Ok, it's not 'proper mileage' by Tokyo/Calcutta standards but I thought I'd post about a French media trip I went on last month as my personal travels won't be extending beyond Europe until next year at least – time and funds allocated to a pair of stag weekends and weddings as two more mates call time.
When I was invited on a trip to Grenoble and the French Alps by Rhône-Alpes Tourism I accepted only because the programme was full of mountain-based activities of the more enlivening variety than the usual strolling around vineyards and villages itinerary I've seen too many times before.
On the first day was zipwiring from great heights between a mountain and the Bastille hill fortress:
The next day was mountain-biking – proper mountain-biking – at breakneck speeds down some of the steeper slopes of a nearby Alpine mountain, sensibly padded out in full body protection:
On the third and final day, it was up another mountain in the Les Deux Alpes range where we at first watched some paragliders descend through the clouds (sadly paragliding wasn't on the itinerary):
But then we ascended even higher to the glacier at the summit – Europe's largest skiable glacier – where you can snowboard even in the height of summer. Here's me carving out a turn:
Not really. I didn't take my SLR on the piste because it's too clunky, and anyway on only the second run I caught an edge, smacked my head on an icy part of the slope and had to limp back down with a nosebleed, double vision and an instant killer headache.
It wasn't bad concussion or anything but that was the end of my weekend! Luckily we were flying home that evening anyway, although the flight certainly didn't help the throbbing. Lesson learned: wear a helmet, even if experienced.
The other overarching lesson though was that Grenoble is a great city, classically French and with a wealth of frenetic active options to get involved with in the surrounding mountains – perfect for a stag do, which I'd seriously consider now if I ever get hitched.
My full article will be appearing in two London publications at the end of the month. For a fuller gallery of SLR shots taken check out my Flickr page.