Ice-bound roads, high snowbanks and freezing temperatures.
The Alpine passes above Valence in the south of France are a far cry from the green fields of Tyrone but Kris Meeke says he feels at home.
The Dungannon driver makes his debut for Peugeot UK in the Monte Carlo Rally which starts tomorrow morning and has spent the past few days getting to grips with his new Super 2000 Peugeot 207 in typical ‘Monte’ conditions.
Meeke sees it as “a chance of a lifetime” – the opportunity to re-establish himself on the world stage after a frustrating couple of years away.
“The deal, which has been put together by Peugeot UK, is a massive boost for me and I intend to grab it with both hands,” he said. “In the past I have maybe tried too hard, tried to be too fast, when I should have been concentrating just on getting results. That cost me at least one Junior World championship.
“But now I have got a second chance and I think I am a lot more mature now. I realise you can’t win them all and there is a time to settle for what you can get.
“The ‘Monte’ can be a bit of a lottery in terms of getting the tyre choice right but I don’t intend to try to be a hero. I just want a good solid result, get points in the bag, and move on.”