Destinations Italy

Workaway #3: A month in Brindisi, Puglia

I’ve been saying in past posts that we were staying/working in Brindisi but the truth is our hosts aren’t IN a city at all, and Brindisi is about 30 minutes away. Brindisi is just the closest big city, and a whole lot easier than explaining what part of the country we were in. Only recently did our hosts acquire an address, but they sometimes find it easier to give out GPS coordinates as directions. Basically, we were in the middle of nowhere.

OUR HOSTS

Our hosts were Bob and Debbie from England, and they have lived in Puglia for 10 years. They rent out two Villas in the summer, one being their off season residence. You can see pictures of where we stayed/worked on their website: letsgotopuglia.co.uk

Bob and Debbie are absolute gems and treated us like family from the moment we arrived. We stayed in their apartment in the basement but spent most of the time in the main house hanging out around the fire. They watch the most perfect combination of shows to suit Mikel’s and I’s nighttime TV preferences. The UK has a version of my beloved American shows like Master Chef, Escape to the Country (same as House Hunters), DCI Banks (similar to CSI), and some other reality type cooking shows. Bob and Mike would watch Top Gear and other car shows, I don’t know how we got so lucky, really.

In other news, Bob says my English accent is a “dead ringer,” but I think Mikel finds it annoying. I can’t help but find the expressions (and people) charming and hilarious, so at this rate I’ll be coming home with a whole new set of vocabulary.

THE WORK

Over the course of the month we were sprucing up both properties to get some bigger projects out of the way before guests arrive. The main project was retiling the pool patio at Villa Rosa. Mikel and Bob focused their energy on tiling while I did various projects at Casa Mare like painting, sanding, grouting, staining, and some mosaic pebbling using rocks from the beach. Our typical day was breakfast around 7:30, and work from 8:30-1:30. Debbie made fresh bread for us on the daily which was such a treat! She also spoiled us with homemade Nutella cookies quite often (addicting).

Collecting rocks for the wall
Collecting rocks for the wall
Never ending tiling
Never ending tiling

OUR TIME OFF

Our days off were spent either touring the surrounding cities or having lunch with different friends of our hosts. I cooked for them a couple of times which was a lot of fun, but we were mainly hosted by their friends whether it was for Easter or just because.

On our final day we had lunch at their friends Jim and Paola (originally from Manhattan) on our way to our next host. Yes, they drove us to our next workaway and we were so incredibly thankful. Living without a car is not easy, sometimes fun, and most importantly, really inexpensive. I have mixed emotions about it. Anyway, lunch was delicious and we always had a great time with the pair of them.

20150416_131944

Lemon, Mozzerella, Tomato
20150416_153340
Cake with lemon curd and strawberry. Main course not photographed was pork, baked apple, mashed potato, romanesco, and roasted tomatos

Our favorite cities were Lecce and Otranto, but we also took a trip to Brindisi for the day. Bob and Debbie were kind enough to drop us off in the cities, and we took the train home, which was only 1 euro each time.

Lecce
Lecce
Otranto
Otranto

Overall, another great workaway for the books! We’ve met some incredible people through workaway, and although there are pro’s and con’s (I’ll save that list for another post), it’s been such a unique and rewarding way to visit other countries. We’re currently doing our last workaway in Ostuni, Puglia helping cater a raw vegan yoga retreat. In a couple weeks we’re off on a Dalmatian coast road trip!

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