Saturday, January 26, 2013

Race Video from Flachau

I FINALLY got many of our World Cup videos from our coach, Jay, so I will be posting video from some of the races this year.

I will start with our latest race in Flacha, Austria (10th)

Monday, January 14, 2013

EGYPT

After Zagreb, we disappeared, literally. Right after the race, drug testing and the press conference, we jumped in the car at 11:30pm and started out 6h drive to Munich. We arrived in Munich, and jumped on a plane to Hurghada, Egypt. 
We were told that it was about 30C. I have never been on a warm, restful vacation, so I was expecting warm temperatures, and many days spent on the beach.
I was a little surprised looking out of the plane window at this.

Let me start by saying, Egypt was a little bit different than I expected. 

As soon as we got to our hotel we decided to look around a little bit and soak up the sun... We soon found out that Egypt was not 30C, especially at night, in the wind or in the shade.

Let me just say that most of the time we were cold, and we were too stubborn (and had packed too lightly) to wear many clothes.

But we were excited to be there on a vacation, experiencing some aspects of Egypt.

Our first day was quite warm (when the sun was out). It was a relaxing day filled with water aerobics, beach volleyball and reading my mystery book bought specifically for the beach.

We decided that the next day we would do something outside of our hotel. We had a few options such as swimming with dolphins, travelling to Cairo, but we decided that a Safari trip would be the safest and most interesting.
We woke up the next morning, met in the lobby and found this car waiting for us.

And this man ready to drive us 30minutes to Hurghada and then 30minutes across the vast desert to arrive at a bedouin (A nomadic Arab of the desert) village.

We were taught how to say faster and slower in Arabic. We only learned Faster... YALLA YALLA!

Our first stop was to check out the mirage.

We found water in the desert!!

Not... but we did levitate. 


Of course we had to get onto the car. 

After bumping around in the desert for a little longer we "hiked a mountain" aka walked a few steps up a hill, but with full bladders it might as well have been Everest. We found a few secret spots though.

Better than the holes in the ground that we found later...

Mitchles... what are you seeing?



Britt and I are hardcore and decided to do some sand hill sprints. 

Because going down is worth going up!

After this we headed to the thatch huts in the village for "lunch" aka two white buns with jam or cream cheese. 

However, we saved our appetites for pita like bread cooked over camel dung. Actually it tasted great and didn't even smell.

Our chef seemed like a very nice woman with beautiful eyes. 



 Then we were allowed to ride CAMELS!!


I was so excited... even though my camel tried to bite me.

But Eve's was really out of it.... there is no grass in the desert silly camel.
CANADIAN ALPINE WOMEN'S TEAM.... riding camels. Never before seen.

Many people asked us if were were sisters or friends. (One or the othaaa) Mitch liked to tell them that we were artists, while Eve and I answered twins. 

The camel in the background seems to want the cigarette...


After this we headed over to see a few of the buildings.

Some were fairly nice.

However, I don't know how entire families live in these type of homes all of their lives. I guess it really makes you appreciate those around you... and camels, which the men give the women for wedding gifts. The more wealthy the are the more camels they give. I wouldn't mind that! 

One man made these class like things with colourful sand.

He even made little camels and birds.

Then we had to don our headgear...

We got in character.

Blended in with our surroundings.

And then headed into the desert to drive dune buggies. 

And ATVs!
The scarves were supposed to keep the sand our of our mouths, faces and hair, but I can honestly say that that was a fail.

We were very hungry after this and headed to dinner and our live show. 

I call him twirling man. He probably spun for over 5min and didn't even look dizzy afterwards.


He was definitely feeling the heat.

And then things happened that created these facial expressions.

A man did many sword tricks including putting a knife against his neck and having Elli and I stand on his shoulders. I hope he realized how heavy we are before choosing girls to do this.

Oh ya... I forgot. On our first real day in Egypt I decided that I should pay and check my emails, and let my mom know that I was still living. I realized that my cross-country childhood friend, Lenny Valjas, sent me an email. He said that he was trying to figure out where to go on his break after a crazy Tour de Ski (those long distance athletes are crazy!), and he panicked and booked a flight to Egypt.
Well after a crazy taxi ride (which I am glad not to have been a part of, although my boxing skills are top notch), Lenny made it to Egypt.

It was too bad that we had already gone on the Safari, but there were other things to do on the... not so warm days.

Like trying to avoid man eating fish. (Finally something that we could do for freiii) 

At night we ate Egyptian food, bread fresh out of the bread stove and star gazed wrapped in blankets lying in the sand.

Everyone saw a shooting star except me. Maybe I will see one when I least expect it, when I really need a wish.


During the days we did workouts with an elderly couple, did water aerobics with a man in a speedo, kayaked, swam in the Red Sea and listened to facts that Mitch had about bodies of salt water. 
It was peaceful and relaxing, yet not warm. 

It was an amazing trip filled with a lot of laughing, many inside jokes, and 5 really great friends.

We tried to figure out how to do a modern Egyptian picture. Everyone had various ideas, while I looked on in... admiration.


Then we struck a pose, and Lenny got into character.... 

We had a few jumping pictures... fail.

But all in all everything that we did, whether we froze or not, was a lot of fun. We laughed until our bellies ached (or it might have been the core that the elderly people had no trouble with), gazed at the stars until we almost fell asleep. We jumped high and never wanted to come down, we swam in the sea hoping we wouldn't drown. 
I've made some amazing friends along the road, and I am so grateful for the journey that I am on. 

For future adventures see:
Lenny
http://lennyvaljas.com

Mitch
http://www.mariemichelegagnon.com

Eve
http://routhierski.blogspot.com

Elli
http://www.elliterwiel.blogspot.ca