I’m going to make a concerted effort to write less but more frequently. These weekly tomes are becoming very lengthy and I struggle to remember what we’ve done as well as forgetting all the little instances which, at the time, I think I’ll write about later and then promptly forget. This should result in punchier, shorter pieces but may not have accompanying photos (or ones which have no connection to the text). I tried but couldn’t get a decent photo about this next section.
We made it to the fireworks, well kind of. We heard the first ones so donned our outdoor clothing, more appropriate than PJs and slippers this time. Once we were stood in the car park, from where I could see both the fireworks and illuminated slopes last week, everything was in darkness bar the headlights of the piste-bashers. Not to be deterred, now we were properly attired, Roger set off up the town towards the piste which had been the previous location. Although not a great distance, about 1/2 mile, this walk is uphill all the way and the temperature had dropped considerably, the climb was just about suffice to to keep us warm. Getting closer didn’t reveal any further clues as to the whereabouts of the entertainment. Pic Blanc was illuminated by the full moon and we could just about discern the various mountain restaurants on the various hillside pistes. Whilst identifying them we became aware of a caterpillar of lights beginning to descend from Folly Douce at the top of Marmottes1. It evolved into a multi-coloured torchlit conga of ESF instructors skiing down the slopes which looked rather lovely but didn’t photograph at all. We took a sharp right turn and started to walk back down towards the other resort of Bergers, where they appeared to be heading. As they weaved their way down the pistes, disappearing at times behind rocky outcrops to re-appear randomly further down as we couldn’t follow the lower pistes in the darkness, we also descended, almost back to the other end of our road! Their completion culminated in an impressive firework display originating from near to where we were stood so we managed to get an excellent view (even if they did seem a little close).
At least we didn’t have far to return to our flat so it seemed like a good idea to try to cut across the open, snow covered land which we hadn’t been able to do since the snow came at the beginning of the year and it was dark. Fortunately it doesn’t really hurt to fall over in the white stuff but it’s surprising how similar flats appear from an alternative angle and Roger only just managed to stop me climbing on to the equivalent balcony of the adjacent apartment block, which I was convinced was ours, in order to retrieve the clothes airer which I couldn’t quite see but thought I knew to be there, having fallen from the flat above ours (but is now embedded in frozen snow).
Then it was back into the warmth of our cosy little cave and a tea of modified bubble and squeak from selected leavings-over comprising diced lamb fillets, mashed potato and creamy peas and courgettes accompanied by a reasonable bottle of vintage, so not too shabby. It was a fairly early night as we’re up again the next morning for another 6 day stint of 60 odd hours, but I did manage to give my feet a good soaking Wednesday afternoon, what bliss.
Thursday dawned crisp and clear as I peered through the little slats in our security blinds I could see the peaks in all their glory. We only have net curtains as an alternative so have to use the shutters every day. Once we stepped outside it was a very different matter. The forecast had been correct and it was blowing a hoolie. The lift report stated that all the lifts were preparing to open and the guests were down to breakfast promptly, keen to get out onto the slopes in the beautiful sunshine. The top snow being whipped up across the dinning room window convinced them that we weren’t kidding when we described the wind strength and commented that the lifts are closed for much less than this. With some hesitation they waited for the yoghurt pots to start at 8.30. By 8.50 they realised that it wasn’t going to be an early start onto fresh pistes and all the lifts were now reported as closed. The morning led to a degree of frustration, sitting inside looking at the glorious sunshine and thick snow but not being able to get onto it. One intrepid couple decided to go for a good walk and we directed them to our favourite mountain restaurant which is an easy walk from the top of the first main lift but they were going to have to walk up the 2 stages prior to that. Everyone else sat around waiting for inspiration or sudden change in conditions and generally got in our way, using all the tea and coffee I’d set up for afternoon tea and asking for clean mugs when they’d used them all at breakfast and were now in the dishwasher. The canny ones had clocked this and kept theirs. We eventually left the chalet at 1pm to go via stores with our order list for the evening’s delivery of tomorrow’s food and pick up the items we needed for that evening which had been omitted from Tuesday’s delivery for some unknown reason but causing huge frustration.
After a nap I could see in the reflection in the window of the flat opposite that there were people skiing down that run so that fared well for the guests and the following day.