Preparing for our Workaway holiday to Spain and Portugal

OK, I’ve never blogged before so be patient. My wife and I thought it would be a good idea to create a blog to share our experiences of our very first Workaway assignment. Workaway is one of several websites that brings people who need an extra pair of hands (the hosts) together with those who would like to help out (the workawayers). The hosts provide accomodation and may offer free food in reward for an honest day’s work by the workawayer. The assignments as they are called are as varied in task as they are in location. From harvesting olives in Portugal to helping out at a donkey sanctuary in Bali, the opportunities are truly amazing.

The assignments

Stay focused on the task at hand! I do tend to burble on. In 12 days time, we will be on our first adventure to Portugal and Spain. We have three assignments. The first is a small farm run by a Dutch couple on the banks of the River Guadiana, in the town of Sanlucar de Guadiana. The hosts sound like an interesting couple with a bunch of rescue dogs, horses and ongoing projects. We are staying with the hosts for 2 weeks before moving on.

Assignment 2 – Alentejo, Portugal
Our second assignment takes us into the Ferreira do Alentejo region of Portugal, approximately 2 hours further north and west a bit. Susan is the one with the sense of direction! We will meet another Dutch couple who have a larger farm (approx. 15 hectares) who are looking for folks to prune their olive trees and carry out maintenance on the house and roads. Neither of us have ever pruned an olive tree before but we like olives and they like us, so that should stand in our favour! We’re staying with these hosts for 3 weeks before heading to our final destination.

Assignment 3 – Medina Sedonia, Spain
Our final assignment is just outside the beautiful town of Medina Sedonia. The host is an English lady who owns an ecological farm and requires help with maintenance, gardening, fencing, etc. Sounds like some honest physical hard work, just what the doctor ordered.

A brief stay in Tavira
I’ll post an update as we arrive at each place and all those inbetween but just wanted to give you a heads up on what was to come. Actually, our first stop is going to be in the delightful looking town of Tavira. Our first hosts aren’t quite ready for us until the end of the month so we needed to find somewhere to stay for 5 nights. Tavira looks like it will do the trick. A busy town on the River Gilao on the Algarve, just a few kms from the beach. Certainly an interesting looking place with riverside bars and cafes, markets, churches galore, etc. Something for everyone!
We found an apartment to rent via and here is a little story of coincidence. We searched through quite a number of apartments before we stumbled on one that really caught our eye, spacious accomodation, well presented with a roof terrace and balcony to enjoy a nice cup of coffee or something stronger. We noticed that the owner’s profile stated that he was located just outside of Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. Us too! We sent an email to say we liked the apartment blah, blah and oh, noticed that you live near us. We couldn’t believe it when we found out that we lived in the same town, not a mile apart. So, on a sunday afternoon, we met up at the local pub to pay our money and got a very useful guide to the town by the owner. It felt like a clandestine meeting and who would have ever believed us…

Okay, need to get a move on and pack up the house before we go as our lease is up in less than 2 weeks!