Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sunday the day of rest ... well almost.

Today was going to be a day of rest because we have skied quite a lot every day since we arrived and the knees and quads need a bit of a rest but when Caron said that she was going out really early for an hours skiing I just couldn't resist so we spent a very pleasant hour on the blue slopes behind our apartment before the Poles came out in numbers.  They don't seem to be early risers and I am guessing that it is due to late night drinking and partying and apparently there were some problems at the one of the clubs and the cops came and carted a couple of minibus loads of them off to chookie for the night.

On the chair lift up I saw a skier who had tried to, unintentionally, go off piste but got caught up in the netting like a fly in a spiders webs, there were skis and arms wrapped up in the netting and he was sitting there, legs at weird angles, trying to untangle himself while his partner looked on.  Very funny to see.  We got back in time to have a late breakfast with the Van der Riets and then it was off to meet Rob and Nikki for some hot chocolate and ended up meeting some other South African's whose son made a bee line for the girls.

Another humorous incident regarding the Poles happened without our knowing; apparently they have started bringing their own ski instructors with them which is, obviously, unwanted competition to the local ski schools.  The locals have finally had enough and the cops arrested the Polish instructors because they don't have the appropriate licences and insurance cover.  I would have loved to have seen that actually happen.

In the afternoon Caron and I indulged in a little retail therapy and, much to our dentists delight, have purchased an electronic toothbrush; it only took us two years to get around to it.  The other item, which we haven't actually purchased yet, was a beautiful skeleton watch for Caron.  We are still thinking about it but it was a really beautiful work of art and I am a bit of a sucker for beautiful things.

At about 14:30 Kirsten, Carl, Laurie and myself went over to a very under-utilised slope leaving the other slopes, which were just a little bit manic, to the Poles and Italians to slug it out.  The skiing on this slope was tremendous and I don't think will every get crowded firstly because getting there is a bit of a schlep and secondly because there is only a single button lift servicing two slopes.  The slopes themselves are very much like Afri-ski in that they are quite gentle at the bottom but get quite steep at the top so you can choose how difficult you want to make your run.

This is why we moved to a less crowded slope.  The slope in the foreground is a red slope so everyone is moving side to side all the time and with greatly varying degrees of skill.

I think I am finally starting to get the hang of really short turns where one is turning in a channel about two ski's width wide.  It seems so simple, as always, weight forward in the turn is key but as the ski's come around the hips need to move smoothly but quickly uphill which causes the edges to bite in and slow one down and this motion compresses your legs which then act like a spring ready to launch one's self into the next turn.  The amount that one wants to slow down is determined by the point in the turn that the hips move uphill because the earlier in the turn the less one slows down.  The springy action of the legs is really important because one needs it to maintain one's weight forward and downhill because the hips moving uphill tends to shift one's weight slightly backwards.  Easy peasy, so much easier to describe than it is to actually perform it!

After the obligatory bombardino at the cafe at the bottom of the slope we swapped back into our walking boots and walked back to the bus and back home.  So much easier than walking in ski boots.

Rob and Nikki had invited us to champagne at the Bivio club where we met the same South African couple as at lunch time had some champagne and snacks before moving onto La Pastorella for a supper of pizza.  I forced myself to finish the whole pizza which I regretted later.

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