Friday, June 26, 2009

Ski & Snowboarding trip – Smylies Tours

On Thursday 11th June some students were enquiring about the Smylies trips for the coming weekend. By Friday we were quite a big multinational group: students from Portugal, Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia and Thailand and Chie and Laura from the Dominion staff.
We were picked up on Saturday afternoon. Colin, from Smylies was very kind, as usual. An hour later we were in Springfield where Colin’s family was waiting for us. Smylies is a family business run by Colin and Keiko (and their children). Their hostel is in Springfield which is known as the gateway to the Southern Alps. There are six fantastic ski areas -Porters, Mt Hutt, Mt Cheeseman, Craigieburn, Mt Olympus and Broken River all within a short drive for the ultimate ski holiday.
After a very warm welcome we had tea (as New Zealanders call dinner). A generous warm tasty Japanese curry and fantastic side dishes: all sorts of salads, mashed pumpkin, Japanese apples were served in a big dining room. After tea Colin prepared coffee and tea and dessert was served. By that point, I was so full… but I couldn’t resist the temptation of trying a little piece of the cake. Thanks Keiko, your food was delicious! I am quite a fussy eater and I must say that Keiko’s food was better than in many Christchurch restaurants. I loved the homemade taste of it.

Keiko's dinner at Smylies

Saturday night was rugby night and although I could escape it at home (my kiwi partner doesn’t miss a game!!) students wanted to go to the local pub and watch the end of the match. Unfortunately the All Blacks lost against France. It didn’t matter; we were soon on to the pool table. So many games, even the locals joined in. By the time we left the pub it was 1.30 am!!
I turned off my alarm at seven o’clock. Kiwi breakfast was ready: sausages, bread, scrambled eggs and bacon, yum! Some people had cereal, yoghurt, toast. By eight o’clock Colin was calling us to get on the bus. It is an hour’s drive to Mt Hutt. Snow was forecast for the afternoon but never came. It was a gorgeous sunny day, very hot at times, extremely cold and blustery on the summit.

Magic carpet
Nice day!!Mt Hutt summit

Everyone had three hours snowboard lessons with the exception of Jean Philippe from Portugal. He is quite a professional skier. We had lunch in the café. At three o’clock the beginners slope was almost empty. I think everyone was exhausted. At four o’clock we got on the bus again and arrived just after 6 pm to Christchurch.

Snowboarding after the lesson
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