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Published: September 13th 2009
Hitching a ride...
the bus broke down!
Well where do we start! No really, where do we start! Its been over 3 months since we posted a blog.
The reason for this is that we've been hidden away in a national park in the middle of nowhere (not exactly true), with limited or no Internet access and masses and masses of work has meant that we've been far to busy anyway! Ok so the partying and snowboarding also took up quite a bit of our time as well.
So we arrived at the Ski Rider Hotel Motel with little idea of what we were getting ourselves into. For a start we didn't appreciate that we would for the next 3 months be "stranded" in the middle of Kosiousko National Park, half an hours drive down the road to the nearest town of Jindabyne and half an hours drive up the road to the ski slopes. This didn't really phase us at first but after realising there was no bus or taxi service into town we began to wonder how the next few weeks would pan out. The other thing tht surprised us was the fact that we were the only foreign workers out of 50 staff
at the hotel, except for a fellow Canadian backpacker. For some reason we assumed the place would be full of similar work holiday makers like ourselves, people with similar experiences and a lot of common ground, we quickly learnt that this wasn't the case, although with some exception!
Anyway, Maja was quickly put to work as a waitress/housemaid and Steve as a ski hire technician/night cleaner. This lasted for about a week! When Steve agree to give night cleaning a go he didn't realise that this would involve 6 hours of vacuming and 3 hours of polishing the huge communal areas, all under the beady eye of a drunken supervisor with OCD and a passion for all night cleaning action to English rave music from the 90's haha. Luckily the hotel manager saw that this half days half nights setup was doomed from the start so Steve was well pleased to be switched permanently to ski hire only.
The hotel has around a hundred rooms and right at the start of the season was booked out to capacity with around 330 school kids. We had a really great deal with a good salary and 3 meals a day
provided, including a full English, plus our room was included which started upstairs in what can only be described as the winner of "the worst student house in the world" haha, no really, we've stayed in some pretty questionable places on this trip but this place really took the biscuit. Thankfully again this was short lived as the supurb manageress moved us to the suburbs, out the back of the hotel, where most of the older staff and couples stayed. This was luxury in comparison and we soon settled into a routine of early starts and late nights, partying and snowboarding, and after a few weeks we'd managed to get kitted out with all the best gear and equipment for a fraction of the cost, thanks to Steve's boss in ski hire and his contacts.
The resort itself was quality. Perisher includes seven mountain peaks, 50 ski lifts and a loads of bars, shops and restaurants. After a couple of early season dumps of snow and awesome powder mornings everyone was excited that this season was going to up there with the best. apparently the year before there was hardly any snow, we just kind of expected it, coming
Maja's on the left in white
from Europe. We managed to get in about 2-3 days of riding on average and after around 6 weeks really started to improve. We soon found the best way to improve was to go riding with better, more experienced boarders and try to keep up and imitate their riding. We really felt comfortable and in the last 3-4 weeks had really progressed, preferring to go park riding, over jumps, rails and boxes(and even a couple of runs down the half pipe) to free riding on and off the pistes.
The scenery was amazing to but you never forgot you were in Australia. Instead of slopes and pistes lines with pine trees, here it was all gum trees and boulders dotted around. The other think that cemented this into us was the wildlife! Kangaroos, wombats, possums and echidnas (huge hedgehog type creatures were all sighted everyday. Ok, so most of them were dead by the side of the road but there were live ones around the place two. Every time we'd drive anywhere we'd get excited and shout "look Kangarooooooos!" much to the amusement of our Aussi pals haha.
Working in that type of environment you quickly got to
know people. Living, working, riding and socialising with the same group of people day in day out made sure we didn't feel like the outsiders for very long. We soon made good friends with the majority of people and even some of the guests invited us to come and stay with them after the season ended which was nice.
About 2 month into the season just when cabin fever was seriously setting in we were all ready for a mini break and were chuffed when a couple we'd got quite close to asked if we'd like to go to their family's summer house for some fishing around 4 hours drive away, on the coast near Bega. Did we ever! It felt like we were breaking for the boarder when we packed the car and passed the town of Cooma on our way South.
This turned out to be an awesome weekend, and what a beautiful place! We could have been back in Sweden! We'd gone from 5 degrees and snow to 25 degrees and sun. Well the fishing went the same way that most Australian fishing trips apparently go, no fish but a top time on the boat
with beers and a BBQ. On the first morning we woke up and saw 15 big kangaroo's on the front lawn, that was quality and we also saw two wombats and a few hug pelicans.
Anyway back to Skirider. Except for boarding another common pass time at ski rider was partying, we can honestly say that Australian's know how to party! Throughout the season we had four big fancy dress nights themed as follows; pirates, change of sex, famous and fabulous and good v's evil, which were all good laughs. Check out Sarah dressed as Borat on the pics...class! Some nights we had a crazy hat and wig theme and another night it was beach party time.
A normal week looked like this: Monday meant party at The Man, Tuesday quiz night at the hotel then party Basil's, both up on the ski slopes, Wednesday at Banjo's in Jindebyne. Thursdays were band night at ski rider, Friday's was usually quiet, Saturday another band night and Sunday (ooooh lovely Sunday night), when the big room clean on Sunday was over everyone was so happy and relived that it was time for party again. Some of the bands we had
at he hotel were really really good, especially The Velvet Star, Google them..they're booked in for our wedding 😊
A few weeks from the end we had friends come up from Sydney for a long weekend, it was nice to have fellow Yorkshire folk around and we had a massive night on the Saturday for one of the guys birthdays, complete with cake courtesy of the top chefs at the hotel.
We'll we've given you a flavour of how the last few months have been. The final few weeks of the season were definitely the best and rather than post a million pictures Part II will follow soon..
Hope your well back home!
Love Steve and Maja x
P.S Well done the Pommes in the Ashes haha!
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