Another beautiful blue day but it was nice to not have to pack up the tent today. It was cold last night but as soon as the sun broke over the mountains it was lovely and warm. After finding out all the prices for everything adrenaline filled (tres cher) we settled on a leisurely boat ride around the lake on the steam powered TSS Earnslaw. You get to see all the inner workings of the boat (it uses a tonne of coal an hour) as well as enjoying the scenery. The funnel tooting is a well known sound in the town and we laughed at all the seagulls who ride on the lifeboats searching for crumbs, they really have no fear.
The sport of Frisbee golf is not yet widely known but Queenstown gardens have got in on the act quickly and marked out a course with targets, beginning plates and pars over 18 holes. We took the Frisbee and the 3 of us took in turns with the throws. We were pants much to the delight of passers by but the course is great, passing through the forest and close to the lake the scenery could not have been better. It is moments like these that the trip is all about, something out of the ordinary that you just happen to chance on and end up having a great time.
I have been asked what NZ is like. It is roughly the size of the UK but with half the population of London and ¾ of that is based in the North Island. You can imagine then when you come to the South Island how much space there is (apart from all the camper vanning tourists!). Add to the mix the spectacular, jaw dropping scenery and you are nearly there. People smile at you all the time, at work in the supermarket or just driving in their cars. I don’t know if it is just because I am a tourist but there is a distinct lack of stress, of rushing like there is at home. I love the country and the gentile people who are based here, the rudest have been the tourists. It feels like a young country that it is still finding it’s identity, one that if you moved here you could contribute to making a difference, be part of an evolving culture. Does that mean I would up sticks and move here – maybe if I was younger or again maybe when I’m older – for now England is my home. I’m reminded of that now, I’m watching Coronation St in the TV room (only place with plugs). It’s so funny to hear the accents and it’s over a year old but it’s great to hear something from home that is uniquely British.