Basque country self guided walking vacation

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Date
Price
Basis
30 Sep 2019
1000
excluding flights
Full
 
10 Oct 2019
1000
excluding flights
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Basque country self guided walking vacation

Environment

Firstly, our self-guided walks all start at the door of our house and return to the house - meaning that there is no need for any form of transport all week. All villages can be reached by foot. We have fireplaces and use wood fires to warm the house when we can: the wood is taken from fallen trees on our land and kindling is picked up from the woods where we walk. Our water is spring water and guests are given strict instructions on how to minimise the use of water. We fill up drinking water from local springs in the village. We have a vegetable garden and use ash and egg shells as natural preventatives to keep slugs and snails at bay! We have also made a clearing in the woods and are feeding the birds (while trying to keep our two cats at bay!)
Heating is a complex matter and we give guests instructions on how to use the natural qualities of the house: windows, stone walls, doors, curtains etc. to manage the heat within the house or keep it cool rather than using air-conditioning or heating.

Community

We live in a tiny shepherding hamlet of just 19 people and we interact with the local shepherds and farmers, buying their eggs or cheeses or liquores. We watch them at work with the sheepdogs and often enter my neighbours farms with my guests so that they have an idea of their traditions and way of life. My neighbours are very proud of their lives and traditions and we feel that an important part of our work is to encourage cultural understanding and mutual respect. We also encourage our guests to learn a few words of the Basque language as another token of respect for the community and provide each guest with a glossary of Basque and Spanish words. All staff come from the villages within a 10 km radius of the house and they are their families are always invited to join in whatever activities are organised at the house. All builders, plumbers and electricians live nearby and have helped me renovate our home which was once an old farmhouse. Naturally, we have used local woods and stones.

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