I woke up this morning from what was possibly the best sleep of my year thus far. Thank you, hostel bed! We left our accommodation eagerly; we were heading out to Cardrona today. The drive was hectic! I am continually baffled by how New Zealand’s mountain roads have no protective barriers up. Our tour guide was explaining to us that they’re designed really well, so that in case of an uncontrolled vehicle, it would roll in toward the hill anyway. It’s mathematics and science that’s beyond my expertise, but I’m appreciative all the same.
After the crazy climb to the top of the mountain, we reached the ski field. Well, we were pretty sure we reached it; the sky had become completely white due to snowfall, and I personally couldn’t tell where the snow stopped and the sky began. Regardless, we unpacked the van and headed into the site. I was less nervous than I’d been previously; at least I knew how to carry my board without looking totally out of place. I also got some swanky new gloves today, so I looked the part. That fact is likely irrelevant to this blog post, but honestly. They’re bright pink and warmer than anything and basically I just really like them. Anyway, moving swiftly on.
I am really, truly happy with how today went. It was my first day without any lessons to start me off, and I was a bit nervous as to my ability, or lack thereof, completely free to fail on any given slope. There I was, ready to cop bruised knees, a sore bum, and entertain a ski field full of experts with my lack of talent. I took the lift, or what’s called the ‘magic carpet’, to the top of the beginner slope. I buckled up my snowboard, stood up, and braced for the familiar feeling of crashing face first into the snow… yet it never came. All of a sudden, I was actually snowboarding! I could manouvre past other skiiers, pick up speed and slow down, and maintain an upright position! Mind you, I probably resembled a baby flamingo to anyone else, but that’s beside the point.
The point is, I’ve been learning heaps, and today I got to put it into practice. And I’m a bit dang proud of myself, just quietly.
I enjoyed a solid three hours out on the slopes today, before the visibility on the mountain dropped even further, and it was near impossible to see more than ten metres ahead of myself. We decided within the team to call it quits by about two o’clock, and we headed back into Wanaka for the afternoon, which I spent meandering around the beautiful town, picking up some goodies and taking in the view.
I’m really starting to enjoy my time out on the mountains we visit, rather than dreading any embarrassing moments. I’ve learned from the other members of the tour that more than anything, a snow holiday is all about embracing the surrounds, and giving it a red-hot go.
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