Help out with renovation and gardening in Bled, Slovenia



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 Min stay requested: 1 week or less

  • Description


    Hello! My name is Rónán, a writer from Ireland.

    A couple of years ago, I had this idea, to become a Thoreauesque cliché; you know the one, about the writer living in a cabin in the woods. I thought, wouldn't that be great? And very original! Certainly better than renting a box in the city. So, whilst visiting friends in Slovenia I stumbled upon this piece of pure heaven that permitted my quixotic dream to become a reality-in-progress. I'd like to invite you to come and help me make it a little real.

    The place itself consists of two original dwellings. One which I rent out to pay for notebooks and pens (I only buy the best), and another with I'm renovating and will be staying in during the summer of 2019. If you come, you'll be staying there with me. The whole place is beautiful like crazy. I've also completed a wood-fired sauna which is great, and I'm building an A-frame cabin in the forest, which I intend to use as a house of tea and poetry. There aren't enough places like that in the world.

    There's also a stage where I sometimes organise concerts. I'm lucky in that I have lots of friends who are musicians.

    So, if you come and visit, it will look like this; you'll be helping me with some renovation tasks, small building tasks and various manual tasks, light gardening etc. I intend (but haven't planted yet) a veggie garden, but make no mistake, I am not a farmer. Nor am I am eco-guru or missionary or guru of any kind for that matter. I'm a writer, passionate about literature, art, travel and nature. And people and food. So I can promise you'll eat well, have a fun time, meet my friends and be in one of the most beautiful places on earth. If you like beauty, that's a plus, surely. However, I have had the experience of some people expecting me to be some kind of guru who will teach them the pure ways of solar karma. Sorry, it ain't me, and I wouldn't want to disappoint anyone. Everything at my place *️️️️️️is*️️️️️️ ecological and renewable - the property is entirely off-grid. It's just my way of respecting the very special place where the house is. But I'm not pretending to be holier than, well, anyone. The pretence wouldn't last longer than my next flight, unfortunately...

    Another thing is that I don't have any ambition to turn my place into a work camp. I'm extremely flexible and generally very easy-going and understanding. I will not ask workawayers to buy their own food if they work (I've heard some do this...), even though I'm far from rich. We'll work 4-5 hours a day, and I'll guide you, but I also need quite a lot of time for my actual job of reading and writing. I have a novel manuscript due in September.

    So, you can expect to learn a bit about manual work (but remember I'm a writer, not a bricklayer), and living in the forest. You can read from my library, talk endlessly about anything, eat well (this is very important to me). Time permitting I'm happy to take you hiking, show you the region a bit. Possible music and craic into the bargain. I'm more interested in having help from someone who'll see me as a friend; it's not a business I'm running and besides, we'll be working and living in quite close quarters.

    One other thing; you should know that this is an off-grid cabin in the Alps. It is "off the beaten path" so to speak, in a beautiful, idyllic setting. It is possible to get a phone signal only on the first floor, and internet access is not high-speed. Everyone at the cabin gets a bed on the first floor, a communal converted loft.

    VERY IMPORTANT: if you're of the opinion that a woman's place is in the kitchen or that white people are superior to other races or that homosexuals are deviants then please please please do not even write to me. It might come as a surprise, but I've had an experience with one such individual, no desire to ever repeat it.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Travellers will benefit from the opportunity to learn about alternative, off-grid living, sustainability and, as well as building, craftsmanship, etc. Of course, I'm delighted to talk about writing and literature, I'll talk the ears off you about that!

    If interested I am interested in engaging travellers in language and literary exchange (Irish, English, French, Japanese, German, and Slovene are the languages spoken here). All they need to bring is enthusiasm and an open heart.

  • Help


    Help required will take the form of working together on a number of building and refurbishment projects. This will be determined as we progress, and as we complete essential tasks. Work will also include preparing the other cabin for paying guests.

    Volunteers will get the opportunity to give input, as I am myself learning as I go. Opportunity for instruction will be provided for by professionals who will also take part, where my guidance may not be sufficient (I.e. plumbing, building).

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Irish: Fluent
    Italian: Fluent
    Japanese: Fluent

    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.

  • Accommodation


    Accommodation will be provided for up to two volunteers at a time in the form of a very comfy Japanese-style orthopaedic mattress, in a cabin they will share with up to two others (me and the other worker if there is one).

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The cabin is situated very close (40 minutes walk) to the famous Lake Bled, Slovenia's premier natural attraction. It is also at the gateway to the Triglav National park. Situated on the mountain plateau of Jelovica, easternmost section of the Julian Alps, it is itself a stunning natural location.

    The location makes it ideal for hiking, climbing, mountain biking, boating on the lakes of Bled and Bohinj, rafting on the river Sava (20 minutes walk). When not working or engaged in outdoor pursuits, it's an ideal location for creative work, or just relaxation, in the sauna I built earlier this year, or in the tea house I plan to build, or simply under the stars by a campfire, with a nice glass of wine and some good company!

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    This host has said they are willing to accept those travelling with a pet.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Cultural exchange: (5.0)

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Host ref number: 996946818895