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A trip to the mountain before ski season. Part 1

Our first visit to a ski area

Our first visit to a ski area

We made it to our first ski mountain in New Zealand just before the season started. This was a trip organized by members of the university and we decided to join them as we know quite a few of the folks on the trip. A two days one night trip, this would be our first visit to a ‘soon be covered’ with snow mountain. With Yang Yang along, it is always extra worry for me and extra joy for Meun.

This trip would not have been possible if not for some really dedicated and passionate staff from Lincoln Uni. Our group consists of mostly international students and this was a first time experience for many of us. The sense of excitement, curiosity and eagerness filled the air when we met up with the rest at the car park. Our first stop of the day was this lookout along the way towards Castle Hill. A smallish area on the shoulder of the road allowed cars to stop and take in the breathtaking view. New Zealand has always been the picture of pictures in my mind and it really lived up to the expectations.

The stunning views towards the mountains

The stunning views towards the mountains

Its been a good hour of driving and past the winding sections of the drive was a great relieve. It was a great relief to arrive at our next stop, Castle Hill. Its actually our second visit to the place but we did not manage to walk up to the rock formations during the first visit. We were all adamant about making it to the rocks this time around. While one can walk and run, Yang Yang obviously wanted to get there first class.

First Class travel is the only way for Yang Yang

First Class travel is the only way for Yang Yang

 

A panoramic view from top of Castle Hill

A panoramic view from top of Castle Hill

The rock formations and features makes Castle Hill a popular stop over for people driving through Arthur’s Pass. It is also a popular place for rock climbing…or perhaps to be more precise ‘bouldering’. Castle Hill amazes me. For the sheer stunning beauty as well as how well the Kiwis maintain their natural environment. The car park is clean and tidy, toilets and signboards are readily available and almost no litter can be seen in the area at all. There is even a toilet available near the top of the hill!

There's even a toilet on Castle Hill itself!

There’s even a toilet on Castle Hill itself!

With the brief stop at Castle Hill over, we gathered once again at the car park for a quick briefing before heading to our ‘ski mountain’ cabin. We were told to keep an eye out for a turn further on driving, so everyone drove slower and closer to each other. It was already getting past mid day and everyone just can’t wait to get there.

 

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