Castelnau Riviere Basse
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 4
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 3250
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Last Updated: October 18, 2017
Welcome to our animal park in SW France. Looking for a last minute summer tan in the sunny South of France? We have space currently for someone / or two friends to help with winter preperations. Stacking wood in the wood shed, clearing hedging and the vegetable patch, helping clean out when the park is open, and generally mucking in with everyday jobs.
The work is pretty heavy so would suit someone fit and strong at a minimum able to carry a 25 kilo bag of animal feed.
You will have your own bedrooms, in the cottage attached to the house with bathroom / shower, use of washing machine and all meals prepared for you.
Sorry but we cannot take families, couples or children either.
A very warm welcome awaits in a unique setting of the House of Camels, in the grounds of what used to be a former monastery but is now an animal park. We live in an 8 bed-roomed farm house an hour north of the Pyrenees,
We've been hosting helpers now for well over 9 years, and are always happy to welcome enthusiastic volunteers to assist us with a number of important and worth while projects.
In return, we offer, great company, good food and wine, a load of laughs and a stay in the cottage attached to our home.
accommodation in the summer is in "the loft" attached to the cottage and our house. use of all of the household amenities including wifi, washing machine,bathrooms etc...
Who ever you are and whatever work and experiences you've had I'm sure you can bring some help to the farm and we are more than happy to share our knowledge and experiences with you!
We REALLY can only take you if you enjoy animals as there are lots of them including camels, llamas, alpacas, mini sheep, mini goats, mini pigs, cats, ducks, geese, dogs etc...
Also, please note, we're in a Farmhouse in rural France, as much as we would like it to be shiny and new like a five star hotel, we have everything from camels to pigs in the front garden, during winter, it can be muddy!
We're 1 hour 20 from the ski resorts, 1 hour 30 from Biarritz, 1h40 from Hossegor and the coast, and 2 hours from Toulouse.
We have enjoyed hosting many helpers over the last 9 years, and with one exception they have kindly left great references - so please do check these out first - we obviously can't please everyone!
We can teach you about handling and training animals... building fences... organising and growing your own veggie patch!! Permaculture, animal husbandry etc...
We can also teach you a bit about international cuisine, and we have just started spinning our own wool from the camels... llamas and alpaca - we want to progress to the sheep and any other animal that will stay still long enough!
You can see photo's of our MANY helpers over the last year on Facebook, see our blog link above.
WHY WOULD YOU COME TO US?
Well, we've now taken in over 150 helpers through various work exchange sites in the last 7 years, some came for 2 weeks and stayed 6 months, and some came for 2 weeks and came back again, so we think we have the right ingredients to give you a valuable experience here! We consider ourselves fair, honest and welcoming, and we ask the same from our guests. See base of page for our other thoughts on volunteering.
Typically Helpers live as part of our family, our accommodation consists of a three bedroom cottage and a brand new attached "loft" ( which sleeps 6) designed to host helpers when the cottage is full with paying guests As part of the family, it is expected that you take an active part in meal time preparations and assist in normal household things like loading the dishwasher!
We're also close to bus routes to major towns such as Tarbes, and nearby Mauborguet
Ideally we need you to help for 5 - 6 hours a day 6 days a week.
If you see our website - we're not the "mature people" you'll see on the site - (our current Helper asked us to explain this as he thought he'd be staying with a couple of old people!)
IMPORTANT... please see below.
This note is especially written to young people who are interested in helping. We have had a number of people who sadly have arrived with us having been to other hosts, they've arrived with us last minute and called us in desperation for help - the other hosts have been taking in people for a long time but have never had references left - one of our most recent helpers had to escape the host in the early hours of the morning. Our advice would be please ensure you contact hosts who have references, or who are in public areas. Obviously many hosts are new and don't have references yet, but do please take the time to check them out, ask as many questions as you can think of and it's your right too to ask for references - after all - if you're staying with someone it's good to know you're safe and being treated properly.
As a precaution, we ask to also see a copy of your passport on arrival, I hope you understand and respect this, it's because our helpers do live as part of the family and we need to ensure ourselves that we have taken every measure to ensure everyones security, including our other helpers.
If you are unwilling to share your details, we are unwilling to share our home with you, please respect that this is for everyones security. We also ask for details of next of kin - we feel this is important as we have had a person get lost on their way to us for 2 days, and we were able to contact his family so that they could ensure he was OK. In your application, please confirm if you have any allergies and food likes and dislikes, this does not affect anyones application, but does enable me to shop accordingly
Please feel free to contact our previous guests to ask for a first hand opinion of our facilities and the type of help we ask of our guests, also please too contact any of our previous helpers ( friends) and ask them for a first hand account.
MOST OF ALL... enjoy your travels ... you only live today once!!