We have settled in nicely to our little Arabba apartment. It’s warm and toasty and has excellent storage, which we have not even half filled with our meagre luggage allowance. Here’s a quick tour if you’re interested.
Today’s mission: Buy new boots, food & ski pass. The Dolomites ski areas all open tomorrow, so we definitely want to be ready to ski on opening day.
First the boots: A fairly simple task for me. Alpine Touring boots are fairly common but Graeme is a tricky case. Telemark skiing with its specialised boots & bindings combined with a decreasing popularity, makes equipment hard to find.
Graeme had done some research from NZ and had a list of shops that might be worth a try. The only problem was that most of the shops he had found were more than 2 hours drive away from Arabba. Talking to Mario yesterday, we had 2 recommendations for shops in a nearby village of Corvara ( about 10 km away)
Despite a valiant effort from Fritz, a helpful fellow at Kostner Sports in Corvara, his shop just didn’t have any telemark boots for Graeme and only a very small size & model range of alpine touring boots for me. But he gave us a gem of a recommendation. Further down the valley at a village called La Villa is a specialist ski store run by a crusty old mountain man by the name of Renato. His shop was really hard to find. Literally in the basement of a restaurant and down a side alley off the main road. One small sign, easily missed from the main road, was all he used to advertise his business. I’m thinking that his reputation precedes him.
And yes….endless boots both alpine touring and telemark. Every make & model and every size & 1/2 size = “boot nirvana”. I tried on about 4 different makes but the choice ended up being fairly simple. My new blue boots fitted like a glove….and even better their colour matched my ski jacket. [Graeme is rolling his eyes at this point!].
In contrast, Graeme was absolutely 100% certain that the Scarpe brand T2 size 28 model boots that he has been using for the last 10 years were going to be the “ones”. To his shock & dismay, he could barely squeeze his foot into the boot. And there was no way that he could insert his custom-made foot beds into the boot. Much angst and hand-wringing ensued. Finally after about an hour, Graeme somehow convinced himself that they were going to be fine and we put a smile on Renato’s face buying 2 pairs of boots from him.
Ski Pass….€780 each [NZ$1175 = cheaper than TC season pass] …..but this gives you access to over 400 lifts and 1200km of ski trails. But of course, nothing compares to the ambience of our beloved Treble Cone!
Next food shopping. This was pretty straight-forward and we are now stocked for the next week before we do our road trip to France.
And finally….yesterday’s reference to packing secrets?
Well, back in Wanaka we had pretty much packed our ski bags about 2 weeks before we left. Graeme was super keen and got to the ski bags before me. We were limited to 30kg each, which under normal circumstances is more than enough. But with skis and touring gear like shovels & probes etc, there’s not much room left for clothing. Certainly Graeme harped at me to reduce the amount of clothing I was taking. So like the obedient wife I am, I was super conservative. Secretly of course, I thought that a lack of clothing would be a perfect excuse for me to pick up some “little Italian numbers” along the way.
But yesterday when I unpacked the bags, I discovered that Graeme had been a little greedy in his weight allowance. I discovered that he had packed 9 hats and 5 pairs of gloves ( 1 pair not shown in photo below). My hat and glove allowance is on the right-hand side.
Additionally he packed 4 outer jackets (to my 1), 4 outer layers (to my 2), 4 pairs of trousers (to my 3)…..you get the drift.
Hmmmmm! That gorgeous little “Italian number” is looking closer all the time.