Queenstown – Take Two

After a few days of getting up early, it felt nice and decadent to sleep in some this morning.


The weather today was gorgeous, and it is going to be nicer tomorrow.


One thing that was recommended to me by a New Zealander was to ride the TSS Earnslaw. It’s a coal-fired steamer. The boat goes over to Walter Peak High Country Farm. Note to self: Never buy tickets when you are hungry. It is up there with shopping when hungry. I ended up getting the ticket that included the BBQ lunch. While it was pricey, I have to say that the food was good and the guest house on the water was nice. It was really relaxing eating and looking out on the water. And the BBQ pork = yum. I also enjoyed the grounds. They were beautifully maintained. The cruise over was nice, windy, but nice. It was a great day to be on the water. Oh between buying my ticket and the cruise, I walked around the marina area. Queenstown is very commercial, but it’s quite easy to escape it.


The next stop was the gondola, which Steffie recommended highly. Very nice views. Again, I hate going up and down them, but the views are quite amazing. I did walk around a bit. I started to walk one of the trails, but I decided against going too far because it was dark in there. One of the things about traveling solo is that one has to exercise a little bit of caution. I am pretty sure the woods is Jason’s territory, and I am cool. I seriously considered doing the Luge, but it is something I should have considered when I bought my gondola ticket. I saw the bungy jumping, and I was immediately like heck no! In what I find to be odd planning, the cemetery is next to the gondola building.


Because it’s a nice day and Friday evening, the Marine Parade was filled with people. I sat and people watched and waited for sunset. The energy felt really good, and I could tell people were revving up to have a good time tonight. As I was leaving, I saw young people heading down to see and be seen. I am way too old for that.


One thing I like about traveling is meeting new people. I haven’t really mentioned anyone outside of Miliana and Johannes. Yesterday on the Milford Sound tour, I met a couple from Sydney. They were very nice, and we took photos for each other. Today while on the boat, I met two women traveling from the U.S. For one of the ladies, it was her fourth time in New Zealand. Her husband passed away two years ago. She agreed to come with her friend whose husband couldn’t make the journey because of arthritis.


I did want to mention more about my journey to Fiordland yesterday. I think I mentioned the tour passed through Te Anau on the way there and back. I don’t remember how many photo stops we made, quite a few, but I know we hit some of the big ones like Mirror Lake and the Chasm. When we were going through Homer Tunnel, I felt like I was on that scary ride in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The weather was perfect, and it is just one of the most beautiful places that I have seen.


I wasn’t 100 percent about my decision to come to Queenstown before I left, but I am glad I did. Even in the chaos and party feel, there are places one can find peace.


It is awesome being in the spring, especially with days getting shorter at home. It’s still light after 8:00 and the weather is super nice. I am trying to soak all the sun up that I can. Winter is coming!


Tomorrow the next phase of my journey begins. I may be silent for longer than normal as I make my move.


Oh, and as always, excuse any typos. I will edit when I get home.

P.S. The extremely slow internet prevents me from adding photos :(.



“One stage of your journey is over, another begins,” Gandalf.


Today, the second part of my adventure began.


I got up bright and early to make my way to the Christchurch Airport. Sometime between my leaving the house and getting to the airport, an email was sent saying my flight had been delayed. My original flight was scheduled to leave at 10:10 and arrive at 11:05. We didn’t start boarding until after 11:00, which means we were leaving when we should have already arrived. Yet and still, I had a chance to sit there and journal while I waited. I call it in my yearly State of the Union where I write out what I am thinking about all the areas of my life. This mind is constantly moving, but when I take my big trip, it is a time to reset and really have honest conversation about work life, relationships, ministry and other areas of my life.


When I arrived, it was raining. I took the public bus, and the driver was kind enough to tell me where to get off. I am about a five minute walk from the city center (downhill) and let’s say double that coming back uphill. LOL! Again, all of these hills are prep for the Seattle half.


The owners’ son checked me in and gave me some advice of what were the top things to do. Two of three things he mentioned were already on my radar.


I got checked in, and I settled in. I was going to stay at an Airbnb, but the original place I booked cancelled me. I decided to research hotels, and I was able to find a place that there wasn’t that much more than some of the Airbnb prices.


Between the rain and getting up early, I decided on a short disco nap. It felt really nice!


By the time I got up, the rain was gone. That was the first rain I have had all trip, and according to the forecast, I should not see anymore. Actually the weather starts to really warm up.


So I did a venture into town to get my bearings. I have to say, this place is breathtaking. The water and the mountains come together in a lovely way. I am glad I came here. I debated here and Auckland, and I think I made the right choice. I have to say it is a little pricey. It is certainly a tourist town. On the way down, it seemed like most of the people on the plane had American accents.


When I was checking into the domestic terminal in Auckland, I was chatting with one of their agents (would be the same as TSA in the states). He asked if I was going to Queenstown, and I said yes. He laughed and said a lot of Americans do, and that we could see the same thing in Wyoming for a lot cheaper. It made me laugh. I was like, maybe, but what is the fun in that. I remember vaguely driving through Wyoming as a child, but I have no memory of it. If Wyoming looks like this, I will certainly have to check it out! More later.


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