We are two sisters in our twenties who moved back into the big old house we grew up in out in the countryside of the west of Ireland. Our father has moved out and up the road and we have all been working hard to get this beautiful house and the surrounding grounds back in shape. It's something we have all wanted to do for years and years and finally have the time and space so are going at it full throttle, enjoying the ride. We have the house in pretty good condition at this point and are just working on more minor details/projects within the house, and have some ideas for outside projects too. We are trying our hand at growing vegetables from seed this year, have great soil, massive compost piles in the making and a big polytunnel in one of the gardens that we are hoping in unison with the rest of the outside beds will eventually supply us with most of our own vegetables and some fruit in the coming years!
When we are not working on projects inside and out, we like to cook/experiment with food/bake (especially Sophie), pluck on the guitars/sing, get outside rain or shine;) for long walks/bike rides/swims in the local Loughrea lake as well as taking little trips into the surrounding towns or Galway city for some walking about, sipping of coffee and a sweet bite of something. We also both enjoy quiet time/solo time, reading/writing/napping/daydreaming etc. We are hoping to find people who like to spend their time in similar ways, that being both enjoy social moments, group dinners and outings etc, and are also okay spending time alone, are comfortable entertaining themselves.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Travellers staying with us will be close by to a number of beautiful places out here on the west coast;
The Burren is a very special area, only one county over in Clare and just a few kilometres south of us where lie the finest examples of karst terrain found in Ireland. Out there if you're looking, you'll find lots of interesting rock formations, fossils, caves, archaeological sites and ruins. You can walk along the coast and hike the hills. If you're a climber you can even jump on some coastal limestone rock. Take a dip in the Atlantic if you're feeling brave, throw on a wetsuit and get in at Fanore (or a little further south in Lahinch, beach town) to surf some west coast waves. The well known and dramatic Cliffs of Moher are not far from us, covering 14kilometres of the southwestern edge of the Burren region - beautiful, rugged sea cliffs which are home to more than a thousands sea birds, most notably the Puffin. Doolin is probably the most famous town in the area, well known for the Traditional Irish music you will find in the pubs there. The Burren area is bound to the West by the Atlantic Ocean and to the North by Galway Bay and there are some wonderful little local spots to get a bowl of good hearty fresh seafood chowder and a pint of Guinness along the way.
The Aran Islands are a collection of three small rocky isles off of the west coast at the mouth of Galway Bay. There are three points on the mainland where you can take a boat from to get over to any or all of the three islands. Inishmor (the largest) is probably the most frequented. You can rent bikes and cycle around the island, fill up on good local food and walk the coastline. Well worth the trip over.
Galway city is also a pretty cool place to find yourself in. A colorful city right by the sea filled with street musicians busking, artists showing and selling their work, good food and lots of places to stroll or sit and watch the River Corrib which runs through the city, blast by. On Saturday there's a fantastic little farmers market with good food, great cheese and the best donuts you could dream up made fried from fresh dough right in front of you. The promenade lines the bay and you can walk all the way out to Salthill and beyond if you so desire! Keep going and you'll reach Connemara..
Oh Connemara.. most beautiful Connemara - If you're looking for strong Irish culture, out here you'll find the finest example as it's the largest Gaeltacht area in the country, one of the few parts of Ireland left with people who speak Irish as their first language. It is a key part of the identity of the region - if you listen out as you walk the streets, you might hear cúpla focail in Irish as you pass by. Facing the Atlantic, the coastline has tiny coves, bays and fishing villages, and then there's Connemara National Park to explore. A gorgeous area made up of mountains, bogs, heathland and lakes and where you may also get a look at a herd of Connemara ponies. The main town is Clifden where like many other parts you'll find good pubs and places to sit and have a pint while you listen to some traditional Irish music. You can also find the ruins of Gothic Revival–style Clifden Castle. With the pandemic happening things are obviously quite different and also constantly changing in terms of what's open/allowed/accessible. At the moment there are a lot of food trucks, some pretty phenomenal (Julia's lobster truck to name one.. ), popping up around these places and it sounds like come early June 2021 restaurants will be allowed to serve outdoors. Early July the food places should be able to take people indoors so it's all starting to open up again, come back to life. Inter-county travel is now allowed all over the island so we're free to move around a lot more which opens up the possibilities for checking out different parts of the country if that's something that appeals !!
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We are looking for help with various projects around the property and in the house and are excited at the thought of having more hands to help/more spirit and liveliness around the place. Some detail;
Outside we are hoping to improve our garden: dig beds, control weeds (pull/cover etc), slug control, sew seeds, plant vegetables and flowers, water and feeds them/care for the garden. In the summer we also need to mow some of our lawns and do a bit of strimming/weed whacking to keep the place under some sort of control so any experience with those kinds of machines is a plus. We also do stick-picking-up under the big trees, make big big bonfires and burn them on a dry night - can be a lot of fun. Every now and then we clear leaves out from the open roof-gutters and trim the ivy down and away from the gutters and windows and wash the windows - all of these would require being comfortable getting high up on ladders. (Can sit these out if uncomfortable with heights! )
Our animals: we have two gorgeous, very friendly and most cuddly cats whom we will mostly take care. Five egg-laying chickHens have just joined us and are starting to lay up to one egg each per day (very exciting). They roam freely around the property plucking at the ground, clucking about which is great. Some of our front fields are home to an assortment of cows/sheep/lambs, depending on the time of year that you pass by, though these belong to the farmer next door so are just our nice neighbors whom we get to see and hear;)
There is a lot of organizing and moving stuff around inside and out and some simple building projects we have in mind which woodworking skills and a good imagination would be highly valuable for. We are also thinking about taking steps to renovate/do up another structure on the property so will possibly look for help painting and decorating in there if and when the time comes.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
We live in a big house with many rooms and a separate basement area with it's own kitchenette and bathroom/shower. This basement area will predominately be used for anyone who comes to stay with us during the covid pandemic in order to keep everyone safe/have a place to quarantine/be separate from others for a period of time before integrating into the household:) Plus lots of outside space to run around/do your thing - we have hula hoops/bicycles/a football/tennis rackets/a skateboard/couple of surf boards and a big long lovely yellow slackline to set up between the trees. Hoping to acquire a couple of kayaks soon to get us out floating on the lake too..
