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“Day one on the slopes in Manigod, France…”


Friday 28th December 2018

Alarms went off at 7am, ish, snoozed a few times , then it was time to wiggle into the ski gear, wolf down some breakfast and then squirm in pain as we put our ski boots on. Thankfully, my rental boots this time felt like my feet were sliding into warm butter. They were actually more comfortable than my normal boots would you believe. Usually ski boots destroy your feet, calves, shins, as well as making you want to cry every second you’re in them, so I was so happy when I found mine to be comfortable, not only to ski in but to walk in! Small wins and all that. Satisfied we were ready, we walked the 10 metres to the bus stop, Le Chenevray, to wait for the bus to arrive. We made sure to take a photo of a) the bus stop name and b) the timetable so that we could actually get back home considering nobody had skied here before. The bus arrived just after 08:30am and the plan was to go to the furthest point, Merdessier to get our lift passes etc. What we forgot though, was that they drive on the opposite side of the road in France, so us lot of idiots were stood on the wrong side as the bus pulled up. 🤦🏽‍♀️ A quick (as quick as it could have been in ski boots) shuffle over the other side and a clumsy fumble into the bus with our skis and helmets, then we were finally on our way. The journey only took about twenty minutes and we had arrived at Meesessier.

We opted for the lift pass for 6 days as it worked out cheaper at about £175 and a night ski pass as we’d planned on attending the New Years Eve party on the slopes. Alex went to enquire about a lesson and the rest of us eyed up the blue run in front of us. We managed to catch the first lift too!I hate ski lifts. I’m ok on the ones that pull you up the mountain, but I have this insane fear of chair lifts and I’m not quite sure why. This lift wasn’t particularly long but it was still horribly frightening. I mean I actually can’t even put my arms up to pull the barrier down that secures you into it, once I’m sat down that’s it, I can’t move. It’s like I’m frozen. It doesn’t help when it’s time to come off as I also can’t lift the barrier off. So as we approach the end, it’s a slow shuffle to the edge of the chair as I’m about to dismount when suddenly I go arse over tit landing in a heap, managing to pop both skis off in a double ejection and have to move out of the way as other far more elegant skiers/boarders come flying off the lift. First embarrassing moment. Check. So once I eventually get my skis back on, I sort of remember how to ski. I had no lessons before coming out and have only been on one ski holiday but I’d be fine right?? It was nice to start the holiday together, Alex was off having her lesson and I was just trying to get down this slope. Sadly it wasn’t meant to be. I fell, a few times, once needing to be rescued by Wong as I’d lost my ski pole half way up the mountain, so when it came to the last part, I had a strop, took my skis off and started walking down the mountain, prompting an instructor who had kids with him whizzing fearlessly down, to ask if I was ok. I was fine, I was just annoyed with myself for not being able to ski! I felt like Bambi. Like, I couldn’t get my legs to do what my brain was telling them to do. My ski poles were just doing what they wanted, my butt was sticking out so far I may as well have been sitting on a chair and I was so unbelievably slow that I swear at points I was going backwards. I guess that’s what happens when you have one ski holiday, one day on the slopes at the end of 2017 and no lessons. They say it’s like riding a bike, you never forget it. Pah!! I proved them wrong…you absolutely can forget how to ski!I got to the bottom, eventually after some encouragement from my BFF Tom, and then proceeded to go and find Alex in her lesson. I then fell over walking, got more annoyed with myself so sat on the benches, grumpy, waiting for everyone to come back and regroup for lunch. I did decide to go up and down the green run a few times and I was relatively successful and stayed upright. I just got totally out done by the three year olds showing off as they whizzed past like Olympic champions. By this time, the 8 of us had split into three teams; ‘Team Extreme,’ comprising of Tom, Danie, Wong and Ruby, and ‘Team Green,’ Nathan, Alex and I, but Ollie belonged to his own group, ‘Team Inbetween.’Team Green were hungry so found a cute little pizza joint for some food, whilst Team Extreme ended up somewhere else on the mountain. My legs were aching after one morning. You can see why they were called Team Extreme now right? Don’t worry, I’ll be part of that elite team next time. I’m coming for ya 2020!!!Our afternoon was spent going up and down the delightful green slope, which proved to myself that I can actually remember how to ski, I just needed to find a bit of confidence again. The slopes were quite icy though so not the best conditions for beginners, but still, we were not working at Christmas for the first time in over a decade and we were all together (missing Em and G though) in the mountains over New Year…

We read the bus timetable and got the bus back to Croix Fry. Sadly the bus terminated here so we had to wait an hour for the next bus to arrive. The rest of the gang then literally skied down to meet us. Couldn’t have timed it any better the jammy gits. The bus arrived at 15:50 and we hopped on it back to the chalet. There was only one injury of the day which was Wong’s knee as he fell on a savage icy run on the way back, that turned a nasty shade of black.Once back at the chalet, the sun was setting and made for an epic view over the mountains. The window literally looked like a photo on the wall it was so pretty. We didn’t have any food due to the girls non-food shop on day one, so tonight was the boys turn to go. Or so we thought….The truck decided not to start!!! It was literally blowing out black smoke so much so that if anyone had lit a match, we’d have all gone up in flames. Whilst Nathan was chatting to people online trying to figure out the problem, Ollie and Tom were there for moral support and I kept getting shouted at for suggesting problems, so what else could we do except crack open a beer/wine 🤷🏽‍♀️. Eventually after an hour, and for some reason WD40, it got going and the boys went off. Tonight’s food consisted of chicken and chorizo pasta prepared by Tom and Danie and it was delicious!

Until next time…

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