Friday, March 16, 2012

Queenstown NZ

This place is insane.

At present I find myself sitting around conserving energy and consuming carbohydrates in preparation for 35 kilometres of self flagellation in the Oceania time trial championship this afternoon. It should prove to be a tough little affair, although there are only 10 starters for elite men, with ever lasting honour and lactic acid laced agony on the line, it will, like always, good, hard and hopefully fast (for me anyway)
The last two days have seen Campbell Flakemore and myself riding the TT course and spending most of the time in awe of the lakes and hills surrounding Queenstown. This place is so cool. 

My quick fire travel review is as follows:

What makes Queenstown cool
-It’s nothing by huge mountains and massive lakes, the whole place is gobsmackingly beautiful
-They filmed Lord of the Rings around here (somewhere on this island anyway)
-The place is a haven for public liability insurance agents: Downhill MTBing, snowsports, white water rafting, speed boating, bungee jumping, canyon jumping, para-sailing, the fun never ends, neither would the premiums
-The place is teeming with tourists, lots of young Americans and Brits and loads of middle aged Japanese/Chinese tourists. It’s a non stop party. I can’t go down the street without chuckling at hearing some dutch or german tourist yelling to their mate “We made a real good trip on the fast boat you think maybe!?” or catching a seppo twang on the end of “It’s was so pumpin’ duuuuuude”

What makes Queenstown a bit shit
-Thanks to the tourist influx, everything is expensive as all hell. $35 kiwi bucks (~$30Aus) for a pizza? Come oonnnn!! Subway for dinner it is….
-In a bizaro-Australian paradox, the drivers are very courteous to bike riders, but it seems pedestrians in the town centre are nothing but target practice. This place needs some pedestrian crossings. Getting across the road is like in South East Asia whereby the only way to break the traffic flow is just to step off the curb and start your way across the road. Except in Asia drivers manage to summon the energy to activate their shoulders and wrists in an effort to turn the steering wheel 5 whole degrees in order to swerve to the left or the right of those crossing the road. In Queenstown it seems there is some sort of natural reaction to swerve and accelerate directly towards whoever is crossing the road. Any utilisation of said designated steering device is just wholly unnecessary. Sure makes for an eventful trip to the shops I’ll tell you what.

Nevertheless, this place really is all about the adventure. Only two days ago, Mr Flakemore and myself having duly sated ourselves with a lap and a bit of the TT course decided to poke our noses up this little road that turned off up through the trees. Surely it would be nothing more than a little jaunt up the side of the hill for 5 minutes? I mean, who wants to climb an Alpine berg on their TT bike? Not me!

Well. 9k at 9% later we topped out at ~1300-1400m at coronet peak ski resort.
“Oh man that road looks steep up ahead”
“Yeh, but it looks like it flattens out round the corner”
“Yeh, we’ll just go another few hundred metres and turn around”

We had that revolving conversation for 45 minutes.

Geez that was hard work. But man it was worth it. If only Flakey wasn’t off doing his TT now I would snatch the photos off his dog and i-Bone to show you all. They’ll be up in the next post.

Well, my mind is racked for now. Time to return to my state of deep relaxation. ..

Till next time.