Heavy rain woke me up yesterday after my cold advanced quickly, but by the time I had a hot shower and hot tea and generally combobulated myself, the rain had disappeared and the clouds were quickly vanishing.
My first stop was a pharmacy for some medicine, and then the best bagel I've ever eaten before hitting the road for the 6 hour trek south.
The drive started out flat, with some snow-covered mountains off in the distance. Eventually I headed at them obliquely, and soon enough, I was in the foothills on some lovely terrain. Much of the day was spent dodging between mountains and then arriving at sparkling lakes with majestic peaks in the background, more than just a dusting of snow on them.
I arrived in Queenstown as the sun was setting and decided to rest at the hotel in the most comfortable bed ever. Eventually I headed into town, a small urban area of 20k or so, but this is a ski town and the middle of school holidays, so all the residents were working to handle the tens of thousands of visitors.
It was like being in Vegas with throngs of people wandering the streets, queued up for seats at the better restaurants. Soon I found an inauspicious tavern a few kilometers outside of town for some delicious corn fritters and more hot tea.
I'm now on a bus with 47 of my closest strangers, voluntarily hurtling ourselves along twisty and windy roads on a motorcoach, headed for Milford Sound for what should be a very scenic day. No wifi or cell signal down there so pics will probably not show up until late.