Hello lovely people! We are Mihaela and Octavian, an oldish couple who after 3 years of backpacking around Austral-Asia, mostly volunteering and meeting awesome people from all over the world, have now decided to settle down in the Transylvanian mountains called Apuseni. It is a special place with incredible energy and beauty, unspoilt nature and amazing people living very traditional. As most young people in theses villages have moved to the city, old and beautiful traditional houses become ruins very fast, the forest is taking over fast (which is not necessarily a bad think) and old traditions disappear slowly.
We are the very proud owners (paper wise) of a hill and 3 old traditional wooden houses and barns, which we intend to bring back to life. We're also into permaculture so just observing the place to see patterns and how nature works, before doing anything else. We capture water from the spring in the woods, buy dairy products, honey etc from the neighbours on other hills, have many fruit trees and wild flowers as much as you can see. It is so quiet and away from the craziness of the world, ... there is space to watch your own crazy mind. We're into meditation and yoga, connection with nature, hiking and simple life.
You can also find more about us from our volunteer profile and reviews on workAway website!
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
First of all, it's a magic place for the people that like quietness and nature, a great place for reflection and introspection. Not really for party goers, sorry! You will interact with local people, awesome neighbours and people in the nearby villages. This is remote place and people still live traditionally, making the hay, picking fruits and making jams and pies, managing a little home farm and growing their own veggies. It's mesmerising to see how they live this busy but at the same time, slow paced life, how they help eachother and find freedom and happiness in simplicity. We will go pick mushroom from the forest (which is everywhere), cook vegetarian food, do storytelling around the fire in the evening, do hikes to the surrounding mountains, caves and waterfalls, and much more. The nearest town, connected by bus, is about 30min away if you want to explore an old gold mining town (no more mining today but there is a museum you can visit). There is also a small ethnographic museum in the village and the local 'pub'. But living simple in the nature is, we think, the highlight!
We are at the very early stages of this (let's call it) eco-project so we're using this summer /Autumn to learn about the place, adjusting to the wild nature around, renovating at least one of the houses and making one of the barns a hub for volunteers. We need help with renovation work which means some lifting and heavy work, cutting the grass and pruning some neglected fruit trees, cutting wood for the winter, making improvements to the access road, picking fruits, preparing a small garden, designing beautiful stuff for the place, etc. We will of course adapt to your experience and fitness as much as possible, and will discuss all this before you arrive so that you're not disappointed in any way. We've been volunteers ourselves and kind of know what makes a good volunteering experience.
English, Romanian, French
Could be a bed in the house, tents or a bed / a hay mattress in the barn ... Depending on preference and how busy we are. There is an outdoor compost toilet we just built, and an outdoor summer shower with water from the spring. Please only use nature friendly soap /shampoo or we can provide. We'll cook vegetarian food, but you might need to help sometimes with preparation and cleaning. You're welcome to share some of your preferred meals as well.... We try and source most products from locals but will do a weekly shopping trip to town as well.
Access here is relatively simple, despite the remoteness. Nearest cites are Deva or Alba Iulia which are both connected by train to most of the country. From Deva, there are regular busses to Brad, the nearest town, about 30min drive away from here. From Brad, there are two busses daily which will drop you 500m from our house. We might also be able to pick you up from Brad or around; let's discuss it and we'll find a way. Hichhiking is also popular in Romania and very feasible and an affordable way to move around. Ask and we'll provide guidance for your travel plans.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week