Today was the one day I could have slept in on this long vacation – and then the fire alarm goes off at 8 am in the bed &breakfast … so much for sleeping in! Had a leisurely breakfast, handed over my laundry to the B&B for washing, strolled through a park into Queenstown – supposedly the adrenalin capitol of the world. I did not opt for bungee jumping, jet boating or the likes though, but went and got a massage. What a treat after three weeks of walking with a backpack! Then I had the pre-hike briefing for my last hike: the Routeburn Track. Looks like I will be walking it with a group of about 20 – all couples … No Russians as far as I could tell.
The day in Queenstown was sunny and really warm. But we were warned that there is plenty of snow up where we will be hiking. Only last week were the first hikers able do the full length of the trip – before people had to be helicoptered over the snowed-in areas (for fear of avalanches). Am really hoping for some clear weather. The views are supposed to be spectacular. So stay tuned for pictures of either stunning alpine views or … fog. Will be back in civilization on Wednesday night. Off to Doubtful Sound for a day cruise on Thursday and then back to Auckland on Friday. I had a great time … but why did it go by so fast?
My Russian friends filmed most of our tours and promised me a DVD. They are actually planing to show part of their material on Russian television – too bad I did not have a Firefox jacket or backpack! Will be fun to see it though. They will dub my version with music only though – they are afraid I might find someone that will do the translation for me.
Ahh – almost forgot: Crossed one more item off the to do list today. I went to see a Kiwi. They are really rare, shy and only out at night … thus I had to go to a bird house. I got a deal because it was late in the day and only half an hour until they closed. The good thing about it: I was the only person in the Kiwi house. No pictures though – they did not allow that. My summary: Kiwi’s are pretty big and look really … funny. Most of the time their long beak is in the ground looking for food and to me they look like a feathery soccer ball on two legs … the size is about right. The Kiwi lady I was watching lay and egg four days a ago. The egg is huge! Compared to a human it would be like giving birth to a two year old!!!
Will hike back up the hill to my B&B now, pack for the track and go to bed early. Need to be at the meeting point at 7 am. More soon …