I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Sometimes the best part of traveling is just taking a step back and not doing anything at all. Well, except maybe snowboarding.
And the not-so-catchily named Chalet Pierra Menta 2 in La Plagne was the perfect place to do just that.
Having worked the last two ski seasons, enviously watching guests suited and booted before 9am when I was about to go up and start cleaning their rooms, I was determined to finally make the most of being a punter.
I rolled out of bed to cooked breakfasts, dragged my sleepy arse out onto first lifts and spent my days knee-deep in powder. Stopping occasionally for Tartiflette or Irish coffee.
By the time I made it back to the chalet at the end of the day (via the most deliciously powdery tree run) I barely had the energy to tuck into the lovely homemade cakes left out by our host, Holly. (I say barely, on the first day I definitely had three slices…)
Throw in a quick sauna before dinner, plus unlimited chalet wine and it soon became obvious that I would struggle to even see eleven o’ clock, never mind actually leave the chalet…
But the great thing about Chalet holidays is that you don’t even need to leave the chalet in order to socialize. Chalet set up means you have a little ready made squad just waiting for you around the dinner table. Ten-ish strangers from all walks life, who feel like family by the end of the week.
And I know this is a traveling cliché, but I think in a chalet even more so than in a hostel, you meet people that you wouldn’t otherwise encounter. I mean when would I ever meet a financial adviser? Even though geographically we come from the same place, I definitely feel like I have more common ground with the random hippies that populate most dorm rooms.
Yet sitting around the table with a group of men who on first impressions I had very little in common with, it was surprising to see how quickly we all clicked. Well, most of the time anyway. I made a conscious effort to avoid talking politics…
On that note, although it didn’t seem like it at the time, I actually chose the perfect week to lose my phone. Being cut off from civilization (i.e. the internet) meant that I was able to switch off from the world, and remain blissfully unaware of all the horrible things that were going on in the world (AKA Trump)
Having said that, losing a phone off piste is no picnic. While I knew the chances of getting it back were slim to none, and the chances of it actually working were even slimmer, I couldn’t help but try and comb the patch of powder in between the lift and the restaurant where I’d lost it…
If you’ve ever tried looking for a needle in a haystack, I can assure you, this was far, far worse. Picture a frozen haystack. Made of quicksand. On a hill. And then imagine you’ve just snowboarded for over five hours without a snack (ok maybe there was one snack.)
Needless to say there is probably a marmot somewhere with a very shiny new toy.
Anyway despite that minor set-back I actually had a really perfect week. I only wore real shoes twice. And one of those times was to have a go on the Olympic bob-sleigh track!
I’ve always thought of chalet holidays as something that posh people do, and kind of scorned the whole idea of having everything arranged and done for you…But the truth is, it turned out to be a lot cheaper and a hell of a lot easier than organising it all ourselves.
Skibeat have some unbelievably cheap deals, especially if you book last minute during quiet weeks…I’m not great at planning ahead but I’m already trying to pencil in a few weeks next January!