I don't have a sense of humour when i'm skiing

Trip Start Jun 22, 2010
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15
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Trip End Aug 24, 2010


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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Monday, August 2, 2010

Hello!

Sorry it's been so long since our last update, but we’ve been staying in a place without the internet!

Since we last updated you we’ve been very busy doing all sorts of outdoor-sy stuff, which is very unlike both of us, but which we have both really enjoyed!

After a long drive down the west coast of the south island, from Nelson, we arrived in Franz Josef. Franz Josef is a tiny village, which only exists, as it’s the place you start your guided tour of the Franz Josef Glacier!

Woke up very late on the morning of our glacier walk (10am) and got ready for our half day hike. We met at the place where we got our equipment and were fully kitted out in all the hiking gear, including crampons.

From the car park it was still a 3km walk to the foot of the glacier. It was amazingly scenic, and Amy and I began to wonder why we hadn’t explored more of New Zealand on foot.

By the time we got to the foot of the glacier we remembered why. There was a huge pile of rocks which had to be climbed before we could start on the glacier walk and I’ll be honest here, it nearly killed us. It was so steep and really hard to walk on.

Anyway, after catching our breath we carried onto the interesting part, the glacier walk. It lasted about two hours and took us right through all the little caves, tunnels and crevasses of the glacier. The view from the top was amazing and we both really enjoyed the hike!

Next, on to Queenstown. It was another long drive to Queenstown. The distances aren’t that far, but the roads are so windy and you spend the whole time climbing mountain roads, just to come down the other side. We stopped in a place called Wanaka for lunch and carried on to Queenstown. We stopped on the way again as there was a place called 'Have A Shot’, which was basically a place you could go to show how much of a man you were. There was a driving range, archery, a rifle shooting range, a clay pigeon shooting range and crazy golf. We went for the clay pigeon shooting rang, which gave us both the chance to fire our fist real shotguns. We were both below average, and only managed to get one pigeon out of ten, each.

Arrived in Queenstown pretty late and had chance to go food shopping before bed! Woke up yesterday very, very late i.e. 1pm and headed into town. It was a crap day and the weather was awful, so there wasn’t much to do, only pick up our equipment for skiing! We came back to the hostel and I chose to watch ‘My Best Friends Wedding’ starring Julia Roberts and ‘Sex and the City’ starring that girl who looks like a horse. If you believe that then you obviously don’t know me or Amy very well. It was such a popular choice we managed to clear the communal area of the hostel in 10 minutes

Got an early night, as this morning we had to be up for skiing!! Woke up at 6.15 and we were at our ski resort, ‘Cardrona’, by 8.30. The forecast had been for a cold night of bad weather and then a perfect skiing day. Turns out the bad weather hung around for longer than expected and when we arrived at the resort they were thinking about closing all the runs as the visibility was so bad. I couldn’t see my hand infront of my face. It was a proper blizzard. Even so, they had opened the beginners slope, which was perfect for me who had ever been skiing on a mountain before. I had my first experience of a chair lift, which was uneventful and managed to find the piste in the shocking conditions.

I made it to the bottom alive, only falling on two occasions (quite an achievement for me!). A problem I did have is that with the poor conditions I had no reference to judge how fast I was going. I couldn’t even see my skis infront of me. Turns out judging your speed by the sound your skis make as you go over the snow or by the speed at which the snow hits your face is quite hard. I had a couple more falls before lunch, and a small sulk, but nothing too major. Amy was loving it and starting to look like a pro (compared to me anyway). It was desperately cold on the mountain, so we decided to head in for lunch.

After lunch Amy lead me to a different part of the resort, which had just opened, as the blizzard had now passed and the perfect skiing conditions had arrived! We ended up on a portion of the piste which was a little beyond my and Amy’s skill level. I fell down four times and Amy screamed most of the way down! I had a slightly bigger sulk this time, as I had basically made it from the top of the hill to the bottom on my backside.

We had a couple of eventful chair lift incidents aswell. First, I dropped my pole…schoolboy error and then Amy couldn’t fit in her space on the chair lift as too fat men had taken up all the room. She ended up sitting on their knees, hovering precariously on the front of the chair lift. She had to be lifted onto the chair by the fat men, who saved her from a painful fall and death by embarrassment..

We both had a really good day and by the end both of our confidence levels (on the beginner slopes) had increased loads. I was starting to feel like I kind of knew what I was doing and Amy looked like she’d been skiing all her life.

Got back tonight, absolutely shattered. Headed into town for the most famous burgers in Queenstown, a ‘Fergburger’. We both think they may be the best burgers we’ve ever had. Getting an early night tonight, as we’re back on the slopes tomorrow, for another action packed, fun-filled day of skiing.

Speak soon,

Amy and Nick
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