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Published: January 3rd 2012
january 2, 2012
Hello, or Kia Ora, from NZ. We have been here now for 11days and have had 11 straight days of sunshine. Must be some sort of record for the South Island of NZ? !
From Milford Sound we traveled up to Queenstown, where we stayed for a few days, including NYE. The three of us became smitten with the place, perhaps due to its innate beauty, the glorious weather and the buzzy atmosphere. Queenstown is the adventure capital of NZ - home of bungee jumping, etc. Whatever you want to do, you can do it here. We did not partake in any of the adrenal-surging stuff, but instead took the gondola up the mountain for awesome views back over the city, Lake Wakatipu on which it sits, and the huge surrounding mountains. It really must be one of the most spectacular settings of any city in the world.
Most of the crowds thronging Queenstown were young people - 20s- 30s. (I felt postively ancient - but watching them with six packs of beer under arm and full of enthusiasm brought a smile to face lips re. my own 20's when it was NYE). And most of the people that served us in bars etc were international - German, or Swede, or North american ,etc. this ensured a vibrant NYE by the lake. We had dinner at Flame Bar and Grill and watched the fireworks at midnight. The next day saw yound guys and girls littered about the place in the NY afterglow (queenstown was apparently one of the few dry places for NYE -everywhere else in NZ seemed to have been wet).
One night, we took ourselves to one of those ice bars, which is minus 7 degrees and everything is made of ice, including the bar and the "glasses" from which we drank vodka-based cocktails. we wore thick coats and gloves (provided) and I had a taste of what Glenn must have experienced in Antarctica.
After finishing our drinks, we were encouraged to smash our "glasses" into the gaping jaws of a large ice-carved shark. Cool ice re-cycling. The whole experience was gimmicky but fun.
Day trips we took from Queenstown includded Glenorchy (stunning snow-capped mountain scenery en route) and the historic town of Arrowtown, which was exceedingly pretty with lots of quirky and posh shops. We had lunch on the balcony of the New Orleans hotel in Arrowtown - highly recommended.
When I travel with Mum and Dad, we all stay in the one room: a king and a single bed. Over the past few nights, Mum has been talking in her sleep again. Last night, Dad and I were rudely awoken by her jabbering. The weird thing is, if Dad says something to her, she replies. At one point, she said in her sleep:
"Have you finished building that house yet? what is it made of?"
Exasperated, Dad said: "Gingerbread, now shut up."
she said; "Oh, OK. What colour is the carpet."
He said: "Green with yellow stripes."
She said: "No its not."
He said" "OK, its black, now shut for God's sake." she then babbled about a house that Denis and Wendy supposedly bought in Woy Woy Bay, then trailed off into gibberish, and stopped. she remembered none of it the next day.
As for Dad, his eyesight and memory ain't the best these days. (he has some glaucoma in one eye). When we first arrived in our Queenstown hotel, he was first to take a shower. He came out of the bathroom, towelled dry and fully clothed, and said:
"The soap here is crap, It would not lather and had to have a shower with just bloody water."
Mum frowned, went into the bathroom, and she emerged to say:
"You silly old fool. The plastic wrapping is still on the soap."
From Queenstown, we travelling thru mountainous regions and temperature rainforest (with beech trees, lichens, ferns)over the Haast Pass and up to Franz Josef Glacier - where we are now. We go to see the Glacier tomorrow. In the meantime, we went to see a short film on Franz Josef Glacier. Dad walked up to the counter and asked for three tickets to see the short film on the "Josef Banks Glacier." I pointed out that it was in fact, Franz Josef, much to the amusement of the guy behind the desk.
Bye for now
p.s. We were just watching the local news and learnt that a guy got injured falling off an "inflatable biscuit." They must make 'em mighty big over here.
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