On the Horizon
Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
394Trip End Ongoing
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In years to come, you'll hardly recognise this place. It's build, build, build, here at the moment and it's sickening. I drove along Thompson Street the other night and as I glanced down the driveway for a glimpse at my old house I noticed that it had become a flat patch of land with an orange digger wedged on it. The place had been demolished in the blink of an eye. Apparently, they're putting up a dozen apartments there, which will overlook Cecil Peak and the lake and of course, attract a healthy income. But it's not just Thompson Street that's being crushed, it's everywhere. As I sit here now, there's a constant drilling somewhere at the back of our place which is shaking the whole house as dumper trucks slowly descend the hill one after the other carting away huge volumes of land.
On the front-page of the 'Mountain Scene' the other week, it announced that the most amazing, spectacular, panoramic plot had just been sold, breaking all Queenstown records at a nice cool $11 million. Incidentally, Mitch Albom (author of 'Tuesday's with Morrie') is the one who snapped it up but still, nonetheless, it's been snapped up. That's just one that sticks out, along with the plan to build a modern abode of luxurious dimension with 'stunning lake views' - a real breakthrough in modern architectural excellence. Sound nice? Good. Where? Slap bang in front of the Remarkables. Well what a fantastic idea. Countless other sections of paradise have already been grabbed by frantic, greedy hands and the rest are going fast, while the majority is currently being compressed, stomped on and built on. They're invading the land Aunty J! And now were choking it. It's slowly suffocating and soon our souls will starve!
Then again let's be real here, it's good for revenue. And as they say, 'you can't stop progress.' Believe me; the day will come when they put a McDonald's restaurant on top of Cecil Peak like a pathetic cherry on top of a cake. My god, people people people! I really would love to say that I'm grateful for having spent at least some time in paradise before 'we ruined it', but it really doesn't make it any better. It's sickening.
I've been (fingers crossed) tentatively trying to secure the first of many mad mini adventures I'll be enjoying before I leave. Granted, this one's a little extravagant but I did stumble upon it by the rare gift of good fortune. As this is also a rare opportunity, I grabbed it with both hands the second it revealed itself.
When I think back to my experiences on the 'Grand Traverse' with old Shiny head, one of the most soul-touching moments I encountered out there was standing atop the summit of Conical Hill looking out across and through the Hollyford Valley. As we were lucky enough to be momentarily granted with excellent weather conditions, we were blessed with the extremely rare view of seeing far beyond the valley itself. I remember standing silent and stunned as we looked right out over Lake McKerrow and all the way out to Martin's Bay which sits many miles away right at the top of the Fiordland amidst the Tasman Sea. It was breathtaking.
So of course, to have the chance of going back out there would be one thing, even back to the Harris saddle or as far up as Conical Hill. But it would be another thing entirely to venture all the way out there on foot through the vast expanse of the valley itself and out, right out, to Martin's bay...the edge of the earth.
Fingers crossed, it looks like it may be on the cards. There's a standby system in place and I won't know for a couple of weeks, but for now I sit in hope. With a little luck, a return to paradise is on the horizon!