It was great to be back in the mountains, however as with most things there are good and bad sides! The good here was seeing family again before we head west and eventually north and home; the bad side was that part of the deal was that we had to be guinea pigs for dessert tasting in preparation for the Snow Retreat winter season – being the kind people that we are we reluctantly accepted the challenge!!
Waking up in the chalet it felt a little like winter had already arrived, as rather than it being 35 degrees outside it was now 15 degrees and the clear sunny skies had been replaced by cloud and on-off drizzle! We had originally hoped to get out for some walks (and some bike riding for me!) but the weather was not too inviting, so most of our time was spent catching up and relaxing in preparation for the next round of dessert testing! This would be the general theme for the next three days with the exception of a couple of small clear(ish) spells that allowed us to get out and stretch our legs!
On one quick trip out we took a gentle stroll into the village, only to find that the tourists had now been replaced by a small army of builders getting the village and properties ready for winter! Another outing was a short but very pretty walk to a picnic spot up the hill that gave us great views of the surrounding peaks and the village below – it looked like it would be very busy in the summer, with plenty of benches and BBQ grills, so it was lovely to have the place all to ourselves! With snow starting to show on some of the mountain tops, it was clear that the winter was definitely on the way!
It seemed like after no time at all it was our last night in La Tania and the dessert testing tally for our three nights was: 2 x strudels, 2 x strawberry treats, 1 x cheesecake, 1 berry tart and lots of ice cream!! I think it’s pretty safe to say that any Snow Retreat guests are in for some cracking desserts over the winter – we look forward to hearing which ones made the shortlist!
Sadly it was time to head off and back to the vendange, but not before we had our final challenge of the trip – babysitting! Andrea and Phil had signed up for a big 10km run at Lake Annecy, but with the weather staying cold and wet it was decided that it would be best for Pandora to stay behind. Thinking purely of others we offered to stay in the cosy, warm chalet and babysit whilst Andrea and Phil went for a cold, wet run!! Fortunately the babysitting went smoothly, especially as we all had a similar level of French vocab!
With the intrepid athletes back and warming up by the fire, and our goodbyes said, the BFG was re-packed and we pointed it downhill back in the direction of Lamalou. Following a similar route back, we had an overnight stop near the Ardèche and then completed the rest of the drive the next morning, once again enjoying the empty French roads and changing scenery.