live in, the other is for guests, both run off a 12v system, and there is only 240v when the generator is running.
The water comes straight from the spring, and in my opinion tastes better than any water anywhere.
The land is accessible by 4x4, but is within easy walking distance of the nearest village.
I have 3 dogs, a cat, chickens, and horse.
Last year I started a forest garden which is in need of a bit of attention and tlc. The year before I started an orchard (also in need of tlc!)
There is a stone ruin on the land that is in need of total renovation.
I myself make yurts, and tipis, and alternative structures, like treehouses and cabins. I also do various carpentry jobs and sewing work. (There may be opportunity for some paid work at some points that would sit outside the voluntary.)
And then when the works done there are views of the sunset at the end of the day.
I am in need of someone who is good with animals, and would be up for occasional pet sitting whilst I'm away.
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco Projects
There is a huge opportunity to learn new skills in building and land work and animal husbandry. The land is situated within an informal community based on permaculture and natural building. There is always workshops, community meetings, and parties in the area. We maintain a good working relationship with the local people, and there is ample opportunity for language learning.
Primarily at the moment, I am looking for someone who is good with animals, and who would be happy to look after them whilst I go away a couple of times over the next couple of months.
There is also a wide variety of work that needs doing here, so I am happy to indulge whatever you are passionate about. The list includes:
-Land work; brush cutting, clearing, having big fires (at the right times of year), leveling areas, fencing, etc.
-Gardening; Last year I created several beds that are now in need of attention. I'm not much of a gardener, and would love someone to come along with a passion for gardening and make that their project. I planted an orchard the year before, and that is in need of conscientious clearing, and tending.
-Help with the animals; putting up fencing and creating sheltered areas for the donkeys. General grooming, and love giving.
-Building; help with the renovation of the ruin. This would involve using natural materials as much as possible.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
Please contact them directly for more information.
There is a small caravan with 12v lighting, and kitchen area. Lunch and supper will be shared, and you will be expected to cook and wash up on a rota basis outside of the voluntary work. I'm quite flexible about cooking arrangements and find it quite nice if sometimes we eat separately. I am happy even to give you a food allowance so you can cater for yourself. I am not vegetarian myself, but am happy to cater to a vegetarian diet.
The Estrela mountains are spectacular at any time of year. There is a ski resort at the top, and river beaches at the bottom. There are castles and monoliths to explore, and thousands of miles of tracks to walk. the wildlife is amazing with lots of migrant birds, eagles, wild boar, lizards, and so much more. The local village is 10 minutes walk away, and you can leave a car there. The buses are intermittent at best, and I'm still not sure if they only run once a week...
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
There is a very private track at the bottom of the land that I have parked my own van on many times, or there is a possibility to bring a van onto the land, but it's not easy to pull on and off if you want to use the van regularly.
I have dogs, cats, a horse, and chickens. If your pet can be trusted with all of the above, then I'm happy to have other animals around :)
20-25 hours per week