So we are now day five into our snowboarding holiday…
We are in Andorra – the Principality of Andorra / the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra. Southwestern Europe in the Eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the 6th smallest nation in Europe.
We are staying in a chalet in El Tarter. It’s all very nice…
I have actually been resting for the past two days ! The first three days consisted of three hour beginners lessons and at the end of each day I was exhausted and aching. Tomorrow is the last day and it has been snowing heavily today.
Powder…seems to be the word of the ‘snow people’. Apparently it should be good.
I have found that I have needed to overcome certain fears during this week.
Fear of falling – well I have needed to get over this pretty quickly. Falling over seems to be the bread and butter of the snowboarding experience. I try to do it in a more ‘con trolled’ way especially when coming to a steep edge that I do not want to fly over! I find that if I think about falling over – I most definitely will. Also sometimes it felt as though I would make lots of progress – linking turns etc and the next day only be able move sideways down the slope like a ‘falling leaf’ and I would forget how to change from toe to heel edge.
Fear of the button/poma lift
– even in my Milton Keynes snowboarding ‘days’ I could never manage this contraption. Every-time I would get on the lift I would fall off shortly after or get stuck/trapped in someway that meant that the lift would have to be stopped while I extracted myself from the machinery. It was generally painfully embarrassing. I was not spared this agony when I came to Andorra. On the second day – I just could not use the lift at all. I kept falling off and adding to it – screaming and shouting like a baby ( a reflection of my ‘terror’…). This was while all these four and five year old children from the ski school sailed past me. Embarrassing. But on Wednesday – I decided that I just did not want the hassle anymore and made a mental decision to use the lift without fuss. And I did – no problems!
Only to develop…
Fear of using the chair lift – so, we were taught how to ‘skate’ one foot on and one foot off using the snowboard. However I have not grasped this technique ! This has resulted in me falling flat on my face when I come off the chair lift. Or snowboarding down a slope for a few seconds losing my balance and falling. The only problem with falling at speed with one foot strapped to a snowboard it the horrible twisting that occurs when one rolls over. Painful… I heard my left ankle crunch ( I am a regular) on the two occasions that this has happened to me. So now I am fearful of the chair lift. The other things that happened to me – got my board stuck on the foot bar and could not escape from my seat – terrifying. Another time I got my myself stuck between two seats with parts of the chair lift digging into my thigh. I was too scared to lift up the bar and readjust myself in case I or anybody else fell out . A slow and painful journey to the top…
But it has not all been crazy and scary
I have had a lot of fun. The weather at points has been fantastic – sunshine and snow.
I have spent quality time with my lovely companion.
I have wandered around an Andorran supermarket…
Generally I have had a smashing time!
I am not sure I can call myself a snowboarder but I gave it a good try!