Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Greeting sports fans...
I know its been stupid length of time since an update but its been a mad mad time and its all nearly over. I'll try to remember what I can about what I have been doing but we'll see how we go...
I headed to the small township of Wanaka with aforementioned cute scottish girl for the weekend and it was probably one of the best weekends I've ever had. Such a relaxing place :)
On the saturday we headed there and stopped for a coffee at the Cardrona Hotel which is near the turn off for the Cardrona Ski field (more on that later) on the way. This is the kind of pub my Dad would quit his business and move to run tomorrow. Theres a great outside fireplace and beer garden with immaculately manicured gardens, reminded me of the proper beer gardens you get in the UK over summer. Smell of fresh cut grass, shandy for the kids (or Broad), small boys playing football, jumpers for goalposts, etc... Sorry Aussie brethren but Australia for all its great pubs simply doesn't do a good beer garden.
Anyway we got into Wanaka and found our accomodation which was quiet and perfect, then we headed down and had lunch at an Ale House (Speights) which was an amazing feed, great beer, great company. Then we walked along the lake shore where there is there are these tiles with moments in history from 0 AD to 2005 (both local and world wide) painted on, it's really cool, with tiles like "1066 Battle of Hastings" followed by "1067 Early Maori Paintings dated to this time at blah". My companion was however most inspired by the date of the invention of mayonnaise, but hey whatever floats your boat hey.
We then went to Cinema Paradiso which is basically an old school cinema with all the chairs ripped out and replaced by old comfy couches and an old car with the roof cut off on one side (you can sit in that, but not as comfy as the couches). You can order meals for the interval and get real coffee, beer, wine and homemade cookies brought in during the feature, so frikkin cool. Then we had a few beers and hit the sack in preparation for our snowboarding the next day: Cardrona! - It was amazing. Got up and wandered round town before having a breakfast at the Kai Cafe (which we'd had beers at the night before) and then headed off to Cardona to get half price day passes (as we both work for NZ Ski). It was SOOOOOOO wicked. FAR FAR FAR better boarding than Remarkables and Coronet put together. We are so annoyed we hadn't done this earlier in the season! Massive long, wide runs with great snow, and little jumps/mogils for amateur terrain park people like us ;P
When we finished for the day we were supposed to head back to Queenstown for the end of season ball, but we'd had such a great time we just couldn't face Queenstown (we are a bit partied out after 3.5 months!) so we went back to Wanaka and had dinner before heading home. Magic!
Well I saw my first Ice Hockey game in the flesh for the end of season Coronet Vs Remarks play off. It was awesome, as these guys all play on a Thursday night amateur league regulalry so they are pretty good. Also there is a guy who grits the road at Remarks who just happens to be captain of the "Ice Blacks" - the NZ national Ice Hockey team so he played for remarks. The guy who runs the Rocky Gully Cafe at Coronet is also an outstanding keeper so each team had a star player if you like which made it a great game. It was crazy to see all these guys slamming into eachother and pummeling themselves into the barriers then realise..."holy crap I know that guy, he works in ski rentals...I gotta remember to be nicer to him"
It ended a draw and then we went down to the usual haunt (Montys) for post game beers and debrief. Awesome.
CORONET PEAK CLOSES
Well it pretty much ran out of snow. I knew it had maybe a week left in it when I hit work on Tuesday to find a new water feature outside first aid -> a 4m wide waterfall! The hill is very bare of snow and the snowgroomers perform miracles each night to keep the few runs open but its a sad sight. The med centre called at midday to ask if I had any injuries come in and I said "A drowning". They nearly believed me. Wonder if they will pick up my requisition form for snorkels as a joke? Remarks is still open so I am up there this coming week.
I hate moving. I finally moved out of the place we had with the other 3 flat mates having left earlier in the season I had a lot to sort out but now its all done and I am crashing with Will at his place in Arthurs Point which is cool, he's really funny and gets regularly attacked by the neighbours cat whilst asleep at night which amuses me no end. I am with him until the 10th now, but as Coronet Peak has now closed he is off Ski touring and Heli-Skiing (get Jealous JD and Lev) for 4 days on Fox Glacier so I am house sitting the bachelor pad.
Well this blog is FAR too long so I will end it now and say that I have had an awesome season and met some wonderful people, made some friends for life and learnt a heap aswell as growing as a person I hope (no I aint talking about the gym Ali). I am looking forward to coming home to Brisbane to see my friends and family who I dearly miss, before my next adventure: Outback service!
Anyway I am back on October 10th and will hopefully be going out for a few beers on Saturday the 14th of October, so if any of you are keen I'd love to see you/drink with you then :)
Keep In touch - I will be back on my Aussie mobile from October 10th
Love yous all
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Ok here are the latest news headlines from Reuters Queenstown branch...
