Simple life in a straw house

Another year passes…

Good times for the kids

I really enjoyed spending Christmas and New Year in France; it was certainly different. Eating Christmas dinner and opening presents a day early; dressing up as Santa and having to shout out hard to pronounce names in French; skiing down empty slopes on Christmas Eve; dancing with French people on New Years Eve, all good times I won`t forget in a hurry!

Where one journey ends, another one starts…

Preparing for a slope

With my time in the mountains coming to an end and my interest in the French language increasing I was fortunate enough to be given a recommendation by my friend Sam to stay with a French family in the foothills of the mountains. I would be living and working in a straw house for two weeks if I was to go. After a quick email (in French!) to the host I managed to get a placement for two weeks. The time to leave soon arrived, the bag was packed, and it was Au revoir to the cold mountains of Saint-Lary.

Falling into the foothills of the Pyrénées…

Lucky horse

The journey of course was another heart pounder as I nearly missed my bus due to a mistake in preparation, it left me running around on the snow at which point I slipped and fell on some ice, bad times, I still search a peaceful journey, maybe it`s not to be in France.

French, French, and more French, oh, and a straw house…

The beautiful straw house under construction

After being picked up by Pierlo my host we were no sooner at the family house which sits in a small village called Esconnets on top of a hill, overlooking miles of picturesque countryside, it really is spectacular and the sound of the cattle bells ringing throughout the day is enough to send you into a tranquil state of mind. My room was on the second floor with a balcony, a bed, and a breathtaking view, perfect!

Living a simple life with amazing people…

Dinner table

It’s been brilliant here so far, the family have made me feel so welcome that I feel more comforable here then I have been in a very long time. In the week that I`ve been here I`ve been on some of the best walks of my life, the scenery here is stunning, and most days the weather too; I’ve improved my French alot due to Pierlo`s patience and willingness to help; I`ve played tons of fun games with the family, and been for a walk with Challine the family horse of whom I`m hoping to ride next week. The lifestyle here is totally different to what I`m used to, the food is sourced primarily from the garden and deliciously prepared by Sandrine; the children find hours of pleasure in the simplest of things; and Pierlo`s morals and way of life are truly inspiring.

A quick journey update…

Sun glistening over the mountains - amazing

My journey is loosely planned but I am hoping to make my way to the South East coast of France by February where I will most likely drop into Spain or change my mind and move into Italy, I hope everyone is well and it`s been a good start to the new year for you all. I upload new photos and videos quite often so don`t forget to check them out. Until next time, peace and love, Jonathan x

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4 Responses

  1. chris says:

    Sounds great as always Jon. For someone who is backpacking around Europe you sure are bad at the travelling part! How many trains/buses have you nearly missed?

    Take care, Chris

    • Jonathan says:

      HI Chris, I know, everything always goes wrong, I`m definitely cursed when it comes to the travelling part, hope all is well and thanks for checking in on me, peace.

  2. Dan says:

    Are there any dogs on the farm?

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