Off to the Cotswolds
After our fantastic WWOOF( World Wide Opportuitinies On Organic Farms) experience in Dewsbury, last summer, I was excited to organise another trip, but this time I was keen to stay with a few hosts in different locations. First stop: Cirencester
WWOOF enables you travel anywhere in the world working on organic farms in return for food and board. Your only financial obligation is your travel.
The journey there: Where’s the bloody coach?
The day to leave came and everything went relatively smoothly: we were packed and ready to go in good time to catch our coach; no last minute dramas, or so I thought. We arrived at the coach stop in time but no coach. Were we at the wrong stop? While on the phone to National Express the coach arrived, 5 minutes late, but it arrived so who cares.
A lesson in how not to pack
We were meant to change coaches at Victoria, but due to traffic we had to get off at Embankment and walk to the coach station. The rucksacks were unbearably heavy, much too heavy for Kai to manage, and so I was lumbered with the two rucksacks that were each at least 3 kg each; it was horrendous. But once on the second coach we could relax and look forward to meeting our new host.
Feelings about meeting our new host
An hour into the two and a half hour journey I began to feel slightly anxious about meeting Davina, our host; would she like us and had she looked at my blog and seen that I had brown skin?
But I remembered our first WWOOF experience and how nice Kaye had been. I convinced myself that it would be fine and what a great experience it would be for us. Whatever happened we would learn something and grow.
Meeting Davina and arriving at ‘Herbs for Healing’
“Cirencester,” called the driver; it was time to get off, our new host would be waiting. I got our things and prepared to meet her. How would I know who she was, I wondered as I was getting off the coach, but as I came off the coach my eyes caught a very friendly face and I knew that was our host. Something told me in that instant that we would get on just fine.
A great learning opportunity for the two of us
We’ve been in Cirencester for two days and have learned a great deal about the herbs that Davina produces: Kai was stung by a bee yesterday that was trapped in his wellies; Davina’s gardener quickly suggested using plaintain, a herb I had never heard of. Within a few minutes of rubbing a mashed up plaintain leaf on the sting, the pain had subsided. If I had previously been slightly doubtful of the effectiveness of herbs, I was now converted.
Having an open mind and being able to muck in is essential to enjoying the WWOOF experience. Many hosts are aiming at self-sufficiency and their lifestyles are often vastly different to what us city dwellers, with our dependence on modern facilities, are used to. Getting used to the idea of using a compost toilet took a lot of getting used to. But when I understood how much better for the environment these toilets are (waste used as compost) compared to our flush toilets, which produce tons sewage, I really just had to get with the program.
I have lots of lovely pictures, but I am unable to upload them until we get home.
Checkout the gallery for more pics. 🙂