When we left Lake Maggiore, I was beginning to feel a little bit under the weather. By the time we reached our night's stop in France I felt terrible. It was a long day, a long - and expensive - drive, including the Mont Blanc tunnel. We arrived in Annecy in gathering gloom and spent nearly an hour trying to find our way through in the rush hour. We eventually found our Aire, to which the guide has warned us to arrive early, and found it to be a small car park with 8 marked bays and 8 motor homes. Actually, 9. And us. We pulled up in the middle, alongside the other extra, and hoped for the best. Before long there was a knock at the door and a friendly, bi-lingual conversation resulted in us setting our alarm for 7am so that we could move out of the way for the man to set off for work. We decided to chance a walk by the lake, the rain having stopped. Just as we decided to turn around and head back, and it started again. Having to shelter in a doorway, sprint back to the motorhome and deal with five soaking people was more than I felt able to cope with. I was overwhelmed with tiredness and the prospect of drying out our only warm clothes and awash with a cold.
But, as is so often the case, life is better in a team. And while I lay down and felt rotten, my best friend soon had the children in their pyjamas, hot drinks made, a bag of wet clothes and a plan to visit the laundrette.
Next morning saw us buying gifts, following the map from the man in the wine shop to wash and dry our clothes and eating French pastries from our first boulangerie of the trip.
I won't remember Annecy for its sunny lakeside shore, but we had fun