Thursday, August 7, 2014

Kia Ora

Last month, me and my good mate Thanjon flew to Queenstown, to shred up some fresh New Zealand snow, yew! Of course, a trip like that deserves a dedicated blog post; and thus, here we are!


Woke up at 3am, oh dear god. Thanjon spent the night at my place because I'm much closer to the airport than he is. Dad drove us to the airport in a Mercedez ML 400 that he borrowed from work; needed something big enough to carry all our gear! So bloody tired. Thanjon managed to get questioned by customs almost immediately, after ticking 'employment' for reason of travel, thinking that is was 'enjoyment'. This is what very little sleep does to you.

GoPro selfie! The first of the trip.

Checked in fairly early, and wasted time around the airport; duty free shops and all! Had an expensive lame breakfast (bacon and egg roll), and then finally boarded (flight was delayed about half an hour too). Tried to sleep on the plane, probably got a decent nap in or so! Had another bad breakfast (oz snow brekky, haha), but that's alright; saving ourselves for that Fergburger! Landed in Queenstown and it was raining, nooo! Hopefully snow up high! Had already booked a shuttle service to take us to Novotel, where we will be staying for the next 11 days! Dropped off our luggage since we could not check in yet, went to get the first fergburger of the trip!
Thanjon and Ferg
Ferg and I

Had to wait about half an hour, it was absolutely divine. We did a little bit of grocery shopping, got a lot of water; organised our lift tickets (managed to get a student discount, yewww), bus tickets and then checked in successfully! Got our skis (and board) waxxed and tuned for the up coming days, and boy... it was cold at night! Not that it wasn't cold during the day... Absolutely perfect weather for a big down jacket! I don't know why, but I had a crazy craving for KFC, so that's what we had for dinner. Headed back early to the hotel to catch up on sleep, for the big day ahead! The TV was also permanently on the World Cup, hah.

Beautiful Lake Wakatipu!


Woke up a bit before 8am today! (Oh, there is a 2 hour difference in time from Sydney) Got our gear ready and went straight to Starbucks for some coffee, and free wifi. Hah. When Thanjon ordered his drink, the girl started writing his name without hesitation. I found that very weird, and glanced over at him; we both shrugged. I turned his cup around on the table to read what she wrote, 'Fennel'; I just about died from laughter. 

Thanjon and his steezy helmet
Got to the snow centre to catch our bus to Coronet Peak, there was a pretty long line! A nice 30 minute scenic drive; and we got to the base area. Hired a locker, did some easy runs to warm up and then it started bucketing snow! YEW! Grabbed a quick sushi since we didn't have breakfast, did more runs, grabbed a meat pie for lunch and then kept skiing for the rest of the day! One run was a beautiful bluebird, and the fresh snow falling, and with the snow guns blazing made for some awesome runs! We went until last lifts, and the last two runs we did were complete white outs; visibility was disgusting. Got all our gear back from the lockers and lined up for the bus back; it was ridiculously long. Ridiculous. I had actually lost my ticket, but the driver still let me on anyway, legend!

All the snow in the valley well below!

Got back to the hotel, and showered. Walked about Queenstown, craving... protein; and walked into a restaurant called Roaring Megs, they had cheap-ish lamb shanks on special! Had some fresh Queenstown (bluff) oysters, lamb shanks and a beautiful creme brulee to finish it off! It was an awfully quiet night, when Thanjon went out to have a look; it just seemed dead.

The power went out temporarily...


Finally recovered from our lack of sleep the other day! Slept in until about 8:30am, and grabbed some Fergbaker for breakfast; before heading to the line, which was even longer! Bus straight to Coronet where we immediately started shredding the awesome powder; it dumped all night! Had a quick coffee break at Heidi's Hut, Thanjon's goggles got pretty fogged up because of how cold it was; and it seemed like his helmet may not have had adequate ventilation... Continued shredding; and got lunch later on in the main building, we could actually find a seat this time! One seat... Thanjon still had the ground, hah! Got some chicken nuggets and then continued skiing until last lifts; before heading back to Queenstown and having an amazing hot shower. Loved staying at Novotel.

Our room
Walked around for a while deciding on where to have dinner. Decided on a place called Chico's Restaurant and Bar. We both had the specials of the night, Thanjon getting a Fettuccine and myself, ordering the Fish and Chips. Needed the salad! We wandered the town for a while; trying to find some good clubs; but found nothing. Went back to the hotel reception, and found out it may possibly go off at The Find; the renamed World Bar. Had some drinks, met a few people; including a girl named Sarah from the UK, got her number, hah! Afterwards, had a chat with another bunch of girls from the UK, and the US! Hardly anybody from New Zealand... Went to Searle Lane afterwards; and then I decided to call it a night, while Thanjon continued dancing with the speakers.

I never have these kind of photos...


