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A great day at Queenstown! Took the gondola/cable car up 2500 feet to city overlook, and lunch. Chatted with the commercial paraglider pilots who launch from there.
Then we took the chair lift up to the luge, which winds and loops back to the overlook. I think I beat Connie twice! Then we hiked farther up the mountain through the woods to the "recreational pilot" launch site. Maybe I'll fly from there after Connie goes home.
We took an afternoon stroll around the peninsula park at the base of the mountain.
We met and chatted with a sailboater and was invited to the Tuesday afternoon race as a visiting crew member. His boat is similar to mine.
We've traveled to Mount Cook, New Zealand's
tallest mountain, and had lunch at the Hermitage, an upscale resort/hotel with a view of the clouds obscuring Mount Cook. Then we compounded our disappointment by hiking to a nearby glacier, through rain, hail, more rain, and more obscuring clouds. We saw less and less the closer we got. So much for the 'Southern Alps'.
Drove back to our motel at Twizel, then left friday for Christchurch. Drove past the glacier lake Pukaki, stopped and took a number of photos of Mt. Cook, (elev. 3714 meters, approx 12,000 feet) against a clear sky. Lots of snow on the summit from the previous days rain. Although we had gotten wet the day before, and beat up by hailstones, we weren't sick or sore, so we must be getting into shape again. At Christchurch we toured the Antarctica Center at the airport, just across from the USA Antarctica Staging area. Saw USA C-130's with "ski" landing gear. At the New Zealand Antarctica Center saw lots of Antarctica memorbilia, biology , geology, meteorology -- well, lots of science stuff. Got the brochure for the cruise to Antarctica, Connie thinks she'll go if someplace extra-terrestial freezes over. Connie called Rags & Richie's caretaker today, and all's well with them. Then we toured the Art Museum, Arts Centre, and Cathedral Square. Getting ready to drive north, on the east coast to Kaikoura, where whales, dolphins, and seals hang out. (No sharks??!!) Supposedly we can swim with the dolphins. We'll see. We've been kept up-to-date on Aunt Ann's condition, Tillie, and my Mom through response emails. Haven't heard from Heather yet. Connie will call all next week, from Los Angeles. As everyone knows, we are one day ahead of you, so we can't call you, since you're one day behind, and then our calls would be lost in that great unknown, but email hangs around. I'll explain later, I think.