from the first moment we met, adventures flowedI was in the beautiful mountain range of Les Hautes Alps visiting one of my closest friends, Jantiene Hannessen
Jantiene very bravely chose for this life style late last year. Where big houses and expensive cars had no meaning. It was the happiest I had seen her since we found each other two and half years ago. Jantiene and I were not only on the same page, we were in the same sentence and as we had struggled through a couple of turbulent years we grew closer. Sometimes you didn't need years of friendship with someone to understand each other, sometimes a few minutes was enough.
What started as a 9 day training camp for my Hero MTB Himalaya stage race, ended up one of the most magic moments I had ever experienced on a bike. Under the influence of Jantiene's contagious giggle and "lalalala" attitude I went from riding the intervals coach Rab had programmed for me, to not even looking on training peaks anymore. Instead I studied a local map for inspiration.
And so my real adventure began. Where people planned a whole holiday to be able to witness a glimpse of the tour the France, I ended up "stuck" in the tour hype, accidently picking a ride that day which included an out and back over the Col the Galibier.
since it was the thing to do I took a picture of FroomeWhere people spent a recovery day on the couch, I swam 2kms in an almost surreal alpine setting and followed Jantiene on my MTB whilst she run in preparation for her insane Ironman called the Embruman.
The real icing on the cake was our two day MTB expedition through the mountain range surrounding what Jantiene was blessed enough to call her home. Within half an hour of our departure we already managed to lose each other on a descent and kill a front tyre in the process. In a typical "us" manner this got laughed away with a short stop at a bike shop. Charming the mechanic into helping us before leaving civilization behind. What a treat this little expedition was. There were moments of utter silence and hours of giggling story telling. There were endless climbs over cols and furious descends into deserted valleys. There was a hut next to a river only known by locals and a night spent listening to the thunderstorms outside. There was a first by Jantiene making a fire and a dinner which included soup, marshmallows and chocolate. There were shared life experiences, told deep into the night.
Killing the front tyre
our 5 star hotel for the night with running rivers and candle lights
And as we rolled into Jantiene's garden after a couple of days of pure magic she turns at me with a huge smile and asks me "What's next?"
"Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale" Hans Christian Anderson
The un known mountain hut
Hours long furious descents
There are never too many cols to climb
A moment of silence
Crossing rivers over lonely bridges
The hearts content