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Help Exchange

All Year: February till November
Area (ha): 2,5
Persons: 2
Category: Accommodation Business
Host ID: 13658
Country: France

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Last Updated: April 30, 2019

We are fully booked with helpers until end of august.

In the Auvergne (Allier, heart of France) in the middle of the French countryside you ll find our rustic farmhouse (1850) Situated on a small hill it offers a beautiful view over fields and forests. We are at the end of a small road, so no traffic. The Allier is a beautiful area to discover.
We are a Dutch family: Ron, Mariken and two boys Nikola 24 years old, he is studying in India and will be home July/August and Igor, 20 years old working in Holland. We run cottages (gîtes) and a small campsite. We have a dog, Elza, 6 (mostly young) pony's (Welsh and a Shetlander) and one horse (Arab), 6 cats and chickens. (have a look on our website for more photos).

Volunteers work about 4/5 hours a day and Sunday is always off. We will try to show you around when ever this is possible. In summer we always try to arrange that you can go once on a canoe trip with Ron and the guests. We do yoga every morning for about 30 minutes.
We would love you to help us with all sorts of work especially with gardening, cleaning, building and repairing work and with the animals. Spring is a very busy time for us because we prepare for the season. In the high season we have many guests in the cottages and on our small campsite. In the summer we like to have someone helping us in the kitchen helping with cooking for the guests, cleaning the cottages and the tents on Saturday, taking care of the pony's and pulling weeds in our organic vegetable garden from half July until half August I would prefer to find a person that is very familiar with pony's and horses and who wants to come for 3 or 4 weeks.

Your accommodation: there are 2 small wooden cabins, the size of a bedroom, on the campsite. One is for 2 and one is for one person. You can use the bathroom and showers on the campsite and you 'll be part of our family and have all the meals with us. I am a good cook and I cook vegetarian or vegan and low sugar, low gluten and dairy. We have a green smoothie in the morning. I (Mariken) am a Yoga teacher and you can do yoga with me. I am also a Vipassana meditator, so is my son Nikola. There are bikes for you and wifi is available. If you would like to give us a helping hand and stay in a beautiful place in the middle of France, a small Paradise where you'll find hospitality, health care, natural food, yoga and all sorts of exercise in the open air : you are very welcome!

In EARLY SPRING, March, there are trees and wood to cut but also there are painting jobs and gardening is starting, I try as much as I can to have a perma culture garden but I am not jet an expert. There is the pony field to keep clean and chickens to take care of. We prepare the gites for the guests. You'll be staying in one of our accommodations and be part of our family.

In SPRING (April/May June) we would like helping hands in the garden, working with the pony's if you like/can. Picking up poo in the field of the pony's, cleaning the chickens house, repairing fences, painting jobs, erecting tents, cleaning tents and gites, helping with cooking and baking, mowing the grass, cutting dead trees, cutting wood. You'll stay in a small wooden cabin on the edge of the campsite.

In SUMMER (July, August) we receive guests; about 60 people are staying in the cottages and on the campsite. So more accent is on helping in the kitchen and with the activities, some gardening and cleaning. There are always the animals to take care off. In summer you'll stay in a small wooden cabin on the edge of the campsite. We have two of those cabins. Because of the need to learn the routine we ask volunteers to stay with us for at least two weeks in July and August.

SUMMER/AUTUMN (September, October, November) Harvesting! Harvesting potatoes, peaches, black berries making jam and helping to bring the tents down, clean the furniture, clean cottages, general maintenance, animal care, gardening and enjoying the last bits of a beautiful French summer! You'll stay in a small wooden cabin on the edge of the campsite.

Travel info:

Bla Bla Car, many of our helpers used it, works great!

Bus: that can bring you all the way to Moulins and from there you can take the local bus to Montmarault. If you come from the south (Toulouse or Lyon) take that bus to Clermont Ferrand or Montluçon and than a bla bla car to Montmarault or the train to Louroux de Bouble or Lapeyrousse. Or the local bus from Montluçon to Montmarault.

*From Paris: take the train to Montlucon (direct train from gare Paris Austerlitz at 12h28 arrival at 4 pm at Montluçon. You can also take the direct train to Moulins sur Allier, leaving every hour in the afternoon from Paris Bercy). Check because I did not update the train section:
* You can also take the train from Montluçon (direction Clermont Ferrand) go off at Louroux de Bouble or Lapeyrouse, that train leaves at 5.03 pm and arrives in Lapeyrouse at 5.30 pm, that is 12 km from Brenazet)

* There is a bus from Montluçon in the directions of Moulins or Vichy, that is ligne A and B and go off at Montmarault. (bus is much cheaper than train, only 2 euros one way) Check the timetables and take care for school holidays!!(school holiday 1st of july -31 august 2018) because time table is different:

* From Moulins there is no train going in our direction, you have just the bus to Montmarault (12h20, 14h15, 18h37)

Tell us your arrival time and we will pick you up either from the bus stop at Montmarault or railway stations Lapeyrouse/ Louroux de Bouble. Or at the exit 11 from the A71.

On Sundays there are less busses going, check this well! Please do not arrive on a Saturday in july and august because that is our most busy day of the week, guests arriving and leaving we will not be able to pick you up.

Let me know if I can help you!

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