Friday, December 11, 2015

Of Motolino and poles

We met up with Ivan at the bottom of Motollino to explore the 'other' side of the valley and did all three of the runs, which are open, a few times.  They are all quite decent although the one down to Trepalle is best done early in the morning as it gets icy quite quickly.  Megan almost got taken out by another pole but managed to stay on her feet while the pole tumbled past; Ivan had some words for him and, surprisingly, the pole apologised.

Below is the view from the top of Motollino just to show how much like a giant Afriski Livigno actually is.

 There is a huge restaurant at the top of Motollino so we sat and had some coffee and hot chocolate, really, really thick hot chocolate.  So thick in fact that the straw kept on collapsing while trying to suck the glutinous liquid up.  And below we can see that by careful framing one can create the completely opposite impression to the photograph above.

On our last run down I got to the bottom and Megan, Kirsten and Carl weren't behind me as they usually are and it took about five or ten minutes for them to arrive by which time I was worrying that something untoward had happened.  As it turned out, a pole got Carl, but not a pole as in from Poland but the pole attached to Kirsten's hand so Carl had a minor whoopsie but in doing so tweaked his knee but it doesn't seem to be too bad and I think in a day or two it will be just fine.  The run down Motollino is, aside from a tricky bit under bridge, great, it is steep and wide and then flat and then steep and wide and then flat which means that one can go a little faster down the steep bits because one can recover on the flat bits.

To get back to our flat for lunch we had to take the bus and thought it would be a good idea to take the scenic route which did turn out to be a good idea right up to the point where the bus stopped and the driver told everyone to get off so we ended up walking in our ski boots for more than we were counting on.  Fortunately it wasn't that far but definitely enough to get grumpy about.

After lunch and a bit of a siesta we headed back out to our local slopes which was really great because they were just about deserted so Friday afternoon is, it appears, a good time to ski. 

After skiing, we ambled into the centre to have a second attempt at bombardinos. We sat at Bivio's with heaters above roasting the top of my head and fire behind us. The bar has a help yourself snack section of olives, popcorn and chips, which the kids help themselves too quite liberally. Kirsten and I had bombardinos, Laurie and Carl had gluhwein (vin blure here) and Caron had a grand marnier hot chocolate (which was divine, says Caron).   When it came time for payment I thought the waitress said fifty six euro's which I was happily handing over only to have Carl interrupt me and pay it instead.  The waitress seemed to be unusually grateful for the four euro tip and as we were leaving we asked for the receipt only to find that the bill was actually for thirty six euro's and we had a slightly awkward moment before the waitress realised the misunderstanding and gave Carl twenty euro's back.  How awkward, no wonder she had been so grateful for the tip.

It was my turn to cook supper, no pressure, and I had decided to make an asparagus pasta dish which turned out to be quite tasty in the end but there were a few moments during the preparation where I thought that it was going to end badly.  At Woolworths in S.A. when one buys asparagus it is great from tip to stem whereas the one's here are definitely really, really woody at the stem and I had to boil them for quite a while to get them soft enough to actually eat without thinking that one was trying to ingest a log.

After supper there was a rather typically depressing discussion about politics, the state of the rand and the myriad of other problems that South Africa faces but the discussion feels a bit like being on a merry-go-round where it is just the same things again and again without any relief or solutions.

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