When James and I said we were heading to the Alps for 'the season', we could see the envy on most of our friends faces. If you love snow sports, it's on your bucket list - a whole winter of wall-to-wall snow days, masses of cheese and the acquisition of a rosy hue that you can only achieve in the mountain air.
However, that green eyed monster, quickly faded when we said we were doing it in a motorhome. Who knows why - perhaps it conjured up visions of freezing nights, wrapped up in smelly old sleeping bags, living off baked beans and hitting the slopes in soggy kit from the day before.
The reality is, that couldn't be further from the truth! First off, it's pretty difficult to be uncomfortable in a state-of-the-art four-seasons motorhome. Our Elddis Autoquest 185 is fully loaded with everything you need for touring in the winter. Yes, we screwed up everything in the first few days (see previous blog!), but since we've got to grips with everything that this motorhome has to offer, it's been a breeze. Actually, it's been a little too easy and the term 'adventure' is a little far-fetched.
Winter touring really isn't that much different to summer touring in some ways. Being in a position to up-sticks and move when the weather is grim is one of the main attractions of travelling in a moving luxury apartment - the main difference in our case is that we're actively seeking out the conditions that most people would be trying to avoid in summer. The colder and snowier the better!
And we haven't been short of what The Grey Gappers would describe as completely hideous weather! Having thugged out #StormEleanor in one of the few campsites open in the winter we have headed further south to the Oisans Valley (via a stop-over in the glorious city of Annecy for refuelling) where the snow has been exceptional all season. There are a huge number of winter sports to try in this area and in the coming weeks we've got so much planned - the highlight of which will be undertaking the longest continuous ski run in the world - Sarenne in Alpe d'Huez.
We've also experience a surprising benefit to being in a motorhome and that's the people. Here in Vaujany, we are parked in an aire with a veritable feast of machinery. From the super yacht-esque A-Class beast owned by Frank and his lovely wife Pam to the 'weather beaten' van that's home to Josef and his family (which includes two huge dogs).
There are few places in the world where people couldn't care less what you do or where you're from - we are all here for the same thing and that's to conquer the mountains!
Snow is due again tonight...and that means preparation. James and our neighbour Digs are outside waxing their boards and making sure the motorhomes are ship-shape for a big dump. It'll be a slow start tomorrow with a few jobs to do before we hit the slopes - remove the snow from the roof, clearing any obstructed vents and participating in the communal activity of making safe paths for everyone to get around the aire without ending up on their backsides!
We're having a little drink tonight with Digs and his wife Lois 'round ours' as they're off to start a new job tomorrow so I'm indoors packing away our fresh washing and making the place respectable!
When we first took on our role as Elddis ambassadors, we were as green as it's possible to be on the subject of motorhoming, let alone winter touring so as we enter our second month of travelling, we're rather pleased with ourselves. We've managed to learn a lot about what motorhoming is (and what it isn't) and we think we're doing ok!
If anyone has any questions for us, feel free to contact us via our website, Facebook or Twitter and we'll gladly share any advice or tips we've discovered so far!