Today itis exactly half a year ago that we emigrated to France. In this newsletter we look back on 6 intensive months. Moreover, we are happy to tell you the latest news from St. Bonnet de Condat and our adventures on and around Camping La Santoire.
Then and now – a difference of night and day
It sometimes feels as if we have been here much longer and at the same time the past half year has flown by. We started the renovations in the middle of winter, but currently sigh at times while carrying out the physical work in the summer sun – a difference of night and day.
We don’t actually see that difference anymore in our daily activities, unless we compare the photos from then and now. The terrain is very beautiful, although nature still needs some time to recover from our violence. The bar and shop are fully operational and we feel completely at home during the few hours we spend in the house.
Ready for peak season!
Many of the houses here are owned by families and are therefore used as a second (holiday) home. With the holidays approaching, we notice that we meet new people from the village almost daily in the bar and épicerie. We are also increasingly found by passers-by, now that we are connected to the necessary platforms.
The guests have been continuously positive and complimentary so far. Moreover, we learn a lot from their stays. Finally, one person likes to fish, the other takes long walks and the next comes with a desire to buy local products from the farmer. They are all guests with their own wishes and needs, which we are happy to provide better and better.
Frequently asked was the possibility to have a bite to eat with us. Difficult in the beginning, because the kitchen was empty when we bought the campsite. The only things we brought with us were a washing-up line and a very basic deep fryer. We have now invested in a large professional oven, stainless steel workbench and an 8 liter deep fryer.
So with our snacking menu we can also serve hungry villagers and camping guests something to eat. n addition to croque monsieurs, pizza and paninis, the classic Dutch bitterballen and frikandellen should not be missed on the menu, to the delight of locals and tourists alike!
Of course, having a campsite is not always just fun. We have already discovered four wasp nests. With our limited budget, we try, as long as it is responsible, to solve all these things ourselves before we call in a paid professional. So it was that Jelle, despite his enormous wasp phobia, assisted Dennis with the removal of a large honeycomb with population.
The bugs had entrenched themselves in the insulation of one of our chalets and there was no other option but to remove them by hand. We also continuously try to chase away the many moles on the site, because it turns out to be very difficult to grow grass when huge molehills keep popping up.
Giving up is notin our nature
While we try to find an acceptable balance with the flora and fauna on the property, we still think about our guests. With fresh energy we therefore placed balustrades around the terraces of the chalets, which give a little more sense of security and privacy. We also bought two fantastic hammocks, in which you can doze off alongside the river.
The owner of the plot next to us has recently mowed the high grass, which also makes it smell wonderfully of freshly cut grass and lavender. With the sound of the many birds and the river flowing in the background, we are secretly jealous of our guests – because what a wonderful place this is to spend your holidays! Meanwhile, the Auvergne has awakened in all its glory, because all summer long, all kinds of things are organized in the area to entertain residents and tourists.
Of course we also realize that we should not complain. Despite our hard work and that it has not always been easy, we have successfully radically changed our lives. We used to wake up to the recorded sound of birds from the alarm clock, after which we had to go to work with varying moods. Here we are awakened by the birds themselves, to subsequently build on our future every day. It have been six beautiful, but intensive months and we still have peak season ahead of us.
Opening hours have been extended as of today and the increased number of guests means more cleaning work Together we have already lost over 20 kg and with the long days ahead, it is conceivable that we will be significantly tired when we finish this first season. That does not mean that we are unhappy with our choices. We are extremely proud of all that we have achieved so far and are eagerly looking forward to what the next six months have in store for us
In the months of July and August, our Chalets and Mobil Homes are almost fully booked, but there are still a few spots available.
You can always find the current availability on our website and of course you are also very welcome with a camper, tent or caravan. Hope to see you!
À bientôt, lots of love.
Dennis & Jelle