29th July: We arrive in Guillestre and lose the van keys

We awoke refreshed after 10 hours sleep, packed the van and set off, stopping for croissants and pain au raisins in the local boulangerie. The journey was once again uneventful, with a couple of stops for breakfast and lunch in the sunshine, and one for diesel when, as we hit the hills, the fuel consumption rose dramatically.

After we left the motorways and joined the A roads the mountains became higher and more beautiful and the rivers and lakes became bluer.

We reached the campsite at about 3 o’clock and checked in, settled in, and had a shower and a walk around the lake. We have a lovely pitch with sufficient shade and a beautiful view of the lake, Mont Dauphin fort and the mountains beyond.
Our friends, Dan, Jackie, Tom and Harry, stay on the site regularly with their friends and family. They booked dinner for us all but, unfortunately, when they came to collect us, we couldn’t find the van keys. We told them to go ahead to the restaurant and start without us.

We searched every nook and cranny in the van. Nothing. I searched again while John went to reception to see if the keys had been handed in, just in case he’d dropped them as we walked around the lake and someone had handed them in. Still nothing. We were really worried now. Maybe we’d left them on the side and someone had reached through the window and stolen them. We didn’t dare leave the van with our passports, cash, cards and other valuables, even though most of them were locked in the safe.

At a loss for what else to do, we decided to break into the glovebox where the spare keys were stored. John got his multitool out but, before hacking at the lock, pulled the edge of the drawer open to look inside. He thought he could see the main set of keys. He got a torch to have a better look while I got a coat hanger to try and make a long hook. After wiggling around for a bit, John managed to hook the keys and pull them out. Fantastic! It was the main set. We have no idea how both sets of keys came to be locked in the glove box. Anyway, crisis over, we joined the others in time for dinner and had a lovely evening.

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