Day 35 Setting Up A Campsite In Gers

It feels like time is flying. This is good and bad. The good is that it means that Fiona will be back on site before we know it. The bad is that there is quite a lot to do and it’s really difficult to judge some of the timescales.  Some may have expressed doubts about my DIY skills but I can assure the cynics that I am honing my existing skills and the refurbishment are now really starting to come together.  Our old (in both senses of the word) friend Gary is coming over to lend a hand later this month which will be a big help. He has just finished a property development project and assures me that he is now an expert.  Gary comes with the key skills of being a great photographer, a wildlife expert and most importantly, unpaid.

Fiona and I fell in love with Gers (previously known as Gascony) because it felt so mellow and a little bit magical. We didn’t really know anything about it to be honest.  Turns out, that our somewhat random choice was a winner.   According to the Daily Telegraph it is one of “The Top 20 Places In The World for The Good Life.”  We’re not quite sure what that means but it can’t be bad! It has “Green Longue” status which means that there is no heavy industry, so the air is fresh and clean.  There is very little light pollution so the night skies are incredible. It enjoys a micro climate due to the gulf stream, making it the second sunniest region in France. The great thing about camping is that if you love it as much as we do,  you can spend as long as your holiday time allows experiencing the lifestyle of Gers.

Gers is teeming with wildlife and as you can see from the photo, some of our critters are pretty relaxed around humans. On site we have a range of fruit and nut trees and are more than happy for our guests to pick their own if they happen to be here when the fruits are ripening. Woodpeckers, owls, kites (including the very rare black shouldered version) along with numerous song birds are to be found in the area.  It is particularly diverse because of its proximity to migratory routes over the Pyrenees, the very low population density and the lack of intensive agriculture. In terms of animals we have seen lots of deer, red squirrels and the odd coypu.  There are wild boar around but they tend to avoid humans and come out at night to root around the soil for treats. 

On the home front, the beloved tractor has finally gone off for repair, leaving me dependent on my own muscle power. The obvious outcome therefore is that nothing of any weight is being moved.

Since Fiona left last Saturday, I have been busy following up all the things we started when she was here (essentially, I don’t want to get into trouble when she returns).  I met up with other campsite owners at a fabulous event on a Armagnac distillery on Thursday which was really useful.  There is a great collaborative culture in the region and people were keen to help and welcome the foolish newbie.