“Please not the big girl. Not the big girl!…..."
I only say that because while all the other horses willingly sauntered over to their rightful rider, mine pretty much looked like this guy.
Keg and I had a wonderful two and a half ride through Queenstown countryside. Ryan and Enos had an um….survivable ride. Poor Ryan strained his back pulling one of our luggage pieces out of the back of the car, so his ride was a bit unbearable. I began calling us Brains and Brawn. There had to be some explanation to all nearby witnesses when I was the one carrying the heavy luggage.
Brains was a trooper though and tried his best to enjoy the horseback ride as best as possible. How could he not??? The countryside was beautiful. We crossed many rivers while traveling through Paradise on the Rees (an area used for many films…including the Lord of the Ring movies).
We loved Queenstown!!! It was somewhat like Whistler with a ski resort feel. Tons of awesome restaurants and shops with mountains on one side and water on the other. We rode the gondola up one mountain and took the luge down. Fun!! We purchased the picture posted of us on the gondola, but I wish we would have purchased the last picture in which Ryan pretended to slap my face. Hilarious!
We flew out of Queenstown and stayed one day in Christchurch. The one feeling I had from visiting Christchurch is….depressed. Four years ago two earthquakes destroyed this city. Where there were beautiful, historical old buildings now lay a barren lot. If not a bare lot, there are huge vacant buildings just waiting to be leveled. The city felt a little like a ghost town or what may have been the beginning of an episode from the Walking Dead. (Okay….slight exaggeration…but it was pretty sad.) After the earthquake they suffered over 300 aftershocks in the following year. One in 10 houses we saw had major construction going on or was vacated. I guess it is a HUGE problem because people are living in the garages or not living in their houses at all because the houses have been deemed unsafe. Home owners are paying on their mortgages, not living in them and still waiting for repairs. IF you are in construction and want a work visa…Christchurch may just be the market for you. They estimate it will take 50-100 years for the economy to recover. It was so sad and devastating, but I’m glad we at least stopped over for a bit. It was pretty remarkable to see.
Well, New Zealand, we anticipated you being the trip of a lifetime. You did not disappoint. Two and a half weeks together, Ryan and I (thankfully) still want to remain married. :) We had the BEST and most unforgettable time. Our favorites in no order of importance:
1) Abel Tasman – kayaking
2) Waitomo caves
3) Key Summit hike (Fjordlands)
4) Horseback riding (Queenstown)
5) Visiting with old friends
Until we come back for another short ‘holiday’ or to permanently retire…..signing off.
Sweet as New Zealand. Sweet as.
~Brains and Brawn