wanaka and queenstown

I don’t have much Internet access anymore so I decided to write out my blog post while at work to save time. This doesn’t help when you forget the paper at home when you come to the library… will have to write again!

I didn’t mean to put in so many pictures of me but it seems like every picture that I took of Lauren is blurry or he is blinking. Ah well. Rose-splosion. (Liz if you are reading this, you will also notice I am wearing your Guelph sweatshirt in almost every photo. If I am not wearing it… it was in my bag.)

Lauren and I went on a week and a half trip to Wanaka & Queenstown and it was awesome! The weather was looking a bit marginal (rain every day) but it only rained twice and the weather was nice and warm (though windy).

IMG_0725

We climbed 4 days, a mix of new places and places I went in the summer. It was great meeting up with Glen and other friends again as well. When I worked at the hostel in Wanaka everyone always talked about the Rob Roy (beside the) Glacier Walk as a must-do, but I could never figure out how to get a ride down to it. So we decided to try again, twice but again was not successful! The first time the road was flooded and we didn’t want to break the van. The second time we got farther but there was a ford that looked pretty large.. and we didn’t want to break the van. Maybe I will try again but I think it’s a sign…

So we went on a valley walk instead…

IMG_0709 IMG_0706

Look! New boots!
IMG_0715

One day we also did a ridge walk up to Mt Dingle Corner Peak an unmarked mountain but because I am lazy I got too tired to make it to anything named. It was still good though with great views! I’m still not sure if hiking/tramping is my thing.

IMG_0720 IMG_0718

Rainy days were the perfect times to go swimming, watch movies, read books, eat out and try all the craft beers. We watched a documentary called Antartica: A Year on Ice which I highly recommend! It makes me want to live in Antartica (the average person that lives there is an average shmo like me!). But then I realized I could also just go to Northern Canada to experience similar eternal light/dark. This might be a bit more cost effective. I would be interested in that! I also got to finally try a Fergburger (not the best burger I have ever had, but maybe the best one in NZ) and I also highly recommend the aquatic centre in Queenstown (it has a lazy river, a spa pool, water guns, water sprays, 2 slides (that weren’t on, tear) and much more).

IMG_0727Oamaru also has an awesome playground.

IMG_0730

We also realized that we were there for the World Championship Jet Boat Race! There were teams from Canada there. The boats were SO FAST and really fun to watch. They were racing from Wanaka to Cromwell. Such a random thing to bump into.

IMG_0702 IMG_0703

It worked out perfectly that on the way home from Queenstown I got a call from one of the temp agencies in Christchurch and they said they needed someone for a receptionist job for three days this past week and 4 days this week (it’s a long weekend). I am currently working at a door warehouse and my job entails bringing paper ten steps over from the printer to the other lady and answering the phone when she is not there or on the phone. I am not really sure why they are employing me as I read 1 book a day.

Oh yeah! We went to Castle Hill the day before we left as well with a bunch of friends:

IMG_0693 IMG_0690

Terra's photo

Terra’s photo

And here’s a photo from the Boulder Bash:

Petr Polák - Piti

Petr Polák – Piti

a few goodbyes

The past week has been lots and lots of fun as Brendan was staying with us for the week before he flew out. It was nice having flatmates that wanted to climb/be active/cook great food/watch ski movies. I will be looking for similar flatmates when I am in Vancouver (who wants to be myyy roooommieeeee??)

Lauren belaying behind a native (?) bush at a post-work climbing session at Cattlestop crag:

IMG_0679I am going to miss that fella (Lauren has said this too). I wonder if he reads this? (hi brendan!!!) I met him in my first few days on the South Island as I was taking a bus from Christchurch to Nelson. We hung out intermittently while I was working on the orchard, for Christmas with Helenka, and then took two trips to Paynes Ford, one over New Years. We met up in February when him and his girlfriend Maureen were visiting Christchurch. Helenka also met up with both of them again when she returned to Nelson at the end of her trip.

But that wasn’t the end! As he was passing through Christchurch we met up with him again for a big Indian meal, and then we met up with him in Mt Cook while we were climbing. Then squeeze in a trip to Temple Basin to go touring and the climbing around Christchurch in his last week. It’s been great getting to know him and doing fun stuff, and I feel like when we see him again it will always be doing something awesome. See you in Chamonix!!!!!

