A Winter Escape // Return To The Slopes.

We woke the next morning, still tired but the excitement of what the day held in store for us, soon vanquished any feelings of tiredness. We washed and dressed in our thermals as quickly as possible and stumbled out of our  creaky bedroom doors over to the lounge/dining area where the chalet hosts had laid a table of tea, croissant, jam, basically everything you could wish for for your first taste of a French mountain breakfast.

A Very Happy Matty At The Breakfast Table

However, what really caught my eye was the view! I hadn't had a chance to see it all properly as we arrived in the dark, but as I peered out the large lounge windows, I saw layers upon layers of thick fresh pine trees lining the mountain sides. I peered over the neighbouring rooftops to the left and saw the snowy capped mountain tops looming overhead, making me fall in love with the place almost immediately.

View From The Chalet's Balcony
Nancroix Pine Trees
I ran to our bedroom grabbed my camera, ran back to the lounge and started snapping away at the incredible views. What I didn't realise then was that the views would get a whole lot better and impressive and far more breathtaking than any of these shots I was taking from the balcony.

After breakfast, we suited and booted and headed for the hire, we sorted out our skis and boots, had some excited pre-ski photos, got our ski passes fixed in our jackets, and finally set off for our first ski lift of the trip. (my first ski lift up a mountain in 12 years!)

Happy Boys & Their Boards
Outside The Chalet
Always Words of Wisdom From Jane (of BlueBird Days)
I didn't realise what I was doing until I got on the lift. As I sat next to Matty it suddenly dawned on me I'd have to get off this thing, my first go at skiing for quite some time. I had a little freak out to myself but got a little distracted by the snow clad pine trees and the skilled skiers whittling past underneath us, through the trees, off piste and on the well carved paths on the slopes.

My Skis Complete With Name Tag
Vie From The Lift Behind
I managed to make it off the lift onto the slope without falling, it wasn't until the second lift that day that I managed to get tangled up and fall back on my head! At least i managed to get that one out the way on the first day anyway ha.

We spent the rest of that first day going down the blue slopes so we could all get back into it and get used to the feel of our skis, snowboards and just generally getting used to lobbing myself down a steep slope! I felt rusty, but it felt so good being back on the slopes! My knees were a little shaky and my body tense. I certainly didn't remember skiing being this daunting when I was younger but i suppose that's what happens as you get a little older, you start to think about ways you could hurt yourself and definitely start overthinking situations! (I did anyway) Despite this I still absolutely loved it, but by the time lunch came along, I was well and truly ready for some French grub, a glass of vin chaud and some shelter from the never ending snowfall!

We plumped ourselves down to eat at the restaurant that was blasting out the loudest tunes and settled down for a lunchtime feast. With full bellies we returned to the slopes after an hour in the warmth of the indoors. The snow had started to fall heavily as the snow clouds had slowly but surely swamped the mountain in a thick white cloak.

Incredible Ominous Looking Clouds Moving In
We decided to go on a few different runs now we were all feeling a bit more acclimatised and confident on the slopes but the poor visibility proved harder to ski confidently than earlier.

Snow Clouds & My Poles
Snow Clouds Again
Serious Snow Storm!
Matty On The Lift Heading Up The Mountain 
As it came to the end of the day, and the last lifts closed their doors, we cruised down to the bottom of the mountain and made tracks for the Mont Blanc Bar for a well deserved drink and a cheers as we met up with everyone else after our first full day of skiing.

We were all picked up in the van, skis, boots and snowboards in tow, and headed back to the chalet in Nancroix.

Beautiful Nancroix
As we stumbled into the chalet and up to the lounge the table was set with a fresh pot of tea and a ridiculously delicious looking homemade cake. A collective sigh, from us all could be heard all the way to the kitchen as we all snuggled up next to the fire with our warming cups of tea and our plates filled with sumptuous slices of the tastiest cake! We chatted and shared our experiences of the day's skiing events; all the falls, bumps, slopes and laughs we had had, all the while the room heated up and we really started to relax.

After our copious refills of tea, Matty and I headed down to the sauna where a few of the others had quite rightly already gone. This was without a doubt one of the best parts of my day; to relax in a hot hot sauna after a day of being on the cold, snowy mountain top! The perfect way to relax with a body that was starting to feel the effects of the day's events so far!

We finished the day with a meal that was even better than the night before, a full 3 course bad boy with all the wine we could wish for, and handle. We all bailed to bed pretty early that first night still tired from all the travelling from the previous day and even more wiped out from all the incredible skiing, food and drink from the first day in Les Arcs. We said our goodnights and set off for dreams of fresh powder the next morning (it was meant to be snowing throughout the whole of the night and into the next day).

Fair to say it was one hell of a first day in Les Arcs!

Me (Complete With Squiffy Eye)


Waking Up In Biscarosse

The next morning we woke with the sunrise, albeit a bit of a cloudy one. I opened the van to the sight of the pine trees towering overhead.

The aire de camping was busy but there were only a few campers up and ready and taking their first sip of coffee in the dewy morning.

We cycled up to the beach to check the surf, which was non-existent, we knew the surf was supposed to be picking up but that wasn't until later in the evening. A little downhearted, we walked along the beach breathing in the fresh morning sea air, which immediately lifted our spirits. We walked as far as we could until our belly's started gurgling and a cup of tea and croissant started calling.

We trundled back across the beach, enjoying the feel of the pillowy soft layers of golden sand crumbling under our toes.  Over a breakfast of tea, croissants, jam and fruit, we decided to continue heading further south, where a couple of our friends were camping.

After packing everything up, we set out down the coast for another substantial drive in search of surf and good friends.

We arrived at Les Casernes in the early afternoon where we met and caught up with our mateys. The surf had picked up a ridiculous amount since our morning in Biscarosse and was now too big for the beach breaks; closing out completely. We decided to grab a couple of beers and head down to the beach for the sunset all the while scouting out some surfable breaks for the morning. We found some old World War II bunkers and gaped at the vast expanse of golden beach up and down the coast.

Whilst enjoying a couple of beers in the sand below the bunkers, we watched the heavy closeouts crashing on the shoreline, and plotted our plan of attack on the French beach breaks over the next few weeks. I was well and truly ready for noodle arms, jelly legs, salt water in my hair and the sun on my skin.