Frolicking in the Fiordlands, Scary Hairy, and a Big Plunge
"Best decision of my LIFE," I thought, congratulating myself for missing out on a probably once in a lifetime day cruise to Doubtful Sound. I mean, a brief flicker of guilt had nearly burst into flame last night over the issue. But since finishing the epic bike ride of 2017, I have not rested my body and it was reaching the point of anarchy.
So when Maegan and Rebekah got up at 6:30am, I happily snuggled deeper into my sleeping bag and dozed into sweet oblivion. That pesky girl inside that insists I do ALL the things was going to have to take a big chill pill. After the Tylenol I ate for breakfast. And the mini Cadbury eggs. #priorities
Despite pushing my legs beyond functioning, the past few days have been pretty amazing. I mean, what are the odds that Maegan (a friend from home) would be visiting as I was finishing my bike ride? And she is a pro at planning all of the cool outdoor things. Plus she's nearly 6 months pregnant which means I can kind of almost keep up with her!
The day I finished riding to Bluff, I took a shuttle to Queenstown and the following day was spent hiking 11 miles (return) to Routeburn Falls, a section of the Routeburn Track that boasts a 3000ft high climb over the first 5.5 miles. I was a little insulted that all that cycling didn't make me immune from huffing and puffing up the mountain. But I got over it because 1) I'm pretty used to feeling like I'm gonna die 2) So much beautiful.
The next day we hiked a 6 mile return section of the Kepler Track. We were all so sore from the day before! The hike in felt much longer than the 2 hours it took to get the sand fly-infested beach. We just wanted back to the car so started jogging back. We had been curiously observing the trail runners who had passed us along the way and thought, hey we can be cool trail runners too. So then broke into a jog, controlling the volume of our breathing as we passed people so it looked like we did this all the time and weren't dying of course. We basically ran the whole 3 miles back. Now...when my foot caught on a tree root, I'd like to think that I did a tuck and roll like Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider. They reassured me I bore an uncanny resemblance to Jack Black.
The following day we attempted Milford Sound. See how well the weather cooperated? The white part is supposed to be mountains and water. Only slightly bitter, Milford.
Luckily there were pretty stops along the way. (Maegan was rather dedicated to photographing).
Then it was Doubtful Sound day, aka Tiffany's rest aaaaannnnddd (drum roll) get your hair did day!!!! The evolution of my hair to mohawk-mullet status was one of gradual neglect that escalated with lack of conditioner and a helmet... And I haven't had my roots properly done since being in NZ (the only attempt here was less than satisfactory). PS undercuts do not grow gentle into that good night. But behold the power of lab chemicals and scissors artfully wielded.
And then it was back to Queenstown, which brings me to the research portion of my trip. I hereby share with you my anecdotal case study answering the age old question: "If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?"
The answer: Yup.
You might think I've had a burning desire to mark this item off the bucket list. ...Nope. In fact, after skydiving I said that the idea of bungy scared me more and I wouldn't do it. So what happened? Well, NZ was the birthplace of bungy. It's like going to Italy and not eating pizza or pasta or gelato, right? Ok, bad comparison...I eat all of those things everywhere. But you get the idea. And Maegan was all like "It's awesome plus I'm pregnant and can't and want to so you have to." Well played my friend, well played. And who am I kidding, it really did sound cool. Naturally we opted for the tallest leap available (Nevis Bridge) which is 440ft drop, aka an 8 second free fall.
I think I can safely say that my nervous and cardiovascular systems are all fully functional. And all bodily contents were retained prior to, during, and after the big plunge. The next day, we said goodbye to Queenstown with M and R heading home and me heading for some actual rest time in Auckland. And I mean some genuine, epic resting of restfully restful proportions.