Chance encounters in the great outdoors

Whether you’re heading outside to ski, hike, or check out the coastal views, chances are that you will bump in to some interesting people. Here’s a rundown of some of my favourite chance encounters.

Chocoholic ice cream man

This vendor of disgustingly unhealthy, (but divine,) frozen desserts has already gained notoriety in my post about Walcott. We bonded over our mutual love of chocolate and delighted in our joint love of Chocolate Splendour ice creams. During our chocolate love fest, he revealed that he consumed a 400g bar of chocolate every night along with a cup of hot chocolate. While he is definitely bang-on with the idea of the hot chocolate aiding the melting of chocolate in the mouth, even I was left flabbergasted by the sheer quantities of chocolate he allegedly consumes. If you, or anyone you know, can top that, I want to hear about it.

“Have you seen my goats?”

On the way down a steep track on Ahorn in Mayrhofen, my boyfriend and I encountered a very hot, tired man trudging up the slope. Spying us, he eagerly enquired about whether we had seen any goats on our way down. Sadly we hadn’t, and the poor man told us that he had so far walked all the way up the mountain path looking for some goats that had escaped a field in the valley floor below. After a brief rest, the man carried on up the mountain path. I hope he found them.

Cyclists doing it the hard way

On my first venture on an e-bike, we were nearing the steepest section of a ride into the Stilluptal valley when we came across a pair of knackered cyclists. They were doing it the old-fashioned way, using only brute force and an even more brutish determination to reach the top of the slope. As we sailed past on our e-bikes, the poor men cried out in horror. Telling them that we would ‘see you at the top!’ probably didn’t help. Still, when they eventually reached the bar we were relaxing in, they enjoyed berating us for our mechanical help.

Sleight of hand

A good host in a restaurant knows how to make his guests happy. But this one particular host/waiter at Griena in Mayrhofen also knows how to get his guests roaring drunk. When a pack of cards was produced at our table, we knew better than to fall for his tricks – unlike the table next to us. The aim of the game was to guess the correct location of a card as he shifted them across the table. If we guessed wrong, large quantities of schnapps were in order. Luckily we guessed them all correctly.

A bottle of rum to fill my tum

After powering through the snow on one cold September day in Mayrhofen last year, we were in urgent need of some warmth and hot chocolate. We stopped at a massive hut on the route to Lannersbach, which was almost completely empty apart from one room. Happily seated in here were a group of workmen on their (very long!) lunch break. We sat for the next hour watching them consume almost all of a bottle of rum, accompanied by much raucous laughter. Eventually, they grudgingly returned to work outside. I suspect a bottle of rum for lunch was nothing new for these workmen considering the ease with which they walked out of the room. I think this should become standard practise for all professions – I’m sure some rum for lunch would boost my productivity…

Have you had any fun/bizarre/interesting chance encounters while you have been out and about? Please feel free to share!




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