We had been quite lucky up until this point, starting gently and easing our way into the workload but weekend 29th/30th was our first full turnaround of both chalets. Unfortunately we couldn’t get a head start on Saturday as the departees were self-drive and not required to leave until 10am and our occupiers of the second chalet, who weren’t due to depart until Sunday, weren’t early risers.
We were both on the doorstep at 10am in the hope of getting in and starting to empty the hottub, a 2-man job. One of the 2 Russian families did look like they were packing but the other was sat at the table having breakfast, in no rush to go anywhere. I guarded the drainage pipe stuffed down an adjoining bedroom toilet whilst Roger switched on the pump, ensuring it didn’t jump out from the force. It seems strange that an internal hottub isn’t plumbed in, even some outside ones are. I then trotted back to Mollard to give them their 2 hours daily clean whilst Roger negotiated the dawdling family and monitored the kids chasing up and down the corridor to ensure that they didn’t dislodge the hose. They finally left at 10.45.
By the time I returned at 12.30 the place was stripped down but needed cleaning and setting up, including 2 campbeds in the anteroom on the mezzanine floor which usually only holds twin beds but would now take 4. This would take the whole floor space and this room has no cupboards or drawers. Usually when guests chose to live out their suitcases there is actually somewhere to lay the case, but once the campbeds were assembled I couldn’t work out where these 4 lads would be able to put their belongings. Still, not my problem. The incoming party was the owner and friends so she should know how much space there would be when 12 full-sized humans inhabit an 8-10 person chalet.
We cracked on without so much as a cup of tea, and consequently no need for a comfort break, let alone lunch. I was concerned whether we would be ready by 4pm and had been told to let ‘them’ know if we aren’t so that reinforcements can be mobilised. I set my alarm for 3pm, we would know by that time how we were progressing and better to give some warning rather than leave it until the last minute and then create panic.
I had to split the double bed upstairs into the single beds for 2 young ladies. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I tried to separate the divans that I discovered the double king-size mattress. A sprint downstairs revealed twin mattresses on the double bed in the room at the far end, so interrupting Roger’s flow, we lugged 2 single mattresses upstairs and brought the double downstairs and along the corridor, giving the floor a good clean en route.
I continued setting up the 6 single beds in the attic as Roger took a phone call from ops manager. The guests were 20 minutes away. (My alarm had 20 minutes to run.) No, we wouldn’t be ready at 3pm, and possibly not even 4pm. No worries, he was on his way to help and bringing others. He duly turned up a few minutes later and promptly took a phone call and was never seen again. However, our lovely colleagues from the other self-catered chalet, whose guests were staying 2 weeks, stepped from the lift like the cavalry they claimed to be. I didn’t quite hug them. I was less than fresh, sweat glistened across my forehead, upper lip and other concealed locations.
The beds were made up, decorated with co-ordinated cushions and throws, welcome packs displayed attractively, bathrooms gleamed and complementary toiletries stood to attention. Sue and Pete disappeared with ops manager and our supervisor arrived with the meal she had prepared for that evening (her little side-line!) with her husband who was keen to help. I suggested he check the windows for sticky finger prints from the little darlings who had just left. Which ones? He asked. Wherever you see them I replied, a little less than helpfully, he is 70!
The guests duly arrived, well 9 of them, and chaos ensued. The company owner was sweet talking the luxury apartment owner. Our supervisor was busy preparing their meal. We skulked off and downed 2 pints of water to dilute our pee from the colour of iced tea followed by a large bottle of wine and collapse, ready to do it all again the following day.
The Sunday guests departed at 7.45am and we were on the doorstep at 7.50. The bedrooms were stripped in record time and the outside hottub valve was opened to drain. First load of washing of towels and gowns was put on. Yes, we wash and dry everything except bed linen. Cleaning was well underway when I left at 9.30 to give the other chalet its daily clean, and trotted back at 12.30 to significant progress. The guests were due around 2pm but knew that they could only drop their bags. We were so close to finishing when a delightful family of 4 arrived. They were most apologetic for being in our way (lots of brownie points in our book) and happily went into town for lunch. The rest of their group, coming from South Africa via London and Geneva, weren’t due until 2.30-45pm so we were able to complete the finishing touches, or so I thought until I saw a face at the door 10 minutes later. They were early, it was just past 2pm. A not-quite-so-pleasant but still nice family rolled in. He seemed a rather intimidating Boer but she was very nice. The kids were only concerned whether the TV worked. The ski hire guy arrived and they had to get fitted before we showed them where to go (into town for lunch.) But once that was completed around 3pm we bade them farewell, or au revoir, and trotted back to the storeroom to retrieve our cache from the departees fridge and cupboard. The previous day’s takings had been minimal, and indecipherable if you can’t read Russian, but we needed to find space in our tiny kitchen and fridge for any offerings available. Except that we had just done a shop on Friday, ignorant of what we might receive.
A second 7 hour day, not long but so full on that again, we needed excessive rehydration and I can do my belt buckle up another notch. I’m not sure that I’m entirely happy with this deja vu 5 years on.