I'm still in NZ, but didn't bring a towel with me...there's no point in buying one since I'll only need one (maybe two) more showers until I go home, so I need to borrow one...but the front desk doesn't open til 9. It's still 830. Quel fromage. For now, here's what's been going on:
Queenstown was fun. I went bungee jumping for the first time ever, off of NZ's highest jump (440 ft!). It was incredible. Feel free to watch me do stupid things here. :-) Dad's response was "You need a Mommy down there very VERY badly!!"
After that, I went on a tour of the LOTR sites in the area...there are a lot around there, so it was a long tour. We even got to dress up and play with swords (pix to follow, they charge by the MB for internet here).
I found a store with local fabrics, which was cool. I managed to stub my toe on the way up to the store, and took off a dime-sized chunk of skin from the bottom of it...not a good thing when you're about to embark on 8 days of cycling...the store owner laughed and gave me tissues and bandaids and antiseptic. It healed nicely and didn't really hurt at all, just bled a lot. I digress. The fabrics I got are pretty...in total (including the 3 I got in Dunedin), I have 8 fat quarters of NZ fabric. I'm happy with that. I also found some awesome Paddington fabric yesterday, but I'll get to that.
I met up with my coworker, Amanda, and headed off onto this 8-day trek. I think I ran the numbers right, and I ended up doing about 190 miles across 5 days of actual cycling. One of the days I did a metric century (102 km actually), which meant I made it the whole way...I was quite happy with myself, even if my bum was not.
We went from mountains to fjords to lakes to farms to forest to ocean to farms to more farms (there are a LOT of farms here) and finally to ocean again. We got stopped for a while because some farmers were trying to bring some lambs down to a new paddock, and they took up the whole road to do it. I have video, I'll post it later.
We stayed on a farm one night (a working sheep and cattle (NOT dairy) farm), which was fun...the food was incredible. All the veggies were fresh from their garden...yummmm. I could live with veggies that fresh always.
Night before last, we stayed at Larnach Castle. Basically, a guy with an ego and a lot of money built the only castle in NZ. The food was meh, but the views were spectacular.
Yesterday, I doinked around Dunedin and went to the Cadbury factory in town for a tour. Best tour ever...they give free samples all along the way. I couldn't eat all of it, that's how much they give you! The Speight's brewery is just up the street from my hostel as well, so I went and quality-checked some of their beers last night. The summer ale seemed a little suspect though, so I might have to go inspect that one again tonight. We'll see. :-)
In any case, it's 9 am and I need a shower like you wouldn't believe. So I'm gonna go find myself a towel and update this more when I'm back stateside. Cheers!