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Published: August 2nd 2009
View Up To Venue
Snow Looks Great For Skiing
Early morning I got to the airport so I could fly to Christchurch. Weather for the flight was spectacularly clear with views of snow on Mt Ruapehu, forests, coastal zones, lakes, rivers. It was basically nature in glory! I chatted to a guy on the way down about my travelling experiences on my round the world exploration trip. He was familiar with NZ travel, but not much else. It was beautifully clear & minus 4 degrees in Christchurch for the brief period while waiting for the flight to Queenstown. Arriving in Q-town I was picked up by John & we drove over the Crown Range to go to Cardrona ski field. On the way John was telling me about his recent trip to Lake Tahoe in the states for some skiing which prompted me to sing 'Fast times in Tahoe, playing in the snow...' which amused him. The actual arrival at snow level ticked a reminder of what it used to be like when I went skiing in the past & the weather was clear blue sky helping the snow sparkle! Then in mid-afternoon I got some boots & skis which they filmed as I put them on & they asked
Access Gate 2 Field
Obviously A Spectacular Day!
me to sing that song again (which John had obviously told them about) & they loved it too. Putting the gear on didn't feel familiar, but as I started to walk the boots clunked & that was another big reminder of how it felt for me back in the day. Then they got me to sing that song as they filmed me starting to ski at the top of the lift. I started slow wondering if I would ski like a beginner or like I'd done it before. It turned out that I could easily, naturally keep my skis parallel to each-other as I was turning. Second time I went a little quicker with no problems.
As the sunlight settled on the back side of the slope we went down to the home in Wanaka & ate dinner of chicken & veges. After dinner I showed them the 'how many bears & caves' test which took them a while to get.
The next morning we went up 2 Cardrona at 7:30 for one of the others to take part in the race for the injured there. I got to ski on another run that was a little steeper
With a Close to Perfect Setting
& found that I could do the turns with ease & I had no problems going fast either. The helpers were happy & mildly amazed how well I could do it! I had another interview to do with what I could remember about the accident & how I felt about the skiing I've been doing so far. I chatted with several others who had been through injuries & one of them was a fan of what I was doing & he invited me to come paragliding with him when I will be down in Wanaka & feel like doing it.
Then for dinner we went to 'Cow' restaurant for some pizzas that felt like they were deserved from my positive progress today.
First thing in the morning on day 3 we got an early start with not a cloud in the sky. With that clarity everything was in perfect condition to see tiny details of topography ahead of me & that made it more relaxing state to be in. In the cafe area I was talking 2 people about my life, my injury & the progress since then & it seemed that people were all astonished with my
Views of Competition Features
story & I'm glad my vocab has returned so I'm able to speaking well again. Just while on chairlift I observed skiers with instructors which triggered memory on teaching techniques I used in Switzerland in the past!
I then went for a bit of a ski with John & we went to the steeper slopes where I sorta followed him until he slowed, so I passed him. When he saw me pass he sped up & passed me back, which I then reciprocated to him & it turned out to be a pseudo-race down & he felt a little more impressed again with the lack of help I required. The light conditions went to absolutely perfect & it was easy to see all the minor surface details while moving fast. It became a sorta how fast can ya go challenge towards the end. I took a few nice pics before we had to go to Queenstown for me to fly back. Just in the airport there were people sitting speaking & I turned to say 'Cest vous de Francais?' & they said 'Oui'. I'm happy that I'm not too nervous to just talk with strangers now. The takeoff was
really windy, but the flight was another beauty with snow & sunset scenery at the end of my highlight trip. I listened to my iPOD which made me almost want to sing with it & I actually took a few photos of sunset for others in there. Then in Auckland I had to wait for an hour & a half which allowed those thoughts to be secured in my memory as an all good experience in my new life. On the flight down I was chatting to another couple of people who were pretty amazed by my life story too.
The overall experience was only good, so much so that I was definitely astonished with my progress! Hooray for a 2 year old...
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