On the road.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Its been over a week since out last post! We didn't really have alot to report to be honest. We had a couple of depressing days in Lyon stressing about money, and then spending it. After 3 trips to 'Decathlon', 'Aux Vieux Camper', 'Carefourre', and 500 euro later, we acquired all our camping gear for the adventure ahead.

More importantly, yesterday we finally collected our car from Lyon Airport (an adventure in itself). We're now proud lease-ees of a rather stylish Renault Clio Estate III.

Having never driven a left hand drive, and particularly not in France, getting back to the hotel from the airport was quite entertaining. Dani was on curb patrol - politely reminding me when I was approaching our imminent death - while I was concentrating on avoiding an insurance claim. Interestingly, we both felt far safer on the motor ways at 130 km/h than we did in the city. French streets are narrow, and french drivers are unforgiving. I had one epic failure when my brain failed to indicate and change gears simultaneously with opposite hands.

Getting loaded up and on the road was such a huge relief and excitement, and it was an interesting drive from Lyon to Chamonix.

After setting up camp, Dani went for a run, and I went to the village to get a guide book for local rock-climbing. That evening we popped down to the closest crag to do a couple of routes.

Here, a small crag is 60 metres. A large one is 500m. Our first route was a single pitch of 30 metres, and I ran out of quick draws. The French seem to bolt every metre of so without fail, which is great. There are multipitch routes everywhere.

Yesterday we went back to the same crag and did a three pitch 4c, which the guide book called 80 metres. Around the corner, we did some interesting 4c's, a 5a and finally a 6a.

Up and down the valley, the rock varies between Gneiss, Limestone and Granite. Tomorrow we're hoping to climb a 5 pitch Granite route up the valley, near the Swiss border, topping out at 100 metres - 1400 metres above sea level.

No photos as yet, but the views are fantastic. Mt Blanc (4800metres) and the Aguille du Midi are right above us. I assure you there will be some photos and video soon!

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Anonymous jp.design said...

Great blog update - thanks. Good luck with the climbing. Probably easier than parking!!!! JP

10:15 PM, September 19, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great to hear you latest news. Did you drop in to Geneva on the way? We hope the weather reamins kind to you for camping and climbing. Take care!
XO to you both J&N

9:18 PM, September 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys, it is fantastic being able to keep up with your adventures. I can just imagine the road trip, in a new car and a different side of the road.
Take care, thinking of you.


4:11 PM, September 22, 2008  

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