As Kat mentioned, I have been attempting to master the office-weekday, outdoor-weekend routine! This past week was the first time since I left Fiji where I actually felt warm outside. The adventures are multiplying!
Last last week, I kicked off the weekend by dragging my coworker Andrew to the rock climbing gym with Lauren & Natalie. He said his arms were very sore afterwards. One thing I love about gym climbing is that you can do it with anyone! We also had delicious pizza at the Brewery (one was minced lamb with a yogurty sauce, and the other was blue cheese, meat and pear). I would like a stone oven in my house. Beside the food laminator (hehe).
Saturday involved treating ourselves at the market (duck eggs have massive yolks!!) and my friend Kota’s goodbye evening. We met at a bar and then went to a nearby asian restaurant. I had mapo tofu and it was SPICY!!!!!!! This restaurant is becoming quite a frequented place as it’s open really late and pretty cheap. And spicy. Then we went back to Karim’s house and tried many of Kota’s latest brewings (cherry, honey and passionfruit!) That was probably a bad idea. Sunday I went to Mt Hutt to go snowboarding! I had been warned that the ski fields here would be a bit disappointing, but I wanted to get out. The season has been very warm here and only one big dump of snow, so there snow machines have been working over time. I opted to board, and not ski, because it really doesn’t matter about the size or number of lifts because I spend half the time sliding down the hill on my face. I am a lot better at snowboarding now, and I didn’t fall off the charlift the entire day! I can go down blue runs, but only really slowly. I can connect about three turns and then I get too scared about how “fast” I am going. The snow was ok in the morning but got really yucky in the afternoon. That was okay though because I got really tired quite quickly.
I haven’t introduced Karim & Natalie yet – they let us stay at their house for a week when I first arrived in Christchurch 7 weeks ago. Natalie is a singer, and she’s awesome (and Australian-born). (some shameless promotion) She’s on the radio! (cool) This is a bit confusing because I also have a friend named Natalie, who is t at the uni. Karim is a school teacher and half-Kiwi, half-French. He’s a great cook.
The week was pretty regular, but I have to say I am climbing better than I ever have before! I’ve been doing better and better every week and I almost can do a pull-up (maybe I can now!! I haven’t tried in a couple weeks).
Thursday night, we had our last-last hoorah for Kota and Karim & Natalie made okonomiyaki, hijiki salad, a pickled vegetable to put on rice, and japanese coleslaw (except I forgot to try it because I was too busy stuffing my face). It was incredibly delicious!!! I am still dreaming about it, I think I may have to make it this week (time to buy another cabbage!). Then singer Natalie had a small gig, so we all went to that.
Theeeen this past weekend, Lauren and I decide evade the horrible weather in Christchurch and went to the west coast. (Easy peasy, narrow-New Zealand!) We packed the van with the destination of mind as sea cliffs in Charleston (just south of Westport). It was an absolutely beautiful area with the waves crashing against the rocks. You have to be careful though, don’t climb the rocks that are being crashed against! The swell was absolutely massive (3m!) so quite a bit of the climbing was off-limits and both of us, while belaying, got an ocean-shower by a rogue wave. You anchor yourself in at the bottom too so that if that did happen (unlikely) you won’t get washed away to sea. That’s not cool.
Lauren took a lot of time to teach me how to traditional climb (where you put in your own placements instead of clipping to bolts). It was easier and harder than expected. It made me think a lot. I successfully led a few climbs, the hardest one being an 11/5.4. In rock climbing language, this means flat. Here is an infographic where you can learn about climbing!
We also visited the pancake rocks in Punakaiki and watched the blowholes (where water gets pushed through tunnels and splooshes up in a geyser-like formation), and camped beachside each night.
I took a lot of pictures so hopefully I can post them up soon!