After weeks of traveling around from place to place, we were starting to feel like we needed a change for a couple of weeks. Constantly traveling for a long length of time can be exhausting and after a couple of months on the road we were ready to stay put and get to know a place a little better. It might sound weird but having that much time away from work made us start to feel like we needed to get our hands dirty and work on something.
We needed a project and something to contribute our time for a good cause and something bigger than us. We explored a few different options and eventually decided WWOOFing was our best option.
WWOOF stands for World Wide Organization on Organic Farms. When you sign up for WWOOFing you are provided a list of organic farms in the country you choose and contact information. There is also a small description from the farmer about their farm, number of volunteers they take at one time, what your responsibilities will be, etc. From there you are responsible for contacting the farms you are interested in and all other coordinating. In return for your work the farmer provides a place to stay and food at no cost to the volunteer.
Our experience was a little different than we expected. What we thought would be a farm turned out to be a small homestead just outside of Pucon, Chile. There was one large garden, three greenhouses of different sizes, fruit trees and potted plants scattered throughout the property.
Our daily responsibilities were quite basic, keep the plants alive and harvest whatever is ready to be eaten. What we thought would be hard work at a farm turned into a couple of weeks that were a lot simpler and much more relaxing than we had anticipated. One of our favorite things about this farm is that we were able to stay in our own cabin in the woods. We had our own kitchen, bedroom, shower, and wood stove. It was such a good feeling to have our own space. It was definitely a place we recharged and got ready for our last few weeks of our trip.
We also very much enjoyed the large raspberry patch and picked berries every day; which our bodies appreciated after many, many plates of pasta and red sauce (and if we were feeling fancy a few green olives thrown in.) One thing we didn't expect was for our host to leave for a week in the middle of our stay. During that time we were pretty much just house sitting, taking care of the dogs and a few other miscellaneous tasks.
We weren't complaining, we had amazing views of 3 volcanoes from the back deck and an outdoor tub to use. Not too shabby for our first "WWOOFing" experience.
We also took advantage of the time to focus on getting some work done, organizing photos and getting some things down on paper. Definitely not a bad view from our outdoor office!
When all was said and done, we didn't exactly do the back breaking, grueling work that we had been prepared for, but we did do some hard work and put in some long days with more than enough rests days in between. We also got to try out some provided farming clothes were obviously flattering. We're definitely going to chalk it all up to some good memories!
Now we head North, way North!