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Beyond the Pale - A 'pale' is a fencepost. The English Pale was a boundary in Ireland marking out the part of Ireland under direct English rule circa 1450 (which included Dublin and environs). Those that lived 'beyond the pale', outside of English rule, were considered out of control and uncivilised. You decide...

Wednesday, December 6, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 31) - NZ South Island

Survived!
THE ADVENTURE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD AND ON...

Turning up to Queenstown with a limp, turned out be very appropriate. It is the mecca for adrenaline junkies. It's where you throw money, caution and gravity to the wind. You can go bungy jumping, canyon swinging, sky diving, and afternoon snoozing. I was definitely not the only injured party dragging myself around town. Lian pegged it off to go bungy jumping and Sharon shot off to fire guns at a range. I took a load off and hung out with some very sound English girls we had befriended on the Kiwi Experience. Ironically, we all bonded over our shared skepticism of the ability to make friends on these tour thingys.

It is literally impossible/illegal to stay in Queenstown and avoid doing some outdoor crazy pursuit. So we signed up for a skydive. I had done a bungy jump in Switzerland many years before and had found that enjoyable but scary and was in no rush to repeat it. I was mildly apprehensive about the sky dive. As it turns out, it's a totally different kettle of fish. We did tandem jumps where the instructor is strapped to you (no WAY was I doing a solo jump). The jump is a very calm exhilarating feeling (hhmm, is it possible to be calm and exhilarated at the same time?!).

They fly you to something like 15,000 feet, you scoot over to the open door of the plane, and you just lean forward. The freefall is the exhilarating bit, when the parachute is opened that's when calmness descends and you'll never want to come back to earth.

Christchurch really reminded me of England. Stone churchyards, English country gardens, Miss Marple booting around town on her penny farthing. It's actually the main place I want to come back to in NZ and explore more thoroughly. I am a sucker for quaint places/people. In fact I secretly want to be Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote, knocking out books, cycling my bike around Cabot Cove, solving murders by pointing out the bleedin obvious. Perfect life.

Kaikoura is a pretty sea side town. If you want to do any type of water based activity, this is the spot to do it  in.

Picton, the clue is in the name, it is very picturesque, white picket fences, picture perfect picnic scenery, and other 'pic' words. Also, its only a ferry ride from Nelson in the North Island.

If you had to choose between the north island and south island, the North Island has a lot to offer but if you only have time to visit one, everyone knows the South Island is where it's at.

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