With your off time, there are a multitude of different things that you can do in and around the property and in Kilchreest village. There isn't a lot in the way of shops or pubs (yet.. the village inn is back in the works and is a literal hop over the wall away) but, if you like to use your legs, there are some really beautiful walks all around, high up into the hills, through some woods and around bog lands where you can spy wild ponies on one side and long lines of turf laying out to dry on the other. This is a great way to see some of the natural beauty of this part of the county. Rich hillside heathers and mosses all around. We hope to have some bikes available for your use to ride around to the surrounding towns of Loughrea, Gort, and Kinvara, or if you're a strong biker, could could even go a little further into Galway City, if the weather is working in your favor;) Otherwise there is a bus service you can use and you would also be welcome to hop in the car with us and come along when we make our weekly trips to some of these places for instance Fridays we sometimes go in to the Gort market, and Saturdays are our Galway market days - morning coffee, fresh pastries and donuts galore. On the weekend we will try to get out and away a little if the weather is good! We are rock climbers and love to walk and find bodies of water to swim in, from the more local Loughrea lake to the Galway bay. Inside at home/if the rain comes, we play music, make art, read, play chess, cook, bake, work in the polytunnel - you are welcome to join in on any and all.
***If you have a car, massive plus as we currently only have one driver+one car in the house!
---Notes about the way we like to run the house ---
***Food: we will have a shelf of basic grains, oats, legumes and some extras for workawayers to use as well as eggs from our hens everyday and a small supply of local meat from our neighbor who usually drops us over something on a weekly basis along with some of his lovely and massive duck eggs. You are also welcome to anything that we happen to have in abundance growing in the garden which at the minute (spring 2021) includes mostly greens; a ridiculous amount of endives (greens we use in salads), spinach, rocket/arugula, cilantro/coriander, parsley but with our current growing babies will hopefully, assuming all goes well, include; tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants/aubergines, carrots, peppers, potatoes, artichoke, some fruit trees fruity fruities and more. We would like to be able to cover all of our workawayers food at some point but right now we are both on a pretty low income so are trying to make it work simple style:) We usually go food shopping a couple of times per week which you are welcome to join us on but we'd ask that you purchase your own food/anything extra you want/need for the days grub.
***Energy use in the house: we try to be energy efficient in the house where possible, in order to keep bills down/be as environmentally friendly as we can without going loopy about it;) In other words, we expect everyone who comes out to stay with us to be as thoughtful as possible when using energy in the house and to please respect what we ask and make an effort to follow our systems:) We will talk you through our systems in the beginning and of course feel free to ask questions/for reminders or even share ideas/give tips on something you think we could improve, we are open minded. To give you an idea, we have an oil tank which heats the house/hot water but try to light the main fire in the evenings for heat instead. The main stove is connected to the radiators in the main part of the house (not the basement which has a separate system) and a hot water tank, so when the fire is burning, it heats the water and the rads! We try to keep it going for about 4/5 hours every eve to keep the place toasty and enough water for peoples bath and showers throughout the day. We have a pretty hefty supply of chopped up wood thanks to our fathers multiple decades of life and wood chopping at this house, so there will always be something to burn. *Basement is normally heated with oil in the evenings but also has a stove that can be used for heat if/when someone is staying down there and feels like
Bin system: we recycle (must be cleaned properly and dried) and try to keep throw away waste to a minimum. Bins are collected every two weeks by local bin company. We have a lovely large compost comprised of green (food waste) and brown (some small amounts of paper/clean non-dyed cardboard and dried leaves/plant materials) organic waste. Anything that our chickens can eat, they can have which includes most cooked grains, legumes, greens and veg. Any rotten meat/fish/bones/leftover oil unfortunately must be thrown away, oil never never down the sink drain please:)
Clothes washing machines: we try to wash clothes/bed sheets in the evening when the energy use costs are down. The same goes for using the dryer although we also use clothes drying racks in the house or put them out on the line when we are lucky to have some sunshine coming down on us and them.
Lights/plug outlets: please try to turn off lights when you leave a room/don't leave things plugged in/charging when unnecessary if you can help it;)
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Our Wifi connection is pretty good throughout the main house and in certain parts of the basement. It can be spotty in other parts of the house depending on a number of things.. how many people are using/time of day etc etc
We have lots of space on the property for homes on wheels to be parked up.
Depends on the animal, ask us/lets talk about it ?
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week