Departure

We are at the Queenstown airport for the start of our journey back to the U.S. We at least get to break up the trip with a stopover in Los Angeles for a couple days. It’s going to be weird, I’m sure, to depart on Wednesday morning and arrive on Wednesday morning.

Mount Cook at sunset.

The day dawned bright and sunny after two days of cold dreary rain, but we have no complaints. Overall this was a terrific trip. We missed our golf outing due to the late spring snow on Monday, but of all the things to miss that was the least important. It would have been fun, but we have plenty of golf opportunities. The flight into Queenstown is also supposed to be dramatic but due to our aborted flight from Milford Sound we missed that, but hopefully today’s flight out will be nice. The above is one of my favorite photos of the trip. If we had poor weather at the end, we were fortunate to have such great views of Mount Cook.

A typical NZ road

Our hotel in Queenstown was Brown’s Boutique Hotel, and while it wasn’t our travel agent’s first choice we found it comfortable and a convenient location. The city itself isn’t large; everything in the central core is easily accessible on foot and the airport was only a 15-minute cab ride away.

Seat back advertisement on our Milford Sound plane.

Last night we had our final dinner at a place called The Bunker, so named because it lacks any windows. But the small cozy room had a roaring fire going, which was needed last night, and the food was good. It’s a hearty fare type of menu, kind of typical for this country it seems. It has a nice cocktail bar in a separate space above the dining room that was also nice. It was the first real cocktail bar we had seen.

A kea bird. It’s a parrot of sorts. Smart and mischievous.

We do have one weird observation about the country – there seems to be a fixation on music mixes featuring stuff from the 70s, 80s and 90s, which we heard in nearly every restaurant we went in around NZ. It’s like the Y2K thing resulted in no new music reaching these shores since the turn of the century. Seriously, it was Billy Joel, Elton John and Bon Jovi everywhere and all the time. Including here at the airport. Very strange.

Footbridge on the Hooker Valley trail at Mount Cook.

One comment

  1. It’s no wonder this is one of yur favorite photos

    I don’t think there’s one that would even compete

    I’m happy you and Pat got to see this and the other beautiful sights

    that Kea bird looks pretty big and can probably cause some trouble

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