I feel I've had an awful lot of mountain air today - I'm tired out! It didn't help that I watched 'Prime Suspect' on ITV3 until midnight (damned adverts...!) and had to get up at 7am to chuck the croissants in the oven so we could get out by 8am. Having rustled up the sarnies, put the washing on the hanging thingy and roused the boys to action, we actually made it out by shortly after 8.
Just over an hour or so later, we were at l'Esperou renting skis then made our way up to the ski station of Prat Peyrot where I had to queue for 20mins to get the ski passes. Cars were already parked on both sides of the road, but I managed to sneak into a spot a shortish but brisk walk away from the main action.
Once up the mountain it was most interesting to observe the clientele, which was vastly different from the one I am used to encountering up there. Normally we go during the February holidays when all the trendy pretentious types are in the Alps or other more worthy mountain ranges. What's left - the modest families, single parents, people who can't be bothered to go so far as the Alps for a couple of days, etc., are the ones I'm used to seeing, and there are no queues to speak of. Well, today it was a beautiful day, it was too far to go to the Alps or Pyrenees, so off went Everyman and his Buddies to Mont Aigoual. The result of this was that we got to see the pretentious types in their latest up-to-the-minute tip top fashionable ski gear, young men (students?) in groups being silly on those very short skis or snowboards, and so on, in numbers so huge that the queues for the tir-fesses were ridiculous.
In fact, we gave up just after 3pm and went down to l'Esperou to do some sledging. There was more than half a metre of snow so ample to go racing down at top speed and then come to a dramatic stop with a flourish of snow.
My youngest managed to make a fair attempt at the blue slopes this time even though they were a tad icy. Next time I'll enrol him for lessons so he can tackle them with more ease. He's obviously ready to move on beyond the chasse-neige to using his sticks correctly and learning to turn by jumping.
My eldest told me I'd have to hurry up and get a new boyfriend who likes to ski so he's not left hanging around with my youngest (and me) and getting held up! I told him I'd bear that in mind...
We had our picnic in the warm next to the restaurant. You pay 1Eur per person and I think it's worth it to sit on chairs at a table in the warm and eat like a civilised person, relaxed. If your youngest is not itching to go to the toilet for which you have to go outside to the building opposite, you can even treat yourself to a nice warming coffee... We gave up on the idea of buying frites as the queue was most of the way back to Montpellier...
As for prices, the rental of 2 boots, and 3 pairs of skis/batons came to 32Eur, and the day's ski pass was 31Eur. Plus diesel and you have the makings of a fairly expensive day out, but we did enjoy it and wished we could stay for more.
Please don't tell anyone about skiing at Prat Peyrot - I don't want the queues to get any longer! Ta...
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