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Covid-19 has made us all more cautious, we have an elderly house member so it’s necessary to to consider her health… how we manage that is a puzzle, but I am sure we can do it. I await your enquiries, and we can chat, and learn about each other, the place and the group in La Almazara. While it is still legal to travel, I will be ready to welcome you!
Hello, we are a family of 3 generations, (soon it will be four generations!) and we need some help! We are working to structurally reform our place in the sun and at the moment this is our prime concern. So much of the initial work is ground clearance, construction and refurbishment. We are considering some simple earth bag insulation in the near future if that interests you?
We do really look for thoughtful, happy-minded, clean living people who are mature enough to live and work sensibly in a group. If you have experience and skills in any construction discipline, building, electric installation, plumbing or other useful skills, you will be particularly welcome!
We are often super busy, looking after our workaway guests, making them welcome and valued, organising the finances to pay for life, materials, tools, project planning etc, so we don’t always have time to enter into long, complicated, email-based conversations, although a chat on WhatsApp is a good idea.
Advice…. Contacting ANY host, and certainly us:
• Prepare for YES as the answer, so think if you will really like it before you apply.
• Make a long and revealing profile, it saves lots of questions.
• Read the host profile, does it fit you? If you mainly hope to care for horses, or work with kids, then we are not the right host for you! Use your intelligence!
• Sending the same email to 100 hosts is very obvious and a bit rude, and is less productive than sending 5-10 individually-constructed messages.
• Give all the important information to the host right from the start.
• Don’t be desperate, if you claim to be something you are not, or have hang-ups, or something that you are running away from, its better to be honest, it’s not unusual for Workawayers to be on a path of self-discovery or escape, but it’s important to be honest. If you have missed telling us something, we will soon know and it would cast a big shadow over our relationship. Some of our best workaway friends have been escaping from a past life that was destroying them. With truth we can grow.
This is my advice, if you like it, take heed. You decide if I am right or not, and good luck!
The vibe is quite robust, but even so, when there is time, we enjoy yoga and meditation, if the right people are around us, and music and art. This situation is a new little community, we are new to each other and are drawing on several streams of experience to learn to grow together. There will be adjustments to make in the early days!
In the future, we want to create a new food-growing area. We have connected with the bio-cyclic movement, which is about relying less on animal waste to grow crops and more on forms of hot composting of plant waste, which in our area is specifically the waste from olive trees and the pomace produced in the oil extraction process.
Mostly it's a family home which welcomes new and old friends if they want to help out, but one day it has the potential to become extensive gardening, art, hospitality and wellness projects… but that is firmly in the future.
We have an extended family household, myself and partner Frank, son, daughter and her partner, and at present we also juggle the care of the eldest member, Josie who was born in 1927… so a true elder! She comes from Southern Italy. She speaks English and Neapolitan Italian…. various other helpers, friends, relatives and community members join us at different times. Everyone does a lot to help my mum, but mostly there is a lot of physical outside work, which we need to concentrate on.... More about that later.
We live on the edge of the area known locally as "El Badlands" since so many Spaghetti Westerns and other genre of films have used this area for location shoots, another name is the Gorafe Desert, and part of the UNESCO Geoparque de Granada. The town of Guadix is 35 mins to the west, and Baza 25 mins to the east. Granada is just over an hour drive away. At the moment the airport most likely to connect to anywhere is Malaga, but Granada has an airport and also Almeria which is less than 2 hours away.
We bought the property in June 2018, after searching for four years to find “the right place” this place is much more complex than we anticipated and needs a lot more work than we had planned, but if you come you will see why, when we found it, we made a very fast decision to buy it! It seems very special to us, and we love to share it’s strange, harsh magic. We partly moved there Oct 2018, and will complete the process this autumn. nobody had lived there permanently for well over 10 years, but had occasionally used it for holidays... as the owners got older and they and their families came less, it became very untidy! There is a huge garden which at present has no obvious form or function, a neglected olive grove, a chopos plantation which now needs some attention, a disused but sound olive mill, a strange old swimming pool, oh... And 6 dogs, all but our original UK dog are rehabilitated street dogs who were in a bad way when we found them, and still retain a vagabond instinct…
There is public transport local to the house and we will always give a lift if we can. If you are over 25, careful in your nature and have a driving licence that is valid in EU without further paperwork there might be a car you can use occasionally.
