Given our run-in with the Carabinieri yesterday, we started skinning earlier this morning to ensure that we were off the slopes before the 9am opening time. So while there was no danger from skiers, we still had to contend with groomers who gave us a wide berth and ski-do’s travelling at warp speed on their way to provision the bars & restaurants above. Unlike the groomers, the ski-do driver’s seemed to delight in seeing how close they could get to us without actually mowing us down!!
Lorenzo our coffee-stop man was pleased to see us. This morning’s order was “due cappicino” and “torta” [ a delicious cherry cake ]. Today at the cafe, they are advertising an all male review with posters pinned to all the walls. I asked Lorenzo whether he was performing in the troupe? …to which he laughed….”assolutamente no!!”
After our morning skinning exercise [for which all benefits have been completely cancelled out by the coffee & cake], we skied down to the village & up the other side of the valley to catch the cable-car and start our journey around the mountain to a new valley and ski area called Val Di Fassa. To mention the views again is going to get boring….so here’s just the one from the cable car as we headed down to Val di Fassa.
During one the cable car rides this morning, we met a couple of lads from Slovakia. They are also staying in Arabba. Hilariously, they offered us some Slivovitz…a wickedly potent plum brandy. I have had this before and it’s like drinking methylated spirits! Graeme accepted their kind offer …but wait for it, their Slivovitz was stored inside their ski poles. Seriously, Leki brand sells a model called the “Hot Shot” ski pole. Hey Steve… MT Outdoors needs to get these in for next winter!
Finally we made it mid-morning to a ski area called Buffaure. It was lovely and sunny and we found a fabulous place for coffee and an even better place for lunch. [Yes we did ski there!] Where in the world can you find a little restaurant tucked under a rock outcrop at the top of a mountain and be treated to a lunch of nettle dumplings stuffed with cheese, and served with a sauce of nuts in mountain butter!
So after treating ourselves to lunch we set off back to Arabba. Unfortunately, we had miscalculated and the counterclockwise runs which lead back to our village were all closed and not due to open until tomorrow. Unless we wanted to risk losing our very expensive ski passes…there was no way we were going to duck the ropes. It was now 2:30pm and the only way back to Arabba was to ski about 15 km before the lifts closed at 4:30pm. So it was “pedal to the metal”. While we couldn’t make the lifts going any faster, we had to pretty much straight line every run. Graeme’s feet are still adjusting to the new boots and I knew he was not happy, for not a word was spoken until we reached the last lift at Passo Campolongo which ensured we’d make it back to Arabba before dark.
Graeme is absolutely shattered and as I type this I can hear the dulcet tones of his heavy breathing (aka snoring) coming from the bedroom.
I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Certainly no change to the endless sunny, cold and still weather we’ve been experiencing. But I’m not sure I’ll get the big G out of bed to go for our morning randonee.