Not cold

We put on the oil-filled radiator; the campervan's diesel heater was on low. We had set the electric blanket to its lowest setting.

With the dinner, of meatballs and lentils in red wine, simmering we spent half an hour in the campsite's sauna.

After dinner we played a couple of boardgames and enjoyed a few glasses of wine.

Climbing into the rooftop bed it was lovely and warm and stayed that way throughout the night. Around 1am I had to turn off the diesel heater and electric blanket as I was too warm.

I'd most dreaded the walk to the loo in the night, but when I ventured out in my flip flops and pyjamas it was awesome. Lights twinkled on the Christmas tree by reception and the sky was so clear I could see all the stars shining down on the crisp white snow that crunched underfoot. It was no hardship at all. It seemed magical to be here at all.

We woke around 9am and Tony fetched the pain au chocolat and baguette we'd ordered from the campsite reception. The pastries were breakfast and they were washed down with coffee.

We decided to have our initial visit to Les Deux Alpes, 2.5km up in the mountains, on foot. Soon into the trek uphill I wished I'd not brought my coat. What a glorious sunny day with not a cloud in the sky.

It took a good two hours to reach the top with many rest stops along the way. Arriving in the skiing town we found it bustling. A hive of activity with skiers and apre-skiers.

We ordered a jug of beer at a bar where we could sit in deck chairs in the sun and watch the skiers coming down the mountain. I could have sat there in shorts it was so warm.

We bought a six-day pedestrian pass which allows use of the cable car between Venosc and Les Deux Alpes so we can flit between base camp and the thriving ski scene above as we please, no arduous mountain climb necessary.

Back in Cleopatra, dinner is on and the sauna is booked for 6pm. Cheers.

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