Although we usually prefer independent Workawayers, a couple or 2 friends would also be considered - the rooms can accommodate a double bed, or 2 singles. We can accommodate 4 guests comfortably, more if some sharing happens.
Bricolage et projets de construction
Compagnie pour pers. âgée
Cuisine/repas pour la famille
Aide avec des éco-projets
Aide à la maison
S’occuper des animaux
Pratique d’une langue
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Learn about cave dwelling, join in the village life, engagement is strongly recommended.
You can learn English and Spanish of course, from various members of the household, and the neighbours and maybe a little (Neapolitan) Italian from Josie the grandma. Learn together with us…we are novices too…or share knowledge about simple building techniques including the use of yeso and the unique qualities of cave houses…
The wider area, also known as the Altiplano de Granada has plenty of history, stronghold of the Moorish Kingdom of El Andaluz, and last part to fall to the Christian conquerors. There are widespread and very visible signs of the Mesolithic culture that flourished here, and remains from settlements of some of the earliest known hominids in Europe nearby at Orce too! Have a look on Wikipedia!
There's the wonderful lake, Pantano de Negratín, hot springs, even a hot waterfall! Cool mountains, hot desert, and tapas free with every beer or wine in the little bars in the villages.
However, beyond all that, there is the warm hospitality of everyone in the area. Of course, foreigners are to be observed and to be gossiped about, and present a curiosity. But mostly there is genuine happiness to meet you and you will quickly immerse into village life if you are accepting.
We have had the privilege to create life long friendships with many of our volunteers, and they have made great lasting friendships with each other too.
While volunteering with us, you'll have the opportunity to see an amazing part of Spain. If this all sounds appealing then please send me a message.
Main manual tasks:
1. Maintaining and re-routing the acequia (water channel supplying irrigation water supply)
2. Plumbing in a more modern water system in the house.
3. Creating a permanent secure area for the dogs, at present they have a knack of finding new ways to escape quite often.
4. Cultivation of land before planting time comes,
5. Several areas of rough render on the olive mill where the courtyard wall is shabby.
6. Restructuring the retaining wall at the back of the main cave
7. Applying yeso (a local plaster) in the old chapel, which is basically a curved tunnel
8. Eventually we aim to have solar panels and batteries, we need to plan infrastructure and installation and would welcome help with this.
9. We have to maintain and harvest logs from our woods for winter, so cutting and carting wood, and general clearance needed.
10. The olive mill needs some interior refurbishment. This may become a small multi-purpose space, including for performance, presentation/training and other communal activities, including the possibility of a small catering facility as it already has a rather outdated kitchen.
Household tasks also need to be shared - taking turns to wash dishes, prepare main meals and clean the living space is a shared task. Additionally, we will be grateful if you can show a bit of love and attention to Josie, help to walk with the dogs and show affection to the cats. Just become part of the group.
Joining in and adding to village life.
Make life joyful for all you meet.
Cet hôte propose un échange linguistique
Cet hôte a indiqué qu’il souhaitait faire partager sa propre langue ou en apprendre une nouvelle.
Contactez-le pour en savoir plus.
Quite a substantial part of both houses consists of cave, which is a very different way of living, but wonderfully cool in the summer and warm in the winter. There are some out-built parts, these are hot in summer and COLD in winter (unless heated). Let's decide which room suits you when you get here. Everything is rather basic - comfortable but not stylish!
A thing you need to know about these old houses cut into the rock... The concept of privacy was somewhat less than in modern Europe, doors are incomplete, not reaching fully to the top or bottom or are only curtains, to aid air circulation, and in some cases, one room leads directly into another. Lots can be achieved with screens and curtains, but if you are worried about this do tell me. There are 2 houses, at present the family live in one and the other is for Workawayers and other passing guests. You need to know that the 2 cats come and go in this house to be away from the dogs, so if you have a bothersome allergy to cats, this may be difficult for you.
