We moved locations yesterday, driving some 250kms, heading for the foothills of the French Alps. And I am quietly excited because, after so many years of reading climbing literature, I shall finally visit Mont Blanc. A testing point for so many of the climbers I read.
This new gite is a quirky little cottage, 3-stories high and about 3 metres wide. It's more like a wilderness cottage in New Zealand, in some ways but still, there's a log fire burning, we cooked dinner in the tiny kitchen, we have free internet and there's tv too.
But more than anything, I am stunned by how like the Queenstown/Fiordland area this place is. We arrived in 27 celsius yesterday, I was completely destroyed by the huge pollen count - late Springs can do this they tell me. Our car was coated in pollen when we parked in Annecy. Thankfully the rain rolled in, we've even heard some thunder roll around in the mountains beside us ... and rain, blessed rain. It took the temperature down to 13 celsius and washed away the pollen.
But my idea of mountains, much to Gert's amusement, is that they should always be draped in fog and clouds. They're at their best that way. There's a creek running near the house, the rain beat down most of the afternoon, the birds sung, taking over from the cicadas who had greeted us.
Nature is alive and well in this corner of France and I have to admit, I'm really impressed by it all. The photograph was taken from the top floor of the cottage. Tomorrow and Tuesday shall involve much exploring and, quite probably, many more photographs.