Queenstown Luge

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March 27th 2006
Published: April 1st 2006
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Day 207 - 27/3/06 Queenstown Luge

We still love Queenstown.
Dux de Lux may have absorbed our favourite pub, McNeill's Cottage Brewery into part of their restaurant but another decent pub, Monty's had opened next door, so all was well.
Having not had the energy to travel up in the gondola last time we were in Queenstown due to ski fatigue, we were determined to do it this time. We got to the bottom station at about 9am & were the first non staff people to travel up to the top. The early morning cloud that had covered the tops of the peaks had burnt off & the whole of Queenstown was bathed in autumn sunshine. Having stared at the view for quite some time & appeared in some Japanese tourists pictures it was time for the Queenstown Luge. Having finally found a bike helmet that nearly fitted we got the chair lift up to the top. Not wanting to be the first down the course we let two middle aged couples go in front. A quick lesson later, 'Pull handle back to brake, forward to accelerate but not so much that you apply the parking brake & go flying over the front', we were speeding off down the scenic track catching up with the cautious couples. One of them decided to go via an alternative route over a small hill, but didn't have enough momentum to carry them all the way over so ended up rolling backwards onto the track. A quick swerve & they were soon passed along with rest who seemed to have the brakes on permanently.
The next trip was a clear ride down & didn't need any brakes at all until the end where you would plough into the barriers if you didn't. We now had enough confidence for the advanced track, where you drop the same distance but in half the time. Our five goes were up way too quickly & we were soon watching others skidding round the track. Everybody else was a wuss, not one other person we saw go down the advanced track let the luge fly on the steep sections, these are the sort of people who try avoiding when driving bumper cars.
That evening we went for a stroll around town & came across the Minus 5 bar. The bar is set in a freezer & is made from 18 tonnes of ice. Some Italian tourists were trying on some Absolut Vodka parkas making them look a bit ridiculous, but they had to wear them before they were allowed in. At $25 to go into the bar & a 30 minute limit we skipped going in but looked at the ice sculptures through the window. We popped into Monty's for a much more comfortable drink in front of the open fire.

Drink of the Day: Monteith's Black Beer


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