Sunday, 13 April 2008

Thursday 6th March, Queenstown

The only thing I was wrestling this morning was a sore head. Roused myself after noon and decided to do the Mount Dewar ride to purge my body of last night's wine and to teach myself a damned good lesson. Drove up Skippers Road to the Cadrona Ski area which provided some amazing views; the mountain that Queenstown itself sits on is about 1000m high, it looked more like a big boulder you'd use to line your driveway with from up here.

Dewar or Die
Hoiked up Mt Dewar, a rather big climb (1360m ish), had a full on sweat in the heat of the day too. Must have been a bit light headed as I began to take pictures of myself pretending that a weather station was my friend. Hmm. Headed DH on jeep track which helter-skeltered pretty rapidly to Shotover River and encountered several sheep, who, instead of stepping off the track out of my way (as I'm doing abut 35mph) run along it for hundreds of yards with myself manically cackling instructions to them. I wished I'd have had a head-cam on, it was like a scene from Star Wars as the white robot fella's try and capture Luke GuyWalker whizzing around the Ewok Village. After reaching the bottom of the descent I stumbled upon two huts which are both pretty sorry looking buildings and relics of the goldrush. The oldest is a tumbley-down looking thing and you'd be pretty miffed if you'd walked all that way just to see these sheds! Followed a sketchy singletrack along the Shotover, it had a big drop-off into the gorge below where jet boats scooted around like motorized Spinning Jennies, then headed up a whacking great climb back to top of Skippers Saddle. Spotted Skippers Canyon ride (DH) on my left, looks pretty good, with cows marking the route all the way along. Had to haul my sorry and tired self back up Skippers Road which isn't really a road, justs a gravel track. It felt like a long old climb back to the top because I'd been belting along at a fair old pace all afternoon knowing that I was likely to finish the ride in the cold and dark if I didn't get a shuftee on. My legs had had it by the time I finally summited the saddle.

Seafood Diet
Pulsar'd my way home just in time to take in more humbling views the Remarkables as they bathed in the evening sunlight. Determined not to make the same mistake twice in two days I was on a mission to to eat something this evening an so launched into some fish and chips, - way more than I could eat (hadn't realised I'd ordered a family sized meal from my traveler chippy van man. Had to leave at least half, what a waste. Met Adrian and Stacey and Urs (Swiss, pronounced 'Oars', quite a dude – wife died recently of cancer so he upped sticks and went traveling, it was their anniversary today), and some ego-stroke Sceptic Tank stockbroker from the Nappa Valley who proceeded to make a total clown out of himself, luckily his associates were alright, Canadian/Aussies all playing in the World Left Handed Golf tourney somewhere around Qtn. Saw a band with A/S/Urs at Winnie-Bagoes infront of another roaring fire. Stacey commented that she didn't recognise any of the songs that the band had played (intimating I think that they were only doing local numbers), which amused me as they were right in the middle of playing REM's 'What's the Frequency Kenneth' – ahh well, at least she had a passport! Passed on the wrestling and headed back to Butterfli at a much more respectable hour.

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