We are Harjan en Aukje Smit.
Becoming a campsite owner in France had never occurred to us before until the moment came in 2005.
We wanted to move to the sun where we can live and work in a better climate. On the French countryside, in the Valley of the Creuse, we found our place in Eguzon. With our campsite we can not only enjoy the sun, peace and space ourselves, but we also have great pleasure in letting our guests enjoy a wonderful holiday.
Long start-up period
Our story begins with an emigration with a long lead-up period, from the moment we discovered the campsite in May 2005. Our first visit to both France and the campsite by Harjan was in June 2005. We were very excited by the possibilities that the Vallée de la Creuse area and the place Eguzon offer. After that there was a lot of negotiation and doubt, then pick it up again and approach the seller again. Check all permits. Cows on a camping site and so on.
Then finally took the plunge and bought the campsite on September 13, 2007. So we eventually left with the whole family for the village of Eguzon, to live there with our children and work on our new challenge.
When we bought the campsite, it was poorly running and outdated. A real fixer-upper, both the campsite and the house. Nothing new for us, we had already dealt with this before with our company and several old homes. This is also what we were looking for, to set up or buy something and breathe new life into it. Ensuring that everything comes back to normal with the correct classifications in the case of our campsite. Because we have been running a company together since April 1993, we knew that we can work well together, or as many people have said, “we are to close to each other every day”
Welcome camping guests
We only had experience in the tourism sector as a camper. We could speak a little bit of French. We did know what you can expect as an entrepreneur and what it entails.
The years of experience of dealing with customers become dealing with camping guests. For Harjan this was not a big difference, he always came live to the customers' homes.
We divided the roles, also based on our strengths. Harjan as an installer of heating, gas and water, he spends a lot of time outside at the facilities. Aukje as a bookkeeper, with the administrative skills of planner and saleswoman in the reception and reservation administration.
Together we organize a walk, but we also run the evening program together from the camping farm. We have built a beautiful professional kitchen with large equipment to be able to offer delicious pizzas, menus and snack bar dishes. So a nice evening on the terrace is fine with us.
Over the years we have invested a lot. For example, in a wooden chalet for the pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. From Vézelay they pass in front of our campsite. Making more and more spacious pitches, bought an adjacent piece of land and expanded the campsite with even more comfort camping pitches, installed water and sewer everywhere. More 10 amp electricity connections have been made, which gives more comfort to our guests who wish it.
New from 2021 daring to take the step to start the high season, and to run the campsite as a dog-free campsite all season from 2022, a bold decision but no regrets
Dry climate with warm summers
With our idea of what our ideal campsite should look like, we adapted the campsite and started managing it in Eguzon. This way we can offer our guests a nice holiday in a beautiful area and let them enjoy the peace, the place under the sun and all sports and cultural activities. A wonderfully dry climate with warm summers. Enjoying the beautiful part of France together, where we ended up by chance, but never regretted it for a moment.
You are very welcome!