You will eat with the family, and will also be helping to cook meals sometimes. We don't eat meat although sometimes my son will buy fish and share it with the grandma. The food is simple and cheap, and I have to confess I find it really difficult to deal with multiple dietary requirements. We live in a world where people starve regularly. It's hard to watch fussiness. We provide plant-based milk, as well as the option of cow milk, we use a lot of maize flour to avoid too much gluten, and eat pulses, beans and vegetables. Chilli (my daughter) and I ran a festival cafe so we are ok at cooking! If you have issues around food this place might not suit you, we have one meal and all of us share.
(Please be clear about any special dietary, animal, plant or airborne allergies before you get here, not after!)
There is free broadband internet, but the location is very rural and relies on a relay signal so don't be greedy! Streaming by agreement only... And it may not work too well!
Please no tobacco smoking, no habitual drinking and no drug use. Seriously…. I have been disappointed that some of my guests have chosen to ignore this in the past. Drinking is for fiesta and in socially special times. Please respect this.
Come to the Altiplano de Granada!
The 2 local towns in the area have theatres, cinemas, clubs, museums, shopping as well as the aforementioned history. Granada is the regional capital and is elegant and we are blessed with all amenities you would expect in such a place. There are direct buses from Baza, Guadix and Granada to all major cities’ airports in Spain. Granada has an airport, and Málaga has flights to all parts of Europe and some intercontinental flights too. Málaga is 2.5hrs drive away, or 4 to 5 hrs on the bus network.
Enjoy the desert the Geoparque, Parque Megalithica, the Pantano Negratín, the hot springs in the woods, the mountains and the beautiful sky.
Enjoy the tapas culture.
If they ever start again, join in the many fiestas and ferias in the villages nearby...
See cave houses, with the natural temperature control, warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer.. a d ramble round the strange troglodyte villages which are all around.
Public transport exists but better from the big towns I'm sure everyone will co operate with lifts to connect to public transport to go places on your days off. There may be a small car available to use if you have the right EU driving license and experience and are aged over 25.
Bicycles are also available.
If you read the feedbacks below, you might be confused, because in Summer, until this year many of my WorkAway guests helped me run festivals. So will mention that. We have not had any this year!
1. SMOKING, drugs, alcohol
Please... I don't really welcome smokers.... I don't permit smoking in the house and grounds and REMEMBER this is a dry area. Fires start easily.
One strike and you are out with any illegal drugs. I have had enough of people using my place to get wasted, fraternising with all the semi criminal elements in the area and drawing the wrong attention to us. NO DRUGS NOT EVEN MARIAJUANA.
Drinking alcohol is only tolerated at evening meal and social occasions. No daytime drinking, and no habitual drinkers.
No campfires or barbeques, if a fire started it would devastate the area and we would never be welcome back. This is no small matter. Don't leave bottles or drinks glasses abandoned that could focus the sun, the same warning for prescription spectacles. Fire is feared above all else
Water is scarce and expensive. Please be sensible about short showers, pausing the flow while you soap and shampoo. Washing machine only use when full, and on short cycle
Flush the loo only when it's solids, not for pee, unless many have accumulated!
Watch out for dripping taps, leaks and reuse as much as you can to water the garden.
Water the geraniums, they repel mosquitos
don't put paper down the toilet anywhere in Spain. There is always a bin provided. There are times when it's nicer to flush the paper, and in these odd occasions, I'm sure it's fine.
There is no house to house rubbish collection, so take your rubbish to the bin and recycle skip in the village. Avoid too much packaging.
To show you have read this, please mention "niños del maíz", in your reply, to show you have read to the end.
Accès Internet limité
Nous avons des animaux
Nous sommes fumeurs
Cet hôte a de la place pour les vans.
Plus de 2
5 hours per day or 25 hours per week, 2 days off per week (usually weekends), must be flexible to fit in with other household needs
Ce sont des évaluations supplémentaires en option lorsque les membres laissent un feedback. La note moyenne pour chaque option est affichée.
Exactitude du profil: