Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Catching up with Family

Catching up with Family!

After a seven hour walk up La Tournette, we got straight in the van and headed off for Geneva area, where we were going to meet up with Keith, Deb, Alice and Ed in a couple of days. This country’s so big, and distances are deceptive. We arrived in the Haut Alpes area, near Geneva, at about rush-hour. We’d shut “Sally SatNav” in the glove compartment because she kept sending us to places we didn’t want to go, and then trying to turn us around! We went all the way down the valley to a very busy little place called Samoens, past idyllic, picture-postcard, geranium-strewn chalets. No, they were full, and suggested two other places. One we couldn’t find and the other was up a scarily narrow track. It was nearly 6pm, and things were being said that oughtn’t to have!
We finally found an excellent site in a fairly non-descript place called Taninges. It was cheap and cheerful, and you could walk into town.
We talked about staying only one night and ended up staying three! One day we cycled up onto the higher plateau of Les Gets, where Keith and Deb had hired a chalet for the week. We had a lovely afternoon swimming in the lake with them, and a lovely meal, which Deb cooked for us. Not too late, we set off on the steep ride back to Taninges, 12k with your hands covering the brakes all the way, averaging about 20mph!
The following day, setting off at 8.30 am to avoid the heat and the traffic, we cycled all the way back past Samoens and onto Sixt Cirque du Fer a Cheval, which is a vast semi-circle of rock walls up to 700m high and 4-5 km long, ridged with white water from numerous water-falls. A reasonably flat 32 mile cycle ride there and back. I find the flatter ones even worse that the steep ones, because you can’t help feeling you could be going faster!
It was a particularly hot day and lovely to get back and just doze under the trees near the van, pretending to read!
At about 7pm, Ed and the family arrived to give the van “a once over”. Ed was fascinated with all the switches and cupboards, even down to the workings of the loo plumbing. When it was time to go, he probably knew as much about the van as Ian did!

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