28th July: We reach the Gran Paradiso national park

Following dinner, raclette, and a mooch round Chamonix we returned to the van. The whole stopover site was peaceful… except for the van next to us. Trust us to end up next to the family which let their brats run around screaming at 1030 at night! We had an early start as we wanted to get through the Mont Blanc tunnel before the queues started so John got out of bed and drove us across the car park, and we finally got to sleep.

Our plan worked. There were no delays in the tunnel and we reached the site in Cogne in the Aosta Valley bright and early. It was very busy but as we drove in someone was leaving a perfect place overlooking the river and hills. We bagged it quickly. I bet people who were jammed in between other vans, and perhaps thinking about moving to a better place, were cursing us for our luck!

We settled in and ate breakfast then went for a wander round the village. We managed to work out the ticket system in the delicatessen, got some maps from tourist information, and found the only place where wifi is available. Thank goodness there was somewhere. I needed to transfer some money onto our travel card as we’ve just been paid.

After lunch we decided to walk along the river to the next village, Lillaz, to see some waterfalls. We hadn’t realised just how spectacular they’d be. Awesome!

Once again our luck was in. We’d finished the walk and were sitting in a cafe having ice creams when the rain started. And it had finished in time for us to have our dinner outside this evening.

Storms are forecast tomorrow but we’re still hoping we can do another short hike. Fingers crossed x

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