"This involved us building a partial wall, mixing cement, rendering walls and shifting lots of rubble"
For our second Workaway project we decided to try something very different to our first. This time we went to work on Kev and Roberta's off the grid olive farm. Seven years ago they bought this huge and I mean huge plot of land filled with olive trees and two "buildings". The surroundings are absolutely stunning, mountain ranges for as far as the eyes can see, olive tree, cherry tree and peach tree terraces. They've even got a rock face in their backyard! No bolts in it yet. On an evening the rock face reflected all the colours of a California sunset in our own private slide show. Jason and I would often sit and contemplate what type of climbs we could put up there.
To keep us company we had three fury animals, two dogs named Spider and Keefer both of which had great personalities. Spider looked a bit like a an old retired Bond villain with one blue and one brown eye. She was old and really well behaved. Keefer especially was funny, he was a cartoon character of a dog with a guilty looking face that lent itself to impressions. Kev's "get out the kitchen" was a great way to let the dogs know to stop begging and go back to their matts. Then we have Boo the CSI detective cat, available for hire for all mouse related problems. Watching her dissect the crime scene after the night of mouse terrorism we had suffered was a joy to watch. She is just missing the hat and magnifying glass. Oh and not forgetting the cute little swift chicks "chirping" away. They had nested in the hall of Kev and Roberta's place. The parents would be swooping in and out as we ran wheel barrows of rubble or cement up and down the ramps.
We spent our days helping to convert an unfinished courtyard. This involved us building a partial wall, mixing cement, rendering walls and shifting lots of rubble. This was so much fun and we felt energised and motivated doing this work. getting our hands dirty and seeing the end result of all our handwork was really satisfying. Along with this we did loads of other fun stuff. Picked fresh cherries from a neighbouring farm and made cherry jam, collected some almonds from Bens house. Walked the dogs, which I absolutely loved and it was a lovely way to start the day. We took turns in cooking too, it was really nice to eat some different meals to what we've been eating over the last few months. We had access to more than one hob and an oven,luxury! It was really interesting living and spending time with other people who are living on a similar budget to what we have been. We all realised that we do similar things to save money, it was really refreshing!
Workaway is also a really good way to dip your toe into a certain lifestyle. This can be to learn new things and also see things we do and don't want when we finally settle down. For example to live off the grid with no water and such a large plot of land would not be for us and Kev and Roberta I know would agree with this too. They have enjoyed their challenge and have achieved so much, however they have said next time they will buy somewhere smaller and with water so they can grow vegetables etc. Buying a small derelict building and doing it up seems very appealing to us and a great challenge. In some places in Spain you can buy old derelict properties for €10,000. It's interesting to think about. We have also learnt quite a bit about growing your own crops and trying to live a self sufficient lifestyle.
Of course while we were at the farm we managed to get in some climbing. They were ideally located 45 minutes drive to drive to Margalef. So after work we spent a couple of afternoons climbing here. Due to Jasons finger injury we couldn't climb too much anyway, so this was perfect for us. The climbing was really cool in Margalef, we enjoyed every single route that we climbed. We will be definitely visiting there again. They also lived a short drive from the climbing area of Tivissa, so one day when we were doing a water run we got to try a couple of climbs there too.