500 Euro Oil Change

How much would you be willing to pay for an oil change for your vehicle?  Considering you do not know how to do it yourself…

Yesterday Aaron and I went to find a place for this service.  We first stopped at a mechanic that we have noticed in our little village.  There are always Range Rovers at this place so we knew are chances were slim, but maybe they could recommend someone else.  That is exactly what Aaron found out and he was told to try the Peugeot location in Uzès.

After driving in a big circle we finally found the service location.  I waited in the car for about 15 minutes and when Aaron approached the car he said, “You are NOT going to believe this?!  You are NOT going to believe this?!”  I giggled and said, “What?”  He proceeded to tell me that an oil change and a tire rotation was going to cost 500 Euros, which is $630 USD!  WHAT????  Aaron explained to me that he asked the lady helping him if that was really the price.  He repeated himself many times for fear the language barrier was impeding his understanding.  She had to enter the model of car, year, gas mileage, etc and then after a few minutes her computer calculated this outrageous sum! Again, Aaron asked her to make sure this service was just oil change and tire rotation! Again, she replied, “Yes”.

Aaron told her she was crazy and told her that in the States it only costs us $25 maximum!  She couldn’t believe that information!  She told Aaron she was going to move to the US! Haha!  How more ridiculous could life get in this country for financial survival?  Who on earth would pay $630 dollars for an oil change???  We were a little in shock!

On our way back to our village I noticed a sign that read, “Mécanique Rapide”.  I told Aaron to try it and we pulled up, Aaron got out and within 5 minutes he was back in the car saying, “55 Euros”.  It definitely was a “hole in the wall”, as my Dad used to say!  We were jumping for joy!  55 Euros was nothing compared to 500 Euros, so Aaron set up an appointment for this morning.  All went well and we still ended up paying an outrageous amount (about $70), but nothing compared to the first quote!  America is definitely a land of plenty and we, as Americans, are so lucky to be able to dream big and make those dreams a reality!

Hiking Trails

Aaron and I went on a 8-9 mile hike today.  It was beautiful and we took a few photos at the half way mark.  It is the trail that goes from Sanilhac Sagries to Collias.  The Gardon is not too far away but the trail is not right next to the river.

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We were amazed by the open root trees and the wall of dirt and “underground”.  It was like a tunnel that someone dug out by hand and the top of the tunnel was the canopy of trees. This part of the trail was only 100 yards.  It was so pretty!

Last week Aaron hiked to the other side of La Baume and made his way to the “little house” we have seen from a distance.  There are also caves along this path and he came upon one.  He didn’t venture in very far because he said it was very dark and creepy!  We will have to go as a family and see what we find!

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Rain

We have been receiving a lot of rain intermittently over the last couple of weeks.  One evening it was raining so hard I thought for sure our property was going to flood!  I had a moment of panic as I realized we did not know what to do in an emergency here.  I have since found a few internet sites with road conditions, bridges out, etc.  I have to also mention that Jack and Sophie brought home a flyer from school referring to the weather and emergency alerts for this time of year.  I was a little perplexed, thinking what could possibly happen in the Fall, but not yet fully understanding the information on the flyer.

About 5km down the road from our village of Sanilhac, there is a well known bridge, Pont Saint Nicolas, that crosses over the Gardon.  It is a medieval arched bridge that has received flood damage a few times throughout its’ existence.  We cross this bridge every time we go to Nîmes.  Back in 2002 the bridge was severely damaged. The Gardon (river) has been completely dry since we arrived.  Every time we cross the Pont St. Nicolas someone comments about the dryness of the riverbed.

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The day after we received the large amounts of rain we needed to go to Nîmes.  When we got to the Pont St. Nicolas we were shocked by the amount of water that was flowing due to the rain!

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It was a full flowing river.  We could no longer see the riverbed!  This made us more concerned about the flooding that does exist in France.  I was beginning to see why the flyer Jack and Sophie received was so important.

We received more rain on Monday and Tuesday, so much that trains were not running. We made some phone calls to get a little more information and found out that if it is raining a lot you do not drive or go anywhere if you do not need to.  Many roads are more susceptible to flooding and we do not know this information.  After a full day of rain on Monday, I started looking online for more road conditions, school closures, bus terminations, etc.  Some areas not too far away, about 10-15km had bridges submerged and roads closed.  Nothing serious was affecting our area or the schools.  We have come to learn that flooding is serious in the area we live!  I am grateful we live up on a hill and the river is far enough away, but our means of getting places could be disrupted!

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PS.  Mom, don’t be worried!  We are safe!!!!!