Friday, December 11, 2009
on the road again
The helpX ski combo is here and real. I arrived at Chalet Lou Rider this afternoon and it feels good so far. Flew Ryanair back to Pau again and caught the train on the same route as I did six months ago, although got off earlier than Toulouse and headed into the mountains on a local bus. Up onto the foothills through little villages more than slightly reminiscent of my trip earlier in the year, reminding me of heading to Justins and also to Jeremys, both in the same mountains. The most striking difference is that the mountains are covered in snow and the countryside has a grey winter sheen across the fields and forests. A surprisingly large number of inflatable plastic Santas climbing ladders and wobbily balancing on rooftops bring the reminder that Christmas is just around the corner, they add a bit of colour to the grey outlook. 16 days and it will all be over, what a frightening thought, I have hardly realised that is autumn yet, even though the weather has been cool and grey back home, though none of that winter cold just yet. Reminders of the summer were still evident in the lower areas, pumpkins glowing orange in their fields, geraniums, clinging onto the last vestiges of warmth in sheltered corners, the waving leaves of a banana plant in a protected garden. I have left all that behind and for tonight, and probably the next few days will be living just below the snowline, high up in the mountains. There is a little snow at chalet level, just a dusting here and there and the odd pile where it must have collected and slid down off a roof or gulley. Plenty further up the mountain which is looking great. More is on the way I am promised.