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Today started off very slowly for me and the kids but very busy for Kas, as ever. She had a long run to do and planned to run up to the mid-station of Le Brévent and then across to La Flégère before coming back again. She set off before breakfast and was aiming for about 4 hours worth. Apparently the run up Le Brévent was more of a walk, and on the way back down she managed to take a fall and go head first into a rock, resulting in a cut above her eye.

While Kas was out me and the girls began some of the process of getting packed up and cleaning the flat. One of the first things to do was to follow the instructions we were given for disposing of rubbish, such as they were. Izzy and me went for a walk to try to find the massive bins. There proved to be a set just up the road in the car park. So then we went back to the apartment to get the rubbish, knowing now that we hadn’t got far to walk with it. Blimey, I really know how to live some days.

By the time she was back it was nearly lunchtime, not that we had much food in the apartment. So we all got cleaned up and dressed whilst farting about deciding what to do.

What we eventually decided to do was to go up to a nature reserve on the Col des Montets. Well, the bit we went to was on the Col des Montets. Most of the reserve is actually “up the top” behind the back of La Flégère, but we didn’t have either the time or the energy to get up there, given that it was after 2 pm when we left the house. Kas was struggling along with a big wad of dressing stuck to her forehead that looked like she was an extra in a war movie.

I’d noticed there was a short looking walk between two car parks and we decided to go for that. It was actually not a shorter walk than it looked. It was what Americans might call an “interpretive trail” of the botanical variety. Every few metres there was a sign identifying what kind of plants we were looking at. The signs were in French, obviously, so we had some fun with the kids figuring out how to pronounce them, and figuring out what they were. Some we could get because we have some familiarity with the Latin names, but this was surprisingly few. For several others we could read the signs but were unable to figure out which plant the sign related to.

There was also one geocache (Reserve Naturelle des Aiguilles Rouges), which we duly found just before returning to our car, despite the fact that as we were sitting down on the rock it was hidden under a local family decided that this was the best place to stop and have a drink. Oh for falling off a log ! Can’t you see we’re behaving suspiciously here ? Leave us alone, will you.

Back at the car we were a bit unsure what to do next but thought we’d spotted a couple of little pull-offs by the roadside from which we might get a few good photos. At the first one we were able to get some good photos, which was good. When we got back into the car we were having a chat about whether Kas ought to get her head seen to at the hospital because she thought it was continuing to bleed a little bit under the dressing, so we opted for driving back to the apartment so we could have a look at it, and then make our decision from there. It didn’t look as bad as she thought once she’d cleaned it up, so she decided not to go to the hospital. She got told off for that when we got home.

So this left us with little to do in the evening other than pack up most of our stuff and then go out for dinner.

One of the things we did do was to pack up a load of bags with dirty clothes and grab some other items we wouldn’t need again until home (Kas’s running stuff, all the walking boots, and similar) and take them up to the car. This was part of my cunning plan to avoid the debacle we’d had when attempting to carry all the bags in one go between the four of us when we arrived. On that occasion we seemed to have about 8 small bags as well as the four large cases, and we just couldn’t move it all without one of us (mainly me) running shuttles with the big bags. Getting five or six unneeded bags (including two of the big ones) into the car on Friday night was definitely a top plan.

We chose to go to one of the restaurants just around the corner. Kas and me had been eyeing up a raclette all week and this was the night. It was good, all though personally I think we were given a few too many potatoes and not quite enough cruditées and charcuterie. We managed to get enough beer though.

And that was more or less that. I think we had to pack a bit more of the kids’ stuff when we got in. We’d still got a pack of 8 beers in the fridge in the apartmnet but I think we had one each and resolved to take the rest home with us. We didn’t have the capacity, and it was necessary that we were in a fit state to drive the following morning. There was a bit of Olympics in French as ever.