Hello once more from the now sunny south island of New Zealand. We decided to spend our free day in the adrenelin capital - Queenstown taking it easy riding around the beautiful countryside on horseback.
Queenstown is mostly known for its bungy jumps - the original site being karawua bridge, where it all began in 1988. Some idiot "AJ Hackett" decided it would be a good idea to jump from bridges all over New Zealand tied by his feet to the bridge itself by elastic cord - known as bungys. He was made famous by bypassing security at the eiffel tower in order to do the most daring bungy jump ever and also the most publicised! It all started from there and the bungy phenomenon had begun. He is obviously now a rich idiot and more idiots are jumping off bridges all around the world the highest of which being the one mad Zoe jumped off - The Nevis which stands at 134m high. Obviously both Shell and I are still quite sane and decided not to risk the impairing of limbs by jumping.
Instead, we though it would be both entertaining and scenic to ride around the green picturesque countryside by Glenorchy and Queenstown by horse. We booked onto a half day tour for this and spent the morning hiking to sunshine bay - the next village along from Queenstown. The hiking guide said that the walk was easy to medium difficulty but I think the hiker is either Paula Radcliffe or having a laugh. We were pretty knackered after the walk which took around an hour and a half it was also extremely steep both uphill and downhill which took its toll.
After our walk we headed back to the hostel for our pickup to go on the horse trek. They took us along a very scenic road pointing out certain areas of interest like the Queenstown lake called Wakatipu and also areas where scenes from Lord of the Rings were cast. As we arrived in the stables we were put into groups - varying on expertise - us of course being novices the last time we both rode on horses was a long, long time ago! Shell was put on Monty who galloped whenever the word trot was uttered and Dan of course got the king dingaling - Nigel who was one of the horses in Lord of the rings - he appeared in the Rohan battlescenes!
We strode along the gorgeous tranquil sights of Glenorchy slowly at first until we all felt fairly at ease with the horses, who were constantly eating the bushes as we walked past! Once we were all fairly comfortable we were all ready to try for a trot, Shell unfortunately had the horse which practically bolted when our instructor asked if we were ready for a trot, so she was not surprisingly not comfortable at first with the whole trotting thing!
The ride in all took two hours, we got to see loads of interesting sights, plants and wildlife which was pretty hard to capture being on the back of a horse! Shell got the hang of trotting in the end and managed to hang on at all times. We strolled over grass, forests and rivers which was a pretty wicked experience. Also, on a plus note we both stayed on the whole way round, which was a bonus.
We returned to the hostel at around 6pm, pretty tired and also pretty bruised! We decided to have a nice cosy night cooked a nice curry and managed to watch a DVD then off for an early night - until one of the chaps returned at 4am and decided to snore for the rest of the night/morning! Which kept us both awake and made us knackered for todays bus journey to Christchurch! Oh well, hopefully catch up some sleep tonight, were heading further north tomorrow to Kaikora which is supposed to be really nice, with plenty to do, will have to wait and see whats there and keep you informed of our adventures - Gaz we have booked up a Lord of the rings tour for Wellington where Frodo may return to the shire, minus of course his trusty friend Samwise!
Hopefully your having fun reading these journals, I am getting cramp these days from keyboard strain - I will be instructing my lawyers to sue these damn hostels upon my return to England. Take it easy guys love always x x x Dan and Shell x x x