WorkAway has led us to Bayonne, more specifically Villefranque. This is a really nice city right next door to Biarritz. Bayonne is a little slower paced and suited to people looking for nice architecture and restaurants along the river. While still being a tourist destination it does it with style, so if you’re after a postcard you will have to look around for one rather than having them thrust upon you and ruining all your arty photos of a bustling French town.
We’re staying in the grounds of a small holding called Les Salines. The surrounding area needs a lot of work to bring some of the old structures back to life. There’s the remains of an old salt extraction building and a few storage barns that are destined for a new purpose. Motivations for the project are to give back to the community in some way, providing a social space, possibly a retreat of some description to advertise living a little closer to nature.
we’re staying in a small shepherd’s hut type of trailer as part of our workaway exchange. It has everything you need but with a smaller footprint. living in small spaces is becoming increasingly popular, and hopefully not just a new trend, I hope it gathers momentum and starts to ground people, changing the culture a little. With everyone striving to be bigger and better, the idea of just taking what you need has been lost among the ever-growing population of fat cats. This is definitely and interest of mine, being a minimalist myself, I love the idea of smaller efficient spaces, probably in the same way that some people like spreadsheets.
The less you have the less mental weight you carry, and the more you can engage with what comes your way. Similar to the friends that everyone have, that have such busy social diaries that when something good actually pops up you get a text saying they’re busy. I can feel I’m going off on a tangent about the whole bullshit “busy culture”, but the point I was making is they miss the good stuff, the spur of the moment occasions that you can never replicate, but talk about for years. Free yourselves up, a good start is to carry less with you, live without excess and you will be amazed at the new avenues that open up to you.
Back on topic, the reason we’re doing workaway is to be able to meet people and integrate into the local town and the family we’re staying with. Be careful what you wish for, we’re now enlisted into two 10km runs a week. After six weeks of croissant munching and no exercise this definitely got the heart pumping, this looks to be the start of a really great workaway placement.