Monday, April 25, 2011


We got lucky with another day of mostly great weather.  With a prediction of 40% rain after it rained a good bit last night, we only encountered some light showers during our horseback ride this morning.  We started off crossing a pretty deep river, when many of our group got water in their boots and some of our guides were in up to their saddles (brr!). 

I unfortunately had a stubborn horse (is there any other kind?) that wanted to eat along the way and for whatever reason, he got spooked or something and bolted, leaving me on the ground!  So glad it happened on soft ground, not rocks…I fell on my left shoulder/back but no major harm done, thank goodness.  Having an English saddle did not help.  I’m fine. Got back on the horse and continued the ride, which lasted about 3 hours through some fabulous scenery (the valley was “Middle Earth” in Lord of the Rings).  I think we are all feeling it tonight—although we have some very experienced riders on the trip.  They divided us into two groups—ours being the less experienced bunch.  I don’t feel so bad as one the guides was thrown off her horse and it took off on a gallop for the barn.

We headed back to Queenstown from the ranch, which is located near Glenorchy, at the west end of Lake Wakatipu.  Had lunch back at the lodge and then we were off to Arrowtown for a rugby game on a beautiful sunny afternoon.  This quaint gold rush town is all-colorful now with the leaves (all introduced trees such as willows, maples and oaks) and are hosting an autumn festival next weekend.  The colorful trees were brought in from England and other places, most of the native New Zealand trees (beeches) do not change.

A "scrum"

Kicking the extra point

very cute bystanders!

irresistible leaves to play in

boosting team members up to get the ball after going out of bounds

About we arrived at the lake for our parasailing adventure.  What a thrilling ride that was!  Really gorgeous from up there too, I was so busy taking pictures I did not have time to be scared.  You take off and land from the boat, the views of the lake and surrounding mountains were magnificent.  As I mentioned earlier, Lake Wakatipu is 1200 feet deep, 6-9 degrees C, 53 miles long and over 100 feet below sea level at the bottom—98% pure, you can drink the water!

it is a LONG way down!

but beautiful

TSS Earnslaw - launched in 1912 it is the only surviving coal powered steamship on Lake Wakatipu

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