Woke up in the morning around 10am; didn't need too much recovery from the night before! Grabbed some fergbaker for breakfast before heading to the bus line! There was a dick of a worker who assumed I was trying to get my GST back when I asked for my receipt... what? Remarkables line was pretty damn long, it was the second day of the season that they were open! It was bloody cold; and so very windy. By far, the windiest day of the season. Shredded all over the mountain, before stopping to have some lunch at the base building; which was NOT at the base... Had a chicken caesar wrap, some imitation crab and a delicious cookie! Ate outside until the wind blew everything away (luckily, managed to catch it all; then we ran inside pretty quickly...) Continued doing runs until last lifts again, where the wind had slowed down the lifts and I was tucking down the slope and hardly moving due to the wind...

On the ride up
Another selfie, of course.

Headed back into town for a lovely hot shower, and dinner at a Chinese restaurant called Lakeside Palace, where Thanjon had a beef and rice dish; and I had wonton soup and combination fried noodles! Waited quite some time, but it was not too shabby. Had another brotein (protein) drink, we had so many to keep our muscles in check! Checked out Vinyl Club, the start to the Big Night Out; and it was just a huge sausage fest. I declined, but Thanjon persisted through the night; dancing through the night by many large speakers.

Top of the Curvey  Basin chairlift!


Went across the road to a place called Johnny Bars to grab a brekkie roll. Buses were pretty slow today, there was so much snow!! YEW! Absolutely dumped all the way to the valley, and the view was spectacular on the drive up to The Remarkables! Got things done a lot faster (storing our bags, boots and such) since we knew the place now! Managed to get in a lot more runs in today as well! Thanjon got a lesson from a guy named Oscar; for hitting the terrain park, boxes, rails and such. Grabbed me some sushi and another caesar wrap (it was good!) for lunch; and again, went until last lifts and caught the LAST bus home. The bus waited there for a good half hour to collect stray people, probably would have gotten on the one before; but some people pushed in line, poor form.

Top of Curvey

Base building
Car park

That night for dinner, grabbed some steak at a place called Surreal Bar & Restaurant. Thanjon got a chicken parma, and we shared some poutine! Had some instant noodles before deciding on a night out. Grabbed some starbucks to stay awake; then we hit up The Find! Started off slow, I don't really know what happened... Had a chat to some uni snow week people, played some pool, found a Queenstown local (they exist?), roamed some bars and got back pretty late, but not as late as Thanjon... I lost him some time early on, he was next to the speakers and I wasn't prepared to search around there, hah!



Had difficult waking up today, managed to eventually wake up and turn on the TV. Thanjon had about three showers, I believe. They helped tremendously! I believe he left to get some pie and powerade; I eventually found him later and told him that I am getting a Fergburger, the second of the trip. Had a massive bottle of powerade as I walked around Queenstown; feeling pretty sick actually. You'll have to ask me about that story in real life, hah... Thanjon took the most amazing hungover photo that I have seen...

Some regrets, it was a beautiful bluebird day. (Thanjon's hungover photo)
The hangover Ferg.

My hangover photo
Panoramas forever!

I bought a merino face mask from Buff, and some amazing sun cream. My face really needed it after the storms; the wind had been FIERCE. Oh, the Fergburger was utterly amazing also. Reserved a Mountain Equipment beanie from R&R. Wandered the streets of Queenstown, and placed some Frisbee golf in the gardens. Did our washing and grabbed some pasta from a fancy place called Bella Cucina. Thanjon wanted pasta a few days ago, but it was pretty expensive. We went in early this time, for the early bird special! Watched the football, then slept; lots!

Sah cold.


Woke up around 8am today, had breakfast at Johnny Barr's again! I decided on a bus to Coronet; because it was much shorter, and also the forecast was for rain in the days following down low. Remarkables would get flurries over the next few days, being higher; but Coronet would get destroyed! Thanjon was severely annoyed by the lack of terrain parks; but I wasn't too bothered; nice long runs at Coronet! 

Fifty, fifty!

Had an early lunch which was supermarket food that we bought and prepared earlier. Had a lovely drink break at the Ice Bar at the top of Greengates express. It was a beautiful day.

It started getting icier, and moguls were developing; eurgh. We still persisted to last lifts though! Back in Queenstown, I went to get chinese food again, at Lakeside Palace (I was craving noodle soup, omg!) Thanjon got some Fergburger and looked like a homeless person.

It was nice enough.
The first Big Al.


Yew, Remarkables today! Thanjon grabbed the Fergbaker while I lined up. The buses were extremely slow today, really busy day! We had to catch a normal bus to the bottom of the mountain; and then a 4WD bus picked us up from there. Joined an English girl named Emma, who was still a new skier; but nope, taken... Did a few runs with Thanjon, went up to the Shadow Basin where we were dodging rocks like crazy! 

Beautiful view.

Terrain, terrain, terrain. Lots of jumps today! Had some sushi, and a hot dog for lunch; and met up with Emma later on, and Thanjon also talked to some girl named Brianna from Melbourne on a chair lift. Hit up more terrain, and I stacked it on the last jump of the day; damn! Really hurt to straighten my leg... Was limping for the rest of the day, but it doesn't matter, you don't need to straighten your legs while skiing!

