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help exchange   Host 18935
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 5
Persons: 2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 18935
Country: France

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Last Updated: April 10, 2014

We're currently working on a vegetable garden with raised beds and a greenhouse. We're clearing land, planting, making wooden raised beds, laying paths, etc. Outside we're also building stone walls, building block walls, rendering block walls and pointing old stone walls. Inside we're decorating bedrooms and hallways.

We can offer volunteers their own room, and plenty of food. We're looking for capable people who with a sense of humour, who're prepared to muck in and help out and we promise to look after them.


We're a middle-aged couple who settled out here in the Ariege region of the Pyrenees about three years ago. Our kids had all left home and we thought it was time to have our own adventure. We would describe ourselves as easy-going, young-at-heart people with a good sense of humour and a good work/life balance. We have lots of friends here and a great social life consisting mainly of having friends round for dinner, or going out to their houses. There are also lots of social activities in the surrounding villages in the summer.

We have an old farmhouse, half way up the mountain towards the Col de Port from Massat with 5 hectares of land, half of which is forest. We have a lot of work to do on both the house and grounds. We're planning to have an English cottage garden and a very large vegetable growing area.

Helpers would have their own room and all meals and snacks. We can cope with vegetarians, and coeliacs are a speciality (Donna's a coeliac). We're 6 km from the nearest small town (Massat) where there's a bar for the odd evening out, and 20km from a town of any size (Tarascon) but we go into Foix or Pamiers about once a week. We're on the "main" road, so not difficult to get to, no trekking miles up the mountain from the road. Mobile phone reception is generally good. We have satellite internet, which is fine for surfing the web or receiving emails, but you couldn't watch TV on it. Derek is also a very keen and experienced cyclist and we run some cycling events, so if you're into cycling, you'd love it here. There's also walking and hiking, and lots of history - from the persecution of the Cathars to the Resistance movement in the second world war.

We currently have two cats and a dog, Boris, who's a one-year-old German Wire Haired Pointer. We'll have chickens in the near future.

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