After Cedar Flat Hut, I drove south and crossed the Southern Alps for the fourth time, again chasing the beautiful sunny weather to the other side of the mountains. I ended up in Queenstown, New Zealand's capital in extreme sports!
So I rented a proper donwhill bike and booked a shuttle to Coronet Peak where I took the chairlift to the top of Coronet Peak. From there, you have no easy route going down. Only intermediate and expert. Guess which one I took? Yes, the intermediate one, I needed to save my kicks for the canyoning on the next day.
So, this is part of the view of Coronet Downhill XC track. It is a 7 km singletrack flowing over ridges and mountain slopes. The powerful downhill bike (Specialized Demo 8, $4600) is doing an excellent job in riding over the rocks and numerous hops. Although I have few experience in tackling hairpins, the track is a beautiful ride!
Next day, I went canyoning! The Queenston Adventurer seemed too easy for me, so I chose the Routeburn Explorer option which is more demanding and for fearless people only. It was a great experience! Jumping from cliffs, abseiling, sliding heads-down into waterfalls, scrambling, zip line travel: it has all in it!
See here for some pictures of Routeburn Canyoning (not from me). Image you are standing on top of a 5 metre high waterfall and that you had to jump right into the white water. You had to trust the instructors that jumping forward was a completely safe thing to do, which is not quite obvious at all. But you see, I am writing this blog so I have survived it all!
Hostel life here is nice here as well. Pancakes are cheap and tasty, so I bake these a lot. My newest invention is the strawberry pancake, it is just a banana pancake but then with strawberry slices instead of bananas. On one evening, someone else was cooking a rice meal, but when it was ready she accidentally hit the table edge and smased all the rice on the floor! So she ended up eating a few of my pancakes and she really enjoyed the one with strawberries. That's just one those little things that make hostel life good.
I will stay in Queenstown until the second of January. Still, time is too short to do everything I would like to do, but I try to make the most out of it!