Heading for Queenstown today, about 350kms and 5 hours driving. I should have plenty of time to do a walk this morning right?
I had a lazy morning and managed to get some of the free breakfast the hostel puts on. I set off up towards the start of the track and met Julia and her friend. I had already done some of this walk yesterday before I got turned around, but before long we found ourselves on another steep track. This one was significantly easier traveling of packed gravel and stones which was a relief.
The walks objective were some old tunnels that had been blasted into the cliff. They were driven to supply water to the township below that had sprung up during the gold rush. Turns out the cost of the tunnels were never paid for by the gold recovered from the area. After the gold rush, the tunnels supply of water was used to turn a hydroelectric plant. This was all back in 1908!
We walked through the first length of tunnel with just a small amount of water running over our feet. If you looked really closely, you could see tiny green star lights of glow worms! At the end the tunnel re emerged into the sunlight and turned a corner. Here the wooden waterway was still in place over 100 years later and used as a viewing platform. There was water spilling from the leafy canopy above us making the wood very wet and slippery. I was surprised how good the wood looked and remarked on the quality craftsmanship, adding, my skepticism of modern construction lasting that long.
Walking back down to the town my legs were complaining of overuse. I parted ways with the German girls and got some lunch before setting of for the long ride to Queenstown. Normally the bike rides here are spectacular and today was no exception. But there are only so many exciting similes I can use to describe the roads. Today however no similes are needed because I weaved through the most incredible mountain pass. The road flowed nicely and normally I would have been absolutely leathering the bike. I slowed down this time to enjoy the sight before me; small watery brooks surrounded on all sides by a carpet of tall spikes of pink and purple flowers. A honeybees dream valley of Lupin flowers it was beautiful and smelt incredible. The wind through the helmet pushed the fragrance deep into my nose. I found myself taking deep lungfuls and had to pinch myself, I thought I was in heaven.
At the end of the flowery pass was the descent into Queenstown down a steep mountainous face. The road looped back and forwards in a wondrous set of flowing corners. A braver man than I, on a Triumph Daytona, rocketed past me even when I thought I was making swift progress.
I finally arrived and found a good looking hostel with free parking right by my dorm. This one also put on free soup in the evenings which was good as it encourages you to chat and make friends. I got chatting with a group of people, one of which was leaving tomorrow and I was only here for a day. With this established, the inevitable “few drinks” turned into a full on night out when we got to a bar and they were playing beer pong. As the beer was drank, we became drunk, the quality of our game decreased and the energy rocketed! We went to a few places after that, dabbling in some karaoke enroute. Ending up at World Bar which was the only busy place on a Monday night. It was an really good mix of music, even if the track was changed too frequently.
By the time I looked at the time, it was time for bedtime, being 2am. A quick Ferg Burger (7 out of 10) and I crawled into bed after what seemed to be the longest day of my life. I wasn’t looking forward to the alarm waking me up in the morning, just 5 hours away, for my bungy jump. I also realised at this point I would probably be hungover for it!