Nena Book 6 *Remind Me Again* - Part 5

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Nena: Book 6
Remind Me Again

by Maddy Bell
Copyright © 2015 Maddy Bell
All Rights Reserved.

Remind me again cover.jpg
 
Part 5
   

“So, you girls going back on the slopes?” Den enquired.
We hadn’t splurged too much on lunch, in fact lunch for Anne-Marie was nothing more than coffee although I succumbed to a bowl of soup with my beverage, of course Den had to have a proper meal, well a tureen of spaghetti at any rate.

The French fiend gave the view outside a quick look before replying.
“I think the light, it is good for at least another run.”
“Think I’ll watch from the veranda,” Den told us.
Looks like the purple peril gets to slip and slide the slopes again.
   
My third run of the day was at least uneventful, I didn’t hit anyone, fall over or otherwise embarrass myself too much. Although time was getting on a bit, Anne Marie was keen to go again, me rather less so I have to say.

“Oh come on, girl, you only live once.”
‘And I’d like to keep doing it,’ I thought to myself.
I spotted Den watching us from the balcony of the Ristorante Carosello, beer in hand, my pride got the better of me, “The blue lift?”
The French woman raised an eyebrow, “Okay.”

Of course to call it a lift is a misnomer, it’s a long cable you hang onto which pulls you up the slope so you can slide back down and the Blue, according to the board I saw earlier will take us some way further up the mountain than our previous activities off the Green. It’s not the quickest means of transport but in lieu of any alternative it’s pretty much your only means of reaching the higher slopes without trying to walk up – I don’t think so! Looking down from the top several things came to mind, it’s high, it’s steep and it’s a long way back down to the Carosello Bergstation!
“If you want to go ahead,” I suggested.
“Are you okay? You look a leetle pale.”
“I’m fine, really, I’ll just take my time.”
She didn’t look entirely convinced, “I’ll wait for you at the big rock okay?”
“Okay,” I agreed.
She pushed off and with a deep breath I followed.
   
Anne Marie zoomed away, swishing through wide loops across the piste with effortless ease, meanwhile I managed to land on my posterior twice before making one turn. Other skiers zipped past but I stoically descended, the shadows lengthening across the slope around me. I only fell once more before reaching the rock.
“You enjoy that?”
“I think so.”
“You did well I would say, so we should continue, the light, it is losing.”

At a guess it’s still only about three thirty but whilst the opposite side of the valley was bathed in winter sun we weren’t and as the shadows moved in the temperature was starting to fall. The number of skiers up here was thinning rapidly too, the Bergwachte in their orange jackets were descending behind them. With a deep breath I pushed myself onto the slope, my companion close behind.
   
Of course I managed to get to the bottom before overconfidence resulted in what can best be described as a single party incident. Don’t ask me what happened, one moment I was gliding across the snow, the next I was a tangle of arms, legs, poles and ski. I say ski, the other apparently not liking my company as it slipped away down slope.
“Chris!”
“Nena!”
I managed to pull my snow encrusted goggles free to find Den and Anne Marie rushing to my aid.
“Are you okay, girl?”
“Think so,” I allowed as I disentangled myself, “ooh!”
More bodies arrived including one of the orange jackets.
“Deutsche?”
“Er ja,” I fibbed wincing at the pain in my arm.
   
“So nothing broken?” Den enquired when I emerged from the Bergwachte station thirty minutes later.
“No thank god, bad sprain, they’ve strapped it but that’s the end of my skiing.”
“Anything to get out of loading the bus.”
“I wasn’t gonna do that anyway, where’s Anne Marie?”
“She went down to the facilities a few minutes ago, said she’ll see us at the hire place.”
“Sugar, I lost a ski,” great, that’s my deposit gone.
“At least you’re okay, come on.”
   
We found Anne Marie flirting outrageously with the young guy at the hire place.
“Here she is, how is the arm?”
“Not broken, just a sprain. I er seem to have lost a ski.”
“Gianno, is that a problem,” she addressed the hunky chap who was taking charge of the poles and remaining ski from Dennis.
“Problem? There is nothing to miss.”

Turns out the wayward ski had been retrieved and returned while I was getting treatment. I needed help getting my footwear changed, look I can’t use that arm okay so Den had to do the honours.
   
“So I’ll see you at the Rusticana later yes, I’d best go find Francois.” Anne Marie sighed.
I think she’d enjoyed herself, I did up to a point, now I just ache and hurt, apart from my arm I ache in places I didn’t know you could.
“Um okay,” I agreed.
The Ristorante Rusticana is apparently the social hub for the visiting coach crews, a fixture for friends old and new. We could self cater or go elsewhere but given my arm and not wishing to appear churlish the Rusticana is it. Our taxi had us back at the Federia in double quick time, it’s still heading toward six though, my spill on the slopes really had delayed our return to town.
   
