so, i returned from the impromptu excursion into the french alps on saturday a bruised and battered wreck of a man having spent the previous week trying not to die on&off the piste. there now follows my high/lowlights of the experience.
getting to geneva was fairly uneventful; the transfer [3 hours in a cramped minibus full of people & equipment] equally so.day 1:
we arrived in tignes after nightfall, so it wasn't until the morning i got to see how stunningly beautiful the surroundings were where we were staying. breakfast saw the creation of the ham-o-chocolat... mmmm ham-o-chocolat :)
snowboarding was slightly harder than i'd been anticipating, but with the lovely kasia's patient tutelage, i'd soon picked up the basics. so, i decided to join the group above the one i was meant to be in. a good move, i thought, especially given the amount i picked up in the first lesson [fakie, 180's & 360's etc]. day 2:
i was totally unprepared for the joint & muscle ache i'd feel this morning which, as an unpleasant experience, was only outweighed by what was to happen on the mountain.
after about an hour of instruction, i was abandoned at the top of a mountain!
not having a piste map or phone on me [why would i need such things with an instructor present?] i tried desperately to get back to tignes
. a task made ludicrously difficult by my poor french skills and ignorance as to the particular enclave of tignes we were staying in. i was told to take a bus, which i did only to discover it went to the wrong tignes
getting off the bus i accosted a policeman and struggled to explain my predicament to him, he suggested i ask in a hotel which enabled me to find that tignes-les-brevieres
, where we were staying was not served by the buses
... i could get a bus part way there, but i'd have to hike/snowboard the remaining distance.
choosing the latter [the bitter cold gnawing at my appendages], i struggled through the ever darkening twilight down a very narrow and flat blue run, almost breaking my elbow in the process, and finally getting to the bottom of the village some 41
hours after being left to fend for myself.
as a result of this harrowing experience i'm sure i now have abandonment issues.day 3:
was too exhausted to keep up with my group as a result of my epic journey the day before, so i joined the group below me. probably a bad move, only got 1 piece of instruction in the whole lesson.day 4:
rest day. played a lot
of playstation.day 5:
trip to val-d'isere
. set off alone [but with phone & piste map this time - see i can learn] and promptly fell on the 1st run almost wrenching my right arm from it's socket causing some tendon damage. decided to plough on rather than return to the chalet.
the pain got worse and worse, til by the end i was slowly edging down slopes trying to keep my arm as still as possible.
i'd nearly made it to my destination when i fell again, cracking a rib :(
beer and painkillers helped me pass out that night.day 6:
after the worst night's sleep in a very long time, i was in too much pain to even contemplate snowboarding, choosing instead to lie on the sofa all day, only venturing out for drinks in the evening. and with only kitch_kash
for company it seemed fairly safe.
ended up staying out til all the money was gone... my last memory of the night was giving kasia a piggyback up the hill to our chalet.day 7:
came to on the sofa, stumbled around to gather my stuff in time for the transfer's departure and just about managed to crawl into the minibus. fell asleep on kasia, then the snowboards in the aisle, and woke at the airport to discover my passport was missing!
my abandonment issues began to kick in as the prospect of being left in switzerland began to coalesce before my very eyes.
fortunately it was in geordi's pocket - it appears i do some very strange things when drunk.
all in all, i had an excellent time and memories of holiday have me smiling to myself even now :)