(1) Sun hits South Island ->
Miraculous tranformation has occurred in my apparel. I have gone from wearing balaclava (makes me look a bit IRA) + mirror goggles and helmet whilst snowboarding to wearing a red Coronet Peak bandana and mirror aviators due to the sunny and hot conditions. Doesn't sound that impressive but basically I have gone from looking like a stormtrooper to looking like Axel Rose from Guns and Roses in the space of a week.
(2) Skidoo Racer ->
I drove a skidoo!!! The mountain was all but closed due to appalling weather conditions (this was before the sun hit) so we only had the beginner area open and I was bored. They have a frozen lake (Alta Lake) up the top of the ski field and a team of ice divers had been running a scuba course there (Read: Mad bastards) so I wanted to take a look. A ski patroller (who will remane nameless so he don't get into trouble) took me up there on the skidoo and we drove out onto the frozen lake (which is melting this time of year) on the HEAVY skidoo with two big (and might I say devilishly handsome and tough...well I am at least...;P) dudes on it. I was a little concerned when he drove within about 1 meter of the edge of the hole! Anyway when this was done we went back to the base of Sugar Basin and Patroller X stopped the skidoo and jumped off saying "righto, no-one's watching...your turn!". So I drove the skidoo up and around sugar basin, until he asked me if my husband had taught me how to drive. To prove a point I opened it up full throttle and got air. He was suitably impressed and THEN told me that they handle like a drunk tricyclist with one leg at speed and that if he hadn't been counter leaning on my turns we'd have rolled it. Oh well, live and learn...(just)
(3) Duck Killer ->
I hit a duck with the car :(
Dave (nurse) who was in the car then called me murderer for the rest of the day and texted everyone, so I started getting messages like
"You up for Peking Duck tonight Turk?"
"I thought it was Wabbit season?"
"Just saw three little ducklings walking around the base of remarkables looking for their mum. You seen her?"
"Hey Turk, I heard U got a job drowning puppies for the RSPCA? Is this true?"
I feel awful. All abuse welcome :( I deserve it. RIP little ducky.
(4) Home made ambulance->
The ambo's here are a bit crap. We ordered an ambo at 4pm (we finish at 4:30pm and should be off the mountain by 5 at the latest as Ski Patrol need to leave and thus the moubntain isn't "safe" without them to get people out of trouble (their job extends to the road getting off the mountain too). Anyway they told us 20 minutes (which is good, it's usually 35mins if you are LUCKY). Anyway 5:30 came and went and so we called back and they said "oh we weren't sure if you wanted that now, I'll despatch it now but they went to Glenorchy so it'll be a 1.5hr wait". I was fuming. I cancelled the ambulance backed the Subaru legacy up to First aid, filled it with Crash-Kit, O2, Entenox, Took Morphine and Naloxone and made my car an ambulance. With Dave the ambo driver we got the guy to hospital in 18minutes! No siren or lights though ;P
(5) Navigation ->
Due to crappy weather (same day I did Ski-doo land speed record ;P) We had kKi patrol give a Navigation tutorial which covered magnetic VS true north, GPS theory, Inclincation/declination, taking bearings, triangulation and navigation under trying conditions I.E. Flat light and white fog on a glacier! It was awesome, I'm not saying I can do ANY of that stuff now but I learnt a hell of a lot.
(6) Jadd, Heather and the lads ->
Jaddster, Heather, Jim, Dan, Beau and Luke are in town snowboarding, which is awesome. The lads are running a muck and chatting up all the local girls (who then get very disappointed when they find out they all have girlfriends!). Anyway more on that later but current countries woo'd include Brazil, Sweden and England...and that was just one night! Anyway will upload photos of their debauchery soon...Oh and I have a bet that Beau hurts himself on a rail/jump/box before the week is out.
Better go as this is my day off and its sunny so I need to go run around the lake :)
Take it easy and write to me! Want to be up to speed when I get back (1 month to go!)
Love and err...nah, oh ok peace
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
I AM THE CHIEF
Well sorry its been so long between entries but again my excuse is work.
It has been really good, and I had a poor japanese fellow the other day who landed HARD after a jump and managed to dislocate his hip, shoulder and crack a bone in his neck. He was in ALOT of pain which really shows how bad his injuries were because Japanese snowboarders are notoriously stoic with pain. That was fairly stressful, but the overall magaement of him was good so I was happy. I think thats the toughest call is do we call an ambulance or get a helicopter early on? It takes time for these things to arrive so you have to make very quick decisions based on imperfect information and that can be stressful.
Also had an elbow dislocation the other day which was tricky to get back in, but brute strength from Nurse Dave was sufficient (I just hate the idea of pulling on a painful limb as the patient screams, but I guess I just need to toughen up hey?!)
