Just outside Queenstown and at the bridge where bunny jumping started. I have videos of those jumping. You have the option of jumping and landing in the frigid river below or to jump and bounce around until a boat lowers you into it
I wanted to post this next picture on its own as it is probably one of if not the most important of the entire trip. It is a picture of myself and the "big kahuna", my friend Marty who is truly "jack of all trades and master of them all". Marty was the guiding force as well as the brains and knowledge of putting this trip together. I know it took him over a year to plan it all and it all came off without a hitch
Anyone who knows Marty, knows him to be witty, funny, charming and highly intelligent. Whatever he puts his mind to, it is with all out effort and with guts and determination. There was nothing on this trip that had not been thought about and carefully planned. Along with his wife Lisa who did all of the logistics for everyone, the trip was an overwhelming success. I met Marty about 20 years ago on Audiogon when I bought his pair of Wilson Maxx speakers. Since then we have spent countless vacations together as well as hung out at each other's home listening to music
There were times during the trip where Marty had us in stitches and on other occasions he was acting like the professor he is by getting us to make snap decisions such as where we were going to dine and then in which room of the restaurant
So here is to you and Lisa, my friend, without whom this trip would never have happened. As you said we were a tough unruly group at times but under his tutelage everything came off without a hiccup
We came from all over the country and arrived almost together in Auckland at the same time. Not bad for a bunch of old gomers
Our group included
a retired OB/GYN
a plastic surgeon
a retired urologist
a retired sugeon
a retired pharmacist
Think of all of those type A personalities that he kept under control
Marty, you are truly "da man"
I tip my hat to you
Thus picture was from the peak of the toughest mountain we hiked up
So here we are at the end of the walking and hiking Backroads tour in Queenstown.
Some thoughts of the New Zealand and the South Island
1. NZ IMHO (especially the South Island) is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited.
2. The south island is all about mountains, glaciers, rain forests and nature. Everyone we met along the way over those 8 days were all on the move and exploring nature in some way or another
3. There is no smog or air pollution. My dry eyes were never wanting eye drops for comfort
4. Nothing but clean fresh air kept my nasal passages open and clear. I felt generally healthy while there.
5. There are no natural predators along the way
6.. The people are amongst the friendliest of any country to which I have traveled. Driving was easy as the roads were one lane each way. No one was speeding or trying to pass a slower car in front of them and no one was honking there horns. It was also out unusual to see anyone smoking
7. I haven't mentioned the food yet. Let me keep it simple. The food at every stop along the way was superb. I can honestly say that we never had a bad meal. The food was all fresh and locally grown and prepared in unique ways. I must admit that I find eating lamb now very difficult only because we stayed at a Wilderness Lodge where they raised sheep. We saw a black merano sheep in the herd and it was pointed out that they are worthless for wool because of the color . Someone asked what becomes of them and we were told that they become "dog food" .I guess now I understand the meaning of "the black sheep of the family"
8.Queenstown was a lively and bustling city of mostly young people in town for some energy event as the city is said to be the "adrenaline capital" and we confirmed that at the bridge where everyone was bungy jumping.
9. It had been everyone's hope and goal that the abundance of food that we were consuming would all be worked off and we would all be going home having lost weight. Alas the food was so fantastic that everyone commented that weight loss was an impossibility on this trip
10. We now were all looking forward to 6 days of R&R for the conclusion of our trip
So our first destination for the next 2 days was the world famous Blanket Bay Lodge, followed by another plane ride from Queenstown to Rotorua on the North Island where we were taken to another renown spot, Huka Lodge where we spent a day knee in the river fly fishing