Sep 09, 2004
On a smaller note, I went shopping yesterday and got asked for ID - superb. This means that someone thinks I look 25 years old, well chuffed!
All in all I've been spending a bit of time with the others recently (Shiny in particular) and have been contemplating my coming plans. I've stayed in Queenstown far beyond my original intentions and need to move on soon following a visit to Glenorchy and also I must finish off the remainder of the bungy 'Thrillogy' which I still have tickets for. I've been thinking a lot lately too about my adventures, experiences, circumstances and coming plans and can say that I've felt a complete 'mixed bag' of thoughts and emotions. But more on those later...
Today I attempted to cross one outstanding 'must-do' off the list and took the scenic drive over to Glenorchy (big Lord of the Rings territory). Mistake. The heavy, dark clouds from the Fiordlands were on their way. They hit Glenorchy the same time as I did. The visibility? Zero. Glenorchy is renowned for being scenically stunning and today, I may as well have been sitting in a cloud or in a room without windows - I couldn't see a thing. The wind shook the van ferociously on the way and there were times when I started to get a little worried as the road in some parts narrows almost to a single lane along the cliffs edge. After I'd arrived and in the hope that it would clear fairly quickly, I chanced it and took an extra drive north heading for a little place by the name of 'Paradise' which is one of the specific LOTR locations. That fantastic decision also turned in to a disaster as I only made it halfway before having to turn back. I did quite well though, managing to cross three small rivers in that little van. The last one was far too deep and rocky and not worth the risk. You really need a 'fourby' to get there.
So that was it. I came back and spent the night in the van playing my guitar. It's been quite a while and I must admit I welcomed the solitude. For some reason I was unusually creative tonight. Maybe it's cos' I'm brimming with thought at the moment. Who knows?
It's been a good few days since the hefty trek and the foot seems to be fine. No 'metatarsal head' complaints this time. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We hit the town on Monday night to celebrate our achievements, our safe return and also to wish Tim farewell. Tim's been working in Queenstown for some time and had previously carried out some repairs on Traoine and Chicken's van. He was due to fly back home a few days later so Mannion kindly arranged it so that everything could be celebrated on the same night and all could be merry. Tim's a really nice bloke. I met him a week or so before and he seemed like a real genuine fella. He's from Wales but has an accent that reminds me more of the West Country. Monday night, he was a tad different. Still the same bloke but totally, totally rendered. On our previous recommendation he'd took the trek up to Ben Lomond that day with Lou (from England, also working temporarily in Queenstown in a fish and chip shop) and by the time they joined us in the Irish bar they were in high spirits. Very high spirits. I think between them they'd already polished off around three bottles of red by the time they walked in with their bright, glowing faces. It was quite funny really to start with; Tim was loud and jovial whereas Lou couldn't manage to string a simple sentence together through her claret teeth. In New Zealand you don't get served if you're excessively pissed ('intoxicated' they call it). It's illegal for them to do so. They can get shut down and fined and it's all quite serious. Well these pair were far beyond that, they were totally animalled so when the barman told Tim that Lou wouldn't be having any more to drink and neither was he allowed to buy one for her, Tim wasn't too impressed. Lou wasn't really aware what was going on, what her name was or even where she was. As Tim swirled and swilled back another glass of red he started with the name-calling, right over the bar directly at the barman. It was a nightmare, but we managed to get him out and move on(!) There was no real harm done and the barman was a good sport. It was just another classic. A couple of days later we saw Tim and wished him well just before he left for the airport as Mannion had offered to drive him there. He didn't remember a thing! Lou did. She gave me a shy nod and a wave of apology for getting far too excited and carried away after seeing my 'spank me' t-shirt. Animals.