Les Deux Alpes

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My ski holidays have, until now, all been booked fairly last minute.  But this time our Christmas trip got booked really early - in August!  We intended to have a quick browse of flight prices just in case of bargains, then sort the rest later - but instead found a very good package deal for a week of B&B at Hotel Serre Palas in Les Deux Alpes.

Jon is determined to properly learn to ski this winter, so our first morning was spent doing many slow laps of the nursery drag lifts.  He'd booked himself some afternoon lessons, giving me time to zoom around on my own at a more sensible pace.

I spotted the large queue outside the Jandri Express 2 gondola, and smugly thought to myself "sod that, I'll take the chair instead".  So off I went to the Glaciers lift, only to discover when I got off that it no longer goes as far as it did two years ago.  Great. Apparently the second part of it was moved to replace a different lift somewhere else.  The Super Venosc lift on the Vallée Blanche side also seems to have disappeared for this year.  hmm.

2 signpost
my blog post from last time has a very similar photo - but of a different 2 sign

While I'm having a whinge, L2A still feels like one giant wide motorway of piste - all roads lead to Jandri.  I thought this last time we visited, but was hoping that with the resort having more snow coverage, and me being a much better skier, it might be better.  Nope.

I will forgive it because the runs down Signal are just as lovely as I remembered, and the restaurants/cafés/bars in town are good. For Christmas dinner we had a delicious tartiflette - our original plan of a giant bucket of fried chicken from Full Belly didn't work out as they were closed, so that had to wait for another evening.

les deux alpes glacier
a sunny day on the glacier

The majority of the week was lovely and sunny, though I did get rather blown away at the top of the glacier, and on one afternoon everything quickly vanished into clouds and I had some 'I can hear voices over there so that must be where the piste goes' fun. We also - mostly accidentally - found the viewing platform on the glacier, on a less windy occasion.

Unfortunately both of us came down with flu - Jon during the second half of the week, and me the day we travelled home.  As well as limiting our skiing ability, this also meant not eating a huge amount, pretty much no boozing, and then NYE spend flopped on the sofa rather than at a friend's house party.  Rock and Roll..!

#GetOutside day

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Ordnance Survey declared Sunday 30th September to be National Get Outside Day, which seems like an excellent idea to me.

I joined Zoe and Sarah for a '#GetOutside activity challenge' weekend - fitting as many outdoor activities in as possible. I was only available for the one day, but still managed to tick off quite a few thing.

Tilly and I met them at Robinswood Hill in Gloucester - very important to get 'dog walking' on the list! Here we are being unphotogenic at the toposcope - which is a bit shorter than the nearby trigpoint, and so easier to lift a slightly reluctant dog up on to!

standing on the toposcope

Once we'd finished our walk, I dropped Tilly back at home and grabbed my kit for our next activity: swimming in the Lido!

I've spent a lot of time in the lido, but never for swimming - only for canoe club sessions on a Thursday evening.  That's not to say I've never swum in the lido, of course ;) I know the water is heated, but it definitely feels warmer in summer than at the end of September, brrrr!  I forced myself to do 500m, and was happy that the sauna cabin was available for us to warm ourselves up in.

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Highnam Court Run

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My 2019 goal of "get the Strava 10k badge each month" hit a bit of a stumbling block in June when half way through being one of Those People who run to parkrun, run parkrun, then run home (total of 12km) I fell and sprained my left ankle.  And then stupidly thought I could 'walk it off' and kept going - managing a 31min parkrun, oops.  It didn't hurt that much until I took my shoe off - and then I couldn't walk for a couple of days.

So that ruled July out. I probably could have managed August but instead I was lazy and did barely 10k total all month.

And so to September, and the Highnam Court 10km run. Back on track with a race I've done twice before (in 2015 and 2016).  I wasn't expecting a great time (see aforementioned laziness) but was looking forward to it anyway as it's such a lovely location.

highnam court run 2018 medal

Sadly, the course had been changed a bit and despite the addition of an extra mini-lap, when I crossed the finish line my Garmin reported 56 minutes for just under 9km.  Disappointing.  Lots of others had recorded a similar distance, and there was a fair bit of grumbling going on.

Other differences this year - the race was in the afternoon rather than morning, and the 5k was done completely separately.  There certainly wasn't anywhere near as much of a bottleneck at the start as last time, which was an improvement.

I'd like to say I got a September 10k done later in the month but nope, still being lazy...  However I've entered another race at the end of October which is UKA certified, so it had better be the correct distance!