The Next Morning, after my great surf day, I started the 4 hour drive up to Queenstown and the mountains that I will ride this winter. There is no direct route, as it seems is the case for many places in NZ, but especially in the south island.
As I drove south of Dunedin, the towns became increasingly smaller, and the land gave way to more and more sheep grazing pastures. About an hour into the drive I started to head west, towards the center of the island and the steep, sharp, toothy alps that attract so many to New Zealand.
The road winded through foothills, pastures and along a wide fast moving brilliantly blue river. The leaves where changing, hinting that winter is just around the corner. I stopped along a bridge and snapped a few shots. It was a tough time in the day for photography, but sometimes when your rallying to the next stop, you have to make due with the light that is there at the time.
After stopping to take few photos, I continued my push west towards QT. The next area of interest was called the Fruitlands, about 2o minutes further up the road.
As I entered the Fruitlands zone, small fruit stands started popping up along the road side. They where overflowing with stock of fresh picked apples, pears, kiwi fruit, potatoes, tomatoes, onions and other assorted veggies. This entire region hit me in the gut, it totally reminds me of home (upstate NY) except for some of the landscape which is tall rolling hills. The climate, fertile growing soil, and many roadside orchards brought me back to where I grew up.
I bought a huge bag of Braeburn apples, and a big bag of veggies for a stir fry dinner. I figured it would be a good way to show my appreciation to my friends that where going to let me stay at there place in Arrowtown, just outside of Queenstown.
I arrived about 2 hours later in Arrowtown. my friends greeted me warmly and we had an epic dinner made with all the fresh veggies and fruit.
It’s been a few days of travel, and meeting new and old friends. I have finally arrived at what will become my home for the winter. The mountains here look steep, toothy and fun. hopefully there will be good snow, with some big dumps for the season. I haven’t been on snow in over a year, and haven’t spent a season near a mountain in over 5 years…..I’m excited!
I just need to find a flat to unload my gear, and a job. I have a feeling the flat will be easy and the job will be hard to find. I am up here 2 months before the winter season starts and the town is quite sleepy. Lets see how this plays out.
Until my next udpate! Thank you to all that have left comments and contacted me over the last few months. It is great to hear from you all, and helps me feel closer to home and friends.