Before I fell, haha.
Side hits are still fun!
Polejam, yew!

Had a bath back in the Hotel, and had dinner at a Vietnamese place called Saigon Kingdom. Had some Goi cuon, which was nice and fresh; delicious. Some Cha Gio, which was fairly average; and then finally had some pho! The broth was good, and the rest was average; but simply having soup on a cold night is great! Thanjon described my limp as the saddest limp he has seen. Despite protests from Thanjon, I didn't go out for the night.

Thanjon got some beef stirfry and rice!


Woke up a little later, my knee pain was crazy! I think it was from not moving it at all during the night... Limp was even sadder... Fergbaker, and the line for the bus wasn't too bad! Our last day at the Remarkables... Thanjon went off to the Sugar Bowl area, while I told him I would slowly warm up my legs; hoping the knee gets better. One of the storage workers gave me some motivation and was like, yeah man, it'll loosen up! Did runs along the Alta chair, Curvey and eventually moved over to the Sugar Bowl where I met up with Thanjon! Still didn't hit the jumps though...

From the top of Alta Chair

No park, so I didn't wear a helmet!

Eventually, went for lunch and bumped into Brianna! She had also broken herself... Cracked a rib, i believe. Got some nuggets and chips, and some sushi. Heard about two air lift stories, where someone may have broken their back; and another person bleeding severely due to a cut on their leg from a ski/board.

Thanjon, yo.
Thanjon went off for a park lesson, so I started just doing long runs down Curvey, and the leg started feeling much better! Ended up hitting a few of the little jumps and jibs in the park. Still hurt to walk though... Caught the bus back and we went to order Fergburger immediately. We were told it would be a one hour and twenty minute wait, no worries! Only for Ferg... Booked our Cardrona lift ticket and bus, we would get picked up right outside our hotel, yew! 

I believe Thanjon was 'Daniel' for every other Starbucks trip.

Had a shower, went shopping and got some groceries. Our Fergburgers ended up actually taking two freaken hours. Went to Starbucks to kill some time. Thanjon had another Big Al, and I got the Chief Wiggum and some calamari sides. We were absolutely destroyed. I had to grab an apple and some water afterwards, to kind of... wash it down? Food coma, then went to sleep.

Ferg loves you.


Had to wake up relatively early, because the Kiwi Discovery bus was scheduled to pick us up at 7:55am outside. I was a little bit slow, with my knee and all; and the clock in the room was slow as well!! He nearly drove off... woops. Honestly though, I made him late by two or three minutes at the LATEST! Had a few pickups on the way to Cardrona, and we were stopped by the police as well; so the schedule never really worked... Had a great nap!

Got there about an hour later or so; sorted out storage for the day and basically hit every lift, and almost every run! There was a massive terrain park that we were too afraid to hit, massive jumps; holy! Conditions were great, although the clouds closed in towards the end of the day.

Valley View
Cardrona was beautiful!

Me and Thanjon split up a few times to explore the mountain seperately, he loves his park! We had lunch together though, where I had an amazing lasagne (forgot my food...) Talked to some great people, a Canadian couple, a German guy raving about the World Cup, haha! Finished up a bit before last lifts because we needed to get on the bus! Had some time to wander around in the shop though, and I bought a nice Cardrona shirt.

Daniel? Taniel? Fennel? Thanjon.

Had Fergburger for dinner again, Thanjon lined up (for 30 minutes) while I slowly limped back to the hotel room, and had a nice shower. Had some Starbucks, roamed the streets of Queenstown and Thanjon was once again, destroyed by his Big Al; while I ate a more modest, Southern Swine. A lot of people must just wander around Queenstown waiting for their burger; we ended up in Starbucks, for example!

Big Al, it breaks people.


Ah, the last day in Queenstown. Slept in till around 9am; and starting packing. Thanjon pretty much disassembled the room, helping out the cleaners for later! Memories from Fairmont, I guess. Left all our stuff in the luggage room, and then we went to Cookie Time; where they always seem to have a line, and pretty girls working. We guessed it was something we needed to try! Turns out, the cookies and coffee were pretty average, and the slow service is what makes the lines long, and the curious people ponder. 

The last Ferg of the trip.
Lake Wakatipu
Same photo as 2011 :)

Ordered our final Fergburgers for lunch; Thanjon was still crippled from the Big Al last night, so I got him a kid's burger instead... Did some souvenir shopping; walked about the lake and took some photos. Tried finding the spot where I took some photos back in 2011, and found it !

Even the airport looks great!

Returned our NZSki passes for our deposit, in order to kill time for the burgers; and simply ate it while overlooking the lake. Great stuff. Enjoyed the shit out of that burger, I will miss it. Returned back to novotel to catch our scheduled SuperShuttle back to the airport! Got some duty free whiskey for Royal. Even the airport is beautiful here, see you soon Queenstown.

The final selfie.