Thursday, 18 August 2011

Monday, our first proper day

There was some rain during the night, which was just beginning to die off as we woke. By the time we had got up and actually lifted the blinds the sun was attempting to peek out from behind the clouds. Still not hot it was pleasantly warm and we sat outside to eat breakfast and began to contemplate putting up the awning.

Last night due to all the kafuffles we had literally just put the van on the pitch, but with renewed spirts and energy we wondered if it was actually the best positioning. Gary had by this time checked and mended the jockey wheel, and concluded that one of the vicious sleeping policemen that we had knocked it on during our journeys through various villages had somehow made the inside mechanism jump a thread so that the whole unit was crooked and so wasn’t working as one which had prevented it from being able to free run while using the mover (my best non technical explanation).   In any case it was now operable, should we attempt to move the van.  Deliberations over we decide against it as with the van across the back of the pitch there was room to put the awning up with the car infront and that still allowed us a sizeable amount of sitting space to the left.  Decision made we started on putting up the awning before the sun really came out in force.  It wasn’t long before camp was set up in all its glory and we were able to sit back and admire our efforts. Happy now that our empire was now complete we decided some lunch was in order. The restaurant serves as a bakery during the day so we wandered off to purchase un pain.

Full and happy and with the sun now out for longer periods between clouds we take our chairs and books the 30 footsteps to the beach.  We sat there for over two hours, our books totally ignored as there was just so much to look at and enjoy it would almost have been a sacrilege to have ignored it. We enjoyed watching the Para gliders appear from the mountains, the power boats and pedeloes emerge from the port, the windsurfers, the water skiers, the pleasure boat arrive and depart, the swimmers, the jumpers from the pontoon, the kids mucking about in and on an array  of different inflatable’s and boats, all this going on yet you could still enjoy the gentle lapping of the lake lapping against the waters edge right at our feet.

Im now totally hooked on this campsite, first impressions totally dispersed. Gary is still holding judgement but hes still tired from all the driving and whilst Im a people watcher he feels uncomfortable to think hes being people watched. Road noise had been something mentioned in various reviews but with all the hustle and bustle of camp life going on around you its not noticeable at all from the beach or our pitch, though I wouldn’t want to be on one at the back of the site as they definitely can hear it. Also having now had time to examine the camp I can see that most pitches are in fact a fair size, the over crowded and crammed in appearance is caused by the addition of extra tents on pitches already occupied by caravans, awnings and sunshades so that cars are forced to overhang onto the roads, the site obviously doesn’t charge extra for tents on pitches!

Chilled out we bbq some sausages for tea and enjoy with the last bottle of wine from home. Now I know it seems silly to have brought wine but we knew today was a Holiday and that supermarkets would probably be shut so although technically we brought coals to Newcastle we actually brought coals from Newcastle back to Newcastle as it was one of the last few bottles left from our Easter trip to Brittany… that bottle of wine was actually very well travelled,  lol.

To finish of the evening we head out of the camp and head towards the port, taking a detour through the detached field of the campsite, which was also full, Lac Bleu is obviously a very popular campsite as we are yet to see one empty pitch. A path takes you straight to the port where we sit and admire all the boats and day dream about which one we will buy when we win the lottery. Coming back to reality we price up hiring one of the small power boats that we had seen earlier, and land with a bump when we realise an hours hire is 85 euro with a 1,500 euro deposit!! Deciding it would be a very big maybe if the budget holds out till the end of the holiday we decide hiring one of the pedelos for only 13 Euros was a much more likely prospect. We had a quick look at the public beach, which is a gritty sand but turn back as light is failing but it looks a nice walk across it as it circles the lake for a bit and decide to come back another time to enjoy it properly. We can hear faint music coming from an adjacent camp and also put having a mooch around it on the do another time list.

Tuesday, the sun has got its hat on

We wake to blue skies and only an occasional white wispy cloud, the mountains yesterday hidden by some cloud are now fully visible. Realising what a clear day its going to be we get out the map and decide to drive up to the Col de la Forclaz where the mad and brave paragliders jump from. We have had one lazy day around camp so with lunch packed and sensible walking sandals on we head off. The drive up was “interesting” but safe enough, and the assembled cars show that it must be worth the drive. We walk up the last bit of hill to the Col de la Forclaz, where there were the usual gift shops and a few restaurants and wow what a view. Now I see why the lake is called Lac Bleu as  it’s a beautiful azure blue that just stretches on and on towards Annecy,  unfortunately we cant quite see the campsite as its obscured by a outcrop from a large mountain. Paragliders keep appearing above our heads waving, so intrigued we continue the assent up the mountain. Now someone should put a sign up saying not for the feint hearted as when you reach the top you certainly will be feeling very faint!! Im certainly not a fit person, and half way I could certainly of said no more im going back down but we could see we were getting closer and each time you went up another level you hoped you were almost there. Believe me when you do get there its worth it and we sat for ages just watching the mad people run of the cliff hoping that a bit of nylon above their heads would save them from death. From here we could  see the campsite, and the bottom end of the lake right up to Annecy. You can certainly tell we are 1260 metres high as the boats look like small white dots in the sea of blue water. The sun was now burning so we start the descent and the funny thing is im sure the road had shrunk because it took half the time to get down as it did to get up……funny that!!

We drive down the other side of the Col admiring the wonderful views of Swiss style houses, mountains, green pastures and the ever increasing number of overhead paragliders enjoying the thermals. We pass the most amazing fairy style Chateaux which we think is Chateaux Menthon  and decide its another thing to add to the to do list. The road took us down the east side of the lake back to Doussard where we hunt out the small supermarket to replenish the fresh and bottled essentials before heading back to camp for a well deserved snooze in the sun. The evening is spent sitting on the beach glass in hand admiring the wonderful views before light fails and we head back to the van for a lovely restful night.

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