The snow-boarding did not go well. It did not go well at all.
I just could not get used to this big board hanging off my leg. You are always attached to the board with one leg and the other leg can't rest on the board, because you would go flying off down the mountain. So your feet feel at really awkward angles - my (already-tired-from-climbing-a-glacier) legs kept cramping up totally. Apart from being the crappiest snow-boarder ever, I also hated every minute of it. I really don't enjoy doing things I am that bad at, especially when the rest of the class was doing everything with irritatingly flying colours. I was nearly crying. And the teacher kept saying things like 'Ok, think about this LOGICALLY, Eva - if I push down on my toes and look over my left shoulder, what way do you think I will turn?'. My mind doesn't work that way. I just don't know, I don't think I am made for that type of puzzle.
At lunchtime, I hung up my snow-boarding boots in failure and asked if i could change to skiing instead, for fear of leaving the mountain thinking I was not good at all things to do with snow. They let me move to a skiing class and guess what - I LOVED it and I was also pretty good. I had a lesson and of the end of the afternoon, I was able to go, stop, turn and also look cool. Yay. So, on arrival at home, I will be trying to persuade you all to come skiing in the spring!
Queenstown is a bizarre place. It is full of outdoorsy shops selling beautiful, but over-priced ski gear - I bought a pair of socks for 12 euro - ha! It is also full of people saying things like 'I grip it and I rip it, man'. There are signs up that say things like 'Queenstown - where gravity doesn't sleep' - whatever that means. In the bars at night, we divide into two types of people - those who like doing bungy jumps and those who can't imagine anything worse. I fall into the latter category and am severely outnumbered. Walking around, you can hear everyone having the same conversation 'You should do it. It is such a rush' etc etc. It is so not for little me, who doesn't even like roller coasters! Other things you can do are: ski-dives, para-gliding, bungy jump from a parachute, roll down a mountain encased in a plastic ball, swing across a massive canyon attached to a piece of elastic, ride a bike off the canyon while attached to something. The list goes on and on. Mentlists, the lot of them.
On Friday, I visited Milford Sound, which is a stunning fjord and also drove through more of amazing New Zealand. We saw lots of avalanches and had to drive very slowly and quietly through the valleys in case we started one. (very exciting) I stayed in a ghost town called Te Anau and went horse-riding (through the shire) yesterday morning. My horse was called Hamish. (I swear, Michelle!).
The horse trek really finished me off. I am in bits from all the activities, guys. I am hobbling around like an oul wan. My feet are particularly attractive. They are blistered and cut at the back really badly from the glacier climb, so I had to buy plasters to cover them for skiing, but I have an allergy to sticky things and now they are all raised and rashy and itchy from the plasters. They are also black and blue with bruises in the front from the snow boots. And these are feet that I will be putting into flipflops on Tuesday in the Fiji sun. I will be deported for bringing foot and mouth into the country!
Got back from Te Anau to Queenstown last night and couldn't face the dorms, so booked myself into a little hotel with views over the lake. A little treat.
I start to make my way up north today to get to Fiji where it is 30 degrees. Woo Hoo. It was been down to minus 10 in New Zealand, so I can't wait!!!
Send you all kisses