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Brasov
All Year: YES
Area (ha): 0.5
Persons: 1 or 2, occ. up to 4
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 9265
Country: Romania

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Last Updated: March 25, 2017

For 2017, in between running my tours, I am potentially available to host HelpX-ers during the following periods:
26 April - 14 May.
26 May - 10 June.
09 - 23 August.
23 September - 15 October.

FREE accommodation / good food / camping (in summer) and travel advice / support - on a share / help / exchange basis - in an old Saxon smallholding in a village just north of Brasov in South East Transylvania!

Lots of jobs to be done - mostly cleaning / organising / gardening / decorating - for myself and my Romanian neighbours. In return we will show you the REAL Romania!

SPECIFIC PROJECTS for which I would like help include:
1. Gardening.
2. Saxophone lessons: I am a complete beginner - can you play?
3. Cementing & re-tiling floor of wet room / shower area.
4. Conversion of a barn into an outdoor relaxation area.*
5. Painting and decorating of house, furniture, cottage and front gate.
6. Construction of low walls and timber supports for a large-scale garden model railway(!)*
7. An electrician to finish off and tidy up the re-wiring of my house!

I always need help with gardening tasks*, house cleaning, general repair work and cooking!

* Cannot be done in winter - i.e. December to March!

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT A WORKING FARM ..... but please read on to find what I AM doing in Romania / Transylvania!

I am Colin - a Brit living and working permanently in Romania since 1993, where I now run a small travel company - just me, a Land Rover, and Romania's fabulous nature, wildlife, mountains and rural culture (see website - more details below).

My house dates from 1860 and is half "Saxon" / half Romanian, located on the edge of a small Saxon village in the Olt Valley, just 15km north of Brasov. The Carpathian Mountains and several National Parks are only 30 kms away. This is an excellent area for bird watching, wildlife, rural culture and discovering the history of the Saxon settlers in Transylvania.

I have 3200 m2 of land with fruit trees, vines, raspberries, and a paddock currently farmed by an elderly local couple. Please note that I am NOT a farmer, gardener, nor a DIY expert but am fortunate to have local people who help occasionally. However there is always plenty to do for willing helpers!

Planning and running my tours and day trips takes most of my time so I do not offer guesthouse accommodation. However I do have a spare room in the main house, a room in an adjoining cottage, and plenty of camping space for guests - all on a share / help / exchange basis.

I have plenty of space for camping but you need to bring your own tent. There is secure parking space for a caravan or campervan. Water is from a well and is pumped into the house. It's clean and drinkable, though not in unlimited supply! There is an indoor shower room with hot water, and 1 indoor and 1 outdoor toilet. Electricity is nominally 220 volts. I have one mountain bike available for loan and full free wireless internet.

I live alone and am a non-smoker (but if you smoke you can do so outside). I am anti-racist and am not religious but I respect other peoples' religious views. I eat mostly vegetarian food but am happy for you to cook your own meat if you wish! I am fully involved in Romanian rural life.

My courtyard is totally enclosed and secure, so I am happy to accept people with children, and well-behaved dogs. The latter not indoors though!

I can also offer free travel advice and support and can teach Romanian (and English!) to foreign visitors.

I used to work with disabled children in UK and Romania, later with so-called "abandoned" children in Romania with whom I still have occasional contact.

In 1997 I set up a small travel company - Roving Romania, which is my main source of income. I offer very small group, tailor-made tours and day trips focusing mainly (but not exclusively) on nature, wildlife, birds, mountains, and rural culture in Romania - true eco-tourism.

My tours are primarily by Land Rover, often taking people to unusual destinations not frequented by other tourists. I do not offer "off-roading" as an activity. We often travel on foot and by horse-drawn cart. See my Roving Romania website for details.

I am founder and honorary member of the Association of Ecotourism in Romania (www.eco-romania.ro) and a photographer with photos published in various past and present guidebooks about Romania and other countries (Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Insight Guides, etc). I speak and write fluent Romanian, teach English on a voluntary basis to the staff of a steam railway in the north of Romania, and the staff of the Bear Sanctuary near Brasov, and can teach you some Romanian during your visit if you wish?

Visitors sympathetic to nature, wildlife and rural culture are welcome for short or longer periods, but only when I am not away on tour! House-sitters also occasionally sought when I am away on longer tours or during my annual UK winter visit.

Please e-mail, text or ring for more details!

Photo captions clockwise from top left:
1. Colin and Land Rover just outside Bod village.
2. My house in Bod - 2 houses and outbuildings in yard.
3. Land Rover with guests in the Parang Mountains at 2000 metres.
4. Spoonbills in the Danube Delta
5. Transylvanian Cow-wheat (Melypyrum biharenses).
6. Piatra Craiului National Park just 40 kms from Bod!

PLEASE NOTE: If you are looking through my Reviews below, you may discover a somewhat negative one from 2015! Please however also look at my reply, the link for which follows that review ("View Hosts Reply to this Review"). You may also wish to see the corresponding review that I posted for the HelpX-ers in question.

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