Sunday, January 12, 2014

12 January 2014: Queenstown, day 2

The southerly weather system that appeared to be arriving last night while I was atop Queenstown Hill was in full-force this morning: the wind was whirling and the rain came down in sheets.  A few students were braving the elements to do bungy jumping (Queenstown is the home of bungy jumping!) and canyon swinging.  Words here cannot adequately describe these activities; you’ve got to Google the terms to fully appreciate the thrill (and insanity!) of these activities.  True to form, Dr. Moran and I took the low-profile approach to our final ‘off day’ of the trip.  Our biggest thrill was getting lunch at the infamous Queenstown novelty, the Fernburger.  We walked into town for a lunch of Fernburger, and it didn’t disappoint.  I ordered the ‘Big Al’, a twin-patty burger (1/2 lb of meat!), topped with a fried egg, a few slices of pickled beets, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and mayo.  Dr. Moran had an equivalently-sized burger and after eating these beasts, we declared that we wouldn’t need dinner…which turned out to be true!

Our evening was fairly slow, as I worked on blog entries and Dr. Moran watched 'The Hobbit' on his ipad.  We're ready to move on to our next destination, but also realize that our trip is quickly coming to an end.

After a thrilling few days in Queenstown, I think our students are ready to move on a slightly slower scene: Dunedin.  Tomorrow, we head 3 hrs to the south, where we’ll visit one of the major sites of Scottish colonization of New Zealand.  If the weather holds, we should be able to visit the colony site of one of the rarest species of penguins: the Yellow-eyed Penguin.

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