29 September, 2005

Farewell New Zealand


Can you believe it?? After arriving in New Zealand on the 23rd May I have finally flown onto Sydney on 29th September. A full four months in this beautiful country!!!

So did I enjoy it?? Of course.. and here is a chance for me to tell you of some particularly good times...

<< The map of New Zealand

Arriving after a 23hour journey to meet good friends Kate & Mike, Steve & Chris was great, even if Mike was holding up a sign for the "Old Man" ... So that week involved moving into a lovely house with amazing views, celebrating my thirtieth birthday (proper) and generally getting to know the beautiful town of Queenstown. Even now thinking of the place, I am reminded of the scenery and the laid backness of the place...

I made a few pledges for my birthday - 1. No More Smoking! 2. Get Fit & Stay Fit 3. Manage my cash 4. Keep a life journal - How are these getting on?? Well I gave up smoking, restarted (only when drunk), had one or two each day and have now given up again!! Fitness? Well I am still fat.. maybe Oz is the place to lose some weight! Everyone over here looks so thin... Cash Management?? Its pretty difficult when you don't have a regular job, but its ok.. Keep a life journal? I wanted both an online and paper based one.. Paper based one is still on the day I nearly broke my arm, but I have kept up to date on the blog.. I WILL KEEP THIS UP!!

Soon after that we had snow in town, and a drive to Wanaka saw us throwing snowballs at each other on the Crown Range pass.. This is a prelude to a season with loads of snow we thought... So we decide to head up the Remarks to have a nose and near certain death!!

The season opened on the 11th June at Coronet Peak, and even if the place doesn't have the size and infrastructure of Europe and North America, you can still see where all the fun can be had.. but then two days later I fall off a box and think I have broken my arm. After X-rays its diagnosed as only a crack, but it puts my snowboarding on hold for over three weeks.. So it was time to look for work...

After wandering around Queenstown looking for work in bars & Restaurants, I finally got lucky with a hotel just around the corner from me and get hours as a waiter/barman and also housekeeping!

I soon discovered that the job sucks!! But money is money. Then just after London wins the Olympics, Terrorists decide to blow up some Underground trains and a bus in london...

Soon after though, I got back snowboarding and this time I leave Coronet alone and head up the Remarks, which soon became my local mountain!! Even though Josh nearly gets buried in an Avalanche up there. I start by not liking the mountains much, but if you stop comparing it to Europe / USA, and explore, you soon discover how good it really is.. I spent a lot of my time learning to ride park. Before I just used to cruise and attempt minor backcountry. Kate soon has a birthday, 26, and I start growing a lovely mexican moustache!!

I was snowboarding a lot more then, with Night riding at Coronet and also heading over to Cardrona. And the beginning of August was when my girlfriend Zena leaves to go off on her travels!! Yep, 2 months in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand with her mum and then a bit of solo travel around Thailand, Malaysia and Sinagapore. That meant it was only 6 weeks till I saw her!!

Anyway the snow was not really coming down a lot, but a big dump soon sorts that out. Still doesn't help out with my job, which has now started cutting my hours coz it was getting quiet.. Along with this we got evicted from our house, which is a right pain!! Janine celebrates her 25th Birthday..

I got a new job!! but it takes them ages to sort out when I am gonna work.. and to celebrate I got a new haircut.. Yes Mullets are back in the Arnold fashion directory... Chris is getting older, 27!!

Apart from a couple of trips to Wanaka, I have pretty much stayed in Queenstown so we decided to head up to Ohau, unfortunately its closed but its good to get out of Queenstown! I got back to jack all my jobs in before Zena arrives..

15th September 05.. I have been waiting for this day for ages.. Zena arriving!! As well as getting some snowboarding in, we also head around town. All this in the same week as more snow arrives in the Southern Alps! So we head up for our last trips to the Remarks and Coronet.. Before heading to Christchurch to pick up our Relocation campervan and a four day trip of NZ via Fox Glacier! Finally arrive in Auckland on Monday 23rd September and change our flights to arrive in Sydney on Thursday!!



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