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:
I 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.
And this is the group of climbers/audience that saw me ski into a hole. Whoops.
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:
There is only one race left in the America’s Cup. Tension is high at work. Earlier in the competition, NZ was leading 8-1. First one to 9 wins. Eight to one!!!!! And what are the standings now??? 8-8??? Come on New Zealand!!! Tomorrow is the last race. My bet is they’ll postpone the races another day due to whales/submarines/low wind/high wind/sub-optimal temperatures.
Last weekend after Lauren finished work we went to Quake City (Canterbury’s earthquake museum). It had a lot of pictures and videos and artefacts from the 2 earthquakes. Pretty neat.
It’s been raining a lot. I want to climb climb climb but I’ve been stuck indoors due to the weather. I climbed some 21s and a 22 the other day in the gym (whilst falling off) so that’s cool!
I am in the midst of planning lots of epic adventures for before I leave. So far in the plan for sure is Wanaka/Queenstown for at least a week to climb, hut wardening on the North Island, a conservation project north of Auckland and a visit to Wellington. Other (hopeful) possibilities are climbing in Fiordland, hiking the Hollyford and a speedy trip of the North Island. A few more weeks of work I think and then we’ll see how things go.
– Working, lots (still at EY)
– Biking to work more (it’s about a 10km ride)
– Climbing, dancing, cooking, reading
This past weekend, we did some sport climbing at Transmitter Crag in the Port Hills on Sunday. It’s only a 20-25 minute drive and decently tall! Unfortunately the crag goes from easy to pretty hard really fast, so I didn’t have a lot to climb this time. The entire bottom of the cliff is cut away so it’s quite overhung. We also saw Monsters University (movies come out a lot later here!) and watched Warm Bodies (ZOMBIES!!!).
And the weekend before, we went for two days to Otepatotu near Akoroa (about an hour and fifteen minute drive) where we attempted to do some trad climbing. The crag was quite nice, but at quite a high elevation. On Saturday, the clouds were too low so we were actually above the clouds, making it too wet for most of the day. And then Sunday I felt sick so we drove home. Though it was a bit of a waste of time, there were beautiful views and we got to watch the Crusaders (Christchurch rugby) slaughter the Reds (Queensland).
I’m hoping I can stay at EY for a bit longer (a little half over my original contract), but I should know a bit better in the next couple of weeks. I’d like to get out skiing at some point, but the weather has been too warm on the hills.
Last night 5 of us went to the NZ Mountain Film Festival night in Christchurch. The actual festival is held in Wanaka and Queenstown, but they held a one night best-of festival as a fundraiser. It was my first time going to an outdoor-themed film festival despite Vancouver holding lots of them. We saw 5 movies.
The first one, WHY, was a short American film about a kayaker, a mountain biker and Alex Honnold, a rock climber. You might have heard of Alex because he’s the one who free solos giant cliffs. Scary bananas. Every time his foot slipped I had a heart attack.
One Step Beyond was about a French snowboarder and base-jumper. This movie mainly convinced me to never jump off a cliff ever. …well maybe sometime. Those squirrel jumping suits look awesome!
Rockin’ Cuba was about a group of climbers who travel to Cuba to bolt some new climbs. It looked a lot like how I remember Cuba! I liked seeing all the old cars again, and the whole film was clips of music strung together.
Then we watched Flow Hunters, which was really different than the other four movies. This one was about a group of kayakers who were sponsored by Red Bull to do some really dodgy kayaks around New Zealand. In the 24 days they paddled, TWO people literally almost died (all caught on film). It looked dumb. Also, they would get helicoptered everywhere and when they did an overnight trip, they had dinner supplies helicoptered into them. Riiight.
And the last film, The Shark’s Fin, was about Conrad Anker’s (famous alpinist) two attempts at getting to the top of Mt Meru (6,310 meters). It took them 12 days, and one of his partners had a stroke on the first night. So they kept going. (????)
I think I liked Rockin’ Cuba the best. It was very silly and entertaining. I looked at the entire list of films from the festival and I hope I can watch more! Wolverine is about the hardest ice climb in Canada and Down the Line is about canyoneering really close to Vancouver. I didn’t even know that there was canyoneering in Canada! And I think I’ll pass on Focal Point (yet another video about mountain unicycling in British Columbia… why??).
This week is cabbage week. Lauren bought a giant cabbage and then left 2 days later for a trip and I’ve been stuck with this cabbage!!! Cabbage everywhere! I think the cabbage is having cabbage babies in the refridgerator ahhh drowning in cabbage!!!!!!!!
