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Published: October 22nd 2017
Sean in the glider
Soaring over Queenstown
Geo: -45.4151, 167.718
We've had quite the two-day adventure to share with you all! Yesterday we awoke in Queenstown to glorious sun, breakfasted on fresh eggs from the market, and shopped around the very spendy but very trendy town--a cross between Sun Valley and Jackson Hole, perhaps. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the temperature only climbed. We purchased gondola tickets to ride to the top of the mountain, which afforded a striking view of the Remarkable Mts. (aptly named), blue Lake Wakatipu in a horseshoe shape around the spit of land that is Queenstown, and all the extreme adventure sports you can imagine witnessing in one spot: paragliding, parasailing, bungy jumping, luge riding, sailing, fishing, mountain biking, canyon swinging... You name it, someone was doing it within eyesight. We then jumped on the luge--a sort of tricycle/tobogan thing on which you sit with feet outstretched before you and grasp the handlebars for steering. We did it twice at a whopping $7.00/time: the first go was on the "scenic" track where we stopped often for pictures of the town below, and the second was on the "advanced" track where speed was the goal. We caught air (well, not really, but
Caught the extreme-sports bug in Queenstown!
the stomach lurches led me to belive I had) and whirred in and around steeply banked turns and through tunnels. All in good fun. We were laughing and shouting like kids the whole time.
But then, after a brief lunch of PB&J (something most Kiwis haven't ever eaten), we started gawking at the paragliders overhead--sailing noislessly by us beneath sturdy parachutes of every color. Every 2 minutes there was another glider--and we wanted in. So, succumbing to the contagious extreme sports bug, we purchased our tickets. Sean and I had to fly separatly rather than taking off at the same moment, but the experience was mutual--a complete rush of adrenaline in the moment of stepping off the mountainside with our tandem guides, followed by an intense feeling of, well, serenity and awe as we literally flew effortlessly over the breathtaking valley/city/water below. We proudly bore our "FLOWN" hand stamps as we claimed our complimentary beers at the bar back in town moments after landing. What a day.
Later that afternoon, we drove about 2 hours south to arrive at the Shakespeare House B&B in the lakefront town of Te Anau. (I learned later that despite the pictures on the walls of Will himself, wife Anne, and their Stratford home--thatched roof and all--that the B&B's namesake has nothing at all to do with the bard. Instead, the original owner simply had the name Shakespeare, and subsequent owners have embellished the theme to include names for the rooms such as Romeo and Juliet--our room--and a sign on the bathroom door the begs the question: "To pee or not to pee...".) We enjoyed a hot breakfast this morning, English style with eggs and stewed tomatoes, and departed for Milford Sound, a tiny port north of Te Anau that is the gateway to Fiordland National Park. Our nature cruise aboard a smooth sailing vessel took us within inches of the 1500-foot-high fiords (which also jut into the water out of sight just as deep). We saw fur seals and loads of hairline waterfalls streaming down the cliff sides. Complete recommendation for anyone thinking of New Zealand travels in the future.
Tonight we're off the the Te Anau glow worm caves, complete with bats and stalagtites. As always, we've packed in the activities but are loving every minute of it.
Love and miss you all. E and S.
Tot: 2.88s; Tpl: 0.053s; cc: 15; qc: 47; dbt: 0.0591s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb