moved to Mas Bellonte, in the beautiful foothills of the Pyrenees, from the South Coast of Dorset,
where we had lived for the last twenty years, in
had left behind a career in IT consultancy and project management and Lynn in
sports injury massage and remedial therapy.
discovered the Mas on a potential
house finding trip in March 2004 and it was literally the first
house which we saw on that trip. As the French say, it was a
"coup de coeur"- love at first sight ! After some
typically prolonged French purchase negotiations, the property
became ours in July of 2004, and, after selling our Dorset home, the
big move to France occurred in late November 2004.
travelled to many countries around the world, France has been the only
place that we kept going back to. Lynn has studied the
French language for many years and our love of the country, its people
and lifestyle and most importantly, mountains, eventually led us down to the Pyrenees. The region has the added benefits of
being bordered on one side by the Mediterranean, the sea featuring
highly in our lives in Dorset, and being in the sunniest corner of
arrival here was greeted with one of the coldest winters in the
region for many years which was a real test for our
constitution until some form of heating was re-established just
before the family arrived for our first Christmas!
we had no need to do any major structural changes to the property we
took on a massive undertaking with electrics, plumbing and other renovation work.
Over the past twenty or so years, the
property had never been lived in full time.
main house has nearly been finished and we are looking forward to
spending more time on the grounds around the Mas which were once, in
the lifetime of Maurice Bellonte, its first occupant, lovingly set
out and tended by gardeners. We are still surprised by new
discoveries of trees and shrubs as our work progresses further out
from the house.
pursuits and a love for the outdoors have always featured in our lives,
running, walking, skiing etc. and these interests have been passed on to
our two daughters,
who along with their partners, are avid runners, cyclists,
tri-athletes and climbers. Needless to say, everyone loves
coming to Bellonte, where so many activities are catered for. It is
ideal for training and has helped prepare some of its visitors for
marathons, triathlons and other endurance events
that this is the perfect setting for just relaxing, walking or
serious training and are sure that you will agree with us when you