Today, we leave the deserted glaciers and arrive in the most touristy town on the journey: Queenstown.
After the great hikes of the day before yesterday, we had yesterday a day of travel. We left after breakfast in Franz Josef Glacier and needed about a whole day to get to our new destination: Queenstown. It took us so long because we had such a spectacular place to stop in (I’ll update the pictures soon). Fox Glacier, Haast Pass, Lake Wanaka, Lake Hawea, and Lake Dunstan were all as beautiful as they could be. We took plenty of time to enjoy the sights on this very sunny day.
So by the end of the afternoon, we made it to Queenstown. This place seems to live by tourists only. The only shops in town are selling food, trips for tourists, gear for hiking and camping or souvenirs.
Our home for yesterday and today is Browns Boutique Hotel. A nice place at three blocks from the beach. We discussed food with our host. When we mentioned to him that we had not seen many places where meat was cooked as demanded, he directed us to this French Restaurant with the Italian sounding name Solera. We had a great meal there and went back to the hotel (uphill, after a good bottle of wine…).
This morning, the breakfast conversation was monopolized by a group of Californian people. Normally, I enjoy a funny and enthusiast start of the day, but this was so loud that we could not even have a conversation. But the breakfast itself was another nice cooking. (Must have gained a few kilos by now, with all these pancakes and eggs cooked to perfection here)
I had hoped to join one of the tours that visit all these Lord Of The Ring places in and around Queenstown, but there were more fans in town than expected and all were completely booked. V. was smarter: she booked her spa before we arrived here. So I went for a lazy morning in town and met her in the afternoon. I went for a tour on one of these great jetboat-rides, while she was seeking a good place on the beach.
After all these big dinners, we needed something a little calmer and went for the international standard for a quick and cheap meal: Chinese food. And for dessert one of the fabulous ice cones at Patagonia. One scoop was more than enough, even if we would have loved to taste all their flavors!
Queenstown, New Zealand, the 24th of January, 2011
Koen Blanquart is a strategy consultant, journalist, and author.
Wanderlust is one of his driving factors, and he shares his travels here on Boarding Today. Koen is also the skipper of SV Bagabonda, a sailing vessel making a slow circumvention of the globe..
Koen recently published a book on how to manage a remote team: The Suitcase Office.