Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Les Grandes Vacances

We're off on a summer holiday for the next few weeks, so nothing much is gonna happen here.

Being really hard up (or tight-fisted - take your choice) I shopped around for a cheap summer break and discovered a fantastic deal in the French Alps for August. For GBP250 (yes 250) I managed to book two weeks in a 5 person studio appartment in the alpine ski-station of Alpes d'Huez.

I know what you're thinking. "There's no snow you plonker!". But I'm assured this place operates as a multi-activity centre during the summer and in addition to huge heated outdoor pools and extensive sports facilities, also boasts an amazingly mild micro-climate with clear skies and long sunny days throughout the summer.

Lynne has bought hiking boots in an effort to look enthusiastic. I have bought a compass and a whistle, balaclava, gloves, big wooly socks, thermal underwear, climbing helmets, maximum sunscreen, waterproofs and rucksacks, an emergency tent, global positioning navigation system, satellite telephone, and Chris Bonnington's highly informative book "Everest". Oh, and 10lbs of Kendal mint cake of course.

This has blown any saving I made on the holiday itself, but you don't want to be caught out unprepared while trekking to the bakery do you?

UPDATE 4 August: Snow goggles, an ice-pick, padded trousers, a billy can, a husky sled and team, Lonnie Barbach's book "For Yourself" (err...), 30 cans of baked beans, a 3 day course in extreme survival with Ray Mears...

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