Volunteering at small scale farm camping in North Portugal

Volunteering at Quinta Rural – North Portugal –

We’re a couple of Dutchies doing camping and glamping up in the (North) Portuguese mountains and we always welcome GOOD help from volunteers. We insist on your volunteering, besides being fun and a special experience, being fair trade for both parties.

We come with 5 hectares, an old 1673 farm, a toddler and a herd of donkeys, horses and cattle dogs. We speak Dutch (of course), and (sort of) English, Portuguese, German and at one point French (it’s still in there..somewhere).  We started in 2012 and have had our fare share of experience with volunteers, workers,workshops, guests and of course, a lot of hard (yet fun and satisfying) work to turn this place into an ideal nature holiday retreat for our guests, and a good life for ourselves, the land and our animals.

Skilled & practical volunteers for March – June 2018

Between February and June 2018 we are building 2 great round log cabin for them to be completely ready and furnished and available for guests to rent on July the 1st. We could really do with some skilled help such as electicians,plumbers, tilers, and..carpenters! (making the kitchen and furniture ourselves). We’re quite handy and can do it ourselves (and for the first time ever, we have a team of constructors on site!), but some extra hands will definitely make it easier.
Ofcourse, regular daily tasks also ask our attention. Someone taking care of our donkeys, chopping wood, helping with regular tasks, would be just as welcome.
We hope we’ll meet some passionate people wanting to be part of this project.

“The regular stuff” 2018

* Building, plumbing, carpentry
* Helping with Tourists
* Mounting Tents
* Animal care (clean stables)
* Child care
* Help in the house
* Clearing and preparing the land
* Wood chopping
* Chainsaw
* Making furniture
* Fixing fences
* Cleaning
* General Maintenance,
* Kitchen help
* Bar
* Building
* Hiking

Summer 2018

During summer we concentrate on our guests; coocking, cleaning, serving guests, bar, camp fires, activities, donkey walking, hiking, preparing lunch, barbecues etc. Mounting (june) and dismounting (sept/oct) all tents & furniture and utensils.

WHAT WE EXPECT OF YOU

we ask for 30 hours a week, divided over 5 or 6 days a week. In return, there’s a place to live, sleep, drink and eat (some joined meals, some self cooking with provided groceries).

Exceptions

  • We’re flexible on the division of the hours e.g. you prefer working more hours a day to have more days off.
  • The more self-sufficient you are, the less we have to provide, so the same goes for you. E.g. if you bring your own camping gear (tent, camper,caravan), less hours you have to put in.
  • People intending to put in more hours, if skilled and/or experienced and/or hands on in needed areas, can get a little pay as compensation.
  • Those intending to put in less hours, can choose for a mix volunteering/holiday, then we get a little pay as a compensation.

SLEEPING

Depending on wheather and availability; small pop up tent or shared group tent, caravan, sometimes strawbale house.
We very much welcome volunteers bringing their own camping equipment (tent, camper, caravan)

OUR (REMOTE) LOCATION

The farm is situated in, what I call, a pristine, rugged paradise! At 865 meters, you get to enjoy an all day long beautifull view and all the calmness and serenity you need.
However, this altitude also implies that the nearest town/shops are located at 8 kms, that all the social life is limited to the simple (yet everso kind) village bars (nearest at 4,5km), and that it can get foggy, windy and cold in the winter. (The landscape however, turns into a mysterious spooky fairy tale land) It’s amazing!! But only for those accepting and apreciating the farms unique location.

 

THINGS YOU MAY ENJOY DOING DURING YOUR TIME OFF

This all depends on whether or not you came with your own transport.
The little village of Juguelhe only has 15 inhabitants…you can imagine public transport isn’t all that present. This means that, should you want to visit one of the lovely towns or cities such as braga, amarante, barcelos, vila real, porto, guimaraes, that you will need an entire day to travel, visit and enjoy.
For those loving nature, old granite villages, old customs, mountains, simple life, making new friends etc., they will be just fine here! Loads of hiking trails, existing and new ones to be discovered, it’s also a paradise for horseback riders, mountainbikers, climbers, outdoor sport lovers, 4×4 drivers.

If you’re a kind and experienced horse rider and you get along with our Peruvian Paso horse, feel free to take him on a mountain adventure.
And anyone who can handle the donkeys and is kind to them, can take them on a walk.

 

RECLAIMER

We always welcome GOOD help and insist on volunteership, besides being fun and a special experience, being fair trade for both parties.

We’ve had ‘golden’ volunteers, (hard working people which we could never repay what they’ve done for us, and who we thankfully reward with a little extra, e.g. canyoning activity, mini break, some pay, to restaurants etc. All came back for a 2nd,3rd,4th and one even 7th time. You can say they’re part of the family. Some even stay for months in a row, some plan moving here).
But, unfortunately, we’ve also had quite some volunteers thinking it is a free holiday, sitting at the dinner table waiting for me to serve them first, and for me to take care of them.
As well as people running away from their problems, not realizing they’re personal and they will not magically go away upon arriving here. Staying here, in this environment and nature, doing honest hard work, pure air, amazing views, nice guest or solitude (depending on the month) will certainly be good for anyone, but it will not solve anything. It’s just a small part of your process.
But, as said, volunteer-ship has to be fair trade. So we cannot offer a free therapeutically holiday. We can only offer a good place to stay and temporarily live in return for your good help.

So, when thinking of coming here, please be honest to yourself and to us about what you can bring to our place. And what you expect to take from our place.

We’ve learned to start with a one week trial and see how it goes. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

 

GETTING HERE

Nearest airport is Porto (O Porto, Sá Carneiro)
Bus couple of times a day to Cabeceiras de Basto. We will pick you up there for the last 9 kms.

TRANSPORT HERE

Great hikes, so a lot by foot.
You can use our rental mountain bikes whenever available.
Public transport in the area is available only at the village (9kms).
Taxi to the village costs about 8 euros.
And of course, whenever I need to go to town or any other place, I can give you a ride.
If you come with your own car, we can also indicate great places for a day off or even a mini-break.

Interested in volunteering at Quinta Rural?

We very much look forward to your application and will get back to you asap.

  • Van wanneer tot wanneer ben je beschikbaar, en voor welke duur?
  • Practically: do you need lodging, cooking, transportation, pick up etc.? But also, what are you hoping to find here? (hoping to hike, be part of a project, get tanned, learn the language, be part of a team, rest, challenges?)
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