So, we all survived the Passportes in one piece….. JUST. Thus it was time for a relaxing day off to let the arms, legs and fingers(!) recover. Most people chilled out around the chalet and spent a little time cleaning their bikes and stuff, and Deborah organised a trip to the local lake for a picnic swim and a little wine.
However, of course, there were a few idiots who couldn’t relax on their day off…….. 😉
Somehow 4 of us found ourselves ready to tackle the local gorge in inflatable kayaks…… mainly due to John (an experienced kayak-er) suggesting it would be a great plan…..!
The kayaks were actually pretty maneuverable and stable, and it was a nice change to be on the river, at least on the little rapids…..
And then we got to the exciting bit- the Gorge De Giffre. I knew this gorge well from above from riding alongside it, but had never been through the Gorge- the last time we had rafted the water-levels had been too high. This time was different! Once we got to the entrance to the Gorge the non-kayakers were a little concerned- there was a good 20 foot drop over 3 rapids down into the Gorge. A group of rafters went past, and all the guests had been hiding in the middle of the raft- whereas we were going to have to kayak this on our own!
Firstly our guide showed us how to tackle the rapids, and the preferable point of entry- the order was to paddle hard whatever! Of course we all dobbed in John to go first- as he was the experienced Kayaker the rest of us decided we would reconsider attempting the rapids if he drowned on the first attempt…… 😉 Luckily he made it!
So of course, once John made it in one piece, we all had to have a go! Luckily no-one drowned!
Then we got to paddle through the Gorge, which was incredibly narrow, and a pretty amazing experience……
And it just kept on getting narrower…..
But eventually we made it out the other side. It was then time for a quick swim in the water, and a bit more larking about surfing the kayaks on standing waves, and the occasional capsize. All in all it was a really worthwhile experience, and much more fun than rafting.
The next day we were back on the bikes. The weather was good, so we headed off on the Flaine Loop. We got dropped up at 1600m, and had a final tough climb to get to 1900m before gradually climbing on some technical singletrack towards Flaine.
Along the way Deborah picked up a local Chien, who then decided to stay with us for the next 20km of riding!
After a quick stop for lunch we dropped down to the Flaine Lake
It is a stunning spot, with a very tricky climb from the lake….
After that we had more fun singletrack to explore, and finally dropped down into Les Carrolz. The group split there, with the crazy ones heading back up the mountain for a 40 minute climb to allow a final descent down to Morrillon, with the others heading around on the road for a 20km ‘spin’ back to Samoens, and BEER!
A few of the guys decided to have a rest day and explore the Samoens market and go for a hike. The rest of us headed back to Morzine for a few more rides. The weather was awesome, and we managed a good few quick DH runs in. Everyone was getting more and more confident and so we even got a few shots on the jumps and stuff…..
Some were almost getting TOO confident…..
And then of course, just as we were about to start heading back to our valley, the heavens opened, and we got caught in a huge thunderstorm, accompanied by hail. Luckily it was only a short ride back out of Les Gets to head down into our Valley, but other the amount of rain we had, we all agreed to roll down the road. But it was still a great day, with 47km covered…..
More photos can be found HERE!!