First off apologies for the long gap between updates, I will try and make them twice weekly from now on. On with the story.
So for those of you who don’t know, we are travelling around and staying with strangers who pick us up from the local bus stop and welcome us into there homes, cook us meals and leave us alone in their house while the go to work … more or less.
Help-x is a New Zealand idea similar to Woofing (for those of you who know it). The idea is you connect with “hosts” and organise to stay with them, and in exchange for 2-6 hours “work” depending on the host you are fed and housed for the night. Our first HelpX experience has been amazing and we will continue to travel this way.
We had arranged to stay with an retired couple (Erik and Gjis ) in Denmark near the German border. They live in an old farm building they have rebuilt, Erik is an ex ship wright and builder while Gijs has taught cooking and helped mentally disabled people learn new skills or re learn old ones after injuries or stroke.
We bused to Kolding a small city 4 hours south of Copenhagen and stayed the night in DanHostel, part of a large group of budget hotels and hostels. This one was great similar to a very nice motel in New Zealand, clean and tidy rooms with a buffet breakfast for 20 DKR (about 5.5 $NZ pp). We stayed there the night of the 4th July where we were picked up lunchtime on the 5th.
Arriving at their house 5 km out of the small village of Løgumkloster after a 50 minute drive, they immediately made us feel at home. Fresh fruit and lunch was first on the menu followed by a tour of the house and gardens. They brought the property 25 years ago from a retiring farmer, 3 acres of land with building and barns still standing, but no proper living quarters. Over the years they have slowly restored it to its current state. however ten years ago Erik was diagnosed with cancer so his progress obviously slowed. S our job was to help them reclaim some of overgrown areas and help build a new sauna building.
Each day we worked for about 4 hours in the morning and 1-2 after lunch. (By choice, Courtney was labelled a workaholic by Erik who would have quite happily only had us working 2 hours). Their normal day started at 9, with Gijs having been swimming at the local pool from about 7. We worked at Clearing trees and grass, finding large chucks of old steel and farm implements, these where collected and taken to be recycled for a good price. However after Sooo much hard work we where making Erik feel old so it was time for sightseeing in the local town, after a proper siesta of course. The local town of Løgumkloster is quite small but all the right shops to get what you need, 2 small supermarkets (a budget one and a upmarket one), butcher, chemist, cafe pub and a church plus a nice swimming pool with a sauna.
On one of our sight seeing days our hosts took us to Ribe Viking Center. A large viking based museum with volunteer actors who fill out the environment with viking aged jobs and hobbies including a silver smith, bow maker and Fletcher, cooks and gardeners and a falconer show.
A few days into our stay we welcomed anther HelpX to the house hold, a young Argentinian traveller (Leo) who had been working in Australia for the last year and was now in Denmark with a work visa,
Over the coming days we worked together during the morning until about 12 or 1 pm then had lunch and ether went sight seeing with Erik and Gijs or borrowed a bicycle and went out by ourselves. We where also lucky enough to be invited to a family kids birthday. The only difference apart form the lack of English was … no music, at all. No radio no stereo nothing…. it was very strange. that and a lot of flags,.. so many Danish flags, and no chips.
We really enjoyed our time at our first HelpX, Erik and Gjis were so welcoming and friendly, opening there homes and lives to us, sharing stories and knowledge even through a slight language barrier. I know your are reading this because you are avid followers of our travels and we will see you all again soon.
We stayed with Eric and Gjis until the 22 of July when we caught a overnight bus from Kolding to Hamburg for a 2 hour stop over at 2 am, then onto Gronining in the Netherlands. From there we caught a train and then a bus to a small town called Wommels. Where our next Helpx picked us up.
Phew that’s enough writing for today, i will defiantly try and upload more often as the big ones a tooo hard lol, thanks for all the views, Please leave a comment and a like so i know you enjoy my writing and anything you want to hear about etc.