This week I’ve made (all featuring cabbage): thai tofu stirfry, mu shu rice paper wraps, beef dumplings (was going to buy pork, then decided on lamb, accidentally bought beef), and chicken yakisoba. There is still half a cabbage left!!!! I am seriously considering just chucking the whole thing down the food garborator.
I checked my Aeroplan account this week and realized that I hadn’t used my card in over 12 months and all my points are lost, noooo!!!!!!!!! Bye bye 18 thousand points. 😦 😦 😦 😦 Only took 16 years to accumulate you. Dang.
I’ve been exercising a lot! I’ve figured out that, other than driving, biking or a bike/bus combo is the fastest way to get to and from work. It’s about a 10km ride, or a 3km ride to the nearest bus stop. I look like a giant dweeb when I bike though because I wear Lauren’s thermals (that are ultra baggy on me) and giant wool socks. I have also been climbing at the gym a lot with my friend Natalie (Kiwi and studies at University of Canterbury). This weekend looks like good weather so I think it is time go outside! Pull out the van! And yesterday I went to a dance lesson by the uni dance club where we learned Bachata and Modern Jive. It was fun! I went with my friend Kota (who just recently finished his PHD at the uni).
Work is good. Most of what I do is pretty easy… get files off the shelf that people request, make new files, put in orders to get files/put back files from offsite, file papers, split files, change files and generally anything file related. EY is definitely a nice place to work!! Everyone is really chatty, nice and pretty laidback (as most Kiwis are!!).
The past two weeks have been busy! Last week I signed up with two office temp agencies to hopefully find work. I was very happy because after I sent in my application, I got a call an hour later from one (Hudson) saying they wanted me in asap for a role that they thought would fit really well. It did! It was a three month Project Co-ordinator role for the Ministry of Education. Too good to be true apparently – they sent me in as the preferred candidate, but the Ministry changed their mind and said they wanted someone for 6 months. I’m only here for 5 months. Bah!
Anyway, I just finished a week working at Ernst & Young in their records department at the Christchurch office. Their Records Services Officer is leaving for another job and they haven’t hired a new one yet, so I’ll be there until they hire a new one (about 5 more weeks). The work is easy but hopefully nothing goes wrong because I am working solo.
I don’t think I will have a problem finding work after this because the other agency called me after I started this position saying they had a job for me as well. Christchurch has a lot of temporary work because all the companies here are still making so many changes because of the earthquakes.
This past week has been busy setting up the flat and sorting things out. Lauren left on a two week long winter climbing trip this past Friday so I am all alone-y on my own-y!
Christine (from SFU who was at USP this past semester) is flying out of Christchurch tomorrow, so we spent some of this weekend together. She came up on Friday from Cromwell, and we met up with some friends for drinks, and then today we went on a trek to find some hot springs. There is a spa place nearby at Hamner Springs where you can soak in pools that are filled with hot spring water but we wanted to find the REAL DEAL. (Lauren and I went to Hamner Springs last year). We drove up towards Lewis Pass in hopes of finding the (unmarked) Sylvia Flat hot spring. When we were close to the spot we thought it was, we got really excited because we saw lots of steam. After turning off, we realized that the “steam” was coming from a motor home with a fire place. Doh!! After about an hour of driving around (in scenic places though) we drove back to the same place and realized that it WAS where the hot spring was, and you could see it across the river. After a chillllyyyyyyy hop and skip across the rushing river, we got to soak our legs in a nice and warm sulphur-y totally natural hot pool. Awesome!!
I have arrived back in Christchurch! Two of our friends have graciously let me stay at their place for a week, so I will have a chance to sort out a job this week. I’ll have to figure out soon where I’ll live and if I’ll need to get a bicycle or car. I am hoping to stay here for a while.
I visited Pam (my grandma’s cousin) and Colleen last week close to Hamilton and it was lovely to meet them and Pam & Sonny were lovely hosts. She showed me around the area and I was spoiled with nice food. I will post more about this when I get the chance!
And yesterday, Lauren and I went climbing and I met three of Lauren’s friends. We drove down close to Timaru and climbed at Hanging Rock. PHEW I AM OUTTA CLIMBING SHAPE! It was challenging but I am really glad we went. It was beautiful there.
I don’t have a computer or any sort of Internet device at the moment, so I won’t be updating as often. You can keep posted to here: twitter.com/reirameso for updates that’ll be more often than this blog. Hope everyone up in the Northern Hemisphere is enjoying summer! I am currently wearing a big sweater, a down jacket, a toque and wool mittens…. inside.