Introduction to the Tour de Mont Blanc and how we got to Chamonix
We started our journey at the Costa Brava coast in Colera, Spain where we spent several days at the campsite. We decided to try for the first time the Bla bla car service where you can find the fellow travellers all around the world. It is not free but very convenient if you travel to a specific location where there is no public transport or you don’t want to do the change. And the prices are in the same range as the public transport sometimes even cheaper.
So first Bla bla car we took from Colera to Perpignan in France that was around 70 kms. It was fast and punctual. The second car we took from Perpignan to Annecy and it was quite a challenge to find a car because we didn’t arrange the exact meeting point and we already didn’t have any mobile connection as we had the Spanish Sim card. But in the end we asked a stranger elder man on the street to call the driver and then we were able to find it.
It turned out to be a big car and we had several other guys travelling with us. The driver Bernard was quite an interesting guy – a mountain guide who does a lot of outdoor activities like rock and ice climbing, hiking, canyoning etc. We even think to join him on one of his tours.
So it was quite a tiring 6 hour trip and 600 kms of the road. We were absolutely exhausted at the end of the day and Bernard could leave us only at Annecy that day and on the next one he promised to take us to Chamonix. So we had an option to stay in the campsite but calling them it turned out to be full and hadn’t any space even for a little tent. Later we learnt from Bernard that in Annecy there was a film festival at that time and all the campsites and hostels were full and booked in advance.
So he kindly offered us to stay at his friend’s garden where he was about to stay also. And we agreed to his offer because we had no other option to take.
The owners of this house were the elder couple – very kind and sweet couple who welcomed us very warmly and even treated us with some food in the morning.
We had some time in the morning to walk in the town of Annecy and along its beautiful lake. We were in search for the French Sim Card and found it very difficult to find. All were very expensive costing 30 or 40 euros for two weeks and it wasn’t a good deal at all. So we decided that we’ll maybe find some wifi connection along the way. In general we find it a big problem to find an international European Sim card because in that case we won’t have any problems crossing the borders and having mobile and Internet connection all the time.
After our little 2 hour walk around the town we were back at the house and were off to Chamonix. We had to visit Decathlon -the biggest sports goods store in Europe- to buy the camping gas, water container, exchange the T-shirt and after spending one night here in the mountains we realized that we need the warm pants, especially Dima who had to sleep just in his underwear. So we did that and headed to Chamonix.
We said goodbye to Bernard and were out to explore the village of Chamonix. We walked a bit in the center, visited the mountain office that was unfortunately closed at 18 pm. Already from the road we were amazed by the views of the abrupt mountain cliffs and Peak of Mont Blanc with the clear sky and we even saw the glacier! That was the first glacier in our lives and it was fascinating. The people say that it used to be bigger and now with the climate change apparently it gets smaller in size.
We checked out two campsites in the village and one of them didn’t exist anymore and the other was too expensive for a tent. But we knew that the prices would be quite expensive so we were prepared to be mostly wild camping. So we did, we got out on the mountain path, found the dirt road that wasn’t in use and set up a tent there. The place turned out to be quite flat and great. And only the wind was disturbing us a bit at night with the sound of the trees.