Monday, 27 January 2014

Les Rousses, Day 2

My second day was better in pretty much every way. I was satisfied to find that the breakfast provided by my hosts was not excessive (a relief coming from Germany), but still afforded me a half baguette left over for my lunch. This I complemented by a trip to the supermarket to pick up some of my old french favourites - comté, saucisson sec and caramel au beurre salé - as well as some apples and trail mix. This meant I didn't get up to Darbella until after midday, but having bought enough to last me for a week's worth of lunches, I figured it was worthwhile.

The skiing began in much the same fashion as the previous day, which is to say well. Philosophically I was in better shape, using the small downhill sections as a way to practice some of the downhill techniques which had let me down the day before. At the turn of La Dolarde, though, on a whim I figured I'd try to extend myself, and headed uphill along Les Logettes, a steeper and (at 7.5km) longer trail.
Les Logettes

Once again I felt pretty good going uphill. At the top I passed on the Chalet de la Frasse, and carried on towards the downhill half of the trail. I was very slow, but managed to keep myself in control basically the whole way down what was a very pretty twisting trail entunneled (which my spellchecker assures me isn't a word, but which will be one day) by trees laden with the evening's snowfall. By the time I arrived back at Le Carrefour de la Dolarde, I was feeling very proud of myself, not only in having crashed less than the day before, but in my discipline in maintaining control over what was a fairly difficult descent.
Working hard on Les Logettes
Back at the chalet I had a well earned and very enjoyable lunch (better by far than the previous day's pain au raisin and baguette) of my new purchases, then with one eye on the clock, I headed out for a quick run of La Dolarde before the bus left. This I managed without any real falls (I will forgive myself a small slip at one point). Even returning on the bus I felt a better vibe from the driver (having yesterday waited at the wrong stop and been chastised somewhat).
Looking out past the Golf du Rochat, where I stayed
After getting home and showering, I headed uphill in the dying light into town with a vague idea of seeking food. Of course, the dying light being 5:30pm, this was folly, and I was reduced to walking around town and buying postcards, finally popping into one of the few bars for a beer while I awaited a reasonable hour to dine. The town really didn't have the kind of atmosphere I'd expected of a ski town. There were few people in the few bars - very different from the buzz I'd anticipated.

Eventually I gave in and presented myself at the locally precocious hour of 7pm at a restaurant I'd reconnoitred a couple of times earlier. Under the principle of being on holidays and having earned the right to spoil myself, I helped myself to a tartiflette (it had been too long!), a half bottle of chardonnay (very average) and a tarte tatin, before bumbling back downhill shivering and lit by my headtorch, to the comfortable warmth of my room.

At 8:30pm, it was hardly a night out, but all told, there wasn't a significant aspect of day 2 that wasn't entirely superior to day 1.

For the rest of the trip:

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