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Work For Stay

51mps54x6OL. SX384 BO1,204,203,200
Coffe Table Photography book out now!

999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me

A while back a friend showed me the great website helpx.net, a site that links travelers like myself with people who need some kind of work done. The original idea began with World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOFing), where as you might guess, one volunteers to work on an organic farm for a few hours a day in exchange for room and board. Helpx has expanded the idea to any kind of work imaginable – construction, teaching, mechanical work… absolutely anything is possible.
I find a place just south of Puerto Escondido looking for someone to build a website. In my past life I was a Computer Software Engineer, and have designed and built many websites over the years.
I organize to stay a week, possibly more more if things go well.

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Chirping gecko lizards...as loud as a squirrel

Caroline is very welcoming and gives me the grand tour of her Oceanfront retreat and boutique hotel slated to open early in 2010. Construction is going full steam ahead on beautiful mexican-style concrete buildings, all with palapa roofs and amazing decor. My room is a self-contained villa, with a roof-top palapa and 180° views of the ocean, which is less than 75 meters away. I settle in and find very quickly that Caroline loves to cook, and is amazing at it – before long we are enjoying a cold beer with our huge home-cooked meal of local fresh fish.

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This guy came around every morning at breakfast

I settle into a daily routine of waking up at dawn to watch the sunrise over the ocean, working with Caroline before lunch on the new website and having afternoons to explore the surrounding area. Caroline’s property is a 10 minute walk from a friendly little village, and 30mins drive in each direction are lots of little communities to investigate. I’m throughly enjoying having great food to eat and exercising every day with a run on the beach or a work-out followed by a swim every night at sunset. Reading for hours while lying in a hammock quickly becomes a habit.

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Sunset from "my" hammock

We head into Zicatela, the main surf/tourist beach in Puerto Escondido to use the internet and hangout in the great atmosphere. There are tourists getting around all over the place, and I’m constantly catching Auzzie accents in every direction, crazy surfers as they are. Everyone is riding really short boards and after seeing the impressive curl to the large waves I understand why. I’m told 10 minutes south at “The Point” the waves are a lot more friendly to amateurs such as myself.

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Puerto Escondido beach all artistic like

Surfboards are much cheaper here than anywhere else I’ve been – I can get a junker for $100 USD, used boards in good shape are around $200 USD and brand new is just over $300 USD.
I’m thinking about it.

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Dropping in at Zicatela (I took the photo... not me surfing)

In the mean time I’ll continue to soak up the sun and enjoy this little ocean side paradise I’ve found simple smile

-Dan

12 Responses

  1. T READ says:

    Dan I have been reading about your trip, and I must say it sounds great. Your days of laying around in a hamock can have a drawl back, it can be habbit forming. I read your trip with the notion that next year will be my time to try my trip to alaska. Im a disabled vet so I have to get in better shape as far as money and fitness. So I will spend my winter here in Indiana reading your wonderful site and looking at the photos, I really enjoy the photos, so any more you can put on here it sure helps. I am checking on the site about working for room and board, I have a lot of little talents so Im hoping I can find some place to use them at. If you need any help in the Arizona region let me know all the guys that worked for me are there and there a great bunch. Thanks again and never look back

    • Dan says:

      Thanks for the encouraging words :) It really does help me along to know I have the support of so many people I have never met in this world. I wish you all the best for your adventures to Alaska and beyond, I would love to read about them when you go.

  2. David says:

    Make sure you pass on the URL once you finish the site Dan! Meanwhile, thanks for the tip on the Helpx site, I’ll check that out and share it…….

    David

  3. Doris Madden says:

    Dan….still reading your adventures with interest…..summertime down in Warrnambool today…39c
    I want to wish you and of course Julie and Geoff a Happy Christmas time…..i imagine they will read this so…..have a lovely time in the snow and a white Christmas in NY Julie and Geoff….do you have an e-mail address now? May hear about your adventures too…. even though I know you will be busy.
    All the best from Aust…Doris

    • Dan says:

      Thankyou so much Doris, I will pass on the well wishes for sure.
      All the best to you as well, Enjoy that sunshine, mum and dad are knee deep in snow!

  4. Brian12566 says:

    That website is a pretty cool idea. I need tons of work done around my yard, but not sure how may travelers would be interested in hanging out in the middle of New York. :-)

    Happy to hear you found a nice arrangement.

    Looking forward to nice pics of you learning to surf!

  5. Pete 'n' Al says:

    Good Day Dan, we have been following your travels with great interest from day one. You have a pretty strong following from locals around here also. I have a request that you post some pics of the Southern Lights when you get down that far South, they have always fascinated me.
    Have a Merry Xmas and a great new year.

    • Dan says:

      Hey Pete & Al,
      Huge Merry Christmas to you guys, with similar weather to me right now I´m sure. The Southern Lights are not something I´ve thought about too much. I missed out on the Northern Lights this trip becuase the sun was always up, although I have seen them before in Northern Canada. If I made it to Tierra Del Fuego in spring as planned, I should hopefully get a good showing.
      All the best!

  6. Mike says:

    Merry Christmas Dan!!!!

    I’m in Rossland with the Senecals and we all wish you our best :)
    The snow at Whitewater is great and Steve and I are about to do some major touring. It looks like the heat of Mexico is nice too!

    Enjoy and be merry!!!!

    Love Mike

    • Dan says:

      Hey Mike, huge Merry Christmas to you and the whole Rossland/Nelson/Whitewater crew.
      I had a traditional Mexican Christmas which was a riot – cold Carona´s a plenty!
      Enjoy that snow. – Dan

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