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May so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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14th March 2020
Hiking - Walking: Lac la Thuille
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Saturday 14th March – Relax, sightsee travel & walk **** Lac la Thuille – sunny.


Woke to a nice rising sun over the mountain in front of the van at Margeriaz 1400m and with ice on the inside of our windows I was tempted to go skiing but being a Saturday, it would probably be busy so decided against that. We then nearly went on a snow shoe circuit to the top of Mont Margeriaz 1845m but again knocked that idea on the head as it had started to cloud over and after yesterday’s epic adventure it was good to have a rest day:) The sun soon came out again and after breakfast I did my whole exercise routine outside in my shorts and a t – shirt with an eagle soaring overhead, a large flock of Alpine chuffs circling the van and chaffinches in the car park! We then went on a walk up to the resort to check the numbers here and the condition of the snow. According to the tourist board there was some do with music on today but we saw no sign of it, only a tent from the sports super store, Decathlon with demo skis! The car park was fairly full, even the campervan section had 5/6 white elephants in, satellite dishes up parked a metre apart and we had the whole of Car park two to ourselves:) The snow looked in good condition considering the hight of the resort and warm weather and the pistes looked fairly quiet with most people apparently in the restaurant! This is a great family resort with some fantastic slopes for kids including fun parks and it was great to see loads of youngsters out enjoying the snow on skis and walking! We would just love to have our Grandson Arlo here; he would love it! Back at the van we had lunch before packing the van up and driving down the mountain, firstly to give the battery a boost and to call at the small Sherpa shop at Aillons-Margeriaz 1000 and quickly spent 20 Euros on mainly cake:) Then instead of returning to Margeriaz we turn left and drive up to the Col de la Pres surrounded by green fields and high wooded mountains just beautiful but nothing to compare to the amazing ride down the other side towards Chambery. There are some absolute mega huge rock cliffs including the always impressive Roc de Granier and you can see the whole ridge on top of which sits Margeriaz! I just have to stop in several places to take pics, just amazing! We then see a sign to the Lac la Thuille so turn up the narrow road to investigate. There are cyclists out everywhere and they love a climb to a Col, but they are not all serious road cyclists, one lady of advancing years was absolutely whizzing up the mountain on her hybrid electric bike. Now that is the future and we will get a couple one day when our ship comes in. I don’t think they would be ideal in our little camper as they are fairly heavy and I think we would have a problem charging them! There are also gliders up thermalling along with loads of paragliders making the most of the perfect conditions! We reach La Thuille a small village with a small Lac, so we park up and set off on the 40-minute walk around it. It was a popular spot and we enjoyed the walk even if a little soggy in places, there were yellow primroses everywhere too. There were kids in the village out enjoying their bikes and electric scooters, the only down side being a couple of young oafs doing wheelies on their small motorbikes:( We decided to head back to our spot at Margeriaz for a cuppa and cake but made a small detour up to another Col with fantastic views stopping to watch a herd of playful goats:) We also stopped at a brilliant roadside waterfall where a tree trunk had been hollowed out and put in place to bring water out into a spout. We think it was so tractors with tanker trailers could reverse up and get water for the animals – genius and great fun!! Got back to our spot, parked up, the kettle on and we had brioche and honey as the sun set. Then as we are eating out tea our ‘self-isolation’ has been interrupted as two more small campervans have joined us in our carpark but luckily, they are not parked close! So, in an attempt not to get within a metre of another human being we will shoe snow up a mountain!!!!

It has been a constant worry while we have been away all the trouble with the corona virus and like everyone else to start with, we thought that it would not affect us but we are not so sure now? We have been talking to our son about cancelling a visit to them on the way home. Borders in Spain are closed but we have had an email from the shuttle saying that at the moment it is operating as usual. We are getting regular updates on Mags mobile about the worsening situation. French has put several restrictions including closing public places but at the moment the ski resorts are to remain open despite Switzerland and Italy closing theirs! So, who knows if we will make it home on our booked shuttle on March 24th, we will just have to keep checking the latest reports daily? We are hand washing and using sanitizer on a regular basis and we avoid crowds anyway so fingers crossed we will be OK, worrying times:(
As I finished this we received a post to say that the ski resort we are at Margeriaz is now closed for the season due to the Governments advice :( Its closing in!!

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