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  • Day17

    Feb 7 - Queenstown - action central!

    February 7, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 5 °C

    A full day, at least until 5:15 p.m., all to myself. I had breakfast with Tony and Shannon. When they scuttled off to do a canyon tour, I moved one table over and continued eating with Jennifer and David who, like me, are taking advantage of some free time. After I had eaten twice, Ian pointed out to me that there is a pancake machine. I will be all over that baby tomorrow morning.

    The sun was making a good effort to break through the clouds, so I headed back down Heart Attack Hill to the gondola ride with my discount coupon clenched in my hand. I travelled up the gondola to Bob’s Peak with a lovely couple from Brisbane who have been here for a week. The views from the observation deck at the top of Lake Wakatipu and Cecil Peak and Walter Peak were glorious. (I’m running out of adjectives and superlatives to describe the views here in NZ.) The jade green of the water is mesmerizing. The top of this hill is a beehive of activity - luging (like I did in Rotorua), bungee jumping, zip lining, mountain biking (lots of Go Pro cameras on those dare devils), and paragliding. I had never seen paragliding up close before. I drank in the views again and again, and finally headed back down on the gondola, turning down the opportunity to do the 5.5 hour hike down the side of the mountain.

    On my way back to the downtown area of Queenstown, I saw the iFly building. iFly is indoor sky diving - it’s done in a huge tube with wind rushing up from the bottom. My son John’s girlfriend Sheila’s father, Trevor (got that???) flies all over the world overseeing the installation of these facilities to ensure that all the safety standards for equipment and training are met. iFly welcomes spectators - I saw a young girl try it and then the expert did a short show with seemingly effortless agility.

    I picked up lunch at the grocery store (more of those milk chocolate Whittakers bars climbed into my bag…..) and found myself a spot on the waterfront in the glorious sunshine. I watched jet skiing, jet boating, paddle boating, stand up paddling, kayaking, sailing and just plain boating. Overhead, I’m sure there was parachuting happening. Queenstown is just an adventure mecca. Afterwards, I kept walking along the waterfront which brought me into the Queenston Botanical Gardens. I watched a group of young men playing frisbee/disc golf - another sport I had never seen. I walked all along the shoreline and then headed inland where I found the Rose Garden. The blooms are a tad past their prime, but I found a couple of gems. Roses in February - what a treat. I trundled back down to the entrance via the duck pond and the fountain and the band shell. I headed home, back up Heart Attack Hill and was glad to kick off my shoes - 8 miles for today. Guess I earned those Whittaker bars.

    We are heading across the lake this evening to have a barbecue dinner. Won't be back until late. Tomorrow, we will be staying overnight on a ship in Doubtful Sound. No internet there, so I won't be posting again until Sunday. So, don't worry about me!
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