Thursday, March 24, 2016

Winding roads, mountain ranges and sheep!

Since my last post, we have been having quite the change of scenery. We found a massive outdoor car show in Christchurch, and a hunt for an ATM led us to an amazing massive pier soaring out into the ocean. The Gypsy Market didn't disappoint (the mobile houses were amazing!) and before long we were back on the road towards Queenstown.

Apparently, it would seem, we are travelling around the South Island backwards. All the tour books, pamphlets, and the Lonely Planet guide, is written as if you get off the Ferry and turn right, rather than left. No big deal, just lots of flicking back and forth and reading chapters back to front... I'll let you know if we discover a reason for the anti-clockwise preference (if you know something we don't, please share!)

Now, let's talk about lakes. If there is a place in the world with more beautiful lakes than this, I want to know about it. And I'm from Tasmania so that's pretty high praise. The glacial lakes here are turquoise jewels, vast and deep and clear and brilliant. Photos do not do them justice. The yellow carved hills against cloudy skies frame the lakes perfectly, and they are simply stunning. 

We were lucky enough to find a free, empty camp alongside one such lake, and enjoyed a quiet evening and cherry pink sunrise in reward. Perfect.

These roads leave us aching for something far more nimble and faster than our camper (not that would be hard, fairly sure an elephant is more nimble and a pushbike would be faster in some circumstances...). They are winding, beautiful, well built and wide, and thread through the landscape in all the ways someone who loves being behind the wheel dreams of. Motorbikes are common and the locals zip along like they've stolen it. Next time, we're hiring a V8.

It was on one of these beautiful roads we finally encountered the traffic hazard our rental company told us about in their driving video. Sheep! It wouldn't be a trip to NZ without it. I think I was more worried than the sheep about being in their midst. It gave us plenty of time to enjoy the view, and the signs told us these very farms supply the popular brand Kathmandu. Thanks for the wool, dudes!

Queenstown is all I imagined it to be. Clean, modern, bussling with young people, endless businesses offering adventure packages and plenty of good pubs. Here we watched para-gliders (and people base jumping off para-gliders!!) over a BBQ, stepped off stairs to nowhere while hanging off some wires, and figured the best way to see nature was in front of two V8 boat engines with pop tunes blaring in our ears. Did I mention it's a strange place?

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I'm a young earth loving Tasmanian who loves nature, art, old things, handmade things, collecting things and embracing the lovelier things the world has to offer.