Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Three days away from the computer - CRAZY! But I'm back! This time, in Queenstown (so-called because it is a town fit for a queen).

It is certainly a beautiful town and Jaap and I are staying in a lovely hostel, Bumbles for $22/night. I am also drinking yummy coffee from Voodoo Cafe, incase anyone goes to Queenstown and is looking for good coffee there.

I've been in TeAnau for the past 2 nights, staying in a lovely holiday park. Yesterday, we went to Milford Sound (which is actually a fiord, not a sound). We woke up really early to drive the 2+ hours on the most scenic roads I've seen yet. Mountains, waterfalls, rapids, forests, plains and lakes. All just too beautiful to be believed. It was the first time I really felt that I was in Middle-earth.

We did a 2.5-hour cruise of the fiord, snapping photos like crazy. It was lovely weather, we were lucky, although they say that it's even more beautiful when it's raining. Hard to imagine.

But the drive there and back was utterly spectacular. We stopped for a short walk to The Chasm (the 10-minute walk that everyone does) and then decided that we'd do a 3-hour suggested walk to the Key Summit, which is part of the larger Milford Track.

In short, it was the most beautiful walk I've ever done. And Jaap made fun of me most of the way about braces and all sorts of ridiculous things which made the time go quickly. Thankfully, today he found out that he's gained weight and now I have something that I can make fun of. He's trying to quit smoking and is addicted to sugar (and food in general, actually). Did I mention that he also has leprosy? Yuk.

He also managed to melt all the butter in the trunk yesterday so that it got ALL over EVERYTHING in the food box. EW! Then he made ME clean it up! I couldn't believe it! OK, well, maybe I had something to do with that....

On our way from TeAnau this morning, I made Jaap take a dusty backroad detour to check out some Lord of the Rings locations. I saw the spot where Sam gets in the water to chase after Frodo when he's trying to leave the Fellowship at the end of the first movie. We skipped rocks and had a nice lunch there. Such a gorgeous, peaceful spot. Also saw part of Fangorn Forest.

Ya, I'm cool.
When I couldn't find my way out of part of the forest that's used as part of the Amon Hen battle scene, Jaap chided me, "Come ON, Lord of the Rings nerd!"

He's fired.
OK, maybe not. He's very patient with my nerdiness...

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