After 20 metres of snowfall and four long, dark months of winter, the snow finally stopped falling in Niseko. Some sunny days, warmer temperatures, and a spring snowpark were all signals that the harshest winter of my life was coming to an end.
As staff and punters alike vacated the ski town, we moved back in! For the last few weeks Ambre and I moved back to the staff accommodation. The intent was to save a few Yen and make getting to the hill easier. Coincidently it was also more convenient for stumbling home after all the closing and leaving parties.
It was sad to say good bye to our home and family for the winter. We did finally have a fun little ski with the kids and were treated to a lovely dinner before our departure. Thanks Stuart, Miho, Ai Mi, Byron and Sakura for having us!
Staying in Tamashi was actually a lot of fun, but we were still gracious enough to accept a free nights stay in one of the hotels luxurious rooms. We also undertook the arduous task of helping the restaurant finish all the left over food! I don’t think I had slept or eaten as well all season. As if that wasn’t enough… we stayed in town just long enough for the end of season dinner at Niseko Pizza. Having not prepared,packed or showered for our departure the next morning, I was a little apprehensive. But after a few beers and shots of Kaluha my worries were gone. Despite my best efforts it was an all too familiar departure scene, haphazardly stuffing my gear into a bag, having to travel hungover and smelly. But I wouldn’t change a thing, thanks NISADE!
Those of you that have ever traveled with me will know how much I love sightseeing, temples, and tourist traps. Caves, temples, museums, you name it, I can’t be bothered to see it! Which is why our stay in Oaska and Kyoto was short and sweet. Although it was actually quite pleasant to be able to walk around in a pair of shorts and take in the tranquil surroundings. After subjecting Ambre to 4 months if skiing, it was only fair that I tagged along for a little shopping too. The city break was surprisingly fun and I could have happily spent a bit more time there. Alas, it was Island time!
Having not had a proper summer for two years, I was starting to look like Casper the friendly ghost, and some island life was the cure. For the first time in my life I headed for the Philippines. For the first time since Courchevel I got to see my old mate Ash. We were greeted on our arrival in Siargao and jumped in the back of Ash’s truck. Before long we were enjoying the warm waters and beautiful scenery. Surfing, snorkelling, kayaking, island hoping, and cliff jumping were all on the itinerary. The evenings saw some parties at the Boulevard, break dancing, vomit (not me), lost clothes and blank memories. Good times.
Sadly I had to say good bye to my darling Ambre for a few weeks. Fortunately we had a visit from G-Banger, which was an apt excuse to do it all again. Night clubs, dancing, and vomit (not me). This time no one lost any clothing and I have a fairly good recollection of events. After Cebu, life settled down, and the most notable night was the hog roast, which went down pretty well. In my final final week we also had the pleasure of a surprise visit by our travel buddy from Oz, the Tobster!
Island life involves a fair bit of down time and I spent enough time at the computer to find a job for next season. Well… Ambre managed to find us both a job. With the snow currently dumping in Australia, I am excited and on my way to Mount Hotham for a few months. I don’t expect snow like we had in Japan, but I am hoping for just as much fun…