Thursday 18 August

Still no sign of the owner this morning, so we leave five Euros to (more than) cover the electricity and drive up the short way to Super Collet, where we are disappointed to learn that the upper chairlift to Les Plagnes at 2063 m is in fact not running today either. As far as I can make out it seems to be used mainly by paragliders – we saw several yesterday evening – so perhaps it just opens in the afternoons when the thermals have started rising.

So we decide to try a short walk up 290 m to the viewpoint at Le Grand Collet ou Tournetalon. The paths here are not nearly as well marked as around La Ferrière – the emphasis of the resort seems to be very much winter rather than summer activities – but by process of elimination we establish that the way lies up what must be a red ski run.

(magnify) On the way up
(magnify) Nearing the top

It is hard, slow, work but we do get some shade along the way. The view from the top is magnificent and well worth the climb, although flying ants make it uncomfortable to study the “table of orientation” in much detail. The snow-covered Mont Blanc in the far distance towers up above everything else.

(magnify) View from the top

The way down is easier; we have covered just over three kilometres with 290 m height gain.

We eat our packed lunch in the car park shaded by the van, and while we are doing so a man comes over to ask if we can help to jump-start his car. We finish lunch and then duly oblige, for which he is obviously extremely relieved and grateful.

We take the north road out of Allevard, which passes through a small gorge before joining the D925. We skirt around Albertville on the dual carriageway and continue south-east a short way further before looking for a campsite.

The first one recommended by Lady Garmin turns out not to be there, but there are lots more nearby and the second does us fine. We are amazed at the price of only nine Euros including electricity, but the owner is adamant that there is no mistake. The facilities are fine, although I end up ferrying water in a container to refill the main tank because we cannot easily get the van close to a tap.

It is mid afternoon and a rather hot 33°C.

Later we walk along the river a short way as things seem to be cooling a bit. Back at the site a cold shower helps.