Seeking adventurous, reliable housesitter(s) for my off-grid Casita on Vieques, PR. May 1, 2012 (and randomly ongoing) as i'm away on a multi-year journey. If you have camping skills this place is idyllic - but you have to want to live this way. Gardening/landscaping skills are a plus - and there's a cat to love and possibly some chickens - the bed (bamboo and rope and hanging from the ceiling - Q mattress) is upstairs - reached by ladder - and there's a hand pump for water - and the last 1/10 mile of road is slippery walking when it rains - so you'll need to be reasonably fit. Vieques is the land of Plan B - so flexibility - resourcefulness - sense of humor all really help.This is a great position for someone wanting to live simply - not a good place for partiers and/or people with alcohol or substance abuse issues.This is "old school" Caribbean living!
In terms of responsibilities -> be a presence - feed and love Milton the cat (who is very lovable and a good mouser) - keep the big grass hacked back - let me know if there's a crisis - stop by the PO once or twice a month - keep the place clean and in good shape - enjoy!As i'm going to be gone for quite some time i'm asking housesitters to try and leave the casita ready for the next caretakers - which includes buying toilet paper - cat food - propane for stove - etc - when these things run out. We've had a "rotating pantry" that has worked out pretty well also. The idea is that everyone who stays there leaves it a little nicer for the next person.
The casita is a great place to get away from it all - the upstairs is open to the view and from the bed you look over hills and ocean to culebra - my folks (in their late 60s) stay there regularly and love it. There's a brilliant bioluminescent bay on Vieques - beautiful beaches (often in off season you can have a beach to yourself) - there are some quite decent restaurants here - and a very laid back (back to nature) lifestyle.
There is no electricity at the casita - we use propane for the small oven/stove - oil lamps and candles for light - ice chest for food storage (ice is bought at a store 1/2 mile down hill - and carried back 1/2 mile Up hill!) - water is caught off the roof and hand pumped up to gravity feed system - you pour grey water (from sink and shower) down toilet to flush it - the last 1/10 mile of road is impassible (even with 4WD!) when it rains - i cannot provide a vehicle - but there is a mountain bike you are welcome to use. Petty theft is sort of the national hobby here - it's not violent - but you Can't leave valuables unattended (and PLEASE don't leave "theft magnets" up at the casita!!!)This isn't meant to be scary - everybody who has stayed up there has loved it and wants to come back (references available) - but i do want you to know what you're getting into so i'm not scrambling to replace you while i'm far, far away!