Relax and Shop in Gap .... Now Onwards to the Mountains

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Saturday 4 July 2015

Relax and Shop in Gap .... Now Onwards to the Mountains

Setting off from Camping de Savel as two very happy motorhomers, more accepting of certain past issues and with a renewed excitement about the future after our unplanned 8 night stay, we headed towards Gap to solve a more practical problem - restocking our fresh supplies.  Following the Route Napoleon, we arrived in Gap spoiled for choice with shopping options (it appears Organic is very popular in this area).  After a quick resupply, we continued to make use of our ACSI discount card at Camping Alpes Dauphine before the summer high season officially started.  My energy levels were still unstable, particularly as the temparatures reached 36C, so the benefit of being able to spread out on a camping, with the bonus of a cool pool allowed the recovery to continue.  Rested, we left 3 days later, stopping in Gap to shop for some modifications to our motorhome and bike set-up before starting our long awaited journey back to the mountains of the French Alps.

Camping Alpes Dauphine, 3km from Gap lay just off the Route Napoleon (the route Napoleon had used upon his epic return from the island of Elba in 1815) and just outside of the Ecrins National Park - a place that held fond memories for us of our hiking adventures last year.  But the Ecrins would have to wait for now as we continued our rest-up at the camping.  Arriving a bit hot and bothered from the journey and stop off at the shops in the rising afternoon temperature, we were greeted by Cyril, which immediately changed our mood.  Cyril was travelling with his brother Bob and was very kind to share his itinerary and hear about ours.  After officially checking-in and taking a much needed dip in the pool to cool off, we headed over to Cyril and Bob's Mazda Bongo and full outdoor set-up and spent a lovely evening being entertained and inspired by the pair. 

The next morning the plan was still to take it easy whilst the ACSI rate was valid for the next 2 nights and make a start on planning what and where to next. Our decision was to plan to head into the mountains now I felt more rested but ease ourselves back in by choosing a camping base.  We settled on heading to Guillestre and Camping Saint James les Pins which was still offering an ACSI rate of 12 euros for a few more nights.  Situated in the foothills of the Queyras Regional Park - it was an area we hadn't visited last year.  So although we were finding ourselves back in the French Alps quicker than originally planned, we were excited to explore this new region - described as a very spectular but much less visited part of the French Alps.   

During the remainer of our stay at the campsite in Gap, we continued to take things easy but also reorganised, cleared-out and repacked our moving home and discuss modifications we'd like to make things a bit easier.  We also enjoyed the company of another lovely couple, Vicky and Charlie as well as spending time in the pool cooling off (Dan was enjoying the opportunity to perfect his running bomb when he had the chance whilst the pool was empty early morning!).

So we sat off Saturday morning, ready to stock up and set off into the foothills of the Queryas Regional Park.  Our experience was that organic living seemed to be very popular in Gap.  We had many options to choose from.  Sadly we'd missed the dedicated organic market on the Friday afternoon 3-8pm.  So instead of visiting the regular market that morning we instead choose to fill our fridge with the many wonderful looking fresh looking fruits (wild mangoes, cherries, appricots, plums, cherries, watermelon) and vegetables on offer at one of the 3 Biocoops!  Our Google searching had thrown up several other bio stores, including the L'Eau Vive we'd visited on initial stock up (as well as a brief look in SainBio'z later in the day).  But in the rising heat, a visit to look round others in the town centre and hunt for new and exciting ingredients would have to wait.  

Instead we used the opportunity of the shops on offer to visit a couple of other stores to make some of the adjustments to our motorhome life we had been discussing.  Luckily as the temperatures were reaching 36C, all the stores were air conditioned so it meant that we were at least able to function!  Our motorhome was for the most time parked under one of the shelters provided by one of the larger supermarket chains Casion Geant.  We were impressed that all of these parking shelters were in fact made up of solar panels, which were definitely getting a lot of use!  

Several hours later and slightly regretting choosing a Saturday to do our shopping we sat and had our dinner in a shaded area of the Gap motorhome aire.  Although tired, we set off for Guillestre following the road from Gap to Briancon.  This was a particularly stunning route which also passed along Lac de Serre Poncon.  Lined by mountains and forests, it was a pleasure to travel.  Soon we'd arrived at our choosen camping and the friendly lady on reception helped us find a particularly good spot just by the river.  We took the opportunity provided by the setting to relax and unwind from our busy day shopping Gap as the daylight was fading and just revel in being back in the mountains.

Driving along towards Savines-le-lac

Lac de Serre Poncon

Back ni the mountains!

Settling into camping at Guillestre after a long day in Gap

Pretty Peacock at camping Alpes Dauphine

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