Flanders in NZ 14 – Such Great Heights

I recently submitted my timesheet clocking in a little more overtime than my social life appreciates; so to continue the theme, I’ve been piecing this blog together from Friday night through this past weekend to finally get it out.

The past month I’ve been working on a project with many hours of construction site time and monitoring. I think Keith officially hates my alarm clock. Despite the hours, the project is quite fun, and I got to ride in my very first crane basket last week! Doing bridge inspection pre-my current job, I found myself in bucket trucks and cherry pickers, but never dangling off of a crane. New experiences in conquering vertical elevation last week!

1

Crane over Christchurch

I couldn’t resist the Queen Elizabeth parade wave on our ride back down to earth…

2

Float Parade

Last Saturday the Crusaders (the local favorite in Super Rugby) played the semi final game against the Sharks (from Durban, South Africa). Despite the tiny temporary stadium, 2 cheap seats were still left and we snagged them right away. It was fun to see another rugby game and eat another meat pie :). Whats great about the Crusaders is that a good portion of the team are also on the All Blacks–quite the stacked team! The Crusaders crushed the Sharks. But spoiler alert, they played in the finals last night versus the Waratahs (NSW, Australia) and lost by one point–32 to 33. Definitely a lot of disappointment in Canterbury last night.

3

Crusaders Rugby @ the “temporary” stadium

Last Saturday I worked in the morning and Keith and I were talking about what we should do the rest of the weekend. Aparently our neighbors were thinking the same thing, as they then knocked on the door asking if we’d like to join them on their Sunday trek to Mt Hutt (popular ski field near Chch). We live in a duplex and really couldn’t have ended up with nicer neighbors. They hail from the U.K. and recently purchase a pretty intense 4WD van. So at 6am we climbed in their van (which may be the most pimped out van I’ve ever been in–skylights everywhere, curtains, and glowing sound system included) and headed to the mountains.

If you haven’t been following for 2+ years I was at Mt Hutt in this post in 2012, and was excited to bring Keith back and teach him how to ski. Despite only being on the downhill slopes a few times in my life, learning to walk on cross country skis has appeared to make me an adequate downhill skiier. We signed up for an all-day package which included a lesson, spent some morning time on the bunny slope teaching Keith what a pizza was, and then headed up the chair lift for the first time right before lunch. Keith did a great job, and the more comfortable we both got with the trails the more we rushed back into the lift line. By the end of the day we even started talking about doing a weekend trip to Queenstown to check out the slopes there (although with the heat waves we’ve been having this winter not sure how feasable that is!)

4

(from top left clockwise) – Chair Lift Fun and view, Keith skiing, Kea parrots attacking a truck, Jen skiing

I was surprised to learn, this time around, that Mt Hutt is over 7,000 ft high–far larger than Mt Washington in New Hampshire. The cold elevation definitely helps when there is no snow ANYWHERE else in the plains. It’s been an extremely mild winter over here thus far. Looking at Mt Hutt’s webcam this weekend all the snow we had previously is already gone.

5

View down to the Canterbury Plains

I’m currently already sitting within the next weekend so another new post will be up shortly and then…Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!

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