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I trust you enjoyed it, it's nota bad place, Napoleon Thirds summer retreat.
Did you really try any of the water from the springs? it's VILE!!!!!
We lived about 25 miles west of Vichy, west of A71, up in the hills beyond Bellenaves. For the 1st 2 years we heated the whole house with from 2 wood burners... Has a saw bench/ chain saw combination to cut wood. The key was to get the right water content, and the logs hadro be a certain length..45 cm IIRC, to get anywhere near the rated output - 4.5 kW in the lounge and 12.5 in the kitchen. Wit temps as low as -10 C in winter, there are parts of the house that were not too warm. In the end, the cost of the wood, the effort in stacking, cutting etc was too much. No only that, over those two years, a small puff of smoke each time the wood burner was fuelled added up to a lot of smoke and dust!
I hadn't been to Vichy for about 15 years. They've scrubbed it up very nicely indeed.
The water was truly horrible but I'm sure that it has done my skin / tripes / hair a world of good. Audois unfortunately is beyond repair.
We stayed up at my brother's place up near Marcigny, about another hour east. Spectacular big country, with fantastic thunderstorms on an almost nightly basis.
A swift pilgrimage to Roanne rugby league club and back to the Aude.
Back on topic
For me, it is the constant pong of woodsmoke coupled with the smoke on my lungs that make it such a pain in the wotsit.
Going to just use the gas heater for most of this year I think - €18 a canister which lasts a week. Multiply by 12 for the harshest of the winter, and it works out cheaper than buying in the wood.
6 years at 1500 ft in the Allier.
Year 1: 2 X Godin woodburners, 28 stairs of wood to shift, stack,cut, shift again, burn,
Year 2: 28 stairs ditto...
Year 3: very expensive oil-burning central heating installed.
28 !!! That's some investment in time, money and effort! I was knackered after 3....
Me and Audois were up in the Allier the other week, taking the waters in Vichy.