“Bugger, I can’t even dress myself.”
“You need a hand?” Den offered.
“I’ll manage,” I grumbled from the bathroom.
Of course a shower wasn’t an option, and now after a quick wash I was struggling to even get fresh knickers on – no way am I asking Den for help! My limited wardrobe options found me in the skirt with a reprise of the jumper and I don’t care that the boots look a bit daft – it was easy to put on and it’s not that far to the restaurant.
   
It was pretty much the same faces around the table, somehow Anne Marie looked even more chic and glamorous than last night and I don’t think she spent too much of the last ninety minutes getting ready. Not by the look on Francois’ face.

“You are okay, Nena?” Rudi enquired, clearly the tale of my mishap had gone ahead of me.
“No lifting for a few days,” I supplied.
“Nothing changes there,” Den opined which raised several sniggers around the table.
“Hmmph!”
Beer, wine and food arrived and we settled in for a relaxing evening.
   
“No excursions for the Englishers?” Rudi asked as we all started preparing to depart for our beds.
“Some train ride tomorrow morning then into Moritz,” Den supplied.
“Bernina! We go the same, which train?”
“Nena, what time’s the train? Rudi’s got the same trip.”
“Er ten thirty at Poschiavo? Set off at nine.”
“Nine? You’ll never do it,” Rudi opined.
“Damn, I knew that seemed a bit tight,” I groaned, “how long, Rudi?”
“Two hours would be best I think, it’s nearly 100km.”
“That far?” Den queried, “I only made it about forty, up over the Forcola then drop down to Poschiavo.”
Rudi chuckled, “In summer maybe, this time of year it’s closed.”
“So we have to go out through the tunnel?”
“No, they keep the Bormio road open but it’s not a great road.”
“You on the same train?” I enquired.
“I think yes but we board at Tirano at ten.”
“We need to have words with Mrs Fraser,” Den sighed.
Oh joy, the perfect end to a perfect day – not!
   
Of course I got the unpleasant job of breaking the news, I eventually tracked her down in her room back at the Federia.
“So you are saying we need to leave earlier?” she barked.
“Only thirty minutes.”
“Thirty minutes, might as well be thirty days!”
“I’ve spoken to the hotel, they are okay with an earlier breakfast.” Planning, that’s my thing, I shall be having words with BET when we get back.
“They might be but the students won’t be,” she pointed out, “I shall be complaining about this.”
“Well it’s either this or miss the train,” I pointed out.
   
“So?” Den asked when I returned to our room.
“No promises but if we’re ready we’re covering ourselves.”
“Let’s hope the road’s clear.”
“Fingers crossed,” I agreed.
   
We might’ve made ourselves thirty minutes but Rudi was already on his yellow behemoth when we reached the coach park at seven forty five, he’s away at eight.
“See you later,” Rudi called out as we opened up our own bus.
“I hope so,” I replied.
“Tschuss!”
“Tschuss.”
“Come on, girl, let’s get Betsy warmed up.”

You might think it’s a two minute job, hop on, fire up and away you go, if only. By the time you’ve sorted out the tacho, checked everything’s working, let the heater start its work, well fifteen minutes are long gone. Oh I nearly forgot, we have to get the bus to the passengers too.
   
Despite Mrs Fraser’s misgivings, all of the girls were on the bus with time to spare, it was actually one of the adults who delayed us beyond the revised departure time. Even Livigno has a rush hour that didn’t exactly improve matters, by the time we started the climb out of Livigno it was already nearly ten to nine, the clock is ticking. The low winter sun at least gave us cause to expect a clear road over the Trepalle and Cima which, whilst not that high wouldn’t be fun with snow in the ground.

“Well that went better than it could’ve,” I allowed in a low voice.
“Let’s hope there are no hold ups,” Den supplied, “we’re still not out of the woods.”
“And who’ll get it in the neck if they miss the train?”

Beyond the windows the mountains of the Engadin soared around us, not that the beauty and grandeur surrounding us had many viewers from the Global bus. The girls were mostly lost in conversation, even the adults of the party taking no notice of the views. So much for educational tours, they could’ve been driving around the fens for all the attention being paid to northern Italy.

We dropped towards Bormio and joined the string of trucks and cars heading down the valley towards Tirano. Apart from some temporary lights at the Sondalo tunnel we made good progress so I was shocked when we reached Tirano to find it was already ten to ten. If we hadn’t moved things up there is no way we could’ve made our train.

At least we are ahead of the train, we actually had to wait for a Bernina train to go into Tirano. That did at least garner some interest as the line runs a short way actually along the St Moritz road. We crossed into Switzerland and at least the road was better surfaced but there wouldn’t be a lot to spare.

I took the mic and clicked it on.
“Could I have everyone’s attention for just a minute please,” it took a moment for the chatter to decrease.
“Right we’ll be at Poschiavo in a few minutes, there won’t be much time to get to the platform so if you want to be on the train and not on the bus you need to be ready to get off as soon as we arrive.”

Well I’ve done my bit, now it’s up to them.
I flicked another look at the clock, ten past and I reckon still almost twenty kilometres left to go.
   
©Maddy Bell 04.08.16



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