Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Whakapapa pronounced: Fuc-a-popa

Last weekend we went snowboarding at Mt. Ruapehu which is the tallest mountain on the north island at 2797 meters. This year has been a crap year for snow but we decided to go down with some friends to make it fun. We actually went down to procrastinate packing for our trip back to the states on Thursday.

Our friends' mom has a bach(vacation home) at the base of the mountain with 4 bedrooms so we had a nice place to stay. It was a nice old house with a big garden and a stream running through it. Very quiet and relaxing.

The mountain didn't have that much snow but I was on a rental board so bring on the rocks. The snow softened up after lunch and turned out to be pretty good. The main problem was that there were tons of people on very few runs. You were shoulder to should with people who should not have been on the upper lifts.

Then there was our friend Graham. It was his second day snowboarding in his life so I went to visit him on the bunny slope to check his progress. He was kicking ass and making turns so I took him to the top. After a bumpy dismount getting off the lift we were on our way. He was going way too fast for a noob and making some good turns. He didn't have quite the control to dodge people though and he took out four people on his first run down. On the second run I made him promise to limit his takedowns to one on this run. He used his allocation at the top of the run. He is going to be a good boarder.

All in all a great trip.

On a side note: A friend who was board trip with us just moved into this house in Parnell that has 21 bedrooms called "The Big House". It used to be a catholic boarding house and someone bought it and turned it into communal housing. The house has a constitution. There are 21 people living there so all chores and duties are distributed among everyone. Cooking is done by 3 people per night and everyone eats together. Supposedly they have big ass parties with 1000 people. Can't wait to get invited to one.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Weekend trip to Wellington

Christ! It's been a long time since we posted. Going back to work kind of sucks all of my blogging energy right out of me. But, work did pay for a trip down to Welly (short for Wellington) so we decided to make an extended weekend out of it. So here's the blog posty to go with it.

Wellington is a pretty cool city. It's situated on the south of the the north island and is New Zealand's capital. God, I sound like a friggin' tour guide! Wellington is known for it's art, music and general coolness. It reminded me a lot if you combined the capital of Salem (kind of griddy state buildings) and the people of Eugene (art hippie types)and put it on a water front like Seattle (about an 1/8th many people) and throw in a couple of snow peaked mountains in the distance. That's Wellington.

I don't think I'd go back except if I was seeing a show, but it was definitely worth a weekend. The weather was pretty crap, but that's to be expected in the middle of winter.

So here are a few pictures to give you an idea:

And how can we not include a picture of a random cat killing a tree!