5 Reasons You Should Do a Workaway with Heather:
1. Every cause needs a person like Heather. She is passionate about her project, incredibly focused on her mission of clearing trails, and is determined to make sure her workawayers have a quality experience.
2. The project is so interesting. What could be better than working very hard to uncover stone trails that have been hidden away for decades. It’s like a scavenger hunt/archaeology dig where you are constantly finding treasures. (If you think that finding hidden stone trails is a treasure) Thinking about the islanders who used donkeys to transport themselves and their goods from place to place on these trails makes you realize how hard working the people were, as well as what good builders they were to create these trails. I think the project is tremendous.
3. Heather is awesome. She is the perfect host(ess). Not only did she provide dinners on the evenings when we worked, but she brought us around with her on the island, invited us to join her on her hikes, took us to the beach every day, took us sightseeing, introduced us to her friends, showed us what tsipouro was and oriented us to Greece, island life, and Skopelos. She made us feel so comfortable in Skopelos and prepared us for the rest of our time in Greece.
4. The people on the island who support the project are awesome: Heather has enlisted the help of many people who help make the volunteers’ time very comfortable and feel well taken care of. The hoteliers union has donated rooms for the volunteers to stay in and people cooked us food, bought us drinks, transported us from one part of the island to another, and generally made us feel welcome and valued.
5. The whole thing is just a lot of fun. Jay and I had a blast on Skopelos. When we left, I actually burst into tears and even Jay was a bit choked up when we waved good-bye from the ferry. I LOVED Skopelos and our workaway experience.
5 Reasons You Should Go To Skopelos
1. It is a beautiful, hilly island that is mostly undeveloped. The hills are covered with forest, olive trees, and small, narrow, windy roads. I know we were there after the peak of tourist season, but it seems so laid back and even a bit rugged. Hiking to different parts of the island made us really appreciate the nature there. Also, Mama Mia! The movie was filmed here, so you know it has to be beautiful. The tiny building on the top of this rock is the church that was used in the Mama Mia wedding scene.
2. The beach and sea. The island is in the Aegean Sea and it is GORGEOUS!! The water is turquoise blue/green, crystal clear, and smooth as silk. At the beaches there were hardly any waves. The water was still and cool and refreshing. The beaches were mostly rocks instead of sand, but if you wear your flip flops or water sandals, it’s totally fine. Just walk on the stones and wade into the water. Fantastic!
3. The people. They are so friendly and made us feel very welcome. Everyone we met was so appreciative of what we were doing and made us feel like one of the gang.
4. The restaurants and tavernas serve great food. We had moussaka, and souvlaki, and spanikopita. But the thing we ate the most of was Greek salad and grilled fish. And kalamari. All excellent. Gelato was great. We had an authentic Greek experience with a drink called tsipouro. The drink is made of distilled grape skins and comes in tiny sized bottles or decanters.They bring the tsipouro out with a small bucket of ice and some water. You put ice in your glass and then pour the tsipouro into the glass over the ice and top off with water. Then, depending on how many orders you had, they bring you mezes, or small plates of food. You don’t order the food, they just bring you whatever the cook wants to make.
It’s a big social event in Greece as the plates keep coming out and the drinks keep flowing and everyone partakes. At the end, everyone is laughing and drunk and full. It was a great experience! And then, each evening we went to the corner bakery and got a cookie. And even with that, I think I lost 10 pounds in the 10 days we were there from all that work and hiking.
5. Skopelos town is just adorable. The winding, narrow alleyways, with the cobbled roads, the ancient buildings built seemingly one on top of the other, and the hills you have to climb to get to other parts of the town create a sense in your mind of what you dreamed the Greek islands would be like.
In the evening the entire town comes alive as people congregate in the tavernas and restaurants. What can I say? the laid back, Greek vibe on this island is magical. Just go and see for yourself.