There must come a time when people learning to ski suddenly discover the exhilaration of weaving their way at speed down the slope and find a new addiction in their lives. At least that’s what I suppose happens. After two hours of slipping and skidding, of trying to stay upright and not go too fast in the wrong direction I couldn’t wait to get the frigging ski boots off.
Same with the other two.
Oh well, at least we’ve tried skiing once in our lives. Honestly, I don’t want to go fast. You can keep your extreme sports, I’ll stick to extremely boring.
Don’t believe me? Why do you think we were skiing anyway? We’d already decided to drive to Jindabyne. What to do but catch Australia’s highest altitude train line, the Skitube?
When looking up how to catch it I just so happened to find that ski lesson packages were still available on the weekend. After feeling a bit left out during our winter trip to Japan we thought we might as well give it a go.
Alright, given it a go. Do it again? Um, ask us some other time.
That said, it was very pretty up on the mountain and Alex and B had a great time sliding down the play slope on toboggans while I made a snow man. The older I get the less I enjoy going fast.
I really am a boring traveller.
The winds blew and fresh snow fell between patches of sunshine.
When we had all had enough we brought our hire gear back to the shop and trudged back to the station. Rather than head back immediately down to Bullocks Flat we rode the Skitube up to the terminus of the line of Blue Cow, Australia’s highest station at 1875 metres of altitude.
Sitting in the front of the train we were greeted with an amusement park view of the train riding up the 12.5% gradient though the tunnel. The steep angle was quite obvious and the reason that the train requires a centre rack track.
At the terminus there was enough time to pop our heads out and snap a few photos before we descended back down to Perisher. There we crossed the platform to the train down to Bullocks Flat.
The Australian made coaches are very wide and very battered by years of ski and boarding equipment transported inside. However, the steep gradients make it an interesting ride and once it emerges from the tunnel there is some pretty bush scenery.
Back at Jindabyne we tried to book the Takayama bar for dinner, but the answering machine said it was already booked out. So it was decent pub fare at the Lake Jindabyne Hotel and Bistro. There are no fast food chains in Jindabyne. From a local business perspective I suspect that their presence would have a huge impact on the local food scene considering the tourist based nature of the Jindabyne economy. But the fact is that eating out is expensive in Jindabyne and take-away isn’t always an option.
Anyway, it was a good excuse to eat better grub during our short stay. And the snow was an opportunity to use those snow clothes we’d bought in January. I’m glad we only hired the ski gear, not sure if it would ever get used again, but snow is fun!