Signs that you live in a tropical clime:
When in order to prepare for an excursion to a ski resort tomorrow the following events occur:
- when no matter how hard you look you just CAN’T find any scarves, gloves, hats or mittens, even when you can swear that you kept a special drawer in your apartment JUST to keep strange garments like scarves, gloves, hats and mittens, but when you look in that drawer the only thing you find is an enormous square black cap with a large golden tassel that your son wore for his graduation, ie. his graduation from kindergarten, not his graduation from university, and also 2 Santa Claus caps (probably got them at some party)
- when your son needs to take a crash course to learn how to put on the gloves that his grandfather bought him specially for his trip to the snow, because he just CAN’T figure out how to get one finger inside each glove finger, the reason being that he has never worn gloves before in his life
- when your kids have to wear rubber rain boots to go to the snow, because they have nothing else to wear
When we first moved here from Barcelona we did decide to keep the winter gear because we said, you never know when it will come in handy. Who knows maybe one year you will do just exactly what we’re going to do tomorrow and take an excursion to a ski resort.
Or maybe one year you just might decide to go on your Christmas vacations to New York City or England or Canada. But of course we never went skiing, and we never went to NYC, England or Canada on our winter holidays.
So the winter gear started disappearing, and getting stuffed further and further back, or moved out of the way. And in the end it all disappeared forever.
Well as you can see, last month we returned to Sierra Nevada.
For those members of the expedition who were expecting to see snow for the very first time in their lives (ie. my youngest son) the trip was quite clearly a disappointment.
For the rest of us (or rather, for me, who absolutely HATES the cold, the wind, the frost or anything that you won’t find in the tropics!), it was quite a splendorous revelation and a very relaxing outing.
Because we didn’t find any snow.
Except, of course, the artificial variety, absolutely vital in a touristic ski resort that depends solely and entirely on the presence of snow.
So now, here we have yet another sign that we live comfortably ensconced in a tropical clime, here on the south coast of Spain. As we crossed over the mountains that separate our particular Shangri-La from the cold wild north, my sons exclaimed:
“How come there are no leaves on the trees, Mami?”
Because, of course, on the Costa del Sol, trees merrily conserve their leaves all year round, and these leaves remain green.
So that pretty much summed up the point in going to the bother of travelling to Sierra Nevada. Because we certainly didn’t do it for the snow.
As you can see, the mountaintops were as bare, as they say here, as a bald man’s pate.
I had been feeling quite distressed because, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we had been unable to dig up any winter gear. I was expecting to endow the African vendors up on the mountains with a small fortune investing in hats, scarves and mitts from them.
Instead, the only thing I purchased was a set of sunglasses. Very fortuitous, as it just so happened that I had forgotten mine at home. However, the friendly African merchant was on the verge of setting up an ice cream stand, so so much for that.
Now, we really don’t know what in the world this was! But it looked so forlorn there, as well as useless, my son tried to hang it up but it kept falling down again. So we gave up on it.
Truth is, Pradollano is actually quite a lovely, quaint and Swiss-like village. Its only problem is that (from my point of view, of course) it’s too cold! Most of the time, that is.
Although perhaps not this year.
In order to find a little bit of the powdery white stuff, we had to journey up to the ski slopes, where artificial snow machines kept the ground nicely padded.
And my kids could finally throw a few snowballs.
Down in the village, we roasted ourselves in the sun a bit. We engaged in my favourite activity, people-watching, and observed that most were wearing T-shirts rather than anoraks.
And we also noticed that any little vestige of snow that happy skiers proudly brought down with them from the slopes, promptly formed puddles on the ground without any further ado.
Now, do these flowers in bloom look like something you would expect to see at the beginning of January at a ski resort, or what?
So, I fear that, unlike in our previous journey to the mountains of Sierra Nevada a few years back, my youngest son was unable to learn the delicate art of forming snow angels. He had no experience of slipping and sliding on wet and icy mounds or trying to learn to get his “snow feet” under him.
I guess all these experiences will just have to wait till another year.
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