The V in NZ … written by Big Virge 15/01/2016

So, having travelled ….

A VERY LONG WAY … !!!!!!

My arrival in NZ, came, just about …….

…. without, a last minute mis-hap ….. !!!!!

Taking my time, having gone through the rather, rigorous security checks at Sydney International, I very nearly, missed my Qantas Airlines flight, into Queenstown.

I’m developing a bit of a habit of either, missing flights, or, ALMOST… missing them, so, upon finally hearing the last call for my name, I had no idea how far away the gate was for my flight !!!!!

So, I did as much of a Usain Bolt as I could, with my hand luggage, and luckily, got there in time for me to be transported, via my own bus, to the aircraft, and finally, was on my way to my final outbound destination !

I have to say, considering my distaste for Sydney, and the Australian vibes I had been encountering, since landing in Fiji. I was very impressed with Qantas, very nice seating, and entertainment, and pretty good food too !

Thus, a quick flight across the water to Queenstown, NZ, and wow, what a view as soon as you could see the landscape of the, South Island !!!

Having alighted from the aircraft, not only was I greeted by warm weather, but, as i’m sure it is, with most people arriving for the first time in this part of the world, my jaw dropped, when looking at the views that surrounded me, mountainous ranges, a plethora of different greens, from hillsides, to trees, to basically everything around us, even a couple of snow capped mountains, far in the distance !!!

Thus, my dream of seeing this country, with my own eyes had been fulfilled, so, through customs, and time to get to my hotel, and get to enjoying this experience !

It would seem that travellers’ cheques are now, somewhat outdated, as it took forever, to get some currency, but, the young ginger gentlemen, who worked at Travelex, after having to call a few heads, managed to get me some local NZ Dollars.

The airport in Queenstown is a well designed, very clean, and impressive building, every other vision, was an advert for some kind of outdoor activity, from assisted, Parachute Jumping, to Bungee Jumps, and the list went on and on ……

So, immediately upon leaving the airport, a cab pulls up, and, off we go, he explains the trip is basically 10 mins, and then, as I hear his accent, ask what his deal was, and, he was the first of numerous immigrants, I was to meet.

Just to give you an idea, I met immigrants from Germany, like the taxi driver, Holland, Scotland, England, America, Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Taiwan, China & India, within my two week stay …..

This must have been the first place i’ve EVER, been to, where I did not see or meet a black immigrant, anywhere, during my entire stay, crazy, but kinda nice to have the white boys, take care of my bags upon arrival, one of the few, White Kiwis I met in Queenstown !!!!!

It’s crazy, but yup, from a colonial perspective, NZ has an abundance of nationals, from other places, who have not only visited, but have then, through sponsorship programmes, found work, and made lives for themselves, in this beautiful part of the world, and when you witness the beauty of this country, in the summer, as I did, you can see why !!!!!

The 1st of December, being the official, beginning of summer, was when i’d arrived, in slightly overcast conditions, but, by the time i’d unpacked and indulged in the suite of a room that overlooked Lake Wakatipu’, it was a beautiful, sunny evening !!!!!

At first glance, the lake was an awesome vision, extraordinarily clear water, and ducks galore, at it’s banks, chilling near to a jetty where the local water taxis stop, and dock, before ferrying people back to Queenstown itself.

The Hilton complex is a very well designed, I guess, you could say, mini-town of it’s own, everything, from a spa, to pub grub, and a more, snooty vibe of a restaurant. A cafe, art gallery, swimming pool and jacuzzi, and plenty of conference space for the business traveller.

I was of course, as stated, a singular entity, in being the, one and only, black person in the hotel.

The workers, were either asian, or caucasian, a welcome change from what I usually see when I travel.

So, off I trotted for a walk, and from the first walk I took, which took me through a place called, ” Peace Park “, I knew i’d made a smart choice to come to NZ, while i’m young enough to enjoy it, even with my number of ailing body parts, as I age.

45 …. ain’t that old, granted …

…. but, it’s old enough to know that certain trips are not gonna be so easy, in future years, so, I quickly, took in the sights, a beautiful sunset, gulls lounging on one of the many jetties, on either side of this, Great Lake, and a very pleasant hour was spent acclimatising, and taking in the sights, that were literally a walk away from my hotel room, which overlooked the lake …..

Worth EVERY PENNY … !!!!!

Fireplace, Bathroom, with a PROPER Bath, shower, and seating area, with table and chairs outside

Pure NICENESS !!!!!

So, off for some food, hit the pub, which is not as it sounds folks, this wasn’t, some Albert Square, wannabe’, type pub !

I was greeted by a youngish’ looking, bearded Scot, Phil, who indulged in conversation, while he worked, and we struck up a chord, pretty much, straight away. A cool guy, who wasn’t seemingly, aware of where the Maoris, I was keen to meet would be … LOL … !!!!!

We did laugh when one of his colleagues was like, there is a Maori show at The Peak, a tourist attraction, 20 minutes away, in Queenstown !!!!!!

So, upon looking at the menu, there was a nice range of foods, lots of meat, and some gourmet-ish’, type additions, weekly barbecues, local wines, and a couple of local beers, which I tried, and found to be, well brewed, and i’d say, a 6.5/10, in terms of the beers i’ve tried over the years.

This was far from being, some, cheap and cheerful, ” Pub Grub “, type vibe ……

So, back to my room, to catch some Z’s, and to get ready to sample the world of the South Island of New Zealand …..

Experiences that I shall expand upon, in my next few blog posts …..

But Finally …..

The V was in New Zealand …… !!!!!

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