Luckily we arrived here during a break in the rain, allowing us to pitch the tent and enjoy a cuppa outside in the sunshine before another sheet of wet stuff blanketed the Jura mountains.
'Here' is Camping Le Martinet just outside Saint Claude in the Jura, the delights of which town we have yet to savour.
After 350 miles of driving it was lovely to receive a welcome from Stephanie that matched our recent hospitality in Italy. We arrived after 6pm, just in time to order croissants for breakfast, but too late to get a table inside the restaurant, where we are relegated to an outside spot under a huge canopy onto which the rain is thundering.
It was overcast in Valmalenco when we paid our farewells to Diana and her other guests after a fine Italian breakfast, and it remained dry all the way past Milan and Turin to Courmayeur. We caught glimpses of the Monte Rosa massif, its huge tracts of snow poking out from giant banks of cloud.
We couldn't pass Courmayeur without visiting our old friend Alessandro at his hotel in Entreves. He welcomed us with open arms, not to mention tea and cappuccino. Hotel Aigle is a great place, slightly off the beaten track, but commended for both summer and winter visits. It was discovered by Nick in 2008 when he was helping us with some Italian Border Route bookings. You must visit Alessandro sometime, Nick.
We are pictured above with Alessandro, who like me has become a grandad since we last met. The other picture was taken from the hotel towards Mont Blanc, well in the cloud today, but with the Italian (I forget its correct name) glacier tumbling into view below its umbrella of cloud.
It was a shame to have to pass La Clusaz and Annecy without calling in on Chantal and Joël, and Pierre and Yolaine, who are all away on holiday. And to pass by Geneva without any contact from Alistair and Laurence. Never mind, there will be other opportunities.