Sunday, August 23, 2009

Last days in Queenstown

Buh Bye
The day has arrived for us to say good-bye to Queenstown and move on to bigger and better things in Christchurch. Well, according to most folks at the hostel, the "bigger and better" portion of that statement is up for debate. Below is a summary of all the good stuff that happened in the last two days in Queenstown, to be followed by updates on our trip up to Christchurch, which is where we're sitting now paying $3/hour for internet. Ah, how we miss the free wifi at "The Last Resort" :/

Disc Golf (aka Golf for poor people)
So Friday was spent exploring the local disc golf course, which is nice because it's a) Fun b) Free and c) Stocked full of great potential to see Lawton sucking at sports (btw, this is Swiss writing, an honor that was bestowed on me this AM). To my (and likely Sujit's) disapointment, c) didn't really yield the disaster that I had hoped for.

For you trivia people, the disc golf course that we played is the first official course in New Zealand. We couldn't help but feel nostalgic, so we celebrated by drinking pre-mixed Jim Beam and Coke, as my experience with disc golf usually ivolves some kind of beverage. FYI, drinking premixed JB and Coke is not all it's cracked up to be, and after two cans of what we both considered an overly (and unncecessarily) sweet beverage, we decided that nostalgia aside, this was not a very good idea. Why we had not learned from the tea pots (or kettles as I call them) at "World Bar" two nights before is beyond me. But the disc golf was fun.

This is how we survived the golf course

While you can hire (i.e., rent) discs from shops throughout town, we pulled a classic "Weberstein" and borrowed the discs from the hostel, which had a set of regular frisbees. For those of you who are not familiar with disc golf, it involves throwing a frisbee down a course with trees and stuff, with the goal to "putt" (as in "putting on a green") the disc onto some kind of object, that often being, but not limited to, a "Basket". See picture below of some live putting action.

Queenstown Frisbee Golf

Queenstown Frisbee Golf

Going for the goal...

At times, there were different putting challenges, and being the brilliant player I am, I manged to land my disc on top of a boulder, instead of throwing it between said boulder and a tree. Below you can witness my mountaineering skills, which were only slightly impeeded by the JB and Coke. I think this resulted in a double bogey, which I later made up for with a hole-in-one.

So this is not part of the normal course...

And success grabbing his disc

Since we both were both bascially beginners, we didn't get too snobby about our frisbees. Professional players, I believe, have different "drivers" and "putters" for various scenarios. We, on the other hand, just had one crummy, light, plastic frisbee, which clearly handicapped us. But again, the price was right, and I can use it as an excuse to explain why I had to climb boulders. Jason could use it as an excuse for every tree he hit, no matter how much open space there was for him to throw. Unfortunately, there's no pictures documenting this, but trust me, the quantitity, quality, and hillarity of these events was out of this world.

The big night out
Friday was also the day for the big night out, courtesy of Jess's "work night out". In a sense, it's like happy hour after work, but with a twist: They shower before going out. Before that, however, it was decided that we must try a Fergburger, which I believe is Kiwi for "Hippster burger joint with giant burgers and constant long lines." We also learned that they have a "fluffer", which in the interest of keeping this somewhat PG-13, is not what Americans affiliate with said title. The place was packed, the fluffer was working her game (btw, a fluffer is basically a greeter/line organizer/fliter...or as Sarah puts it, somebody to keep everybody happy, a statement that drew some chuckles from folks familiar with the more traditional definition), and after waiting about 15-20 minutes, we got our burger and chips (or onion rings for Lawton and me).

Dinner from the world famous Queenstown Fergburger

The 15-20 minutes at Fergburger were successfully spent convincing Sarah to come out as well, so the party was on. Things started off at Buffalo club (2 for 1 drinks with room key, which equated to about US $1.91 per beer), and then went on to Winnies. The girls (Lawton, Sarah, Jess) and one of our Aussie friends then went on to 12 Bar, the only gay club in Queenstown. From what I heard, it was pretty empty, and the crew used the entire upstairs as their personal dance floor. I was pretty happy at Winnies, so I stayed there. Also, they have an actuated roof that opened to let fresh air in. Pretty cool. For the record, Sarah managed to sleep THE ENTIRE DAY on Saturday, while I'm sure Jess had a blast getting to work at 8:42 AM :)

Night out with Sarah and the Aussies

Last Resort summary

The Last Resort Queenstown

I would feel amiss to not cover the wonderful time we had staying at our hostel, "The last Resort". For NZD $30 (about 20 US bucks a night), it was truly a pleasure and we both highly recommend you stay there if you make it to Queenstown. The credits can be broken down as follows:

The Girls
Big thanks to Heather (who checked us in, and I'm pretty sure checked me out multiple times), Sarah (aka Jenny Hodson, see picture comparison below), and Jess (loves them Aussies) for a wonderful time. They taught us the rules of "Shit Head" [a card game], made sure breakfast was out in the AM, kept the place clean, and provided hours of entertainment. We will miss you, come visit the US sometime :(

A night out with Sarah (and others!)

...and Jenny

Cocco the House Dog
Unfortunately, Cocco was going through some health issues and was fairly subdued, but she was great to have around. Much like Shannon's dog Loki, she always managed to lie in the most inconvenient places, making navigation around the house both fun and challenging. She had just had a lump removed, and was therefore compelled to wear a cone.

Cocco the house dog

The Perks of "The last Resort"
While the price of the hostel is on the steeper side of what we had hoped for, it needs to be noted that the place came with a boatload of perks that other hostels usually charge for. These things included: Free towels, free linens, free internet, free wifi, free breakfast, and free hot chocolate, tee, and coffee all day. The house was also equipped with a large flat panel tv, surround sound system, and a collection north of 100 DVDs. Being the small size the hostel was, it truly felt like a "home away from home".

My personal favorite, however, was the Tefal Quick Cup hot water heater, which provided an instant cup of hot water for tee or other foods requiring hot water. In honor of it, I post this final picture blelow:

The trusty cup at a time tea kettle!


Kaco said...

Have you guys run into any issues where the hostels have age limits and you don't qualify? We saw that at some places in Europe.

Also, I recommend the Arthur's Pass area on the south island of NZ if you have the time. Very pretty.

Jason said...

No issues with age down here. We took the train through Arthur's Pass yesterday, it was raining sadly though :(

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