J’Arrivee Saint Gervais!

A very pleasant drive down through the Jura region, then onwards to the Alps. We arrived in St Gervais at about 1pm, and quickly found the apartment. Not hard as we know St Gervais so well. It’s odd to think that its been 5 years since we’ve been here, it all seems very familiar, although there are a few noticeable changes, new shops etc, and they are in the process of building a by-pass so that ski traffic doesn’t need to come up through the main part of town.

We quickly unpacked and then put on our ski gear to head for the slopes. By 2pm we were at the ticket office and riding the telecabine up to the base station. Snow’s looking thin on the ground, so we decided to transfer to the next telecabine to go up to the mid-level. Out onto the snow and for a moment as I put on my ski’s I wondered if I could remember how to ski! But as soon as I was clipped in all felt natural again, and sure enough the first run went fine. A little cautious perhaps, but wanted to check and make sure everything worked OK.

The snow on the slopes facing towards Megeve was very poor. Some of the runs are already completely snow-free, and the ones that are open have very large wet patches or grass poking through, so its going to be necessary to get height throughout this trip if we are to make the most of the snow. Whats more, the forecast for the coming week is clear blue skies and warmer weather – its already sub-tropical! I managed to ski yesterday without my ski jacket, and its almost looking like I could have saved the money on that purchase (although it will have multiple purposes), and I suspect that high altitudes will need something slightly warmer.

The ski outfit is more or less the same as previously – several layers and a green waistcoat – a slightly grungy look. A new woolly hat this time, the sort of blue knitted tea cosy that rolls up at the sides and makes me look like I’m about to go and do a bank job!

Met up with Andrew, Isabelle, Charlotte, Linda and Tony last night for dinner. They are staying in the nearby resort of Combloux, so a 10 minute drive up the road. They cooked us a lovely dinner of Fondue with Potatoes and Salad, followed by yoghurts. Went down a treat, especially as we’d sort of skipped lunch on the drive down, apart from a few snacks. We are hoping to meet up with them today for a few runs down the mountain – will be interesting to see just how good as skiers they are!

The Paleo diet has gone slightly out of the window over the last few days, starting with the weekends bike ride, as its hard to stick to plan when eating pub lunches. Not too far from the straight and narrow though, mostly just those starchy carbs like potatoes and chips, and I’ve tried to keep those to a minimum. Now we are in the apartment and self-catering, I should be able to get back on track. Off to the supermarket in a minute to stock up the cupboards.

Still need to sort out Internet access for the apartment, so this will come to you later than written. Annoyingly there is a good wifi signal from a website call ‘wifi.free.fr’ but the option to ‘sign up with immediate access’ doesn’t work! Sod’s Law! I’ll go to an internet cafe and try and find out what it entails. It looks like it comes from someones cable/phone package, as I can see several networks all coming from very similar MAC addresses but which are secured, so this is obviously a sort of equivalent to BT OpenZone and its hookup with FON.

There is an excellent Orange France signal in the apartment, and it looks like SFR will be fine as well. Can’t wait for the SIM Card to turn up so I can try that as a backup if the Wifi doesn’t work out.

The apartment is actually very good, although you’d have to know everyone very well if you were staying with a larger group (sleeps up to six). For the two of us, it will be perfect. The living area is much better laid out than I’d expected, with kitchen, dining table, sofa and plenty of floor space. The sleeping accommodation is more cramped but cozy, with 4 bunks in the same space just off the living area. Someone needs to do some DIY on the doors though – hardly any of them shut properly, particularly the toilet door, so another reason why you’d get to know your guests very well!

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