Another two weeks in Kinloch

Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, January 13, 2006

Well, two weeks in Kinloch has just flown by. Had amazing weather - from snow overnight just after I arrived to glorious sunshine to torrential rain and a heap of fun in between as well.

The first challenge was to keep up with Cody on his run. If I had been running, there would have been no chance, but luckily I was on a bike! Still, up the hills, I'm not sure I had any speed advantage. The second challenge was to jump in the lake after the hot bike ride. A bit of a Kinloch tradition is to jump off the wharf. Bearing in mind the snow only a week previously, I had in my mind very cold water from the snow melt. So with some 'oh my god, what am I doing?' questions running through my head, I took the plunge and dived in. It was incredibly exhilarating hitting the water and a few choice words came to mind, but it was great to do. The swim back to shore was less enjoyable, the thrill was over and the water was freezing. But I did it! Headed for the hot tub to recover and what a nice way to warm up again!

After a weeks work, I had enough hours built up for a couple of days off. Lisa and I had a great day in Queenstown, lunch out, couple of beers, bit of shopping and generally being girls. It was great and even bumped into a few of our old guests!

And then there was annual Glenorchy Races. I had to buy a hat in Queenstown (see photos for lovely, lovely hat!) but the races here are very different to the last races I went to - Ascot! People bring their trucks to stand on as a grandstand, haul in old sofas so they can picnic and basically have a ball. All the horses are local working horses and the jockeys are their owners (if they are brave enough) or people they have persuaded (bribed, cajoled, blackmailed) into riding for them. Lots of races, some with a twist. One where they went around the track, then picked someone else up who sat on the back and both of them rode for the winning post. Another good one was the relay with a baton being handed over from horse to horse (by the jockeys, not the horses!). I even had a winner in one race - very exciting! Most of the staff were able to make it over to Glenorchy for the races and we had a big night out in the pub with the rest of the hordes having a fantastic night. Great atmosphere, great band, great company and lots of dancing.

Then it was another week of work doing much the same as before - bit of working, bit of walking, bit of kayaking, bit of running and a lot of chilling out!

Today has been my last day and I thought I would go out with a bang. Canyoning. What a complete blast! Fantastic way to get very very wet and a develop a few bruises to prove you have done it. Canyoning is basically finding a way down a narrow gorge which has masses and masses of water gushing down it at high speed and high volume. So basically, you're taking your life in your hands (and signing the form saying you don't blame anyone for anything!).

Kitted out in two wetsuits (it's blooming cold water), harness, lifejacket and helmet - I looked completely hideous. Anyway, Lisa, the rest of the group and I walked up part of the Routeburn track to a bridge. The same bridge I walked over a month ago thinking 'anyone who jumps off here must be completely bonkers' and then promptly jumped off the side. It took me a few nanoseconds to ignore the total fear and panic and jump into the pool below, but it was just brilliant and I was grinning from ear to ear when I surfaced. From there on in we jumped off rocks into big pools, abseiled down rocks and dropped into pools, firefoxed over the canyon and got dropped off into a pool (can you see the theme here?), slid through and over waterfalls and generally got very very wet. It was sooooo good.

Got to the bottom and wanted to go straight back up and do it all over again, with only a short stop for masses of chocolate. Would highly recommend it to anyone that wants a bit of fear and lots of fun in water.

Just watched the almost full moon rise over the mountains in clear skies and over a very still lake. What a way to go.

And that's it for Kinloch. Off out on the road north again - heading for the beach. I think I need it!
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