The first newsletter from St. Bonnet de Condat (newsletter)

The first newsletter from St. Bonnet de Condat (newsletter)

Two months down

More than two months have passed since we became the proud owners of Camping La Santoire in Saint Bonnet de Condat in the Auvergne, Cantal – France. On January 7, our acte authentique passed the notary and since then we have emigrated permanently from the Netherlands to France.

The first days

On arrival there was a lot of snow, which created a dreamy atmosphere at the campsite. It was therefore no punishment to spend our first weeks in one of the four chalets with the critters. We were planning to just replace the toilet seats in the chalets.

However, we soon found out that we wanted to take things in hand in order to be able to offer a different level. During that period there was a lot to arrange, but step by step electricity, water and even telephone and internet were connected with great difficulty. After a month we were able to move into the house.

We actually didn’t want to do anything about this, but with the help of family and friends we were so ahead of our schedule that we were already able to make everything to our liking. With our last move, we immediately started working on the chalets, where we have now completely renovated everything from piping to furniture.

On arrival there was a lot of snow, which created a dreamy atmosphere at the campsite. It was therefore no punishment to spend our first weeks in one of the four chalets with the critters. We were planning to just replace the toilet seats in the chalets. However, we soon found out that we wanted to take things in hand in order to be able to offer a different level. During that period there was a lot to arrange, but step by step electricity, water and even telephone and internet were connected with great difficulty.

After a month we were able to move into the house. We actually didn’t want to do anything about this, but with the help of family and friends we were so ahead of our schedule that we were already able to make everything to our liking. With our last move, we immediately started working on the chalets, where we have now completely renovated everything from piping to furniture.

Jacks of alltrades Nowadays we are plumbers, cleaners, electricians, plasterers, buyers, painters, tilers, interior stylists, but above all bon vivants! Worked seven days a week, but rarely went to bed so satisfied every day.

Almost daily interested villagers, passers-by and other people who see this or have heard of our reopening are on the doorstep. Everyone is very friendly, helpful and above all enthusiastic about our plans. In a village with just over 100 inhabitants, you text the mayor when the wheelie bin is full and so there have been a few more culture shocks…

We feel very welcome here and warmly welcomed by the community. French is progressing day by day, but it is certainly still a challenge at times. After all, understanding heavy dialect through the telephone or a mouth cap is quite different from imitating exemplary and calmly pronounced language lessons. Still, we get compliments on our effort and there hasn’t been a situation that we didn’t get out of…

Wheater

Since the second week of January we have been sitting out in the sun, which shows itself in full. Despite the fact that the temperature can be deceptively low, it is already very pleasant here at 8 degrees. Whether it’s the mountains, the altitude, the shelter or the climate; we love it and don’t want anything else ever again! The snow has also disappeared and, again with the help of family, we have made a start on the terrain.

Around the chalets you can see how everything should look like again and next week we will receive mechanical assistance from the municipal workers. That too is almost unimaginable if we compare it with how we lived in the Netherlands. After all, in Eindhoven we could only go to the town hall for an appointment about our departure 3 weeks later.

Bar and épicerie

Both the bar – with an operating permit that has now been realized, after 2.5 intensive course days in French – and the épicerie (local supermarket) are now completely finished. Some appointments with suppliers are planned and before the end of the month we hope to have started the first business activities here. In any case, the village can come to us for their daily needs and relaxation and we are slowly getting some turnover.

Peace and quiet

In the meantime, with our old school ADSL connection, we are well aware of what is going on in the world – downright awful. However, we don’t get much from all the news here. In the village, time stands still and people do ‘their thing’, with little or no room for worry or unrest. The vast and beautiful surroundings leave no room for stress and we can completely relax, even if we have to go back to the hardware store for the second time in 1 day – which is 45 minutes away.

On-line presence

Once connected to the outside world, we also started building our website, in 5 languages, with booking module, trips in the area – all the trimmings… That turns out to be a lot of work, but with a little patience we will be fully operational soon for you! In the meantime, the progress can be followed via Facebook and Instagram and for bookings we can still be reached via info@campinglasantoire.fr.

What’s missing still

We have not regretted our decision for a second and are looking forward to our first season, in which we hope to welcome you all. For the time being, we are still well ahead of schedule for the opening on 29/04 and our broadcast of I Departures promises to be a very boring one…. Except for one major leak, we are going like a train here, sorry about that. The only thing left to add is your arrival!

À bientôt, warmest regards.

Dennis & Jelle

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