Ski Trip. Mercer Cheese.

Cheese rules. Delicious cheese rules even more. Mercer Cheese have some seriously delicious cheese. Their extra aged gouda, for example, is absolutely devine. Many of their cheeses are award winners, to which the certificates which line their wills attest – gold medal after gold medal… Diluted only a little bit by the occasional silver or bronze medal.

The big problem with Mercer Cheese is that it is, in fact, in Mercer. Driving to Mercer just to get some cheese would be somewhat of a crazy mission, the cheese is great… But it’s Mercer, you’re practically in Huntly, which is practically in Hamilton, to which place no sane person should ever venture.

So the thing is, and here’s the rub, you need a place to go, which requires you to venture past Mercer, we chose National Park Township, and more specifically, Whakapapa ski field up Mt Ruapehu.

And I’ll tell you what, even without the cheese, it was a trip worth taking. What an awesome time, I forced my travelling companion (hot girl stayed in sunny Auckland) to rent Snowblades with me, and regret it I do not. It kicked ass.

Let me tell you – I haven’t skiied in maybe 3 or 4 years, I only snowboarded once day last season, but I did a whole day, including some challenging terrain, without a *SINGLE* bail. Not once did I fall over. Not once did I plant my face in the snow. I never slid out, never crashed into anyway, and never felt out of control at any point. Snowblades are truly fantastic, I found myself prepared to attempt terrain I never would have seriously considered on normal skiis. Next time I’m down, and after that experience it might not be too far away, I’ll be going with snowblades again, no question in my mind.

I’m amazed that more people haven’t ‘discovered’ snowblades, I heard a lot of people commenting on them when I was waiting for chair lifts, and a couple of people even stopped to chat with me on the slopes to find out more about them.

While we were down we also had a few nice drinks at Schnapps, including a truly delicious cocktail including a small bottle of Jagermeister, a can of redbull, and a splash of apple schnapps. Delicious. It’s a perfect combination of flavours, unfortunately the redbull component makes it dangerous to have as many as you might otherwise like (I like to be able to sleep when I want to, you see).

Good sleeping was to be had, as well, in the Ski Haus lodge, great fire pit in the lounge, too. and it was very nice for me, a touch of home even, to have a dog (Cinders) come over to my breakfast table and food beg (must have been able to smell the bacon, so I can’t blame her). Little cutie, lovely smile.

Anyway, I got 3 cheeses…

  • Very aged gouda – once aged for several years, you see, the usually very mild gouda takes on a vastly more robust tangy flavour.
  • Gouda flavoured with garlic & chives
  • Gouda flavoured with cumin seed.

It’s all good.