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I learnt to SKI in sunny Africa?

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I learnt to SKI in sunny Africa?

Who would have thought one could learn to ski in Africa? Yes, that’s right, in our neighbouring country of Lesotho!

What a wonderful opportunity to learn to ski right here and at a 10th of the price of having to head to Europe or North America.

When life offers you a long weekend, you grab it and learn something new!

AfriSki was our destination of choice for a snowy long weekend, so we headed up Sani Pass and onto the A1 (a tar road within Lesotho). The winding A1 road led us to AfriSki, not without us having to overtake a few donkeys or cow-drawn-carts. The scenery was beautiful, with local stone rondavels camouflaged in the mountainous landscape.

Entering into AfriSki is super exciting, you are greeted with a corridor of snow down the mountainside. AfriSki maintains their snowy slope during the winter season with snowmakers (providing conditions are cold enough and there is water).

Always a good idea to pre-book ski school, ski passes and ski hire.

On arrival we headed immediately to have our ski boots fitted, it takes some getting used to, as you feel a bit like the ugly sister in Cinderella trying to squeeze your foot into this boot that initially doesn’t want your foot at all, but after much perseverance, a few squeals of pain you eventually crush your foot into the boot and feel a sudden relief. Walking in these boots is another story and requires thick socks and a few plasters on the shin to prevent discomfort. If you ever remember the Oros man, I certainly felt like him in my non-flattering ski outfit. However, with wardrobe regrets behind me, I tackled walking towards the snow with ski’s in hand to figure out how one even tries to ski.

The ski instructors are plentiful and all extremely used to clumsy folk such as my friend and I, who couldn’t control our direction at all, crashing into the rest of our group or landing on our bottoms as we didn’t know how to stop. Eventually ‘pizza’ became the word of the day and we learnt to snow plough – finally we could go from side to side down the baby slope. The second day saw us heading down the intermediate slope. We were mightily impressed with how we took to the slope, not as graceful as an Olympic skier, but certainly, we got it and weren’t falling over or crashing into anybody.

Next year we aim to freshen up on the intermediate slope and then conquer the BIG slope! I am so looking forward to getting back, the whole experience was top notch and out of the lips of an accomplished snowboarder (my husband), “It was the best holiday I have had in a long time!

If you are heading for the slopes, ensure you have the right ski kit, thermal underwear, extra plasters for cuts and grazes. Skiing is thirsty work, stay hydrated, apply sunblock and keep a stick of lip-ice as your lips dry up fast.

For those interested in heading up to AfriSki to learn this winter sport, book in advance as the Winter season is lots of fun and they get booked up quickly. Should you be travelling from Gauteng, head along the N3 toll route and then onto Clarens for a stay-over. From the Durban side, Sani Pass offers a nice adventure before arriving at AfriSki.

Happy skiing!

 

 

Lori Voss

loriv@n3gateway.com

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