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help exchange   Host 12178
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All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 22
Persons: 5
Category: Other
Host ID: 12178
Country: France

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Last Updated: September 4, 2014

*** Some dates still available for summer 2014 ***

I am an English woman named Jo, and with the help of 2 dogs, 2 cats, 5 chickens and 3 soon to be 6 woolly lawnmowers and a digger named Doris, I am renovating a beautiful old farmhouse in the Tarn, south west France to make a space for yoga retreats.

The original farmhouse dates back to 1666, and is surrounded by 50 acres of meadows, farmland and woodlands, a big lake and what I think is the best view in the world! The house is situated in a valley below the 13th century fortified Bastide town of Cordes sur Ciel. The surrounding area is steeped in history and it is only a short trip to some lovely local towns and villages, such as Albi, Gaillac and St Antionin. Together Cordes, Albi and Gaillac make up the Golden Triangle, which is one of the prettiest areas of the Tarn, with its vineyards and white stone houses. The train to Toulouse only takes an hour, and the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coastlines are also just a few hours away.

When I moved here, the farmhouse, buildings and land was in a state of complete disrepair, and although there is still a lot of work to do, parts of it are starting to take shape! The work is varied, with plenty of gardening, landscaping, strimming, building, bricklaying, plastering and general renovation work to do.

I am offering stays of 2 weeks or more, for up to 4 to 5 people. Please let me know if you require any more details and are interested in coming to help on the project. In general, I ask my helpers to work about 30 hours a week, plus some cooking/help in the kitchen in exchange for delicious, predominantly vegetarian meals, prepared with fresh fruit and veg from the garden. The accommodation is varied, room in the house, white canvas bell tents and regular tents overlooking the lake.

In addition to work, there are also plenty of fun things to do nearby such as:
Horse Riding
Walking, (the GR 36, a walk which starts at the English Channel and finishes at the Med passes through the Bonbousquet land)
Swimming and fishing in the Bonbousquet lake
An open air swimming pool, 10 minute walk
Cross country cycling
Kayaking on the Aveyron, from St Antonin 1/2 hour
Golf in Albi
There is also a plethora of local markets, summer fetes, Bric a brac markets and music festivals.

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