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We are a British, family of 4 that have adopted the french pyrenees as our home. We live in an old converted barn with 1.5 hectares of mostly woodland around it, we have been here for 5 years. There are beautiful views of, often, snow capped mountains from the house.
We are slowly re-renovating the house and creating a large veg garden, planting fruit trees and managing the woodland around us. The house is heated by wood only and we are slowly working on installing solar for electricity and rainwater collection systems on the land to see us through the summer months. We have two boys (9,13), a very sweet, rescue labrador, 2 cats and a collection of chickens. We've had gascon noir pigs in the past to help us clear land and may get some finistere sheep in the future. It's an ever evolving project!
Recently we have built a deck in the woods for an off grid glamping site. We also have an independant studio at the house which we rent to holiday makers when we are not using it ourselves.
Our boys are very independent and we don't need help with them. We do all enjoy playing board games and cards together sometimes though.
Tali is a carpenter and mountaineer and Louise is a trained chef but now works helping to manage and run a democratic school and is part of team that is converting an old hangar into a cycle cafe, artists studios and co-working space.
We live in a really beautiful part of the world, there are spectacular views of the mountains from the garden. It is a great spot to explore this corner of the pyrenees from. We love walking in summer and finding glacial mountain lakes and rivers to swim in and we go skiing, snowshoeing and sledding in winter.
The nearest ski station is an hour away and we often go on good snow days during the winter months.
The GR10 and the Saint Jacques de Compostella passes just behind the house too.
Types of help and learning opportunitiesHelp with Eco ProjectsGardeningDIY and building projectsAnimal CareCreating/ Cooking family mealsHelp around the houseGeneral Maintenance
Cultural exchange and learning opportunities
Louise is a trained chef and loves cooking with the produce we grown ourselves and now works as part of the team that runs a local democratic school.
Tali is a carpenter and is really passionate and very knowledgeable about the mountains. Both of us would be happy to share our knowledge with you.
We are both native English speakers but have a reasonable level of French if you wanted help learning either of these languages.
Projects involving children
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We have lots of projects on the go so can adapt to your interests / skills.
We have a large, organic veg garden surrounded by woods and chickens for eggs.
We need to improve the veg garden by building up the beds over winter, covering them with manure and straw, cutting everything back and generally preparing for next years growing season. We are in the process of adding more fruit bushes and trees. We grow a lot of our own veg but are not self-sufficient in this area yet! Then there's cooking with and storing the fruit and veg from the garden that we are always happy to have help with too.
There is always firewood in the woods to be cut and moved. There's often fallen trees to be dealt with. We are starting to renovate our house too - it's an old barn conversion that was converted from a sheep barn in the 90's and we are now starting to update and improve it, there's painting and general bits and pieces to be done.
The boys are both very independant and we don't need help with them.
You would have your own room in the main house sharing the family bathroom. We are in the process of renovating the house so there may be a 2nd bathroom by the time you come!
There's decent wifi in the house, it can by a bit laggy at times - we are in the mountains but I often work from home and it's ok for video calls.
We can provide food for 3 meals a day.
Generally everyone sorts themselves out for breakfast and lunch with we organise a shared meal in the evening.
What else ...
There are mountains all around us and no end of walks to go on, shepherds huts or refuges to sleep in. You can explore the Riberot valley and walk up Mont Valier. There's the beautiful Lac Bethmale not far from us. If you enjoy the great outdoors there's plenty to do around here. We have fire salamanders in the garden and there a bears in the mountains, you'd be lucky to see one but there are plenty of people around here who are passionate about bears who can take you into the mountains and who you their tracks etc.
There's lots of mountain rivers, waterfalls and lakes, that are freezing cold but great for a quick, refreshing dip in summer. You can go snowshoeing, sledging and skiing in winter.
Our village is perched on a hillside and doesn't have a shop but it's about 3km from two bigger villages where there are lively markets, a variety of shops and bars etc. There's often live music playing somewhere in the area.
Your own transport is helpful but not essential. We have bikes we can lend you are we are often driving up and down the valley for work and school etc.
We enjoy eating good food and making the most of where we live. We are relatively sociable at weekends but take it easy during the week. We would be happy to take you out and about and introduce you to the local area and community whilst you are here.
We expect everyone to muck in with household chores but are happy for everyone to do the ones they prefer as long as everything gets done!
A little more information
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Can host digital nomads
We can set up a workspace for you in your room. There is full 4G and the internet works fine for most things. We are in the mountains so it can be a bit laggy sometimes. Fibre is on its way to us soon though.....
Space for parking camper vans
There's space behind the house where a van could be parked.
Can possibly accept pets
Pets are potentially welcome if they are good with other animals and flea free! We have 2 cats and an old labrador that has come to us for her retirement. As long as your animal is good with other animals it should be ok. We only have open plan living space downstairs so that needs to work for your pet too.
How many Workawayers can stay?
5 hours a day, 5 days a week