Test out the waters! Why not rent in the area we wish to buy in. This advice has been great, but finding a rental house has been interesting to say the least. Most websites list short-term rentals, holiday homes for the 3 – 7 day traveler. There is a hole in the market for what we need now, the long term rental. We don’t want to pay high season Gite prices at the end of October and throughout the winter months but cheap, local rental prices, in a central location, easy access to the touristy things our eventual Gite customers will want to see. That way we learn the area, by saturating ourselves into this project of moving to France.
Today we are in a Best Western Hotel in Gruissan, France, with storm warnings, on lock down until the rain lifts. So we search the net for our future rental home, our next step towards relocating to France.
Everyone loves going on vacation. Dreaming how exotic it would be to live on a Mexican beach or the French Riviera for the rest of their lives, while you relax for those 2 weeks in August on holiday, does not give an accurate idea of living in that country. I suggest people take a long rental home, or travel around more intensively, to get a better feel. We hope to learn the language, the customs, the food, the people, the tourist areas, the recreation areas and the tradition to help make an informed decision.
We have been leaving messages for people online all week. Our realtor is also leaving messages on our behalf. It is too cold to camp, (we did not plan that one out very well) the night temperate drops to around 10 degrees, and the pop-top doesn’t block out any wind or cold air. It takes much longer for people to get back to one another here. There’s a week turn around on most conversations.
Three nights straight, we hear the rain beat at the windows, the wind drumming at the door, saying, let us in. The kids curl up tight at night, and sleep like babies far into the morning hours. Without much sun getting through the thick clouds, their natural alarm isn’t working. It feels like a sleep in day to me too. With no reason to jump out of bed, nothing to explore, we watch DVD’s, get food from the local store, and eat non-perishables in our rooms. With some luck today we find a rental home. Next step after that own a B&B and start living our dream.
The weather clears up and cracks in the clouds reveal warm sunshine, and it gets up to 20 degrees even with the overcast sky. We take the moment to venture out, and away from our computers and searches.
Just open the map of the Gruissan resort area and the diversity of the landscape are obvious, with 5 different areas to enjoy. The Old Village of fishermen and wine growers, whose streets surround the Castle and the Tower known as Barbarossa. The sandy beach areas, 5 in all: Grazel, inside the harbor and protected from the wind, Ayguades and of Mateille bordering the sea, for the water sport enthusiast, the “Old News” area is undoubtedly the best spot for windsurfing in Gruissan, and finally the Famous Beach Cottages on Stilts, where the open sea crashes the shore.
Gruissan is also a port regularly awarded for the respect shown to the environment. It provides 1330 land parking for boats in 99 Marinas, which coexist with the elegance of its original architecture.
We visited the castle ruins today, and enjoyed peering over the rooftops at the Sea in the distance. A wall, fortifying the castle within, once surrounded it. Muslim Pirates were the cause for alarm, as they ravaged the land during the medieval times.
During the storm we did venture out to the cottages on stilts to see the enormous waves hit the rock and beaches. It was spectacular!