Tuesday, June 2, 2015

{Chamonix, France} A Rainy Start and Snowy Welcome

During our first night in Villeneuve, Switzerland, we woke up to a light pitter patter of rain. No big deal. And then more rain. No problem. And then more rain and fierce winds and water getting into the tent. OK, problem. We got up in the middle of the night to get all of our gear sealed up as much as possible as well as secure our tent a little better with an extra piece of plastic tarp that Heinz had brought for us to sit on. We put it between the tent and rain fly and it seemed to help a little bit but we still had small drops of water coming through. To prevent our sleeping bags from getting totally soaked (our down bags) we draped our rain coats over us and it seemed to help. Yes, we realize it would have been smart to invest in a four season or just a new three season backpacking tent altogether but, money...

After getting our tent and packs situated so that they wouldn't get totally soaked from the rain, we fell back asleep for a couple of hours. I was hoping that the crappy weather would just magically disappear or get a little bit better, but it didn't. The next time we woke up Lake Geneva had huge capsize waves and the rain was just as strong as before. It was go time to get the hell out of Villeneuve and on to hopefully dryer conditions in Chamonix. 

Ha, ha, jokes on us. When we arrived in Chamonix it was dumping snow out. Our hearts sank for a moment because we knew our already soaking wet tent wasn't going to handle the snow. It was hard to be too bummed because even though everything was socked in, it was still new and exciting. We walked around for a bit thinking about what to do and ended up at the tourist office to get some info on the hostels and hotels in the area. To our surprise the hotel across the street was very reasonably priced and with the weather conditions not seeming to be letting up and the lack of sleep, we opted to spend the night drying out in the comforts of a hotel. And it was worth it. There is something about the little comforts and luxury's of everyday life that are so much more appreciated when you have a rough night camping. It was glorious and the views just got better.

After a few ours of sleeping and rearranging and drying out our gear, we looked outside and it was like a different world. The snow had stopped and it was beautiful out. We couldn't believe it. We went to the front desk to talk to the receptionist about the weather and she said, that's Chamonix. As quick as a storm hits, it goes away just as fast. We wanted to take the advantage of the weather to check out the town and stretch our legs a bit. I fell in love with Chamonix instantly.

Leaving Villeneuve. Waiting at the train station.
Shot by Heinz 

Sharing a really good donut while waiting for the train.

Shot by Heinz

Shot by Heinz

Hotel Le Chamonix
Drying out the gear. 

Happy that it stopped snowing and excited to be exploring the streets of Chamonix.

The view from our room.
And the views did get better.

Happy Trekkin'!