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Queenstown Part 2

I am sorry, really I am!

Two things have come to my attention last night. First my posts are, for the most a bit sickening, they might make the reader feel like I’m spending my time in paradise, while they are stuck in the normal world that, has a lot going for it, but not all going for it.

I’m not sure there is much I can do about that, come see for yourselves, this is actually paradise.

Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown quay

Second I should really contact the New Zealand tourist board and ask for money, if not for me, at least for my cause, as I suspect that, as an effect of seeing the pictures I post, and in small measure, the words that accompany them, some if not all of you might have thought to come and check this amazing place for yourselves.

After jumping out of a plane and falling to the ground for a few thousand feet I was surprised by how little residual adrenaline I could feel flowing in the system. I spent the afternoon in town just enjoying the views and sampling the local ice cream, which incidentally ha nothing to envy to any ice cream I’ve had before.

Looking the other side on the quay
On day, one day.
On day, one day.
Or perhaps more likely this.
Or perhaps, more likely, this.

Which really left only dinner to be sorted.

I was going to be a bit fussy as I really wanted a good steak. I looked both on Google and on TripAdvisor and I finally settled on a medium rare ribeye on the bone with chips and pepper sauce from Flame bar and Grill.

Excellent choice, even if I say it myself.

The Remarkables at sunset on the way to the campsite.
Other shot from higher up.

After dinner I tried my luck with the wine again. I probably did not tell you my mishap with the wine two nights ago.

Armed with Andrew’s advice I was going to have some Otago Pinot Noir and I bought myself a good bottle to drink while writing up my day. As a got in the camp’s kitchen, while I was looking for a glass, I dropped it, breaking it on the floor. As well as loosing all the content of the bootle I made a great big mess that I then had to clean up.

It will be dropped slowly into my throat, and only there.
It will be dropped slowly into my throat, and only there.

So last night I tried again, and I was not going to take any chance, there was no accident coming between me and my bottle of Rabit Ranch Pinot Noir.

To finish the story about yesterday the last thing I need to say is that the adrenaline finally showed up, it was really difficult to get to sleep, even reading the dire book that I have on the go now, and on top of that I was awake again at 01:20 AM for a whole hour. I guess you can run from your body, but you cannot hide.

You are probably asking why I am spending time writing all this up while I should be fly-cruising the Milford Sounds. The truth is that the fly-cruise-fly got cancelled due to bad weather at the sounds. I’m going to be off to the town today trying to find something to do that does not tax my legs too much, cycling again tomorrow, and at the same time that will not put my insurance premium too high.

13:50: ok, I am failing on the insurance thing. I went to town and my eyes were caught by the number of paraglider that were coming over my head so I went to the i-site and enquired. Turns out that it is not too expensive and you get to see more of this wonderful land from high up so I’m going for it, just hope the weather is not going to turn here in Queenstown as well.

Looks fun ah!
Looks fun ah!
Yes, let's go for it!
Yes, let’s go for it!

As with every life threatening activity I decided that it was worth go after having satisfied  one of the small pleasures of life, eating. I so decided to join the queue at Fergburger, the legendary burger place in Queenstown and got myself a double Fergburger with cheddar, chips and a coke.

It goes without saying that it was delicious, it would have fed an entire family for month and, having finished it, I felt like having a shower. Still, if you are ever in town, this is one that cannot be missed, even if it means queuing on the pavement and then waiting for a while.

We do now.
We do now.
A menu fit for an American.
A menu fit for an American.

16:40: And that was that, now I’ve paraglided too.

I have to say it does not compare with the sky diving experience, I guess there are parallels in other sport that can explain the difference between the two.  It would be like the difference in ski between alpine and nordic skiing, in biking between mountain biking and cycle touring,in athletics  between the 100 metres and the marathon.

This is way less scary than what I did yesterday.
This is way less scary than what I did yesterday, I even get to keep my own cloths.

My co paraglider Gutier, a french paraglider from Savoy that does this half year here and half year in France, was quite good fun and, as yesterday I got to have a go on the driving seat.

At the end we did a little bit of crazy stuff which can be a bit more extreme than with the normal parachute as the length and configuration of the cable is different, and yet I thought that what I did yesterday still has a large hedge on this.

Like riding an armchair with a view.
Like riding an armchair with a view.
A mighty nice view mid you.
A mighty nice view mid you.

We did the Jump from the bottom of the Coronet Sky Resort, what you actually see in the first image is one of the ski lifts that operates in the winter.

The final thought is that it’s not a lifetime experience, none the less it is enjoyable, and I’m glad I did it.  Perhaps the advice for all of you out there to get the maximum adrenaline fill do them in the opposite order: paragliding first then skydiving.

So, after the glide it was down to the town where there was going to be, apparently this big paragliding demonstration on the lake. Well there was none. I met however a couple of american kids I had seen before at the paragliding venue. My inexcusable blindness for names prevents me recalling theirs, even if they told them to me what feels like three minutes ago (as soon as they mail me this will be put right).

There is a scary thing though, I don’t understand how the USA can be such a F****d up place when all the people I know from there are so cool. These two young anthropologists that were part of the occupy movement in  their hometown of Olympia, Washington, spoke more sense than you would expect of a Swedish social democrat. We had a lovely conversation and we did that “put the world to right” thing that I slide into, and that used to make my wife smile a lot.

I remember that David once told me that my view of Americans being so cool, was based on the small sample of Americans that I meet travelling, the real “red neck”, he says, don’t move from their back garden.

They left me with two wonderful runes of native american inspiration. They told me that they could trace some of their ancestry to indian americans and that, I guess, is the closer I’ve ever come to that ethnic group.

4 thoughts on “Queenstown Part 2”

    1. I look forward to catching up, my current plan is for getting into Christchurch around the the 26th after having done:

      13 Mar 2015 Ride Clyde
      14 Mar 2015 Ride Oturehua
      15 Mar 2015 Ride Middlemarch
      16 Mar 2015 Ride Dunedin (Train from Pukerangi)
      17 Mar 2015 Ride Balclutha
      18 Mar 2015 Ride Catlins
      19 Mar 2015 Ride Catlins
      20 Mar 2015 Ride Invercargill
      21 Mar 2015 Transfer Dunedin (By Bus)
      22 Mar 2015 Rest
      23 Mar 2015 Ride Moeraki
      24 Mar 2015 Ride Waitaki
      25 Mar 2015 Ride Temuka
      26 Mar 2015 Ride Christchurch

      Rain and/or mechanical things might come in the way of it.


  1. All I can say right now is, pay no attention to what the Texas legislature is doing at the moment. A potential dim view of this place will plummet further. Stick with talking to American’s with passports containing many stamps.

    On a different note, when you get to Christchurch, check out a pub/B&B called Pomeroy’s Old Brewery Inn. Fantastic selection of beers and ales, admirable whisky offerings, quiz nights, music and a restaurant with a steak that might rival the one you had in Queenstown. Also, the owners are some of the nicest people we met in NZ, in a country that has some of the nicest people we have met period.

  2. When we did this in Nepal, I was so rooted to the earth that I had to be kicked off the mountain. I will definitely never sky dive. When it comes to Otago Pinot Noir, however, I have a real talent…

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