testimonials from volunteers

For more information about volunteering with us please click here

“Waking up before the sunrise has never been easy for me. However, doing so in the beautiful wooden clad interior of a converted van, with the intention of practicing yoga before breakfast and the rest of the day- will remain in and amongst my favorite morning memories with utter ease. The off grid living and regular mindfulness coupled with good food and sunshine seems to be a recipe for grounding, gathering and enjoying. From the two sweet dogs putting on a constant show to the sweat and fulfillment of building rammed earth walls and stone steps. It’s more than easy to recommend coming here to anyone who enjoys reconnecting with the land, reconnecting with themselves and embarking on a foray into all of our shared humanity.”
Joshua, Nov 2018-Jan 2019 (2 months)

We have had the most wonderful zen time working for Ellis and Camilla. The retreat centre itself is so peaceful and beautiful, set in the mountains. We had a bell tent to stay in, which was probably the most comfortable tent experience we ever had. The work was fun, varied and we loved working for Ellis and Camilla. We worked hard but nowhere near as hard as Ellis, who is a legend and works long after you have finished. The hours were fair, exactly as we agreed and the food and company was excellent. We would recommend this workaway experience to anyone who loves working in a beautiful environment with beautiful souls. Than you so much both and we wish you continued success in your retreats.” Gillian & Keith, UK, April 2018

We had a great 3 weeks or so at Ellis and Camilla’s place. There was lots of hard work to be done but we had a good laugh along the way! They are very generous and understanding people with big heas, and really went out of their way to help us with our van problems. On the weekends they would often take us out on trips for the day and made sure we had a good time, ‘work hard, play hard’. All in all we had a great time and learnt a lot, and we look forward to seeing them again next time and reuniting our dog with theirs.” Heather & Karim, UK, Jan-Feb 2018

“I visited Camilla, Ellis, Boo the cat and Mani the dog for 3 weeks in July 2017. It was my first workaway experience and I felt so lucky to have such a positve one. I loved starting my day with yoga, overlooking the gorgeous valley view. The work was varied and super interesting – definitely a great opportunity to get hands on and see real progress with a project. There was always one or two other guests or volunteers at various times in my workaway – enough to keep things social but not so man that it felt crowded. Conversation over a tea break always flowed, and there was time and space to be on your own if needed. During my workaway I had some trouble with my health and was very grateful to the flexibility and kindness extended to me during this time – like a family away from home. I find that life that Camilla and Ellis have started here to be very inspiring and wholeheartedly recommend working away with them. I love getting updates on their project and I hope to return again someday” Isabel, Sweden, July 2017

For my first workaway experience I could not have had better. It over-passed my expectations. The place is beautiful, Sunrise Lodge is lovely to stay in , the solar shower is just great, the food was delicious…. and more importantly Ellis and Camilla are great people to be around! Camilla does the best yoga sessions ever, with our without Mani’s (the dog’s) help … and Ellis makes any work ‘fun work!’ I love how he gets things done so simply and quickly, nothing seemed impossible and it was empowering working with you! (Wha’evaa!’) We truly had a great month here and felt completely at home. Thank you so much for such a lovely time.” Guiom and Laura, France, Jan-Feb 2018

We stayed here for 2 ½ weeks and had a really great time at their beautiful place! It’s very quiet and peaceful, surrounded by a lot of mountains and tress. Ellis and Camilla are very welcoming. Ellis is a talented craftsman and we learned a lot from him. Besides he showed how to bake sourdough bread, which is the best bread ever. Camilla is a great yoga teacher, very lovely and caring and she cooks the best curry we have tried yet! Our dog Naomi had a great time with Mani, who has a very kind character, The cat Boo is cute too. We helped renovate a room, watering plants, picking and preparing olives, cutting eucalyptus trees etc.. It was nice work and there was always a positive atmosphere. They took us to a restaurant, to a beautiful beach and we had some nice movie nights together as well. For five days we stayed alone at theirs and cared for Mani, Boo and the plants. Thank you for your trust! We would definitely love to come back one day!” Anna & Sebastian, Germany and Ecuador, Nov 2017

My time spent at this worksaway were some of the best days of my year. Camilla and Ellis were so welcoming and enthusiastic from day one. I arrived with another workawayer Eva and was greeted by their beautiful dog, Mani, their cat and different visitors, who loved to come by. It really is a retreat surrounded by the mountains fo Monchque with beautiful sunsets every single night and the chance to reflect in the quietness. I loved the routine we established there. Wake for yoga, water the plants, then have breakfast together. Then we all started our tasks. I worked on building rammed earth steps with Eva. We also helped Eliss on different jobs like creating a bracket for a solar panel, getting space cleared for a bio-digester, helping to install things, carrying buckets of sand and stones up to the house to make concrete. For the days that Camilla was in the UK, eva and I would prepare meals and clean the dishes and also learnt how to make sour-dough bread from Ellis! Ellis’s enthusiasm for the work he is doing is super inspiring – you can ask any question and he will explain to you how everything works, which I really appreciated! Everything from baking bread to batteries! Camilla is so open, talented and caring and I really enjoyed the time we spent together. Both are incredible people, down to earth and a really funny British sense of humour. I’ll remember sharing lots of laughs, lots of stories, delicious meals, the heat and dust. It was so nice to experience off-grid life, getting to relax each night with the best views and great company. Thank you for everything!” Gemma, Australia, Oct 2017.

Oh I can not describe how amazing it was staying with Camilla, Mani and Boo and with Ellis on Skype too 🙂 me and my friend stayed for one week, it was short but we were welcomed as a part of the family! Camilla was open for all our ideas, we discussed a lot about different issues. We visited beaches of Algarve, south and west. We met people like Danilo and Charlotte to share ideas, stories and play music! We were inspired because Camilla you are very very strong woman! We arrived earlier than we had to, but she collected us, even it was night time and it is mountain area. The work was a pleasure, we watered plants every morning and evening because it was hot there in comparison to Lithuania. We went for walks with Mr dog Mani, so so cute he is! We made cultural exchange, Camilla made Mexican food for us and we cooked Lithuanian pink beetroot soup with hot potaoes and kefir. I had the possibility to play with wonderful people at the Cabeco, the hippy place. Camilla we so wish to see you again. A lot of love and big big hug from us both” Rugile and Asta, Lithuania Aug 2017