Jobs Day – Violay, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

We had a lovely start to the day by following one of the circular routes around the cité of Pérouges. It followed the outer walls of the village walls and allowed an sneaky glimpse of the rear of some of the properties of the village and what a lovely job has been done of renovating them. Great to see such love and attention going into maintaining this historic spot.

Pérouges at first light

There was frost on the grass and it was a fairly fresh -3 degrees for our walk, not that our yeti-like Border Terriers minded. The walk was supposed to be 1h30 according to the signs but only look about 45mins, I think we keep a fairly brisk pace. It was a nice start to the day, a bit of fresh air and exercise in picturesque rural France.

Once breakfast was cleared away though, it was time to head further west and also get through our jobs list after a week of skiing enjoyment. We carefully planned a supermarket with on-site laundry facilities using the indispensable Google Maps. However, the plan fell at the first hurdle when the touchscreen required to operate and pay for the washing machine did not work. I was brave enough to attempt the technical support line having loaded all the laundry in, before discovering the issue. My French was not fully up to the task of the remote support but luckily a little English spoken by the operator who had remoted onto the console, enabled us to reach the conclusion it was kaput.

Clean clothes, dirty van

We did our shopping at the supermarket, then had to do some rapid replanning. No laundries located near the planned Aire, only in the midst of a large nearby town without parking. So we headed for another supermarket with laundry facilities that thankfully was working. We were able to pull up just in front of it, so had a leisurely lunch watching it all wash and then dry. I had a quick trip into the supermarket and picked up some bits we did not manage to get earlier. Although somehow despite visiting two supermarkets in one day managed to forget bin liners, my usual running shopping list showing its absence today.

The drier seemed to be taking longer than the 40 minutes paid for so I went to investigate. I had selected “extra hot” as these driers can often take two cycles for a large load. When I opened the door the heat and the dryness hit you straightaway. The clothes were nearly at combustion level. I called Kev over to help fold and a comedy few minutes ensued as we struggled to hold the super hot clothes, juggling them between hands and over coat-protected shoulders to avoid the heat 🔥🥵 It has probably done nothing for the long term life of the clothes but must be equivalent of a good boil wash in terms of hygiene!

Whilst we had been waiting for the laundry I had spent a good 10 minutes looking for every car wash in the local area and performing careful Google Street view stalking to see if there was one we could fit in. After weeks in the heavily salted roads mountain areas of the mountain areas the van was filthy, not black, which would be our expected cab colour but a general grey. I could not find any which allowed for 3m+ height, even if we drove on to a different Aire. So we opted for a “top and tail” wash, where we put our nose in and stretched the hose hose then reversed up and washed the back. It was worth the faff to finally get it clean again. All this goes some way to explain how simple jobs that happen in the background at home can seem to take a whole day on the road.

We opted for a nice Aire close by provided by the Camping-Car park chain in the little village of Violay. As we drove over through the countryside, ascending back up to 800m (the same as Bourg-Saint-Maurice), a wonderfully ironic moment occurred. Having now left the snow-deprived ski slopes of the Alps, it started to snow. It was pretty light and it hasn’t settled, though it is the start sadly of a few days of bad weather according to the forecast. However, we really can’t complain we have had amazing weather on this trip.

Overlooking Violay

We are now in a pretty little parking spot overlooking the village. Finally finishing the jobs list with a trip to the pharmacy for a prescription. Did you know they have 1000mg paracetamol in France, you can’t have many, but they do work! We have been building up a stock for the first aid kit.

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