Michael and I have been chalet hosts in the French Alps for about 5 weeks now – I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a good deal. We started just after the busy Christmas/ New Year period, which meant for the first 3 weeks here we had plenty of free time to explore, settle in and learn how to ski. We were also staying in the unoccupied ski chalets in Sty Foy ski station. 5 star accommodation, amazing views, free ski hire, free ski lessons, free cooking lessons, free food, and occasionally free alcohol. Life is definitely good!!
I was a bit nervous about the whole catering for 8+ people, especially as I usually hate cooking, even for myself, and as I don’t eat meat, I was extremely worried about killing off some guests with under cooked chicken or pork; however after a bit of training, it turns out I can actually cook, and catering for that many people really isn’t that difficult after all. I’m sure my Mum and my Nan will be very happy that I’ve finally learnt how to cook proper food.
At first I hated skiing!!! I would have rather cleaned a couple of toilets than hit the slopes with my skis!!! As it turned out, I spent the first 3 weeks on the slopes with boots a size to big, which made it extremely hard to turn, and made me feel really unstable. I watched how Michael went from falling over constantly, to skiing like a pro, and to be honest it just annoyed me… I didn’t improve at all over those 3 weeks, and I ended up spending most of the time cursing and hating it. I finally discovered it was the boots, and not my terrible coordination to blame for my crap skiing. So, I got my boots changed and felt like a new skier; finally being able to appreciate the slopes and snow… that was until a few days ago. Being as stubborn as I can be at times, I decided I wanted to go up the highest ski lift. The conditions were not great; it was extremely windy, a bit icy, with bad visibility… but it was my day off, and I just had it in my head that I wanted to do it, and I couldn’t wait – despite all the warning signs, and the bad feeling I had about it. I had only been on the slopes 3 times since getting my boots changed, and I was definitely still a beginner. I had only started skiing the red runs the day before, and most of those I found a challenge, so I definitely was pushing my luck that day.
So, in the gust of wind we set off… immediately I regretted the decision. I made it down half the run, before I got distracted, didn’t know which way I was turning, tumbled, lost my poles, lost a ski, heard a crunch and felt a lot of pain. Surprisingly the pain passed after about 5 minutes, and a couple of skiers helped me out of the middle of the piste. After deciding there was no way I could ski down the slope, someone notified the ski patrol, and the ‘blood wagon’ came to the rescue. How the girl from the ski patrol managed to get me down that slope I would never know – bloody amazing!!! It took about an hour to get me off the slope, then I spent 5 hours in hospital, just to be told they didn’t know exactly what damage I’d done and sent me on my way. Apparently I’ve damaged a ligament in my knee, and that’s pretty much all I know. It could be a strain, a tear or a complete break (though quite unlikely as I can still hobble around). I’m not really too sure what that means for me now; whether I want to stay in the Alps, even though I can’t ski, or whether we should look at other options. All I know for sure is that I won’t be skiing/ hiking/ running for at least a month, maybe longer 😦
Michael has done an amazing job covering my catering – he was catering for 15 people, which included fussy teenagers, 2 veggies and 1 gluten/wheat/dairy free veggie, all by himself. He even managed to score us a 210 euro tip; all, of this while I stay in bed, watching movies and drinking beer – yep, I have a pretty awesome boyfriend!!!
Michael and I had planned to cycle from here to Croatia and on to Serbia after finishing work here, and I also have an ultra marathon I am training for. I hope this will all still be possible. I guess all I can do is think positively, and hope that I’ll be back to normal in a couple of weeks. Fingers Crossed!!!
Until then – does anyone recommend any good books or movies to watch????