Hello again after a bit of a hiatus from blogging. My long summer has ended along with season four of Game of Thrones and winter has most definitely arrived. I have had a crazy month or so moving down from sunny Brisbane to my now very snowy (wifi-less) base at around 2000m in the snowy mountains. My journey down here was pretty arduous, but about as smooth as a bus, train, bus, minivan journey whilst lugging full ski gear around can be.
My final weeks in Brisbane were good fun, with leaving parties with respective employers which was nice considering the short amount of time I was actually there. My final shift at Brew involved playing let’s get Toby drunk at work and ended up with a lock-in until around 4am and various drinking games.
I broke up my journey down with a nice long weekend down in Sydney seeing the family and friends. Being picked up from the station at 7am after my overnight train journey was a travellers luxury and I still managed to place 7th out of about 150 in the 5k run me and my uncle did an hour later. Sydney was looking pretty spectacular that weekend, with all the monuments and various streets lit up to celebrate my arrival back into the city, or maybe because it was the end of the Vivid Sydney festival, I’m not certain which. I saw Caitlin a couple of times for what were our final meet-ups in Sydney; Australia will definitely miss you when you are forced to head back home.
The end of Brisbane was a fun one; I continued with my yoga, despite lack of improvement and went on a few day trips with one of my co-workers who lived round the corner. Our hike out to find what we both assumed was a big reservoir lake turned out to instead be a massive concrete water holder which was somewhat a bit of a fail, but I think we were both still a bit drunk/over-tired from the shift the night before so we saw the funny side of it. I finally managed to check out the remaining museums and the iconic Brisbane powerhouse. All were nice enough, apart from far too many penises being classed as artwork.
Arriving into Perisher was a bit of a daunting one, I was thrilled to have been given accommodation on the mountain, but not so thrilled at the fact there was no public transport for the final 30k mountain road from the town I got dropped off at 5pm. I was trying to figure out a way to get there that wouldn’t be a ridicoulsly expensive taxi and was reckoning that I’d have to try hitch up until my manager called me at 5pm the night before to say she’d pick me up the following morning so to just stay in the town that night. Relief!
My arrival was met with lots of lovely cold mountain air, yet zero snow and mutterings that this was going to be the worst season snow wise in Australia’s history. This didn’t fill me with glee and my start date got back to a ‘to be confirmed’ status – fairly annoying when you’ve given up two jobs and are now paying more in rent for a share room than you’ve ever paid in Australia – even for my luxury double in central Sydney. So in my first week I found my way around places and got to know people as they arrived into our accommodation: Willow Lodge.
Willow has a bit of reputation on mountain it turns out. It’ basically a big old building that sleeps fifty odd people in 18 rooms, has one big kitchen and another much smaller lounge room. I have gone from being the young one at work, to suddenly being one of the older people, with a huge number of people here 19/20. So it’s safe to say that it’s a bit of a party house, nearly every night with people having random days off and very quickly winding down when they do happen. The walk to the pub is always a fun one at minus something or other, especially when we decide to make the 30 minute journey to the bigger one for their Monday night DJ night.
A few of us have formed a bit of a cooking crew, to try and ensure that we’re not just living off of instant noodles, which is a fairly standard diet over here. We’ve attempted curries, hand-made burgers, pasta bakes, tacos, fried rice – all pretty staple, but still good fun. I finished off three full bowls of curry the other day, a feat impressive enough to deserve photographic evidence.
Luckily in these past few weeks the snow has come down hard. In what people have called the best snowfall in a decade and the best start to a season in two. Shows just how unreliable forecasts are! With the school holidays now in full swing over here work has been packed, with over 600 kids attending the school each day, keeping me plenty busy at work. I have been skiing a fair bit as when I’m off, although when you’re here for so long you do become a bit picky. It’s my final day off today for at least a week, yet the blizzard currently happening outside is hampering my desire to get onto the slopes.
I keep meaning to take advantage of the free lessons I can tag along to, but am having much more fun just heading out with people from here and exploring the slopes. I’ve nearly got my 180s down and nearly accidentally over-rotated into a 360 yesterday, hopefully by the end of this season that will all be down. Did have my first major stack the other day when I jumped of a little cliff a bit too fast and found my ski tips buried in a snow mound and me flying over face first into the powder – luckily it was a soft section!
I met-up with Liv last week on the slopes for the second time in a few weeks when she came down with her dad to get a bit of a summer snow fix before jetting back to Europe for summer holidays. It Is very random seeing familiar faces in such global locations, but a lot of fun at the same time.
My sleep patterns have become well and truly destroyed, with early starts at work, late nights out and 5am alarms to catch the world cup. Managed to watch the majority of the matches and even dragged a few others out of bed to keep me company. I picked up a second job out here also, probably in the most random of fashions. I wasn’t intending to work two jobs, but chatting to an Italian coffee shop owner about what a great country he’s from led to him asking what I used to do. Finding out I used to work in bars and restaurants he asked if I closed them, which I did, then he said would I help out a few evenings a week just shutting it down with him. I finish work at 4pm with Perisher so it fits in quite nicely doing a few hours in the evening and certainly boosts the income. Once the snow school quietens down after the holidays I can do the odd day for him as well, so that has all worked out nicely. He’s pretty crazy, but also adorable in the way only Italian’s can manage.
Anyway that is life for now. It’s still messes with my head thinking that it’s minus 3 outside in July, when I’m normally in shorts sweating away under the Italian sun I am instead in 5 layers watching my step on ice and sinking to my waist in powder. Now just to muster the energy to go ski in this blizzard this afternoon.