Other than that we have had the Ski Patrol party and there are some pics uploaded of that. It was fancy dress so JD and I went in our Norwegian guises, although the moustaches pissed us off after about 30 seconds (and kept getting in our beers so we had to use straws -> not the coolest look) so when we ditched them we were left with abraham lincoln beards making us look amish ;P It was a great night and I had a super time with a great crew of people. I like their mentality "You fall, we haul"
Such lovely people, and so caring when people are in pain, cold and in sometimes extreme conditions. They also like a beer or twenty after work!!!
Mum and Dad also visited for 4 days which was awesome. Mum was sick as a dog unfortunately but it just goes to show how tough my Ma is as she never complained when she pretty much had pneumonia. We had a great night up at the Gondola restaurant. In Queenstown there is a big hill ovedrlooking the city and a cable car (Gondola) up to a big Restaurant. We went up there (with the lovely Morven) and had dinner and saw a Kiwi Haka. Unfortunately when we got there for the Haka the Maori lady who greeted us said that one of the young male members of the group had to be elected the chief of our group for the ceremony so we could be welcomed into the Haka. Some big beast of a women suggested me (you kow those big, loud types, grrrrr) and as I looked around the crowd to try and find someone else who I could drop in it I noticed I was pretty much the youngest tallest adult male there (70% of the group were small asian women) it had to be me. Oh great. I accepted with great vigor (can you sense the sarcasm) and then it was explained that I was now chief of the group and when I enter some guy is gonna come at me with a spear and I have to stand my ground and then he'll give me a token and if I accept it we can watch the Haka. Yeah, sweet, what a relaxing evening ->
"Come to the gondola restaurant, enjoy the view, relax with a great meal, get attacked with spear by massive maori dude in front of 30 Japanese women"
Usual saturday night I guess...
Needless to say my first act as chief was to try and have the big beast of a women who nominated me sacrificed for the good of my tribe...no luck though :(
It was pretty bloody cool actually, dude basically ran at me with a spear and yelled alot then left me a good luck token with a white feather. Then the show went on with some awesome Maori songs and great harmonies, really talented stuff. So different from our aboriginal culture.
Dinner was great, and we had a really good time there, I hope Mum and Dad had as good a time as we did.
Other than that I have just been snowboarding when I can and leanring as much as possible and socialising. The season is really running away now and I have to try and get as much snowboarding in as possible before it all ends and I am back in Brisbane and then off to the outback for a spell.
Anyway I better go, speak to you all soon
Location: QTWN, New Zealand
Apologies for not doing an entry for a while, but have been so busy, so have saved up a bunch of pics for you. Not sure what I wrote last time, but I have been visited by Christian and Lauren from Brisbane which was awesome. Christian is truly clinically insane and needs medication due to toxic levels of enthusiasm. Spent a few days boarding with him in APPALLING conditions, and just as you would know it, as soon as he left we got a great dump of powder. His wife Lauren is a star and she picked up boarding very easily despite bilateral knee contusions for the duration.
Matt and Tan also visited and I spent a day at Remarks boarding with her. We had a really bad Norwegian Snowboard instructor who basically was telling us (the group of 10) the same things over and over again, regardless of how good you were and what you were doing wrong. We were at different levels and usually they give you all a bit of individual advice) Tan and I went in a level 3 lesson, and we should have gone to level 4. He was being a real tool to this girl who was pretty bad and needed some help with the basics so we just waited until he boarded off to wait for us at the bottom and gave her a quick tute! By the end of it she was doing awesome toe-side turns and Tanya and I were going ballistic! (we may actually have been happier than her)
Other than that I have been working heaps and boarding a bit too. Have started boarding with my MP3 player and it really helps me to relax and get my technique right. Jamiroquai is a must to listen to but occasionally you start laughing when you think about the dancing scene from Napolean Dynamite and fall over. Also really keen for a trip to Cardrona which I'll do after Mum and Dad have visited.
Last night was the Ski Patrol party so JD and I went as Artic Norwegian Mountaineers complete with ridiculous beards. We had one of those greats nights where everyone was on top form and being really hilarious. I had a few too many Vodka Red Bulls and totally forgot to find a pub to watch the Charity Shield between Liverpool and Chelsea and I am gutted as we beat them! (Hui may not forgive me)
Am going to climb a glacier in the next month or so, so with some luck will have some real quality pics for you all!
Better go, off to meet for coffee (day off today)
Love yous all, keep in touch
George and Ila: GREAT Pics!!!! Am jealous, especially the Barcelona ones. Next holiday I do is gonna be a hot one.
Gareth: Congrats on the great marks and the new job! You're such a champ working with cereral palsy people, I'm blown away (again).
Ness: Hope you got this one :)
Alan & Margaret: How is Aunty M's fictional rotator cuff? Is she pulling her weight round the house yet? Tut tut...
Liv & Ben: How is the new job livster?
Steve: You are gay, but hell we knew that...
Scott: Gimme a text when U R free to talk, I need an update on all things scotty!