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Journeys : Aug Sep 2010
Mandy Double learns a few in the French Pyrenees Iwas raised in the steamy tropics and had never experienced the magic of a white winter, so my new partner thought he'd address this by whisking me off on a Christmas ski trip to the French Pyrenees. I was thrilled but also a little fearful, mindful of my legendary clumsiness and complete absence of athletic ability. According to one friend, I was born 'cuddlywift'. He laughed when he heard about our trip, and advised me to get good insurance. But how hard could it be? Lots of people ski -- even popes, apparently. Pope John II, when still a cardinal, is reported to have been told it was unbecoming for a man in his position to ski. He corrected them: "It is unbecoming for a cardinal to ski badly." My enthusiastic partner had chosen Les Angles, a friendly Catalan village and ski resort in the Pyrenees with lots of beginner slopes. The whole tow n was white, and snow fell on our enchanted faces as we arrived. There was a hushed stillness in the air, despite all the people in their brightly-coloured gear. The first shock was putting on my ski-boots. They were huge and astonishingly heavy -- like the lead boots divers used to wear to keep themselves on the ocean floor. Even walking in them exhausted me -- and stumping dow nstairs was even more challenging. My ski instructor was a dashing Frenchman, whom I tried to war n in advance: "Je suis m aladroite". He smiled, blithely unaware of how difficult it is for me to make my body do the New tricks Destinations August / September 2010 18
RACT MNJ June July 2010
Oct Nov 2010