So hereâ€™s the latest. We have decided to follow the Mediterranean style of building the Bergerie upside-down, with sleeping space on the ground floor and living / eating space on the first floor. In theory this means that we can use the natural light from the largest window and any skylights we put in during daylight and then sleep where we donâ€™t need light. It also means that we can sleep in the cool and live in the warm. Not planning any new openings but having access from the first floor at the back onto the terracing at the rear of the building. Sketches to follow.
Just need to find out what the local roofing timber is (oak, Caledonian pine, pitch pine) and then we are getting Martin the structural engineer involved to design us a roof. Although the initial need is to get the building secure we are planning ahead so that once the roof is on it will support any future development of the building in terms of light, power, flues and chimney.
Cranking up the planning for our month down there in May at the moment with lists of tools we will need. Lists of jobs to be done and priorities. Any help in that department is grateful. Picked up a chainsaw off eBay and Breezy and I have a day booked with Derbyshire friends for a chainsaw induction. Do this, donâ€™t do that etc. tools include pick axe, chainsaw, spades saw, shovels etc so if anyone is, or knows anyone who is, driving out to Chamonix before May and has space for a few tools or even a box of nails, please let us know. On the grounds that they wonâ€™t allow nail clippers in hand luggage I think they may turn their nose up at a chainsaw.
We think we have found an apartment to rent in Salau for the month with floor space and a spare sofa bed so if anyone fancies a visit then let us know. Monti Bianco (Debs) is planning on coming out on the 19th for about five days which will be FAB. The thinking is that we donâ€™t want to be spending a portion of each day just subsisting if we were to camp at the Bergerie. A hot shower at the end of a day is great too. Having said that if anyone wants to camp then that is cool too.
Had a look at transport logistics for anyone considering coming out:
Flights â€“ www.easyjet.com Sleazy Jet fly to Toulouse which is very handy if you are wanting to catch the bus to St Girons where â€œVinnie The Van â€ will pick you up or the train to St Gaudens where pick up will be possible too. www.ryanair.com also fly to Carcassone and Pau which are both feasible but it is more difficult to get to us on public transport although hiring a car is an option. Ryan air do have a sale on at the moment – flights from 99p + tax.
SNCF (train) â€“ www.sncf.com Train is 13 euros one way so a bargain. Â You just need to make your way from the airport to the train station in Toulouse.
Bus â€“ http://www.ville-st-girons.fr/tourisme/office/infos/bus.htm There is a bus from Toulouse to St Girons.Â St Girons is only 40 mins from the bergerie and the bus goes from the train station in Toulouse centre as well.
Car – Â If anyone is considering driving we have taken a load of photos and distances to help with getting from St Girons to the Bergerie without a map. Thought it may be useful! Will post it up on a separate page closer to the time.
Thanks also to everyone who has helped with the eco tips, very much appreciated.