How are you? I know you haven’t been feeling very well, that is why I thought you might like to hear from us. While you are recovering, we have spent the week skiing. Skiing is awesome. And I look awesome doing it.
So does Anton, by the way.
Although he is more of a (snow)boarder.
We are up at Mt. Hotham in the Victorian Alps, which in its turn is part of the Great Dividing Range. The Australians do like the word ‘great’. There’s the Great Ocean Road, the Great Victorian Bike Ride and the Great South Australian Bike Ride (so I’m presuming all the other states have their own Great Bike Rides as well), the Great Alpine Road, the Great Barrier Reef, and I know there are a few more, but I can’t think of the right now.
Anyway, the Great Dividing Range – as the name implies – divides Australia in two. There is the east coast on one side and basically the rest of the country on the other. Because of this division, there is snow. It has something to do with barometric pressure. The low pressure in this part of the world comes from the south, from Antarctica. This cold air gets dragged north and makes a U-turn somewhere along the border of the states of Victoria and New South Wales resulting in snow
But the Australian ski season lasts only about two to three months. It usually starts around the end of June and ends in September. Sometimes it arrives late, at others times it comes early. Because of this, the Australians decided to play whether God. These huge, yellow snow machines were put in place – well, they look like big hair dryers – and they spit out white powder to slide away on.
Snow had just started falling properly, meaning the season started late this year. It’s the second week of the school holidays, but not even all the lifts are open. Not that it mattered to me, because I’m a beginner. I won’t be skiing down the black runs anytime soon. Today, while Anton was back down in Harrietville working, I did try my hand at some blue ones. I didn’t break any legs, wasn’t petrified, and only ran into one person. I did fall a few times, even face first once (mountain upwards, very unnatural), but after a big laugh I got up and continued with only my ego hurt.
This is actually the first time since we got to Harrietville that I got to have a little bit of a holiday while Anton worked. So far it’s mostly been the other way around (hiking on Mt. Buffalo, going to Winton racetrack, going fourwheeldriving) since I work weekends. So Anton has been cleaning (!) rooms, little Mr. Housekeeper, at the Snowline Motel in town. No need to feel sorry for him though, since he has been up here quite often and by now everyone under 40 knows who he is, as well as a good few people over 40. We celebrated the start our little holiday/career move in style with Jägermeister shots and beer when we said goodbye to the English backpackers that were working here, too.
At night, we played games in front of the fire. There are places to go at night. The lodge where we stayed for example is right next to the General Store which is also a pub, but everything up here is even more expensive than down there. Besides, a day on the mountain wares you out! So we played chess and the Australian version of Monopoly – which includes a koala!
All in all, it’s been a real good week. Tomorrow we get to sleep in as they predict rain. Also I am really starting to feel my body ache. On top of that I have to work again Saturday morning, afternoon and night, Sunday morning and afternoon, and very possibly Monday to Friday. I need one day of nothing. Check out isn’t until 2pm, so we have time to relax in the morning, enjoy a nice breakfast and get our bags packed before we have to leave this gorgeous mountain.
Dad, we are so lucky to be here. Skiing is definitely not something I’d ever thought I’d do, let alone enjoy. But I do and I am all the better for it. Anton didn’t get the job as a snowboard instructor, but he got a fantastic double discount on a season lift pass, so every opportunity he gets he’s up here too. We met a very nice bloke who doesn’t mind throwing our stuff in the back of his 4×4 and take us up. Pete and Reg are still not sick of us invading their privacy, and we love staying with them. Will and Tom have a good laugh every time I fall in the snow, and they will probably take Anton out to some more remote runs as soon as the snow starts falling again.
We will talk soon. Get better soon though!
Lots of love,