It’s a sign!

Last day on the planks today.

Even though we don’t leave Arabba until Sunday morning for the long drive to Milan Airport, we have a little bit of a luggage issue.

We only had 800g to spare on the way here.  Since then, we’ve each bought new ski boots and a few sundry other bits and pieces.  So we need to package up all the excess gear and mail it home.  If we are overweight, Singapore Airlines (bless their cotton socks) charge US$100 per kg over the 30kg allowance.  So the mailing option looks the best way to go since we have about 15kg extra!! And the last possible day to post our stuff is tomorrow (Saturday) morning.

Today for our last day skiing, we hit all our favourite runs in and around Arabba.   We enjoyed our last mid morning coffee made with care by our favourite Romanian barista – Gabriel.

Gabriel: our lovely Romanian coffee man
Gabriel: our lovely Romanian coffee man

And amazingly discovered yet another a lovely place for lunch.  It’s hard to imagine how all these rifugios, huttes, cafes and bars make any money given the level of competition?   On the main Sellaronda route, you have an endless choice of places to eat, drink and make merry along the slopes.  And today we made a reservation at a newly renovated Rifugio Burz, just at the top of the first chairlift out of Arabba.  We have probably passed by this Rifugio at least 50 times during our time here, but we’d never ventured inside.   A great place.  Friendly staff and delicious food.

It’s started to snow fairly heavily and predictably the restaurant rapidly began to fill up from late morning.  By the time we got there for our reservation at 12:30, things were a little crazy with a huge queue waiting for a table.  With our reservation, we naturally walked to the front of the queue, much to the chagrin of a sweet-natured lady who left the queue to tell us in no uncertain terms to go to the back of the line. Well I think this was what she was saying as it wasn’t Italian!  It was all very forceful, loud and red-faced!   Phew!  This was the first “aggro” we’d experienced in three months, so we were a little unprepared, but the head waiter took care of this charmer by responding in no uncertain terms that we’d made a reservation and maybe “Signora” should go to the back of the queue since she’d now lost her place!   Whoa…way to go Signore!

Arabba has decided to give us a lovely send off.  We loved sitting watching the large fluffy flakes fall from the sky over lunch.   The Arabba snow-god who has been conspicuously missing this February, does know that we love to ski when it’s snowing.  And while it is only predicted to snow about 5cm this afternoon, we made the most of it after lunch.    Right up until the moment….disaster struck!

Yes that's a broken binding!
Yes that’s a broken binding!

At precisely 3pm I misplaced Graeme.  Usually, like a good Muslim wife I ski a few paces behind him, but for one of the first times I skied ahead.  Probably because the visibility for the first leg of our run was fairly poor and G likes to follow me in these conditions.   At the half way point – G was missing in action.  I waited ..and waited …and waited.  I thought he must have skied past without me noticing, so I kept skiing down to the cable car and waited some more.  Now I was getting a little concerned…it’d be a real downer if the big G had done himself an injury.  So back up the cable car I went for a re-run.  I was very relieved not to see any bodies strewn on the slopes we’d just skied.  Instead Gra was waiting for me at the cable-car and revealed the extent of the damage.  He’d had to walk down the rest of the slope and download on the other gondola.

Well I’m thinking it’s a sign?   Time to head back to NZ I think!

“But Andy….there’s still time for ice-skating….it’s going to be sunny again tomorrow!” Graeme has reminded me.

“Fabulous!  (sarcasm intended).”