Monday, December 14, 2009
I’ve been here a few days and feel quite settled. There still isn’t enough snow for the resort to be open yet, although it has been snowing off and on for the last 2 hours or so, just light fine snow, and the cannons have been running non stop, creating huge piles of snow that are then spread out by huge machines that grunt up and down the slopes getting things ready.
At the chalet everyone is working towards the arrival of the first guests. Most things have been done, everything is clean and smart, we painted the bar, decorated Christmas trees, tidied unnecessary things away and are now familiarising ourselves with how everything works. Claire, the owner is relaxed about the whole affair and is happy for us not to be doing a huge amount of work as she knows that we will be doing more than enough when the season kicks off. Hawys is here to do the cooking and is very good at it. Marco, Joe, Liis and I are all help exchange and are here to do everything else, cleaning, room changes, clearing snow, working the bar, washing dishes, helping in the kitchen lighting the fire, walking Chester the dog and generally making sure that everything gets done.
There are 11 polish workmen staying at the moment, they are out working on some apartments down the road all day and return for dinner in the evenings. They keep themselves to themselves and are very little trouble. Good for us for a bit of housekeeping practice in preparation for next weekend and beyond.
Have been out exploring a couple of times and the place looks amazing, especially now that it has had a good dusting of snow. The chalet is almost on its own with a couple of small bars just up the road by the lift, along with a ski rental shop and a huge carpark. It sits on its own looking out over the valley, left goes down with an amazing view of the peaks in the distance and right, 100 meters to the lifts then up into the ski area and beyond. I can’t wait to get up there and explore.
There is small village about three kilometers away, Pla d’adet where the cable cars arrive from the main resort, St Lary, down in the valley. It is mainly closed at the moment, though poised for action the minute there is enough snow for the lifts to open. We walked there along a small track through the trees and had a good nose round. Plenty of bars, a couple of small expensive supermarkets, a collection of apartment blocks, chalets a small hotel and loads of slopes for ski action. The views out into the mountains are breathtaking. The three areas are easily accessible by car and are all interconnected by lifts and pistes when skiing, so plenty of places to get to know in the coming months.