The trip was not at all planned when we left, except for the plan to cram as much in as humanly possible in 9 days, and I would say we did quite well.
Day 2, arrived in Queenstown, after surviving a near death experience in the plane......flying in through Queenstown's Remarkables is truly a "remarkably" scary experience on a windy day! After our arrival, we set forth to find a place to stay, which proved to be rather difficult as the band Creedence Clearwater Revival were in town, and 15,000 people were going, but not us (couldn't get tickets). When we finally found a place, the owner Ron (or Tom as we thought) helped us plan the next few days........
Day 3, an early start, 9am (early for us) rafting trip van picks us up, proceed to get dressed in some remarkably "beautiful" wetsuits and lifejackets, and make our way onto the river....all the while keeping an eye out for Smeagol. The rafting was tame, but beautiful scenery, and we were lucky enough to see a spot where Lord of the Rings was filmed. Next, Mel and myself take the plunge and sign up to bungy jump, a far too long of a story to get into, but needless to say, it was one of the most...actually could be the most incredible experience I have ever had (sorry Dad and crew.....this was definitely better than running with you guys).
Day 4, winery tour, very interesting.....or was it??? Got rather drunk, could be a bit hazy on the details, but the food, and the wine, all great!!! Later that night, we tore up the town in another drunken frenzy, but didn't do too much damage.
Next day......recover from hangover.......begin our long (3hrs) drive to Milford Sound. The drive was full of steep winding roads, that were riddled with crazy bikers that clearly don't have their heads screwed on straight (you geezers would fit in well). When we are almost there, had a bit of a scare as we smelled brake fluid all the way down into the valley....not a good place for failed brakes. But when we got there, a couple of "sweet" locals (I use that term loosely) checked it out and said things were ok "just gave her a workout." On the boat, the scenery was amazing, simply breathtaking. We all ate a beautiful supper, then headed to our cramped quarters to sleep (sort of). The next morning up with the sun to go kayaking, and then after we docked, we went for a helicopter ride up to a glacier, it was really cool to be standing on top of a glacier, and I hadn't even broken a sweat getting there!
After finding our way back to Queenstown, we crash, and prepare for an even longer drive to Franz Josef Glacier the next day. The drive there was incredible! There were so many beautiful spots to stop, one stop was to Lake Wanaka for a bike ride, and a very cold swim in what I presume is a lake formed from glacier runoff, because it was FREEZING!!!! After arriving in Franz Josef, we settled in to get ready for our glacier hike the next day. On the glacier........very cool, pictures do not do it justice, but I am sure you can imagine what it felt like to walk on a glacier that is thousands of years old!!
.......we went canyoning.....swimming, jumping, diving, repelling, all mixed together, in the confines of 12 Mile Delta canyon. Really, really, really very cool!!! Had to try to wipe the permanent grin off my face hours after in was over. All inhabitations and fears left aside, and fun and adrenaline takes over.
Well, that pretty much sums it up, don't expect a fond farewell to this story, as I was really sad for the trip to end, and it is making me sad knowing I am back here sitting at my computer at work having to relive it through a story......but on the other hand, I am soooo happy I have the story to tell!!!!