It was indeed a tight schedule.
Monday last week I arrived home from a 3 month trip. After traveling for 36 hours I fell into organizing just a few things like storm damage to the downstairs area, unpack 6 cases, organize insurance, food shopping, catch up with family and do a day of business with my PA and pack for the New Zealand class all in three days. Then off again.
I had no jet lag this time due to good management and I was able to function at top capacity with a minimum of effort. I was running on adrenaline folks. Oh, but it was just wonderful to sleep in my own bed, eat toast and vegemite, drink my own coffee and just sit and take in the ambience of my own space.
This is me. This is mine.
Thursday, I had to leave home at just after 4.00 am because I was on a 6.00 am flight to Sydney. The turn around gave me just 20 minutes and I ran (sedately) from the gate to the bus to the international terminal, through security, through immigration and then run… very fast to the gate. I was lucky the plane was late and I had 10 minutes to regain my composure. The joys of travel. My IWatch kept buzzing on my wrist telling me to slow down and breathe.
The flight takes about 3 hours and the scenery was breathtaking. I snapped away using the iPhone despite the bumpy ride “The approach to Queenstown has everything. Looking over the endless Southern Alps, and the pristine turquoise rivers and lakes is just magical.” One flyer said: “Breathtaking approach with mountains and lakes surrounding you. It feels as if you’re being transported straight to Middle Earth – because you are!”
We flew past majestic mountains with turquoise lakes nestling at their base. Snow dusted the peaks and it looked forever like fairy land. Our approach into Queenstown at the time of 2.10 pm went well, I could see the cars on the road, sheep in the field and people walking, until suddenly with a roar of the engines the front of the plane lifted frighteningly, the young men sitting next to me yelled. I knew from experience that we had just aborted our landing. But why? It was a clear day. I turned on the flight path on the media screen and sure enough we were turning away from Queenstown. It took some time for the pilot to explain our sudden change. “Heavy Winds” was the reason so we had to fly on to Christchurch to refuel and wait till the wind died down and then return.
I had all sorts of scenarios going through my mind, but the good thing was that I got to see the most amazing scenery as we flew north along the island.
The upshot was that we sat on the tarmac for an hour and a half, and then returned to Queenstown and landed very successfully but about 4 hours later than anticipated.
I knew it was going to be just fine when I was greeted but a stunningly beautiful rainbow over the lake.
My hosts Graham and Alison were very gracious, I do admit to being a little nervous about staying with strangers but they made me feel well at home. The view from their lounge room window was of the remarkable mountains and yes, there was the snow.
The following day, 1st day of class saw a huge change in the weather and the temperature plummeted to 4 degrees.
The Remarkables plunged into mist and snow. For this Aussie girl it was really interesting to see it as long as I didn’t have to walk out in it.
We had classes for three days and we got to sit in bright orange chairs for lunch and morning tea.. Hmmm, I got some ideas for changing my color scheme in our great room downstairs.
On my last day I got to walk the town, take a boat ride on the lake and the temperature rose dramatically. The lupins were out, it is incredibly green on the plains and friend Marg kindly gave me a wonderful tour of the area.
We visited the old Chinese settlement in Arrowtown and I concentrated on capturing texture. Arrowtown is a historic gold mining town in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand. It’s located on the banks of the Arrow River. The banks were full of lupins and other wild flowers, and everything was green.
The environment changed to high mountain very quickly. The highest point in the range is Double Cone (2319 metres). The adjacent Hector Mountains southeast of the Remarkables culminate in Mount Tuwhakaroria (2307 m).
It was a wonderful experience. One to be savored indeed.