Wednesday 2nd January

It was officially our last day and what better way to spend it than with numerous trips to the bathroom and cramps in my stomach! I wasn’t the only one so at least Alex was keeping me company whilst the others ventured to the slopes for the last day of skiing/boarding. They were probably thankful I wasn’t making them stop so frequently, or going so slowly I may as well be going backwards! Nathan took Danie and Ruby to the slopes as we needed the truck to take the rentals back later on. In Tom’s words, he was going to ‘break Ollie,’ and almost did by the look of his arm! He got taken out by a black run, Wong got taken out by a button lift. It sounded like an eventful morning!The plan was to meet up for lunch for our final meal out of the fantastic week we had.Alex and I did manage to get the lunchtime bus to meet the rest of the gang at Croix Fry and discovered a beautiful restaurant perched on the snow, across from where we had eaten nuggets most days. Typical that we found it on the last day.The food was delightful and the view, the best we had all week whilst dining. It was going to be a shame to leave this French resort behind for sure. We sat and ate. It got cold quite quickly but we were certainly enjoying the al fresco dining we had experienced. Great food. Great wine/beer. Great company. Good conditions – except for the amount of ice, in my opinion anyway. I’m sure the experts among the group would have preferred more snow, but we had clear blue skies for the six days we were on the slopes. There were runs for all abilities and I think Tom managed to conquer all of them, as he likes to do at every resort! I can’t take credit for some of the following photos. They were from Tom and Danie as I’m not up to scratch yet to conquer runs further afield. I. Must. Get. Fit!!We were unfortunate enough to see someone getting brought down the mountain in a blood wagon. Satisfied our stomachs were full, Tom and Wong headed back out on the slopes, whilst the rest of us squeezed into the back of the truck. I say the rest of us, Nathan and Ollie has plenty of room up front, the other four of us not so much. We had to drop Nathan’s board back to Merdessier then head the thirty or so minutes out of town to drop back our skis and boots. The journey seemed to take forever but luckily we found a shortcut at the end that missed all the steep, windy part we took on day one. Rentals returned, we then stopped back in Grand Bornand to locate a pharmacy. Supplies were needed for Ollie’s forever bleeding arm. Tom and Wong got home just before us. We had to pack up the truck in the last of the daylight, before sitting down to our last meal.We were graced with a beautiful sunset for our last night. Food for the evening was to consist of fajita boats and anything else left in the fridge. The chalet was put back to its clean and tidy, picture perfect way as we made use of the hot tub for the last time, before settling down and watching Deadpool 2.It was an awesome week. First time off over New Years we had all managed to get in the time we’ve known each other, which is over a decade. The joys of retail! It had come to an end. We sloped off to bed as we still had an early start the next day.

Thursday 3rd January

Alarms went off at an ungodly hour of 6am ish. The hosts ‘caretaker’ was due at 7am so we all gradually surfaced, got dressed, ate some breakfast and made sure everything was packed. She didn’t speak any English but muttered and gestured that she’d come back at 8, when we’d be finished. We started the truck to make sure that wasn’t going to be a problem, and it did. The last of the luggage was loaded up, the taxi arrived to take the other six to the airport and we said our goodbyes. 15 minutes later, after I was getting a bit antsy as we had to get going, the lady turned up so I tossed her the keys and we were on our way. First stop would be McDonald’s breakfast so we found the one we stopped at for dinner on the journey down. It said it was open on google maps, but sadly, it was a McCafé, not a proper McDonald’s breakfast. Croissants from the Carrefour it was instead. We also grabbed some cheap, cheap wine and beer to take back with us. Then, the long, long, long straight roads were soon upon us. I was back to my job as till booth operator. We thought we had avoided the $53 toll booth, but turns out we clicked the wrong toll to avoid 🤦🏽‍♀️. We had also not found anywhere to eat anything is sustenance, nor had we found many fuel stations so we resigned ourselves to filling up when we saw one. When we did locate food, we had to venture 5 miles off the motorway, eat and fill up, only to be re-routed to a faster road. I swear the sat nav was on something as nothing it was doing seemed to make any sense. We felt lucky to actually arrive back at Dunkirk ferry terminal! We even had snow! The rest of the gang were already back home and had been for hours.We were allowed in the “lounge” on the way back, which featured a buffet, drinks, hot food, all-you-can-eat! The burger was divine!Nathan was also partial to the macarons! The journey felt much quicker going home than it did getting to Dunkirk that’s for sure. Nathan thankfully got a bit of sleep, ready for the last leg of the journey home.8 friends…1549 miles…28 hours on the road…13 roundabouts…3 injuries…1 power cut…come dine with me…New Year BBQ…Manigod murderer…11 bottles of wine…80 bottles of beer…1 bottle of Prosecco…1 bottle of Moët…54 cans of cider…3 kegs…1 bottle of Malibu and 1 bottle of Grey Goose…

An epic New Year was had celebrating and skiing/snowboarding on the slopes of Manigod.

Until next time…

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