We had a 10-day gap between our Belgium sit and our 5 weeks sit in Brittany. In winter the amount of housesits is definitely reduced as less people are traveling, especially just after Christmas. We wanted to find something in France if we could, to lessen the amount of Airbnb nights and keep costs down. It’s amazing when traveling how much your accommodation is, as a percentage of cost. There was a sit in the beautiful town of Saint-Jean-de-la-Porte with splendid mountains all around. In fact there is a view onto Mont Blanc from the window in the main bedroom. We knew we would need to rent a car as transport was limited. Saint-Jean-de-la-Porte is 5,5 hours drive South East of Paris. (This little village is different to St Jean-Pied de Port, that by chance we have also visited on our first housesit in October last year)
Belgian Dom was incredibly sweet and took us by car to a train station just within the French border. We then caught a train to the town of Nancy. The next day we rented a lovely Suzuki Vitara and setoff for our housesit. It was about a 5-hour drive.
The photos below show the view from our bedroom window, just amazing! One could even see a bit of Mont Blanc (highest mountain in the Alps).
The sit was unusual as we never met the owners. We communicated with them making use of google translate 😊 (they spoke no English) and they had prepared a few detailed pages on the area and instructions on how to look after their beloved cats Kaaina and Timmy. We were also given details of keys and passcodes.
Saint-Jean-de-la-Porte is a tiny village with a population of about 1000 people. It is 16km from the bigger town of Chambery. On the first day I went for an early morning walk and saw these lovely ducks and the beautiful mountains. I also loved these seats under the Wisteria. I can just imagine old French ladies sitting gossiping here in the summer.
Saint-Jean is part of the Massif des Bauges Regional Natural Park. It is a beautiful environment set next to vineyards and surrounded by mountains. Mont Blanc is circled and can be seen amongst the mountain range. Adu wanted to do a geocache called “le Totem” which is a virtual cache, where you just need to take a photo of yourself at the area. Le Totem is a totem pole placed at the top of a mountain area where paragliders jump from. It had the most incredible views and we walked about 1km in the snow. Thank goodness for our hiking boots. We were also lucky enough to chat to two paragliders and then watch them jump off the mountain. Again we would never have found this spot if it was not for geocaching!
Our time went quickly. I had still online English classes on three days and Adu then did extra geocaches. We also visited the town of Annecy so I could get my booster vaccination. We relaxed and did lots of walking. We were very lucky with the weather, bits of snow still remained from the past big snowfall, but we had lots of sunshine. On the Sunday we went for a walk around the beautiful lake Lac de Courage, in the nearby small town. It was lovely to see so many families also walking around the lake.