Checking back in the diaries I see that it is two years since we last came to la bourboule. I remember now we were too creamcrackered after a round trip to the UK and la Suisse in early February to want to get on the road again.
But we were ready now. Not an early start as it is only a couple of hours drive away and the hotel check in wasn’t open until three. So a unhurried departure around eleven. Usually a quiet A89 autoroute so we were surprised to find the aire we chose for the coffee stop to be chokker. We followed two other cars through all the parking areas before giving up and leaving – caffeine deficiency looming!
At la bourboule we were too early even for the tourist office (2pm opening) so carried on to the lac de guery, a new place I had found online as a possible walking destination. The drive up was forested and twisty with a deepening valley on our left. Suddenly there was the lake, small and in the top of an ancient volcanic plug. No immediate space to park but soon we were at the col de guery where a large and fairly full car park materialised on our left.
We munched our sandwiches and then explored the ‘point de vue’ we could see – breathtaking. The twin peaks of Tuiliere And Sanadoire then off to the building further down. Toilets? Coffee? We found both in a log cabin that offered all the usual information and renting opportunities plus husky sledging rides – sad that there is no snow.
Back down to la bourboule where I finally found the tourist office for a brochure of summer (sic) walks. I took the map of the raquettes and ski de fond pistes as the girl said we could walk in those too. Still too early for the hotel we sat in a sunny terrace of a cafe so Lou could have his arrival beer at last while I tucked into a crepe, a mountain must.
Finally booked in I was pleased we had a sunny room with a view of bourboule and the mountains beyond. I overheard the receptionist telling the people before us that they would need to ring restaurants ahead to get a table. Happily we had taken the precaution of booking ours for tonight and tomorrow. So we lazed away the rest of the afternoon in front of the rugby and had to leave a very exciting match (France and Wales) to get to the Cyrano, a favourite, where one of the waiters kept us updated on the score!