Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The end of our Winter season :(...

We are all done. Ski season over...

After waving goodbye to our last week of guests, Kerry and I enjoyed a well earned lie-in  before setting to work turning the chalet down and locking her up until the next season's seasonnaires arrive in 6 months time.

Our home for 4 months
The cleaning was a bit surreal really because there was no one there... No guests to tend to, no new mess being made. Once I'd cleaned the toilets and showers, no one used them to make them dirty again!

We had about 3 days to get the chalet ready for an inspection on the 4th day and were then to be moved 20 minutes up the valley to Tignes Lavachey to help out in a 24 bed chalet there.

On our last day we took to the slopes to say thank you and farewell to Sainte Foy. Unfortunately it was very icy and we only felt brave enough to chance one run, scared of picking up an injury on the last day of the season! But we snowboarded from the top of resort to the bottom, taking in the sights for the very last time.

We passed our inspection and told we had a lift to Tignes the next day at 13:00. So after a lazy morning saying goodbye to a few people and one last Diabolo Pizza (Spicy hot!) in the Pitchouli bar we met our manager and lugged our bags down THE stairs for the last time. 

Our season in Sainte Foy was finished. I had loved it too... There is no better way to live than on a mountain. And whilst I was skeptical to start with, Sainte Foy was the mountain for me. 

The Chalet got messier to get cleaner!
We thought we were just going to be helping out in Tignes. A bit of washing up, serving the guests and making a few beds, with the promise of a Tignes area lift pass for the last 3 days. How we were led on. The chalet normally operates with one chef and 2 hosts. One of the hosts had gone back to the UK for a few days training and Kerry and I were filling in her space. That is until we were in the van to Tignes. Then it became apparent that the chef had complained of an injured ankle and that Kerry and I were to cook that evening. 

Bleugh ... more work. I wasn't very happy. Kerry and I did not want to work in Tignes. We loved Sainte Foy and now that we had shut up shop just wanted to get home. We seriously contemplated leaving of our own accord on the Wednesday and heading home, but negotiated with the company and were assured that our commitment bond and retainer would be paid (Approx. £250 each) as well as a flight home on the chartered aircraft this coming Sunday. We figured a good deal for 3 days of tidying and hosting. 

Not so much for cooking for 21. 11 of which were kids, meaning a whole different course.

Marshmallow topped mountain from our chalet balcony
When we arrived we introduced ourselves and had a look around. The chalet was of a lower grading to ours. It wasn't as new, the furnishings weren't quite as nice, but functionally it was fine. If it was cleaned. We didn't know how the chef must have worked before. And if I'm honest, how no one had gotten ill. The kitchen had old grease smeared down the cupboards, every plate, bowl and piece of cutlery was dirty. The guests brought some mugs up to the kitchen to be cleaned as they had baked on scum around the rim. And the smell.. I'm not sure what it was but it was foul!

That evening Kerry and I cobbled together one of the meals we were used to cooking. A simple task you'd have thought... seeing as there is a comprehensive cook book that everyone is meant to adhere to. Not so when the chef had taken it upon himself to serve different food, resulting in the shopping not matching the ingredients. 

With the kitchen being as it was and the obvious discontent from the guests at the state of the place Kerry and I chose not to board the next day and instead devoted the time to deep cleaning the kitchen and dining areas. Basic stuff that Kerry and I would do every day... sweep and mop the floor, clean away all dishes in to the dishwasher, clean the windows, lay out afternoon tea.. all weren't done. And what go to me more was that the 'host' working with us had left by 9am! ... It's HER chalet!

The same palarva with dinner happened again for 2 nights. I hated it. This wasn't how a chalet was run and now I was working in it... making do with little support. I was literally counting down the hours until we were to go home. On the last night one guests in particular showed his disdain and started swearing loudly. I agreed with everything he said. I just wanted to get home.

View from the Grande Mott - Tignes
The last 3 days of our season were a nightmare and something I don't wish to happen again... But it's important that they don't detract from the whole experience. I've worked on a mountain for nearly 4 months, hosted for some amazing people, received job offers, expressions of people wanting to invest in Kerry and I and all while being able to snowboard pretty much every day.

There is nothing I would want to change about our season in Sainte Foy. It was simply... perfect. And I know it will be tricky to match that next year.

Over the 4 months Kerry and I have managed to not spend our wages. Living off of tips and the good company we kept. So with those wages we have decided to blow them all! Next Wednesday we jump back on an airplane and head for sunny Tenerife, Canary Islands for a week of all inclusive food and beer, 22 - 26 degree heat and most importantly ... someone waiting on us!

We already have some plans for next Winter season... but we can't tell you just yet ;)

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