Wednesday, 3 February 2010


So much to say! After a quiet few days down in Fjordland, which was all about cruising gently through the scenery, it's been adrenalin all the way.  I've now followed up hang-gliding in Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand, with strapping myself to a beautiful stranger and throwing myself out of a perfectly good aeroplane at 15,000ft in Wanaka!  

The one-minute-long freefall was truly awesome - after what seemed like a long, long wait on the way up the cool air was beautiful, and the rushing wind and feeling of freedom remarkable.  I'd asked my tandem instructor to keep it gentle, so there were no somersaults during freefall, or heady spins when the parachute opened, but I think I got the better deal by going down slowly - plenty of time to admire the views of Lake Wanaka, the Clutha river, and in the distance Aoraki Mount Cook.  And that's it, I promise - I think I've done all the adventure activities that appeal, and I'm certainly never doing a bungy jump!

There have been quieter pursuits in Wanaka, too, while I take a break from the Flying Kiwi bus.  First up was the cinema - no one on the bus could quite believe that I'd travel all that way just to visit a cool cinema, but I'm sure all of you can!  And having watched The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus in the Cinema Paradiso yesterday, I can confirm that it was worth the journey: it's a tiny place, with comfy sofas and sagging armchairs for seating - and an old Morris Minor in the corner for those seeking a real change!  There's an intermission, during which you can scoff home-made cookies and ice-cream, and old-fashioned tear-off tickets.  All in all, it's about as far as you can get from your usual multiplex, and totally appropriate for watching a Terry Gilliam extravaganza.  Glorious.

It's back to Queenstown tomorrow, and then a return to Te Anau and Fjordland, for some (different) scenery - and a two-day boat cruise into the wilds of Doubtful Sound.  The adventure continues, but without the screaming!  However, I'll just leave you with this...

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