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help exchange   Host 5565
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes,more or less
Area (ha): 2.4
Persons: 2
Category: Other
Host ID: 5565
Country: Spain

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Last Updated: February 15, 2017

The process of recovering La Parrilla from abandonment has begun. This month the two bed rooms with stoves should become fully habitable. The undergrowth is slowly being cut back.

La Parrilla is a beautiful piece of land with many olive trees, oaks, cork and chestnut trees which are being swallowed by pines. The finca is in a state of abandonment and needs a steady programme of work to recover its potential.
It is in an exceptionally tranquil setting within a forest and forms a valley which runs down to the river Gata which has plenty of water all year round. It has other sources of water including a spring of drinking water.
In spring new flowers appear every day; wild flowers of brilliant blues and yellows giving way in April to the jara pringosa, the white flowered bush which covers the sierra.

Summer is hot and any work is limited to a few hours in the early morning. There are many natural swimming pools usually with a lawn and bar all nearby. Bikes are available. The villages around the finca have fiestas one after the other.
Autumn is one of the finest times to visit Extremadura for mushrooms and chestnuts, good weather and beautiful colour.

Just now the days are short and usually sunny with temperatures rising to 16ºC or 17ºC, but there can be periods of heavy rain and winds as well as frosts right into March. There are wood stoves in the moradas so you need not be cold at night.

Extremadura is remote;it has no airports but there is a dailybus from Madrid or I can pick you up from a train station (Plasencia NB not Palencia.)

I am looking for people who have an interest in World Spirituality, especially meditative and contemplative practices and prayer and who would wish to spend some time in La parrilla following their own Way together with others, giving time to contemplative prayer, reading and some basic work on the land or its buildings with a view to seeing what might develop.

I myself have followed the Catholic contemplative tradition which has especially rich roots in Spain. On most contemplative journeys differences between traditions become landmarks rather than barriers as we give and share of our own selves. I would welcome all who want to spend some time finding space and silence in themselves.

The current poor state of La Parrilla means it needs the help of people and other resources to make it habitable and productive.

For most of 2016 I was on a long pilgrimage and I am most grateful to a HelpX member, Connor, who did a wonderful job of cleaning up the houses (huts) and making the place habitable in my absence. However there are few luxuries - you still have to go to the loo in the forest, which is huge. There is a refuge in a house in Santibañez el Alto for those in need of some comfort time, hot showers and a washing machine.

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