We`re so extreme!

Trip Start Mar 28, 2010
Trip End May 31, 2011

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Where I stayed
In a van in the mountains

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Sunday, February 6, 2011

It happened again. The drive from Te Anau to Queenstown is yet another candidate for top 10 drives we`ve had the pleasure of completing. This is starting to become the norm it seems. The amazing scenery in this country seems endless and continues to impress us on a daily basis. `Wow` is all we can really say. On this particular drive, the road that snaked along Lake Wakatipu was especially special and once again, we`ll let the photos speak for themselves.

If Te Anau is the equivalent to Canada`s Jasper then Queenstown is without a doubt Banff. We kid you not, on more than one occasion we actually commented that it felt like we were back home visiting Banff as we strolled Queenstown`s cutesy streets. It was kind of creepy.

When we arrive in a new place we normally look for a spot to park Zuul right away - not this time. Instead, we made our way straight to the AJ Hackett Bungy office to investigate bungy options for Shane – Queenstown is the birthplace of bungy jumping and Shane has been jonesing to do a jump for a long, long time. It was around 2:30 in the afternoon by the time we arrived so we assumed Shane would be doing his jump the following day. To our surprise, they informed us a jump slot towards the end of the day was still available. After mulling it over for a minute or two Shane elected to get the jump done that afternoon – mainly because doing so would not only leave us the option of watching the Super Bowl the following day (Super Bowl Monday over here) but this day was a beauty and the following was forecast to be much cooler and possibly rainy. A few minutes later and $140 lighter it was official, Shane was going to jump off a bridge and fall 43 metres in only a couple short hours. Finally!

Once we located a suitable (and affordable – just like Banff in Canada, things in Queenstown seem a little more expensive than everywhere else) spot to park Zuul for a couple days, we anxiously proceeded to the jump area that Shane selected – the Original Bungy jump off the Kawarau Bridge, which is about 30mins outside of Queenstown. Shane could easily write a page or two about the experience but we`re running low on laptop battery and this isn`t a book so he`ll simply say that it was one of the most invigorating experiences of his life. He had a grin ear to ear for the rest of the day.

The next day began chilly but turned out to be much more pleasant than predicted so after popping our heads into a pub to see if the Super Bowl was actually being shown (it was) we opted to turn right back around and rather than watch the game and head towards one of the peaks surrounding  town to begin a hike to the top. We like watching the Super Bowl, there`s no denying that, but the truth is we`ll have many opportunities to watch the big game - we can`t hike to the top of a mountain in New Zealand whenever we want. Once at the top, Lyndsey caught Shane totally off guard by suggesting she`d be keen on a paraglide.  Shane knew Lyndsey was interested simply by the way she`d been watching paragliders launch off the side of the mountain over lunch but he really didn`t think she had it in her. Like Shane`s bungy experience the day prior, once the decision was made it was only a few minutes before it was sorted out - Lyndsey would launch off the side of the mountain and enjoy a leisurely glide to the bottom. Shane, unfortunately, had to walk down. The jump actually happened faster than either of us expected and Lyndsey has described it as one of the most incredible, peaceful, yet terrifying feelings she`s ever experienced. A few gravity defying flips finished the jump off and she was back on the ground to meet Shane.

After all that we figured we deserved a tasty brew at a pub rather than out the back of our van so we popped into the same pub we had been to earlier in the day to get it done - to our surprise, the Super Bowl was still going. We only caught the final 2 minutes but that`s better than nothing.

Next we head for Mount Cook for a little more hiking. We just hope our legs recover in time because after the Queenstown hike we can barely walk. It`s been a while since we`ve used our legs in that way – not that we are in any way complaining!
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barely on

Glad you did not tell us about any of this prior to this posting - if you get my drift.

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