Friday, December 9, 2011

Every which way but loose, fortunately

Well, I threw myself off a cliff this morning, twice, and now after looking certain death in the face, Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables, Queenstown look fabulously beautiful and perfect. Oh wait, they do all the time anyway.

The Canyon Swing - 60 metres straight down from a 109m cliff, into a 200m swing - was much more fun than it sounds at first. A literal rush, in fact. I didn't mean to do two, but I'm too biddable for my own good, so whereas first time I tipped backwards in a chair, the second time I went head first from an upside-down dangle. Cool!

And now I'm off for a gentle Segway around the lake, easy as but a tough workout for the grin muscles. Tch, what a job I've got...

UPDATE: Well, that was tempting fate. I  fell, almost literally, at the last fence, a victim of over-confidence as I zoomed the last twenty metres back to the van, at 15kmh along an unsealed road, misjudging a rut - all my own fault. It's going to be a spectacular bruise, though.* And up till then we'd had a wonderful time, whining along the lakeside, through a building, along the lanes and pathways, up a hill and looping through the Gardens past beds of fragrant roses and cheerful groups of people playing frisbee golf in the sunshine, then back past the shingle beach and the ducks. Supercool fun.

Then we took the gondola up Bob's Peak for a couple of goes on the luge, a little gravity go-cart down a concrete track with corners and chicanes: simple but always a winner. And in between we watched the tandem paragliders running down the hill and launching themselves into the air with no drama at all, to spiral gently back down to the bottom - or, for the thrill-seekers, spin fast and sharply over the town.

And then it was time for our Hollyford briefing and then fish and chips on the beach with an eager audience of ducks and seagulls, not too fussy about whether it was a chip or a toe they were pecking at. Lots of people around, all having fun, some of them showing off (young man tight-rope walking across the water between jetties, I'm looking at you - which was exactly what you wanted, of course). Then back to the Hilton by water-taxi to nurse my grazes and pack for tomorrow's early departure into Fiordland. Busy day!

*UPDATE #2: Oh, yes!

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