Onwards and Upwards

Trip Start Jun 04, 2009
Trip End Sep 06, 2010

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hi Everyone, A quick blog to showcase some of the mounting mountain photographs we've been taking since the sun has been shining in full force here. We’ve now had the last of the ski season which was tragic as the snow is so good still and the weather fantastic.  Luckily we were able to take advantage of it and get some good photos and videos though which I hope you’ll enjoy.  I did my first 'proper’ ski jump caught on camera which felt a lot more dramatic than it looks on film, feel free to mock me!  Wish I’d got the courage up earlier in the season to make some improvements.  For Steve on the other hand it’s a good thing the season came to an end before he threw himself over anything too horrendous!

On our first day off work together since the ski mountain shut we couldn’t keep our feet on the ground for long.  We decided to climb the mountain behind our house, as it has been so kind to allow us to live on its foothills.  For any ‘statos’ out there you might be interested to know that it’s called Ben Lomand, is 1748 meters high and the hike is estimated to take 8 hours.  There is a path that starts going straight up from just behind our house so after a filling breakfast we were on our way up in the world.  We managed to take a few detours, which is not advisable on a long hike, but we wanted to go via the top of Queenstown Gondola station, as we were unlikely to ever pay for it.  There were some beautiful views over the town and we knew it was just going to get better the higher we managed to get so we energized with some good old chocolate crispy cakes and charged upwards.

As we were hiking through Lord of the Rings scenery I had expected the occasional reference to the films, maybe some Golum impressions or discussing our burdens making the trek up Mount Doom.  Instead I got Steve throwing sticks (arrows) at me and calling me an Orc – the things I have to put up with!  On top of this hardship I had to adjust my hiking style from when we were in Canada.  When we were over there we were always advised to sing while hiking so the bears would know we were coming and not be startled.  Apparently this is not the norm over here and considered rather strange!  As it happens though if I’m not singing while hiking I tend to be complaining so I think Steve needs to make an educated decision about what really is worse!

The detoured route we were on took us up over a ridge with great 360 degree views to take our minds off the aching in our legs.  At this point we thought we could see the peak we were climbing too which happily looked less daunting as it was in the shadow of a looming snow covered rocky peak next to it.  Steve said we had to come back again to climb the big one another day which I nodded along with knowing full well I’d be ‘busy’ whenever that day might be.  However the closer we got to the two peaks I got that uneasy feeling, that was later confirmed by a signpost, that in fact we had mistaken the peak we were heading for and in fact we would be taking on the big one there and then!

Fueled by crispy cakes and tramping through a fair few snow drifts we finally made our way to the top, which in true cliché style was worth every step.  The photos speak for themselves, it was stunning!  Hopefully many more views like this to come in New Zealand but this one will always be special as the views were of where we live which made it not such an ordeal to make the steady trek down again to become part of the scenery.  Like walking into a painting.

I’ve thrown in some more photos of our day to day comings and goings as well for your viewing pleasure including some of the infamous t-shirts that a few of you have expressed interest in.  My time there is grating on me it has to be said, not sure yet if I will look for something else or we’ll just start traveling again sooner than planned.  I’m certainly discovering my irritable side by getting frustrated with both the customers who ask how much things are rather than just checking the label and also the customers who pull out the labels rather than just asking me how much something is!  Logic is slipping away from me bit by bit but that’s what hours on your own in a shop can do to you I’ve learnt. 

My Dad will be guest staring in my next entry (woo hoo) and we’re also really excited that Steve’s Dad has jumped on the last-minute-flight-band-wagon and will be winging his way out for a visit at the end of November – anyone else for the prime spot on the inflatable mattress?!?!

Lots of Love

Amy and Snow-capped Steve
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julia_ackroyd on

hi amy and snow capped steve
glad the Lord of the Rings references have begun....! Good one guys xx

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