Published: January 21st 2010
January 21st 2010
Bumgy jumps were first started at this bridge
It's 43 meters to the water,and you can opt for a 44 meter version if you want the refreshing version
Today, I am celebrating my half century and have invited the sun the shine all day to make it an unusually warm 21st of January.
I’m in Queenstown, and woke in the mobile home to no sound at all. No rain drops on the roof, no winds buffeting the side of the van, and no drunken tourists tripping over my power cable. The showers on the site are 8 minutes for a dollar, so it was a quickie before a cooked breakfast in the open - literally bright enough to sunbathe at 08:00 in the morning.
I’d booked into the St Moritz hotel for tonight, so went along to see what time I could check in. As luck would have it, the room was ready, so I took my stuff in and was impressed with the suite I had been given. When you are travelling in a mobile home, the comfort and space of a hotel room is very nice, but to get a kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom is sheer luxury.
After exploring Queenstown and trying to find a shop where they didn’t sell bungy jumps or white water experiences, I met up with a small
This is where the three little boats paddled past the great gates
group for an afternoon’s Lord of the Rings tour. Queenstown was one of the most used areas for locations for these films, and our guide had the most incredible knowledge of the books, the background to the books, the filming procedures and even the inside unpublished stories from friends who had been extras. At each location, we’d see extracts from the films first, then stills, then the real thing. Of course, a tree is just a tree, but on this tour, it was clear that the scene we were standing in was from the film - there’s something special about some trees (and rocks).
After a hobbit style tea, it was off to a LOTR weapon demo, and our guide was able to translate the elvin inscriptions on swords, and explain the significance of each element in their design and history. Of course, the fun part was the photo-shoot, where I ended up playing two roles (it is my birthday) - see the photos and try to guess who I am meant to be!
Next stop was a drive to Glenorchy, up the valley from Queenstown. This does look a bit like parts of Switzerland, but don’t let
that suggest that the views are anything other than stunning. You know, Queenstown is full of dare devil type people, and those who run the events are especially skilled at what they do. For example, there is one narrow winding track that goes up to a small lake in the Remarkables (mountains), and this track is rough and thin with no passing space or room to turn at the end. Obviously I could not drive up there with my mobile home, but the specialist drivers who do go up have light weight 4 wheel drive vehicles that drive up, then take the scenic way down. I very soon learnt the meaning of the warning signs at the start of such special tracks (see photo).
My day ended with a very good meal at the Botswana Butchery - I know I’m in New Zealand, but still went for a French starter, a local steak and an Italian desert before crashing out full and very happy in my luxurious brick built pad.
Tomorrow, it's on to the Milford Sound for a cruise, even more nature and perhaps a quick canoodle!
PS, there is a gap in my blog -
I don't have internet access so much at present - expect a delay.
There are more photos below