So I began to search for work in Chile and Argentina via a website called "workaway" which offers volunteering opportunities across the world. The work offered can range from grape picking to receptionist in a backpacker. The concept is that you work, generally 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, and in exchange you get food and accomodation.
What I wanted was a job in the countryside away from the backpacking atmosphere. I didn't wanted to take the risk to waste all my money in pisco sour and terremotos (exquisite chilean drinks :) ).
After a bit of investigation I found an opportunity in a beautiful place two hours south of Santiago in the chilean main wine region. The place was an impressive 19th century Hacienda surrounded by an amazing park of 4 hectares and a vineyard of 2,5 hectares. The job was to help the family living there to maintain the park and the vineyard. The job sounded perfect. What seduced me as well was that the idea was to be part of the family during the stay.
So I didn't wait and applied for the "job". A few days later I got a call from Amelie telling me it was OK, that I could start to work and live in La Quadra at the beginning of February. On the phone she was super friendly and enthusiastic. Great!!!
The family was not living in the mansion that had work underway but in a lovely house next door with a great terrace facing the vineyards.
Amelie made me feel at home straight away, we had a good chat around a coffee and then we went outside to have a look at the property and the things that had to be done. Amelie was funny and full of life, jumping around the park barefoot showing me the irrigation mechanism. I tried to follow her with my 4 hours of sleep in the bus, holding the shovel clumsily and trying to remember where I was and what I was doing.
For the first night nobody was home so I had some time to "land" properly and relax with a glass of wine on the terrace. It was really weird coming from a backpacking mode to suddenly being in a very nice house alone. It was a mix of feelings. I was happy and relaxed to stop moving all the time for a bit and get a working rythm but also quite desorientated by what was happening, Geo leaving, less money in the bank account, far from any other travellers and with an adoptive family. It was definitely the start of a new chapter.
|View from the terrace|
|Psycho vine trimmer|
It was a great pleasure to enjoy a glass of wine or a pisco sour on the terrace at the end of the day with this family. They didn't lie in the "workaway description" the idea was really to be included in the day to day life of the family, meals, drinks at friend's sunday bbq...
I had a great time staying there. It was good for me to have a rythm again, waking up every morning with some work to do and more importantly get a routine for a little while.
|My own little house|
A big thanks to the Cuadra family for this great time in Colchagua.
|Getting mad with the good wine|