Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jetlagged in wonderland

What a mammoth effort to get over here to Wanaka in New Zealand. First stop, after a final massage from Brad, was Perth, where a quality 24 hours was spent with my mate Naomi and her two mostly gorgeous children. The selfishness and temper tantrums of a 3 year old would definitely put most people off having kids altogether. Luckily they went off to sleep and we enjoyed a roast chicken over a nice bottle of red wine and fell asleep watching Le Tour de France.

The second leg involved taking the 6pm plane to Melbourne, then finding a sleeping spot for a few hours before my flight to Queenstown in the morning. Unfortunately they wouldn't let me check the luggage the whole way through so there was me, on a wooden bench down the backend of Jetstar check-in, trying to get a bit of shut eye. Despite the annoying shriek of the XRay machine conveyer belt, which they could have turned off given the terminal was closed overnight!, I actually got some sleep. Those months in SE Asia have really worked wonders!

Once checked in I went through customs and bought myself a simple point and shoot camera. I just couldn't justify bringing the usual SLR rig with me on this trip, let alone trust myself to not smash it hurtling down a mountain around here. It's aqua green, just bigger than a credit card and doesn't take bad photos either. Once I work out all the buttons, I'll start uploading them.

Arriving in Queenstown it's a necessity to have a camera as the scenery is gobsmackingly gorgeous. The plane flies along the river valley, at the same level as the nearby snow covered peaks and lands in the middle of this wonderland. Welcome to NZ!

From Queenstown there's a bus service to Wanaka, but due to a delay departing Melbourne because of a late passenger, we missed the connection. Luckily for me there were 3 of us in the same dilemma so we ended up sharing a cab over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Gorgeous blue skies, sun, and snow capped peaks, what a lovely trip. I'm now staying at the backpackers and catching up on a little sleep.

My biggest concern is that I'm going to sleep in in the morning and miss my bus ride up the mountain. And that the time difference makes watching Le Tour almost impossible, bummer!!

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