Monday, March 10, 2014

I Came, I Saw...I Fell

When you miss home, small things can bring memories to your mind and tears to your eyes. That would explain why I'd become silent on the bus ride from Barcelona to Andorra. As we edged closer to the border, I was overcome with the realization I'd seen the snow-covered mountains before: a year ago, while heading to the mountains with my ex-roomate in her beat-up car, to take advantage of a free morning to go snowboarding.
I wasn't expecting such a strong reaction to the country my co-worker had invited me to, and to which I'd replied, "What the hell's Andorra?" This tiny, non-descript parcel of land turned out to be a fulcrum upsetting the peace I previously had about my future goals. You see, I'd been enjoying the language immersion, the food, and the culture of Andalucía. I'm still fascinated by it. But being in a snowy country stirred my soul. In Andorra I realized that I love snow too, and Canadian traditions.

On our first day we did many activities at Grau Roig, where I marvelled at the dry, fluffy confection of snow.

Afterwards, in Soldeu, we stumbled upon a cozy bar filled with people enjoying cover songs - sung in English! - by an expat. It was fun educating my Spanish friends about the things in the bar that are typical of a mountainside bar in my Canadian province: wood interior, stiff drinks, outdoorsy clothes, and good music. I didn't want to go, but I did because the next day, I had to be up while it was still dark in order to take advantage of the fact that I was in Andorra, popular in Europe for its breathtaking ski runs.

The conditions in El Tarter were perfect. Once I got my bearings, I was flying down the hills. I felt amazing!

Until the front edge of my board caught. I flew forward like a flapjack, landing face-first into the snow. In an irony befitting a teacher who complains about her salary being too low, I'd landed on my wallet, which was so full of change it fractured my rib. Basically, I'm so rich, my wallet hurt me.

I cut my snowboarding day short and slithered down to the base, in pain. My rib wasn't completely broken, although I didn't know it was fractured so I continued lugging heavy bags around Andorra, thinking I'd merely bruised a muscle. It was only when I returned to Villacarrillo and the pain became unbearable, that I finally went to the doctor and was x-rayed. His recommendation was that I rest for a month, not doing any sports except for walking. 

Did my injury sideline me forever?  Heck no! As soon as I'm fully healed I'll be raring to hit another mountain, or perhaps with the weather turning, try out some surfing...

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