Friday, 17 February 2012

New Zealand Day twenty two - Queenstown

No early alarm call this morning as we weren’t moving on but spending the day in Queenstown.  There were activities that could be booked but I decided it was time for a bit of exercise to work off all those three course meals I’d eaten this week.  It was also a chance to do some laundry.  Naturally everyone had the same idea but I was in the laundry room when it opened at seven this morning so managed to get in first.  

Clothes washed and dried, I set off to walk up the mountain behind our hotel.  It wasn’t too difficult to find the start of the marked walking trails up to the top of the Gondola ride but the first trail I tried wasn’t well signposted and I ended up very confused so retraced my steps to find a different one.  Second problem – that one was closed.  Eventually, I found a third trail and began the steep ascent.  Good thing, mountain goat is my middle name as it was very steep and narrow in places with tree roots as steps in places. Still, it could have been worse - near the top where the path was wide but steep, one guy was struggling to cycle up.  Personally, I would have dismounted and pushed the bike, walking at that point was far quicker.

It was well worth the climb for the fantastic view over the town, lake and mountains. I sat for a while watching people hurtling down the luge and bungy jumping.

The descent back to Queenstown was a lot quicker than the ascent.  Two hours up and about forty minutes down.  I sat by the lake to have lunch and then found a café, where for the price of pot of tea I could have free internet access for a long as I wanted.  Lots of other people had the same idea.

Then it was time to go back to the hotel and get ready for a gondola ride and dinner at the skyline restaurant.  It was a buffet but with so much food, so many choices.  Starters were soup, lots of fish and seafood, salads, cold meat.  Main courses included a carvery, hot chicken, venison, vegetables, potato bakes, pasta, pad thai.  Dessert gave a choice of cakes, sticky toffee muffins, pavlova, ice cream, fruit salad, jellies, crème brule and a cheese board.  I think I was quite restrained compared to some others who had two or three starters, a big main, cake and cheese board.

Everyone staggered back down the gondola and onto the coach to the hotel, full and contented.  Tomorrow’s wake up call will be at seven.

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