Well we don’t feel so stressed about moving on tomorrow.
The lovely snow that fell yesterday afternoon was just a little teasing farewell. It’s +15C this morning as we lugged our boxes up to the Arabba post office. With our fingers crossed and lots of prayers we’ve shelled out enough € to cover NZ’s national debt for an hour or so… and with a bit of luck our boxes will make it all the way…. intact to Wanaka.
Then back to “Appartmento Oxley”for a cleaning frenzy. I used Google translate yesterday to ask Gabi for a mop. I don’t really mind the Cindarella brush & pan and on my hands and knees scrubbing routine but I wanted to do a really thorough job this last time. Gabi looked at me blankly? “Che cosa è una mop?” “Right. Well…. Back down on the hands & knees I go!” Gra also thought that Gabi was saying “Not to worry, she would take care of all the cleaning after we leave!” That could, of course, be wishful thinking on Gra’s part …. but both of us like to leave a tidy ship!
So while I was busy this morning bathroom cleaning & floor washing, Graeme was downstairs with Gino in the ski tuning shed trying to get the interior clean. We’ve given Gino two external washes but he’s still seriously grubby on the outside. And his internals are not much better. The grit, salt & mud on the roads from the continual freeze thaw has pretty much stuck like “poo to a blanket” to his carpets. Gra has put the powerful ski-room vacuum to work on Gino’s insides and it certainly looks a bit cleaner. Shame I couldn’t borrow this vacuum for the flat, but no….it lives only in the ski room! Go figure!!? “Boys don’t use brooms!” …says Gra by way of explanation. “Yeah right?”
We’re a pretty efficient team after 25 years together and we’d pretty much packed our ski bags and cleaned the entire flat by lunch time. So we thought we’d go and take one more last look at the incredible views of the Marmolada from the top of the cable car before we say “Arrivederci” tomorrow.
And lastly, we caught up for a quick farewell drink with Patsy and had a few last “Dolomiti/ Arabba mysteries” solved for us. We have been incredibly thankful to them for all the help they gave us to find us our apartment and other little things along the way. But we haven’t seen that much of the Delmonego’s during our stay. Patsy has been working almost every day at the B&B she runs and then she’s been busy with her daughter, Heidi and babysitting grandson Austin. Mario has also been busy with ski school and his Dolomiti tours which see him away to 5 or 7 days at a time. A bit later in the evening, Mario did also call in briefly to say goodbye. He’s a hard worker. All day at the ski school and then nights at the ski school owned Pizza restaurant.
It’s a very interesting system they have here in this town. It’s a real socialist co-op system here. Mario’s ski school is independent of the lift company and runs not only the school, but a restaurant, bar, rental shop and supermarket in Arabba. All the profits from these ventures are shared equally amongst owners/directors of the ski school? I’m not sure how it works in practice? Mario did hint as he was heading off to do dishes at the pizza restaurant tonight that not all directors pull their weight?
The other interesting thing about the Dolomiti resort is that all the lifts are independently owned and the Dolomiti Superpass is really just a marketing and service firm that brings people to the region and services the lifts & pistes. The lift owners clip the ticket for every person who uses their lifts. This explains the huge number of lifts and their high quality in most areas. Lift owners want to make sure that people use their lifts, so they are continually investing and upgrading them. A downside is that they can sometimes manipulate the piste so that you have to ride a lift rather than taking a more natural & direct route.
We were also surprised that there is no priority given to ski school clients. Because the lift companies don’t have an interest in the ski schools and they are independently owned, no priority is given to them in lift queues. I guess it would be a problem if they had such a thing as a lift queue. But after 3 months, including the busiest Christmas/NY & February holiday periods, we never saw what would even begin to approach a TC saddle quad queue…so I guess it’s not a big deal on Planet Dolomiti?
Some Arabba & Planet Dolomiti mysteries solved.
As we tuck ourselves into bed tonight we’ve already begun to reminisce about our time on Planet Dolomiti. Gra is also starting to moan about the reality of a long plane ride home. Toughen up G!!