We headed over the pass to the Mont Blanc region on Wednesday afternoon at sunset. We were sad to say goodbye to the beautiful Alps and great hospitality but happy to be able to afford a coffee and public toilets again ($2 USD for a pee!). We found one of the best campgrounds of the entire trip in Vallorcine and settled in for two nights. THe campground ticked all of the boxes – biergarten, wood-fired pizza to takeout, washing facilities, hot showers, great view, tons of tenters (mountaineers, climbers and hikers), gorgeous mountain sunset. In remembering this place, we will ignore the fact that it was also the COLDEST camp of our entire trip. Two months ago as we roasted for our second week of 30+ weather in Budapest, and thought we would bake alive in our tent, we thought it was a good idea to send our sleeping bags home to Canada. Dumb idea. In spite of our borrowed blankets from the campsite office (another plus for the site!) and our sleep sheets, we huddled together to relatively little sleep. Naeva announced this morning, with bags under her eyes: “I tried to snuggle with Daddy but he smelled like goat cheese and BO so I have up”.
THe morning erased the night before, and we set out for a gorgeous hike, walking towards MOnt Blanc in full sun. The kids needed a little bit of encouraging (bribing) after days of late nights with friends and the chilly night, but we still did four hours of fantastic trails and scenery, most of it downhill. Love it when you can start the hike with a gondola up the mountain, and get on the train down in the valley to take all the way back to where you started!