There’s always something exciting about towns like Queenstown. The place is a jumping-off point for adventure trips of all sorts; every second shop is selling outdoor equipment, the others are selling excursions. Most of the people in the town are tourists wearing boots, many of the others are people on working holidays from all over the world, and squeezed in amongst those are some locals with permanent smiles reflecting a recession-proof economy. For us Queenstown is the starting point for walking the Milford Track.
We awoke this morning to blue skies, snow on the surrounding peaks, and a slither of hope that we could avoid the sort of rain that saw the Milford Track closed a couple of days ago. People were wading through waist-high water on flat parts of the Track and children were being carried. It was just this sort of thing that led us to book the easy option for the track with warm showers available at the end of the day. We had a chat with the people organising our trip this morning and discussed the closure, I liked her line: “If you are free-walking and the track is closed it’s a real problem for you; if you’re with us, it’s our problem not yours.”
In any case the forecast is better for the next few days so we have some reasonable hope of not walking throug the midst of a full-on storm. It would be foolhardy, though, to think we’ll avoid rain entirely; and even just walking down the road to dinner last night reminded us of how debilitating it is to walk through real rain.
We did some last minute shopping this morning amongst the various outdoor shops – as much for the fun of exploring the shops as out of any real need. We also, in an entirely different vein, sorted out Internet access – something which gives me an overwhelming sense of achievement every time I manage it in a foreign country.
Tomorrow we embark on our adventure.