Last night, by the campfire we played spin the bottle to determine our direction of travel. To our surprise it said south! Ummm what route now? In our head we half expected east, so we could head through the tunnels and in to Italy. With our plan out the window we looked at the map in search of an interesting name.. somewhere south of here. Craig then spotted a really wiggly road at 2700 metres. “That looks fun”. As we looked closer we noticed faint italic writing “Route des Grandes Alpes”. “Whats this?” We both said at once. We got all excited with mountain passes galore. The transalpine crosses all the major massifs from Mont Blanc to Menton. “Never knew about this chucky, lets go for it”. Thanks Madame Bottle for a great spin!
We sadly leave Plateau d’Assy and our prime Mont Blanc viewing platform and trundle down to the valley floor. The drive down was much easier than the drive up, if nothing because we followed our gut instinct rather than Tom Tom’s ‘stupid shortcuts’ taking us through narrow lanes and death defying slopes. At the bottom, we pulled in to a SuperU supermarket for a few of fresh groceries and a few tinnies. If we are going in to the mountains for a few days then we need to stack up.
Stocked up we set off. As we drive on this bright June afternoon past a blur of vineyards and wildflowers on the Route des Grand Alpes. I reach for my sunglasses before plonking my feet on the dash. The one and only passenger position to enjoy the drive. Initially our route takes us back along the road towards Albertville. Then just after passing the pretty ski resort of Megeve we turn off and head to up in to the mountains…the journey begins!
The dark shadows of the mountains, the green hills, and the long and winding road that twists and turns between them. We climb high to Les Saisies were the mountain hills feel quite vertical and intimate. Hugging us close all the way. Across the valley, we spot a farmhouse with a herd of cows, balancing on the hillside like mountain goats. We descend to the valley floor before climbing once again on the other side.
At the peak we stop to gaze at the next valley. This time it looks much deeper in colour with emerald green firs clinging to the slopes. Then at approximately 2000 metres the tree line ceases and snow takes over. For miles and miles the emerald valley meanders. Then rising high in the distance, jagged peaks that look like a dinosaurs spine, sprinkled with snow. It is stunning beautiful.
Our final ascent up the arse clenching ‘cornet Roselend’. A cork screw of a road with small runs and tight bends that winds up and up. By the time we reach the summit, it feels like we’ve been driving around a round about for an hour. I feel quite nauseous and need some fresh air.
We follow the road and the sign for Roselend Lake. We join a handful of other wild campers alongside the water. Vin parks proudly on the edge with a slightly elevated viewpoint over the lake. We sit outside with our alpine landscape of lakes, snow-capped mountains, waterfalls and one little stone house. Another stunning view.