Work at EY is finished which is a good change (6 weeks turned 13.5 weeks). I should work a bit more but have a few leads and still am keeping a couple of temp agencies hot. The plan is to go to Wanaka/Queenstown for the next week but the weather looks TERRIBLE!!! I was also planning on hut wardening in later October near Napier, but I realized yesterday that I have no way of getting to the trailhead from Napier. Oops. So much for planning ahead. EY was a lovely place to work and everyone was incredibly friendly. I look forward to meeting up with them soon, and hopefully I have convinced some of them to do working holidays in Canada.

Here are some pictures from Temple Basin. I had a pretty bad goggle tan line after that weekend.

IMG_0647 IMG_0649 IMG_0645And this is the group of climbers/audience that saw me ski into a hole. Whoops.

IMG_0652

They are selling the house that we are living in in a couple of weeks so we have to move out (including our other flatmates). I think this is a good time to move on as well. Change is good! Lauren has been getting a lot of work through the health care temp agency with a pretty wide variety of clients. This week he did two night shifts, three day shifts, two short cleaning shifts and I might even be missing some. He crazy.

Hopefully it stops raining soon!!!! But meanwhile, here is a picture of a cool greenhouse:

IMG_0653

accident

This update is a while overdue.

For the past couple months, both Lauren and I have been contacted many times by other people asking if we are okay. The first one was the Canadian girl that got rescued off of Mt Rolleston while she was solo climbing. The second one was a British climber that fell quite far on a trip near Mt Cook. The third one was the Canadian couple that got swept away by the rock slide near Haast. And if you even want to be thorough, it went the other way around when I messaged everyone in Ottawa asking if they were okay after the bus/train crash last month.

Not last weekend but the weekend before, Lauren and I headed down to climb at a crag near Akaroa with our lovely Czech friend. Saturday we had beautiful day climbing filled with great routes, good fun and lots of wind. Sunday though, we took it quite easy as the weather wasn’t co-operating and none of us were in a rush. Our Czech friend ended up deciding to try a route, decided it was too challenging and decided to jump off onto his protection (all normal). Unfortunately two of his camming devices he put in popped out leaving too much slack in the rope (the rest of his protection and having someone belay now rendered moot) and he fell quite a large distance onto the ground straight onto his back.

I had my nose in the climbing guide at the time, and one minute he was climbing and the next minute on the ground. Yes, it was scary, but it really all happened so fast. Luckily we had cell phone coverage there and we could call the paramedics/rescue team right away, as we really thought that he had broken his back. They arrived quickly, gave him lots of drugs, winched him out and choppered him to the hospital in Christchurch. Amazingly, luckily, he is fine. He fractured some of his vertebrae but he will have 100% recovery 6 weeks after the fall. How he managed this, I am not quite sure.

I have been climbing in the past couple weeks, but both Lauren and I have noticed we have been triple-checking our safety each time. Our friend has over 20 years of climbing experience including using this gear which is definitely eye-widening. His equipment did not fail, he most likely just didn’t put the cams in correctly. If used correctly, these should hold the weight of a car. A falling car.

New Zealand is great for accident cover. Normal travel health insurance doesn’t cover high-risk activities (i.e. rock climbing) but ACC (in NZ) does for locals AND foreigners. Whether you are at work, in a car, at leisure, or fall off a cliff, they will pay for EVERYTHING. That is amazing, New Zealand. You rock!!! The amount you have to pay to go to the doctor here is not as painful when you know about how subsidized drugs are here and about ACC.

Phewf! Well that is over. I have some more blogging ready about more cheery subjects (like how I am done work for now, wee!)

hello hello hello echo echo echo

It’s been an eventful past two weeks (both good and bad). I have lots of pictures and stories to share and will hopefully have time to do so soon. Work is wrapping up with only 3 days left. I hope that I can find a few more short placements – I have lots of travel/volunteering I want to do but not sure if I (responsibly) have the funds. I’ve been lining things up more for when I get back in Canada – jobs, possible flatmates, courses, funds, etc. My current plan is to apply to be a Stats 101 TA and a casual belayer at one of the Vancouver climbing gyms. We’ll see if either of those happen! The climbing job would be great because I could work a lot during December (one of their busy seasons) and I could be free ALL THE TIME during December. You also get free/discounted climbing as a perk! (BIG PERK BIG PERK) I’ll be going on a trip to Wanaka leaving sometime in the next two weeks which will be awesome! More soon.