Apr 122007

(Picture : me in Queenstown Gardens)

It was another night with the earplugs in, and due to the decreasing temperatures I was well tucked up in my newly-arrived-from-home Rab sleeping bag (thanks mum!)…..or in other words, I sneaked open my sleeping bag, opened my eyes and suddenly it was daylight – another long lie (well, 9.15am).  Slowly I had brekkie, went on wifi for 30 mins, and then I decided bu*ger it, I’m going to do the Shotover Jet, so it was another day in Queenstown so it will be a long drive to Milford tomorrow.

(Picture : the view to the Remarkables from Queenstown Gardens)

I couldn’t get onto the jetboat until the afternoon so I toke a relaxing stroll round Queenstown Gardens dodging the frisbees from the Frisbee Golf they have there.  It was nice to get such an easy escape from the business of this town, with great views, and peace and quiet.

All that changed after my ‘flat white’ coffee and mince and cheese pies (hmmmm). I popped onto the Shotover Jet bus and was taken to the Shotover Gorge (almost everything in Queenstown seems to have some kind of Shotover connection in their name).  It was $99 so cheaper than I thought (around £35), and it was great.  Not as scary or adrenaline flowing than I imagined, but I was glad to do it as it was one of the things on my list before arriving.

I then spent a chilled out few hours heading up the gondola and watching bungee jumpers and rope swingers from the Ledge at the restaurant overlooking Queenstown while waiting for darkness to fall.

Actually I did do something inbetween.  I slipped into a different outdoors shop and saw a beautiful jacket from the NZ outfit Cactus Climbing.   Yes, it sucked me in…..but I was sensible enough to go and have walk, pie, and Shotover Jet before going back to try it on and, yes, ultimately buy it.  Yes, it’s not helping the budgeting, but hey I can’t buy it in the UK.  But no, I don’t strictly need another jacket.  Oh by the way the shop was Small Planet Sports on Shotover Street (I think) next to NZ Shred – it’s the best shop I’ve seen in town for climbing stuff if anyone needs to know.  I also enquired how much it costs to send 10kg back home – EEEEK!  $150-170 and I’ll probably have way more than that to send before hitting Japan.

(Picture : AJ Hacket The Ledge (tiny, only 40 odd metres) Bungee at the top of the Gondola, steamboat in the background)  





Japan ‘planning’ is slowly underway with me starting to flick through ‘The Book’ (Lonely Planet) and I’ve sent off a few enquiry emails to Couchsurfers in Japan so I may end up trying out that scheme – will be a change couchsurfing with strangers as opposed to mates dotted around this side of the world.

(Picture  : Queenstown at dusk) 

I’m looking forward to my Milford drive and trip tomorrow as I was starting to feel a bit travelled out……  Not bored of travel (are you freakin’ MAD?) just this is the kind of place that’s better experienced with others and I’m lacking in motivation to do walks and stuff like that on my own.  I think if NZ was my first stop it would have been a little bit diferent in that I’d be pushing to get on great walks etc, but I’m more than happy to chill out a lot more now, especially given that the weather is turning and bringing snow on the hilltops.

Jeez, have I really written that much?  I’m off to kip – need to try and get up and out at a decent time tomorrow!  I’ll probably spend a couple of nights in Te Anau from Saturday.  I’d like to hit the Doubtful Sound on a kayak but will try to get some small cheap walks in instead!

 Posted by at 10:46 am

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