A Southern Wedding Week

My winter holiday for the year (I’m still trying to get to a positive leave balance after the summer’s big bike ride) was a week down south for Adele & James’s wedding. A fantastic, but hectic week spent with much family & many friends – and a little bit of biking too, naturally.

After a catching-up with Mum & Dad over dinner in Dunedin, a group of us piled into a van and headed towards Queenstown for the stag weekend.

We stopped en route at about midnight to sight the church where the service would be in a week’s time. It was already frosty, much colder for winter than I’ve grown accustomed to; naturally we skated around on the lawn.

We spent the weekend staying at a house that was stuck in the ’70s, it was brilliant inside & out – the views of The Remarkables & Coronet Peak weren’t too shabby either.

The days were cold and still – we spotted a few hot-air balloons floating around early morning.

Craig turned up with a wood-fired hot-tub he had made on a trailer – brilliant! We quickly got to work thawing the garden hose, filling the tub and heating it up. The tub got a fair bit of use over the week – they’re incredible, check the website.

We drove most of the way up the Coronet Peak access road, for a reason I could not discern. The view was adequate compensation.

As the light faded, we headed up the gondola for a bit of luging (little carts on a concrete track, not the Olympic type of luging.)

Repeated races down the tracks provided much amusement as we battled it out trying to avoid collateral damage to unsuspecting tourists.

Sunday morning’s activity, which ended up being in the afternoon, was skydiving for the stag & a few of us. It was a glorious day for it &, I’m told, the experience was quite amazing.

A very pleasant drive through Central Otago looking at the recent snow contrasting with the dry pasture soon had me at Mum & Dad’s, where Adele had also arrived from Westport.

With a broken night’s sleep and a few little wedding-jobs, there was just enough recovery for me to head off east again to visit friends & family who have, independently, just moved to Wanaka. It was just warm enough to make riding in thawed mud not worth it; nonetheless, it was an enjoyable visit – which was expected, or else I would not have driven three hours back west.

Mid-week a fair crowd of Adele’s family and friends stayed in the sleepy village of Naseby (2000 feet above worry level, apparently) – where James and Adele have a eight hectare section of mostly pines, a pond and large potential for building singletrack, camping, building huts/tiny homes/container homes etc. The first day or so was frigid – which made for good fun mountain-biking (plenty of traction), a lot of people walking on said pond and good hot-tubbing. A nor-west change came through thawing everything out and burning off a lot of the snow. The biking then got quite amusing as we explored many of the unmarked trails and repeatedly lost our front wheels sliding out in unexpected mud. I even got a ride in with Dad & Uncle Geoff – quite a turn up for the books (as Dad, himself, would say)! So that was a great few days socialising with many that I seldom see, eating a lot and riding bikes.

Packing up once again, it was off to the wedding (reception) venue for the last two nights of the week. There followed two days of busy-ness with many errands to run, people to catch up with – oh, and a fantastic wedding that went all rather smoothly (testament to all the planning, I think). But as it’s not really my day to share here, I shan’t – also due in part to the fact that I was so busy I didn’t even think to take a single picture.

But as this photo has been shared publicly (if you know where to look), I’ll put it here just to show I’m not making this all up – there was in fact a wedding.

Also, I’ve just recently clicked that for the first time I can call someone brother; that’s a little weird.

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