Tale of New Zealand helicopter rescue enthrals SWI

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Clachan SWI started on a high with a slide show by Louise Stanesby of her amazing trip to New Zealand, which included a helicopter rescue from a gorge, trapped by a raging river.

Louise spent a very happy two weeks touring the North Island with life-long friends. They saw some amazing scenery and had a lot of laughs along the way. Particularly memorable was the area of hot springs at Rotorua where they shared a sulphur-flavoured mud bath.

Louise then went to South Island where she joined a small trekking party and had a number of walks through stunning landscapes. One day was spent ice-walking on the Franz Joseph Glacier after being landed on it by helicopter.

Perhaps the highlight of the entire trip was tackling the 33-mile Milford Track with the river in spate between sheer walls of the gorge. Conditions became too severe and the party was airlifted out by helicopter over the pass.

Louise was thanked for sharing her experiences with the SWI group in such an entertaining way, and judging the competitions.

Results: Something black and white: 1 Liz Ball, 2 Zoe Weir, 3 Jane McCallum. A decorated wine bottle: 1 Zoe Weir, 2 Pauline Simson, 3 Tove Knight.

The night was rounded off with tea and drawing the raffle.