February 13. I woke up with my computer not working, and I just spent over 2 hours trying to fix it. Ben woke up with me and immediately took up the challenge in helping me fix it. He knows how important blogging is to me and without him I don’t think I could have fixed it. It’s almost been 2 weeks with the group and I can’t believe how close we have become. It’s the perfect amount of people, with everyone contributing in some way or another to make it the perfect group. I also realized I’m starting to run low on money, the $500 I had when the trip started is dwindling, but I think I can make it through the month if I budget correctly. I’m really proud that I haven’t lost anything so far; I used to lose countless items when I was younger.
We have 2 more nights here in Queenstown, but there is so much to do. Our time here is all optional free time, allowing us to do whatever we want. Everyone here is so friendly, and it is a gorgeous town surrounded by a gorgeous landscape. There is usually live music playing outside our hostel window, and it’s all great music. A bunch of us are thinking about taking a tour of the Lord of the Rings landscape, but it’s expensive and might not work out. It rains on and off here a lot, so that might make for an unenjoyable trip. We might just visit the Lord of the Rings store in town to make up for the journey, but we’ll see.
Today Steran, Caitie, Jade, and I are luging. It’s not like the luging in the states, where you lay on a skateboard with a high chance of a fatal accident. This type is a kind of cart, where you sit in an open plastic seat with three wheels and a steering wheel. You pull the handle towards you to go, and away from you to brake or stop. It’s simple, but so much fun. I’ve only done it once before, at Beaver Creek.
The four of us hiked to the top of the town, where there was a gondola. Along the way we saw a car with a huge lizard on it and we took a picture (click my slideshow if you would like to see it). We took the gondola up to the top. We bought three rides each for only $20. We got on helmets and were instructed that we had to take the scenic track before we drove on the advanced track. The scenic track was fun, and we all raced each other to the bottom. It became more competitive as we drove down, with us kicking each other carts and crashing into each other. Jade ending up winning the first race, but we vowed for revenge.
The next two races were, you have probably guessed, on the advanced track. The turns banked so hard that Steran and I were literally riding on two wheels half to time. There were also huge drops where the cart would leave the ground entirely. The girls took this one a bit slower, so Steran and I were head to head the entire time, crashing into each other to gain a lead. I finally was able to pull ahead after a good shove to the side and come out with a win. Tempers were flaring before the next race. The girls were ready for a comeback. Steran and I thought it would be prudent to team up together. Both girls had lost their fear of the course and sped down as fast as me and Steran. We kept the girls off for a while, until Steran crashed headlong into a pile of tires. Caitie made a break for it and streaked off towards the finish line, bellowing her triumph. It was an exciting race, but the girls got us in the end.
After we gathered up Steran we walked to the photo shop. We saw all of our faces during the race. Steran and I were making ridiculous expressions, more like barbarians roaring than anything else. Jade’s face was screwed up in concentration, but Caitie’s was the most priceless. Her face was expressionless. She looked almost bored. It was hilarious to see how we were all excited and screaming, but her face made it seem like it was just another dull day at the luge track.
At 3pm we walked home, wanting to take a power nap. We actually didn’t realize how tired we were and slept until 6pm! We only had 30 minutes to get ready for dinner, but luckily we ate in today. We had massive burgers from a restaurant called Ferberger. I could barely finish mine even though I had eaten nothing all day (because I was too busy with my computer and luging). We lay around the lounge of the hostel afterwards, nursing our food babies and laughing about the day’s events. The others had hiked around the landscape all day and they told us of about the awesome scenery. Then Steran popped in a movie (X-men 3) and we all huddled around the TV. Yet again they went out partying afterwards, and yet again I’m here blogging. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not fussed in the slightest. I’m happy to have some alone time after a day with everyone. I’m having the time of my life.