Monday, October 09, 2006

Spring skiing

October 9, 2006
Wow, I must be having fun here. I think it's been about 2 weeks since I wrote in my blog. It's not because there hasn't been anything to tell you about. Just too busy to write it down.

Since I last did an update, I've had my first ever game of golf, I've been skiing at Mt Hutt, biked around Lyttelton Harbour, plus all sorts of things I can't even remember. I'm still waiting for that first surfing lesson though. The conditions just haven't cooperated so far. The only real challenge is trying to get all my work done when there are so many distractions!

The bike ride around Lyttelton Harbour was beautiful and lots of fun, aside from getting bopped in the head by an attacking Magpie! At least I had my helmet on. The hills around the harbour don't even look real, they are so beautiful. Along the way there was a farmhouse owned by a Korean couple that was filled with Korean artwork and sculptures indoors and out, a farmer searching for his 5 escaped bulls (fortunately we didn't find them), a scrumptious seafood chowder eaten outside at the top of Diamond Harbour, a ferry ride back over to Lyttleton, a screaming downhill from the top of the Port Hills into Sumner and finally a relaxed cup of tea at (the place to be for bikers after a ride).

It's been cold (5C in the mornings) lately with occasional rainy, very windy days. But in between there are some beautiful days. Yesterday I drove down to Timaru with a friend who was competing in a duathlon at the South Island Masters Games (see photo below). It was a beautiful day with views of the snow-covered mountains the whole drive down. I'm thinking I might see if I can sign up for the cycle road race this weekend as the swimming events are filled.

My first game of golf (preceded the week before by 50 balls at the driving range) was really fun. The last time I was on a golf course was at the Muskoka Sands Inn with my sister Judy and my Dad at about age 9. Dad got frustrated with us and made us pick up our balls and I hadn't tried anything more than mini-golf since. Fortunately I did a little better this time and got to play the full 18 holes of a 3-par course. I managed to make par on one hole (a fluke?!), my worst was 6 (or may be it was 7) and I only hit one airball! I think I might have to try it again!

Last Friday I went skiing at Mt Hutt (about 1.5h southwest of ChCh) and had an awesome day. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, no wind, and great spring skiing conditions. See below for views from the top and a picture of me "on top of the world". Or maybe I should say "on the bottom of the world" given how close we are to Antarctica.

Now that spring is here, the birds in the morning are fantastic. The last run I did from my house and up into the Port Hills was unbelievable. Here are the birds that I saw or heard that I know the names of: Bellbird, Kingfisher, Grey Warbler, Australian Magpie, Pukeko with 2 babies (check out the picture below as they don't look like anything in North America), Mallard with 6 babies and probably more that I just can't remember right now.

Well I better get to work so I can head off on my next adventure when the opportunity arises!

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