Queenstown, NZ

Queestown is rightly called “the adrenaline capital of the world”. There is just about every type of activity here involving, air, water, and land in some death-defying combination. They have: 4×4 trips, dirt bike trips, horse treking, fishing, 4 types of bungee (invented here)–inlcuding the largest bungy in the world: something like 500 feet, skydiving, hanggliding, whitewater rafting, zorbing (?), alpine luge, and lots more.

I have just completed an alpine luge, which was a fun little ride on a resin sled with a lever between your legs to control the speed. As with most of these things, I was way too big to be riding it and had a little trouble controlling it (much to the shock and dismay of the Japanese family I almost took out).

Tomorrow I am going whitewater rafting on a level 5 rapids. Cheryl, wisely, is going wine and cheese tasting.

We only have a few more stops in NZ: Franz Josef and Fox glaciers, Hanmer Springs, and then we are back to Christchurch for our flight to Melbourne, Australia.

New Zealand is starting to grow on me. I especially like the West Coast of the South Island. There is a stunning and rugged beauty here. Two days ago we went to Fiordland national park on a cruise next to giant cliffs (up to 1500 vertical feet) that dwarfed the boat and all its inhabitants. The light there was a dusky blue. And yes, lots of Lord of the Rings was filmed there, so you’ve probably seen these mountains too. Queenstown, although a well-oiled machine designed to strip tourists of their money, is set on a deep blue lake with 15,000 foot mountains poking around it on all sides–somewhat similar to Lake Tahoe. I think a few more days here will make me like it even more–just in time to leave!