The day we left Chamonix was cold.
We’d spent the night in the camper van as our chalet was so clean we felt it would be a shame to sleep in it. We’re renting it out to a local company for the season and it was in tip top shape, cleanest I’ve ever seen it anyway. We packed up our last bits, secured everything down as best we knew how, handed over the keys and started driving toward the Mont Blanc Tunnel to Italy. Well, that’s not entirely true. I made us wait for half an hour for the postman (who, as Phil probably won’t let me forget too soon, didn’t end up having anything for us anyway!).
Driving off we looked at each other and brandished goofy smiles. Were we really doing this? Had the day finally come? Hell yes.
We drove nearly four hours into Italy to Finale Ligure, a mountain biker’s paradise. When we pulled into the camper van parking, it was raining and dark. Pretty crappy really but we weren’t camping – we were in a fully self-sufficient moving house – we were camper-van-ing. We had heating, a shower, a toilet, a kitchen, an oven, everything we’d need to hunker down, play cards and fall asleep.
The next morning it was absolutely gorgeous outside.
At the foot of our bed there’s a big window and it pointed right to the coastline. Amazing.
Italian coffees, amazing. Endless Italian apéros, amazing. Farinata, a flat bready dish made from chickpea flour, amazing.
We rode our e-bikes that day and the next, around some incredible trails – some we’d ridden before, some we hadn’t. We found ways to charge the bikes, albeit with a few power supply issues. All the hobs on our stove didn’t light. Phil fixed those. Our water had drained in Chamonix from the cold so we filled up. We were sorting stuff out as it came.
This was really a kind of test run anyway.
Going somewhere familiar where some of our friends have apartments, where we can test out what works, how, what doesn’t and why (well, Phil does that part).
After four days we were ready to golf…