Rental car had a bit of shuffle that ended well, I was almost given something not preferred by me when the guy said a manual hatchback just came in to end the debate on handing me a small SUV or automatic that were known to be present. A euro road trip isn't a euro road trip without a hatchback manual.
Drive to La Plagne was longer than expected. I did some mountain road detours so actually drove through Meribel and Courchevel. Turns out there's a hotel of the same name in Courchevel with no relation to one I was in. Only 50k apart but after 2.5h of mountain roads in full moon at midnight it meant I had one hour to go.
Now if there's any guy who appreciates mountain road driving when I'm wide awake at midnight under a full moon with a tight handling euro hatchback, it's this guy. I didn't hit any bunnies or weasel things even if they jumped out on apex corners. And only one guy passed me. So these roads are like what we bike in summers here. Narrow, steep, super twisty. I see lights behind me then 2 mins later they're on me, so I ease up and let buddy pass. I actually tried to keep up for a bit. He was either training for local rally circuit, or the local moonshine runner ; ) I actually have a decent amount of performance driving experience, and 2h earlier I had pulled my shoes off so I could feel the pedals and toe heel. But buddy's car was superior and he was pushing it hard. He had a reasonably new Audi turbo, and after he actually drifted a couple of linked corners and just continued to pull away I decided this wasn't for me. First I don't need to end up down the valley, but second this guy was really cooking it. Maybe about 1/6th this speed!
Got to hotel as waitress was finishing a few drunk guys leaving one table. Reception had closed 5h ago but she found an envelope with a key with my name on it. I didn't even pay, you walk to local tourism office to pay which I'll do tomorrow. Trust is nice instead of so much paperwork. She just said "oh you're the Canadian, we have your key for a day early arrival". Easy. Lucky too to not be there 20 mins later when she would have been gone.
Took me a while to find parking, everything is small. This road wasn't looking like I should squeeze it.
Bed was pitch black and utterly and completely mountain silent. Just what I needed.
I got up at 7:30 for breakfast and a walk around. A nice fellow from Quebec came to say hi. I couldn't figure it out at first till I remembered my jacket signals I'm from Canada. He's been here two weeks and says I'll love it, it's called ParadiSki for a reason. He's also going to Les Contamines next too so we might meet up. Ahh to be retired.
Ham and cheese sandwiches of course.