Working Away — joining the alternate economy

We found 28 Towpath on a site called Workaway. In the sleepy little village of Redhouse, 28 Towpath is a guesthouse/hostel that practices responsible accommodation through permaculture gardens, greywater systems, composting, and using pipes that are coiled in the compost pile to heat water for showers. Mark, who runs the place with his fiancee Tine, is also a proponent of the “alternate economy,” as he puts it. In other words, exchanging energy instead of money. They have a profile on Workaway, a site that allows hosts and prospective volunteers to create profiles and make arrangements for work exchanges. 

After spending the first portion of our trip landlocked in the Free State in the center of South Africa, Nick and I decided to look into volunteering in a different part of the country. The rafting season typically goes through a slow period during February and the beginning of March so there would be less work available at Clarens Xtreme, making it a good time to travel and explore more of country.

Redhouse is just a 15 minute drive from Port Elizabeth, an oceanside city with beautiful beaches and a lovely boardwalk along the beach. But we don’t see much of that. Our days are mainly spent working in the garden, renovating sheds, volunteering at a school in a nearby township — or windsurfing and stand up paddle boarding on the river where 28 Towpath sits.

To learn more about WorkAway or try it yourself visit Check out 28 Towpath at their website or on their Facebook page.



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