Apiti Travel Blog› entry 2 of 86 › view all entries
February 2nd, 2009 – by: goezi
Our bus arrived and we piled out to find our accommodation for the next three nights.
Due to my injured ankle I was a slow starter and ended up at the far end of the driveway in the bunk house with most of the guys. Thanks to my injury I was given the use of the Lodge van to make my way to and from the bunkhouse as required.
The instructors stayed in a separate house on the grounds and I met them all again as three of the four were the same guys who'd trained me 13 months earlier.
We started the lessons with safety lectures and some information that the United Nations required all potential drivers to know about their driving policies.
The next day, after breakfast, we started with some training for parade. Parades are not something NZ Police do a lot of, except when attending Police College or a member's funeral. Our new boss would be required to know how to form us up and we needed to know how to behave for inspection. There were plenty of laughs to be had but we got there after a couple of goes and then we were split into 4 groups and started the business of what we were really there for.
My group went first to the 4 wheel drive proving ground where we drove a variety of vehicles over purpose built terrains. It all came back to me pretty quickly and I spent the rest of the time offering encouragement/advice to those who were new to 4WD.
After lunch we went down to the river and spent the afternoon practising river crossing and vehicle recovery. I'd enjoyed this very much the first time, this time the thrill of creating huge bow waves off the front of the trucks was just as satisfying.
We were starting to get to know the 25 members of our team and the evenings around the campfire, with a few drinks and some good sounds went a long way to helping the process along.
One of the great things about being out here in the middle of nowhere is that you have time to sit and chat.
The third day my group started in the morning with map reading and GPS navigation. There was an excercise to seek out markers spread about the lodge grounds but with my foot I was not able to run over the rough ground, so sat the hunt out.
We did river crossing after lunch and once again, without being able to see the rocks on the bottom of the river, I was not going to risk rolling my ankle so I sat and watched them all freeze their bo***cks off in the mountain stream.
The final day we looked at winching, basic mechanics and then qualified in ATV bikes before piling back on the bus and heading back to college in time for dinner.
Apiti was again a great place to learn 4 wheel driving and our team were now starting to really come together. I could come back to this place every year!
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