Friday, January 13, 2006

Staying high and dry

Good to be on the road again! Been great so far on this trip too, not only is the car a 5-speed this time, but the roads here in New Zealand are nice and twisty too. Too bad our car is a Mazda Familia (like a 323)... big campervans could probably blow by us going uphill if they wanted.

Well, back to my stay in Queenstown... I figured it'd be a good idea to try and get into shape again, so I did a day walk up to the top of Ben Lomond, a 1743m mountain close to Queenstown. I started the climb down in Queenstown, at just over 300 metres... the walk actually went pretty well, considering the amount of excercise I'd gotten in the last year (basically none). About halfway up I felt like dying, but stopped for lunch and rested for a while, then practically ran up the rest. It was really windy, and cold, and I only had a beater on. Heh... everyone else seemed like they were dressed for sub-zero temperatures, and here I am, the crazy (cold) Canadian. Eeh. Good walk though, some fantastic views of the mountain ranges, plus a nice aerial view of Queenstown.

For a few days after I was pretty useless though... my knees took a beating heading back down, and my leg muscles were almost locked up the day after. I moaned a lot :)

So after we picked up the car back on Monday me and Dani and Marc headed over to the east coast to Dunedin first. Not the most impressive town in my opinion, but we did do a tour of the Cadbury factory there (since I'm off chocolate after New Years, it was an exercise in willpower), and tried to find the world's steepest street, but failed. I still think the 'ol Familia could've made it up. haha.

After Dunedin we headed up the coast past Oamaru and Timaru to Lake Tekapo. I'd already passed by here on the bus from Christchurch, but this time I got to stop. The colour of the water was unreal... a surreal kind of pale blue. The water was kinda rough, but when its clear the reflection of the mountains in the lake is supposed to be quite the sight. My pictures didn't turn out very well there, but Marc or Dani might have some good ones on their sites.

We stayed in a caravan park by the lake, and it started raining that night. My tent is great at holding out water, except when it's running underneath the tent. Sigh... it could have been a lot worse though; some girls staying in a site across from us woke up in a pretty big puddle... and it stopped raining when we got up in the morning.

After Lake Tekapo we drove up towards Mount Cook... didn't see much of the mountain, but the drive was still fun. Part of the road was flooding, that was a blast to drive through. haha. Anyways, when we were about to leave we got a little glimpse of the summit.

Ended up staying that night in Wanaka... that was a pretty little town. The caravan park there was nice too, except someone tried to make a hedge out of all the big pine trees throughout the park. I could hardly bear to look at them... it was hideous. Also... during dinner we were being bugged by some demon child from England. Him and Marc were making fun of each other, and lemme tell ya, you've never heard such clever insults. :)

Ah well. Today we drove through the mountains to the west coast, and up to Franz Josef. Marc and I are taking a guided tour through the glacier near town tomorrow, and according to Dani it's supposed to be really good. Hopefully it doesn't rain too much either... it's been raining all day and was pouring just 10 minutes ago for a while.

Well, back to the hostel to try and persuade Marc and Dani to go out on the town tonight. Surprisingly, we've hardly had anything to drink since we've left Queenstown. That'll change if I have anything to say about it. heh.



At January 13, 2006 1:25 p.m., Blogger martin said...

gave up chocolate? wtf?

At January 13, 2006 1:34 p.m., Blogger Cruwysinator said...

Add chocolate to the list of things you have to bring home.

Plus...I definately agree with Martin. WTF? That's...that's just wrong, boy!

At January 14, 2006 2:12 a.m., Blogger Bradtholomew said...

Yeah, well... I promised to make up for it with more beer.


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