Friday, May 13, 2011

Roadside encounter

The day before yesterday (Wednesday), I ran into a South African couple, Andrew and Brenda, at the petrol station attached to the local supermarket in St-Jean-en-Royans. They were driving a luxurious Fiat camping car, with German license plates, and wanted to find a cylinder of propane gas for their stove. And this product didn't happen to be stocked by this supermarket. Since it was nearly 7 o'clock in the evening, there was little chance that any other stores would be open. So, I suggested that they might follow me back to my place where, if they ran out of gas, they could always use my kitchen to prepare their evening meal. As things turned out, they did not run out of gas, and actually invited me to share their fine dinner (prepared in the camping van), seated in the warm semi-darkness in front of my house.

They told me that they were thinking of selling their bed-and-breakfast business in South Africa, and setting up a guest house somewhere in Europe. So, they were keen to see what kind of possibilities existed around here. Yesterday morning, I took them along to the excellent guest house in St-Jean-en-Royans operated by Roger Dunne (a former UK cyclist) and his wife Teresa. They've done up an old water-mill on the edge of the village, and transformed it into a high-quality base for visitors who can go out bike-riding in some of the most magnificent landscapes that cyclists could ever imagine.

[Click the photo to visit the website of Roger and Teresa]

When Andrew and Brenda finally drove off (heading up towards the monastery of the Grande Chartreuse), they had several good contacts with local real estate possibilities.

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