Thursday, December 10, 2015

Lesson number one ... avoid the poles

Day two of our lessons and today was my day for corrections to my skiing style and there are just so many things to think about all at the same time and as soon as you do some of them other things that one was doing just fine somehow go out the window so it was a bit of a frustrating day.  I must say that our instructor, Ivan, is excellent and much better than some of the other instructors that we have had elsewhere.  If we could just remember everything that he says and then actually get to put it into practice but I think it is like most students, in one ear and out the other even though we really are trying to absorb what the lessons are.  During the lessons we did the dreaded red run which we coped with much more elegantly than the first day and, hopefully, by the last day we will be skiing it properly.

After the lessons we celebrated with the now traditional coffee or hot chocolate and the staff are now starting to recognise us.  For some reason, after what feels like days without any photo opportunities, today there were just stacks of them.  After the lessons finished we spent quite some time on the beginners blue slope trying to burn the lessons into the muscle memory and, of course, that involves lots of chair lists and that increases the odds of getting on one with a snow boarder.  The one time I happened to get on with three snowboarders, one on the left and two on the right and I just knew what was coming.  Sure enough, when we got off the one on my left went straight, the one on the right went left and I was in the middle with absolutely nowhere to go, I couldn't even snow plough to let them go on ahead.  Another time there was just one snow boarder on my left who went straight forcing all three skiers to his right to ski straight into the barrier.  From now on no more getting on lifts with snow boarders.

At about 13:00 after a solid four hours of skiing we retired to the comfort of our apartment for lunch which gary had volunteered to get the rolls for but they hadn't arrived so Kirsten and Carl went out to get some only to find that all the shops were closed.  We are having trouble getting used to the opening hours of the shops, the one thing that was open was the restaurant next door so we had margheritas with various toppings on them for lunch.  We had just finished when gary turned up with a packet of rolls in his hands so they are going to be for croutons tomorrow night.

The view from our balcony and the ski run in the picture is motolino which is the one that we are going to be doing tomorrow morning.  Feeling a bit anxious about it because it is rumoured to be quite icy.  In the late afternoon Caron and I went for a walk on our own and popped into numerous shops, even Caron is keen on some retail therapy but the Johannesburg prices are actually quite competitive even though we are repeatedly being assured that the prices here are bargains and substantially lower than elsewhere.

Getting home for supper we found out that Laurie and Anna had been run over by a Pole who was completely out of control and Laurie smacked her head quite hard on the snow, thank goodness for helmets.  She was a bit concussed and feeling nauseous so they took her off to hospital for x-rays which came back negative so aside from some bruising and a nasty bump on the head she is absolutely fine but even small altercations of this kind leave a psychological scar that is hard to erase.  Anna escaped with a bruised wrist and it sounds like the Pole may have broken some ribs (hopefully!) and because he was further down the slope the medics got to him first and Anna had to run down the slope to tell them to come and attend to her mother.  Once Laurie had been trussed up and skied down the slope, I don't know how the rescue people do this as it is hard enough to ski down unhindered let alone with a person in a rescue sledge, they wanted to take her by helicopter at 11500.00 Euro per hour off to the hospital.  Fortunately she was compus mentus enough to refuse their offer and was treated in the local hospital.  The Italians get an A for their medical treatment, just maybe a little too keen to make use of the helicopter.

After a supper of spaghetti with buffalo mozzarella balls we dressed up warmly and went for a peaceful walk up and down the main street in the -10 degree weather taking a few photo's as we went and wondering if I was to order a bombardino whether or not Kirsten and Carl would think that I have a drinking problem given the whisky and the wine that I have already consumed.

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