So the worst snow for 50years hit south island just as we bowled in. Having got to grips with the fact we weren’t going anywhere (the plan was to pick up a motor home and head up north again) we got on and enjoyed Queenstown. And we have to admit, there are worst places in the world to be trapped than Queenstown!
Having never been skiing before, we decided to take the ski bus up to the ski resort called Coronet Peak. The weather was still cold and very snowy, with temperatures on the mountain of -2.5 and visibility was poor. First thing that struck non-skiers (sorry to those well practiced in the art…) was what a big business it all is. The bus delivered us to a hanger like building into which everyone poured having retrieved all their kit from the bus store, and started to put all the aforementioned kit on, in the aforementioned hanger. Everyone then troops up to the ski field and joins the (long) queue for the chair lift. There is another huge building on the snow which houses a bar, a cafe and a restuarant and seems as busy as Oxford Street just before Christmas.
Twins are delighted to simply find a 2 in 1 slope and try and roll, slide, or tea-tray down it, giggling and laughing in delight at the sheer amount of snow. I put my foot in one bit and the snow came up to my thigh.
We discoverd the ski lesson department, we marvelled at the four person chair lift with the turnstile entrance and moving platform to get you postioned correctly to go up, we all wanted a go on the sushi bar upward conveyor belt that takes people on their skis to the runs and we played in the snow tunnels created by “Mark….from Edinburgh” and “Louise…..from Essex” ski instructors who obviously had too good a time on their gap year and stayed.
Adults were mostly frozen to the bone by this point so we headed back to the return bus and just then the sun broke through the gloom and showed us the spectacular view fro the top. To say we were snap happy camera people from the bus would be an understatement!
Another night in the youth hostel was ok but we were all keen to get on our way, knowing that if we did not leave tomorrow, we wouldnt have enough time to get up the country for our ferry and flights back to north island. Simon worked hard on possible plan B, C, D, E and F and took the Simon-like precaution of contacting the insurance company to enquire what “delay” includes. It all got very complicated! But if the motor home rental company wouldnt release the vehicle for safety and the roads are all closed anyway, we had few options. Plan C looked the most likely. But we had to wait til the next day to see what happened…..