Trip Start Jun 04, 2009
79Trip End Sep 06, 2010
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We are getting ourselves settled down in Queenstown now quite successfully we have covered all the usual aspects, got ourselves a mobile phone, bank account, national insurance number and even a house! Only thing missing is a job which I have to say we haven't put a great deal of effort into…there’s just too much to do!
Firstly the haircuts went well apart form the fact I’ve gone for a quite short bobbed cut which really needs to be maintained with straighteners, which I can’t afford, luckily it’s so cold here that I don’t think I’ll ever take my hat off anyway. During the day in the town it is usually 5 or 6 degrees but it doesn’t snow down here as the town is so low. This poses a problem as I thought that everyone would be wearing their ski gear and hiking boots as the norm but in fact it’s quite a fashionable town and we look like we’ve just rolled off a mountain somewhere in our, now quite battered, traveling clothes
The budget has been hit very hard since we got here and we have already spent about three times as much as we did in South America in one week here! That is partly due to us buying season ski passes which set us back about £600 each and as the ski hills are a coach ride away from town we had to invest in transport passes on top of that – quite horrendous but there was no way I was able to talk Steve out of the chance to ski everyday.. It did mean that we had to start improvising some ski gear pretty quickly to get ourselves up there which meant that I was padded out in three layers of clothing (i.e everything I own) covered in waterproof trousers and a rain coat. Thanks to our friend from Whistler, who sorted us out with skis and boots while we are here, we have some money left in our pockets to try and pick up some clothing bargains so this only has to be a temporary measure.
There are two main places to ski here 'The Remarkables’ and ‘Coronet Peak’ both of which we have explored now and offer spectacular views of the surrounding valley
Other exciting news is that we have got ourselves a place to live, its in a big house by the lake and our room has French windows at the end that open out onto a balcony with amazing views over the mountains. I don’t think we will ever shut the curtain! Not sure how long we will stay in Queenstown but this place allows us to pay by the week and the landlord doesn’t seem too concerned if people skip out after not long so it’s pretty ideal for us right now. If you would like the address details to post us lovely letters and things just let me know (I won’t put the details on here as it’s a public site).
On one of our first nights here we were invited out for a leaving party for a girl called Olivia which meant we all had to dress up as something beginning with the letter O
Funnily enough at the moment Queenstown is being used to film a Coke advert but they are pretending its Whistler
As you can see we have definitely been taking advantage of whatever free events are going so imagine my surprise when I went to join the library and to join they wanted to charge me $40 (about £20)! I was speechless, especially as I have been trying to get my hands on the last Twilight book since Bolivia and have been mocked by seeing it in Spanish for the last few months, this was unbelievable. On top of this daylight robbery we’re trying to get used to the Swedish rounding system that Queenstown uses, every time you get your change they round it to the nearest 10 cents so sometimes you pay more and sometimes less than you should. This has meant that we have to meticulously keep track of if we are winning or loosing money, at the moment after about 12 transactions we are 4 cents up - but I’ll keep you posted on our progress!
I was aware that we didn’t really show off Queenstown in the previous photos so we’ve been on a few hikes to get the best views and photos to really show it off. It’s nice to be in the centre of town and just decide to go on a hike, you can just walk in any direction and be on a hiking trail in 10 minutes.
I can’t believe how long I’ve been waffling on for given we haven’t done much apart from ski and hike! It’s a nice relaxing change that I can write to you while tucked up in a massive queen size bed with views of the lake rather than bouncing around on a truck wondering when the next toilet stop will be. It obviously doesn’t mean I’m going to be any more concise in explaining things though. I’ll see what else I can find for us to do to fill another blog for you soon – hopefully it will involve jobs!
Amy and Shooping Steve