Winter wonderland to dirty hole – the truth lurks under the snow

Winter wonderland to dirty hole – the truth lurks under the snow

I am vindicated. I knew 200 powder free nitrile surgical gloves would come in handy but I didn’t expect it to be on our penultimate day skiing in a winter wonderland.

We’ve had an ever growing list of stuff-we-didn’t-need and it’s mostly populated with gear I insisted was critical to survival. Nutri-bullet, protein shakers, 5 hats (each), you know … motorhome essentials.

Today we found ourselves incensed and jolly peeved quite frankly. Late yesterday afternoon, we arrived in the gorgeous town of Les Gets. The first resort on our motorhome ski season road trip – so we thought it fitting to see the season out here too – especially as we hadn’t been able to ski the area first time around (If you want to see our vlog from Les Gets, click here)

We woke this morning to better conditions than we expected and made our very best attempt to catch the first lift. A costume change for James (board to skis) meant we were heading home for lunch and from above, we suddenly became aware of what a complete and utter hole the camping car aire had become since we were first here in December. The ever decreasing snow had exposed a shocking amount of litter and debris.

winter wonderland rubbish

We stewed on it for a bit and then decided to deal with it. The consequences of this aire becoming a nuisance for the commune (local authority) is that they’ll shut it down and that will affect a great many winter motorhomers who have this ski resort on their ‘must-do’ list each season. One of the very few formal aires with some services giving access to the Portes du Soleil, it’s hugely popular and is home to a few lucky seasonaires working in the town too.

Motivated by thoroughly British outrage and selfish reasons, we have spent what is now 3 hours, litter picking at the aire in Les Gets.

The results are quite disgusting

As well as the not-so-surprising bottle of human urine, copious cable ties and literally thousands of fag butts and assorted plastics, there are more unusual items in our treasure haul.

A complete nativity scene; tinsel and Christmas lights; a golf tee, a bracelet; a rather swish wooden chopping board; hair bands (assorted); three pallets; the under-tray of a motorhome; ski poles; and a coat hanger.

winter wonderland - rubbish

You think this is funny right? Well I’ll be honest, we’ve had a few giggles this afternoon but if there’s one thing that living in a motorhome does, is it gets your tree-hugger gene pumping. You’re closer to nature – blah blah – I don’t know, something happens and you start watching Leonardo DiCaprio talking about climate change and endless documentaries about oceanic pollution and then you freak out because the amount of recycling you produce every day is inexcusable … it’s hard to explain but your inner hippy really does surface whether you like it or not.*

I don’t really know what the point of highlighting this is – actually I do.

First and foremost, we would like a pat on the back for our endeavours. It’s gross. People have been defecating here. Actual human poo.

Seriously – if you are a motorhomer, vanlifer, camper connoisseur or whatever you call yourself, take your god-damn litter to the bin. It’s 200 steps (we counted) to a comprehensive recycling station. If you’re in France, you will be hard pushed to take a photo that doesn’t feature recycling bins so a message to our idiotic, vile, unsanitary peers:

use them you skanky embarrassing excuses for human beings.

So many people travelling in motorhomes and vans are responsible, worldly people – we need to start calling the grot-bags out on their behaviour before they ruin it for everyone.

Access to aires is a privilege. Whether you’re taking a quick break or an extended adventure as we are, and whatever your interpretation of the French ‘Right to Park’ law is – you should respect the concept – one you do not benefit from in the UK. It is a cultural gift from the communes to the travelling community. It should not be abused.


The Hypocrisy – do not get me wrong. This blog is being compiled from a £50k plastic and aluminium box on wheels, powered by diesel that we have been driving continuously around the mountains for months. The irony is not lost on me. Just thought it worth mentioning.

All the details on Les Gets Motorhome Aire can be found here – a great ski-in ski-out aire.

About Hannah

Gobby, opinionated, professional ski bum. Co-founder of the Winterised Project.