Friday, July 31, 2009

Bad weather ends trip

Well you can't have a ski trip to New Zealand without a wee bit of bad weather. I've one day left and it's not looking good for getting a final blast on the slopes. Both nearby fields are closed today which means that the retailers in town are rubbing their hands with glee and the video shops are doing a roaring trade. But by 11 the rain has eased and the sun is out and it's quite pleasant to go for a walk along the lake edge looking over to the nearby snow capped peaks.I am sorely missing my camera, as the scenery is drop dead gorgeous and there is no way that my little point and shoot can do it credit. I try anyway, including a few arty shots with the built in macro setting. Next time I'm bringing the "proper" camera!And there will be a next time. These two weeks have been awesome, with mostly excellent weather, great snow and no crowds at all. It turns out that these are the quietest two weeks of the season, between the end of NZ holidays and the start of the peak ski month of August. I am determined to return again same time next year, so if anyone wants to join me, I'm now officially on the lookout for ski buddies for 2010.

Wanaka itself is a lovely little town, much bigger than last time I was here but still retaining its friendly small town charm, unlike its brash neighbour down the road at Queenstown. From the ski shop staff who were always friendly and helpful, to my shy but generous ski instructor Lara, who kindly invited me up to the Oakridge Estate to use their pool and spa for free and whose flatmate, another of the ski shop staff, drove me home again. And the two Treble Cone bus drivers: Thierry with his infectious gallic laugh, an ex ski instructor only too willing to take us for a few runs on the mountain and throw in a few tips for free, and kind Ken, an ex-shearer who when he heard I came from Geraldton asked me if I windsurfed; those boys got us up and down that muddy mountain road every day and were kind enough to let me keep my skis in the bus overnight.

I'm looking forward to coming back next year, just got to stop spending money in the meantime!!


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