Well so far this year, Winter massively outstayed his welcome, having murdered Spring and hid the remains, but it seems that Summer has now arrived. And by ‘Arrived’ I don’t mean that there was a gentle tap at the door, Winter put on his slippers, puffed his pipe a couple of times rose from his arm chair dropping his copy of the Times onto the coffee table as he ambled over to the front door. Upon opening he was greeted warmly by Summer, in shorts, a Hawaiian shirt, cowboy boots and a Sombrero carrying a cheap bottle of Chardonnay waiting excitedly to be asked in. No, not this year. This year Summer has kicked the door in, to screams of ‘HEY BITCHES, THE SUN IS IN THE HIZZOUSE!’, squirting paraffin up the walls, flicking matches at the cat and stubbing out his fat cigar on the shag pile. Yep, it’s here and it’s hot! But is it here to stay or will Autumn file a public nuisance report and call the party off? Well time will tell on that one and most likely so will I.
In the space of a month we’ve gone from waking up to two inches of snow outside to blues skies and temperatures in the thirties. Lovely. While there is a certain element of feeling like your head is being microwaved when on the road bike climbing up the Col de Jambaz, this is quickly forgotten when cruising down the other side enjoying your reward of a cooling breeze and long sweeping roads. And what about hydration? Well I was knocking back water like there was a looming hose pipe ban, but this is not a problem as you can stop to fill up at any of the convenient water fountains en route. This heralds back to the early days of the Tour de France when having drunk the bottle they started the day with, had to then source their own Water, Juice, Beer, Brandy, Whiskey, Amphetamines. And this incidentally leads me to my first tip of the summer…No matter how blinded by thirst you are, always take the time to check for signs on or around the fountain warning you not to drink the water before guzzling a pints worth of the stuff. Yes, that sign is there for a reason as I discovered later that evening. And what about the old lady quietly watching me satiate my thirst with forbidden fluids? I mean a friendly warning might have been nice, but no she just sat there quietly. Watching. Come to think of it, there was a stockpile of rusty bikes outside her apartment. Hmm second tip of the summer, beware old ladies with water fountains. My third tip of the summer is never whizz on an electric fence, but I digress.
I end today’s entry descending through Vernaz and into the Valley d’Aulps having gone from temperatures in the thirties I’m suddenly plunged into the low twenties and spitting with rain. The rain didn’t last long but the drop in temperature was bliss and perfect for the long drag back to Morzine.