Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Exploring Queenstown

Thursday the 28th of January 2016

Today I woke up and had to explore the bathroom in this less that ideal place I was staying. To get there I had to walk through the lounge where Nick, my airbnb host, was tucked up in a sleeping bag on a mattress in a corner of the room. I snuck through, trying not to wake him. I prayed for a decent shower, and I was rewarded by an OK shower in a bizarre damp room that smelt of the changing rooms at a sailing club I went to as a little kid. 

Nana had messaged me last night (whoop!) and I had told her I was free this evening but in the day I had a trip over to Milford Sound booked. People have said it is an incredibly beautiful place and I was very excited! So far people have been very accurate in their recommendations so if they say it's awe inspiring my gut believes them. I realise that I may cry today hehe ;) 

After my shower, I creep back through to my bedroom and get ready quickly and quietly. The suntan lotion has been applied thickly every day since arriving in this country as it doesn't have much of an ozone layer the way we do at home.  I was ready to head into town for breakfast (it seems airbnb is more often airb). I chat with Nick before leaving and once again he was so so lovely and nice! What a top blokes it's such a damp mouldy flat! He suggested a cafe on the beach as an alternative to my chocolate shop and I head off to try it :) It's cold so I am proper wrapped up in jeans and a fleece with my coat all zipped up. 

Queenstown is stunning which ever way you look; there is no bad view here. It is also very hilly as one might imagine for a mountainous region and I am staying up fairly high so I need to walk down the hill first. 

My walk down to the cafe is simply stunning and I take regular pauses to stop, admire and breath in the gloriously clean and fresh air. "Wow!" I keep saying out loud and often unknowingly in sufficient proximity to others to result in an exchange of words of appreciation for this paradise of the natural world. 

The cafe is super cute. It is called the Bathhouse and while I didn't take a picture of it myself it looks like this
(From Google): 

I took a seat at a table on the wooden decking and I took a photo of my view: 

I feel very greatful to be here. The flight over to Milford Sound requires good weather. They fly about 240days the year and the ones they don't are because of the weather. I have to call at 10:30 to confirm my flight is going ahead. I order my breakfast and find the number ready to call. 

Oh my goodness this breakfast is amazing!!! It is one of the most delicious things ever! I am very very happy with this and it takes the edge of the call when at 10:34 I am told "unfortunately the weather there is not looking great so we're going to have to cancel the flight. Can you fly tomorrow at all?" Luckily I can and so I reschedule for tomorrow and order a pot of tea. I could make busy plans for now but siting here is so nice so I just sit and enjoy it while the waitresses considerate my cancelled trip. It's hard to be that gutted in paradise really though ;) 

I message Nana "Trip was cancelled due to the weather so I'm free if you wanna do stuff." She tells me she has some practical stuff she has to do and then she will join me and I whatsapp her my location. 

Nana arrives after about 45mins and greets me with the hug of a long lost friend. Pretty and blond and full of energy she sits down and takes in the view. "Isn't it beautiful?! Have you eaten?" I order some tea and she some bread and spreads and we chat about our backgrounds and our travels. 

Nana has just got a job as a tour guide and is travelling to make contacts and scout things out ahead of time. She is super happy with this and it's easy to see why here. 

We also chat about how we are similar, both with many ideas and projects. I tell her about my latest ideas and she loves them. We get on ready well and I say I was thinking of going for a walk about the coast and she says "Great, let's do it!" Yay! I made a friend :) 

We pick up our phones that have been sitting on the table. They are hot. The temperature has gone from jeans to shorts weather so fast. My phone displays the message 'IPhone temperature too high to operate.' Yikes!!!! We put our phones away to let them cool and set off. 

Every step here creates a new postcard picture: 

Within 50metres of the cafe we have to cross a tiny stream. There is a bridge 20m downstream but.... There is also a rope swing and I loiter "you want to do it don't you!" Nana says. "I do!" I grin. 

"Can we have a quick go?" Nana asks the gentleman holding the rope surrounded by excited children. "Sure!"

Nana is across with no problems. I hesitate, trying to work out the dynamics of the thing. "If you make it I'll carry you rucksack across." says the guy to me. "Think she can make it kids?" he asks his tiny crowd. "No!" they all agree and I laugh at this vote of confidence ;) 

I swing and hurl myself at the bank! I make it and run forward laughing. 

I turn expecting the chap to walk round the bridge route with my backpack but he just wades through the stream. I am impressed and I thank him. What fun! :) 

Our walk is simply stunning. The conversation is also really easy and free-flowing and Nana is the sort of person that I imagine everyone gets on with. She is funny, patient, highly emotional intelligent and very genuine. 

We both love what we are greatful to be seeing:

We decided to take a selfie #happyfaces

The trees here are so happy they grow huge! 

There is a beautiful walk around a park area! Every view is amazing. 

In side this park area there is a stream, a pond, gardens, flowers...

Nana showing off her favourite colour... This awesome chick loves pink! 

We found a bridge :) 

A perfect spot to celebrate how fortunate we are this day :) 

I wanted to sit on the bridge but not fall in, I was very careful. I want my blog to have humour but not quite at that expense ;) 

Huge trees, huge sky...

Peta and a huge tree...

Have you heard of frisbee golf? I hadn't. It's awesome! 

The gardens :) 

The New Zealand emblem :) 

Now for ice cream. Chocolates Patagonia's allows tastings and we try a few before we select what we want. I tried banoffee and I am not disappointed. 

Nana tried to turn on her phone, nothing! Eeeeeek! I google repair shops and off we go. We found a place that specialised in macs but took a look. Her battery had melted! They had another luckily and her phone breathed life once more. Now nana had some work to do and I went off exploring the shops. 

My right knee has been getting sore and feeling weird. I had an ACL reconstruction on in about 6years ago so I don't want to over strain it. I buy a knee strap to be careful. After more pursuing and lots of stroking of sheepskin rugs I head to the beach where Nana joins me later. 

Two happy ladies in the sun (turns out I need more sunscreen... Dagnabit) 

Nana needs some new stuff for her trip so I suggest she come with me to check out a store called warehouse near the airport. She agrees we head off to get my car. On the way we hear commotion. A duck has found its way into a chemist and they are struggling to get it out. This is quite funny. 

We have a big hill climb which justifies the earlier ice cream and hop in the car.

The drive to the shop is beautiful and, although I keep confusing the indicators with the windscreen wipers, we arrived intact ;) 

Nana is amazed by the store and buys lots of bargains :) The store is in an area next to the Remarkable mountains, named because they are the only mountain range to run perfectly north-south. :) 

After shopping Nana drops of her stuff and we grab food at a little Italian where we debate on the orientation of the waiter. I think he is definitely straight and he flirts with Nana. Behind Nana's confidence and gregariousness appears the same layer of vulnerability that we all struggle with. It is endearing to see people vulnerabilities and I always feel more comfortable with people who are comfortable being vulnerable. 

Then we went dancing and Nana's friend Gus joined us and we danced a lot and it was awesome. I had to be careful because of my knee but I had a ball and I have never witnessed someone dance with such a combination of skill, class and abundant joy as I did this evening when watching Nana. She was fantastic. Gus was also a surprise! Damn the boy has moves and the convo of Nana and Gus... Stand back folks! ;) 

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