Road Trip!!!

True confession time, I have had this blog post in my draft folder for ages.  I hadn’t realised how much driving, eating and drinking and even a bit of running we packed in on our 4 day South Island trip, and and how long retelling it all would take.  I also realised that if I am getting exhausted writing this, you no doubt will fall into comas reading it.  But because I  have a target of 40 blog posts to hit by 31 December – which I can’t really see being achieved, I am going to inflict this sad half finished effort on you all.

First things first, here is the official yes I ran the Queenstown Half Marathon photo.  And of course I have picked the one of me smiling not the one with the Oh My God what am I doing here expression.

Smiling for the camera, grimacing once past the camera

Now that’s done I can write about the real reason my support crew came on along to wait around in the cold while I went for a long run.  Road Trip!!!  And road trip we did.

Mr Brett had never been to Queenstown before so I thought it would be really cool if we drove from Christchurch to Queenstown so he could really get the Mainland experience.   Unfortunately it didn’t start off that well, I left my driver’s licence in Frank the Tank which meant Brett was now going to have to do all the driving .   I didn’t do it on purpose ok.  And we couldn’t actually find out how to start the mighty Commodore aka the Green Hornet, because these new fanged cars don’t need a key to start them you just push a button.  Not that the rental car company thought we needed to know that.  Fortunately I was able to redeem the forgetting my licence – not on purpose ok, by working that one out.

Green Hornet stopped on the Crown Range where signs say avoid this route if towing.  Truckie be like Yeah Nah

Then we (alright Brett) had to drive for the longest time 483km approximately, in rain and cold and mist through amazing scenery that we couldn’t see much of because of  said weather.  But it was still freaking awesome, because your gentle rolling hills of Jafa Land this is not.  There is mountains and blue blue rivers and big rocks and schist and just land and no people’s or anything for ages and ages.  So when you come to a place with a dog statue, you damn well make the driver stop to look at that.  There is also a church there – but dog statue!!!  I am referring to Lake Tekapo, which really is beautiful – pity about the weather.

Statue to recognise the awesomeness of the dog. I approve

We also stopped in Twizel.   Not a lot can be said about there, except Kia Kaha to all the men, women and children who came there to develop the hydro power projects so I can play on the interweb in a nice warm, well lit home.

Finally we made it to Q Town.  Well out the back to be honest.  We stayed at the THC Nugget Point, which met most of my requirements, great price, and not right in Queenstown.   It also had amazing views of the Shotover, and a fabulous library.  What it didn’t have was a bar that was open outside the restaurant hours – boo.  Sometimes the struggle is real I tells ya.

As good nutrition is important for the well tuned athlete as well athletes running a bit rough – like myself, we went and had dinner at the Amisfield winery that night.  What can I say except it is great.  Fabulous food, in a beautiful setting, with nice friendly helpful staff.  I know it definitely helped my running prep.

The next day the weather was heaps better, so we did a bit of tiki touring.  We went over the Crown Range, to Wanaka (home of a beautiful lake and about 100 camper vans), and then back to QTown via Cromwell

View from the Crown Range over to Queenstown

We had to stop in Cromwell because I needed to go to Rockburn Wines to meet the winemaker there Malcolm Francis – no relation to Mr Brett.  Malcolm is a great guy, makes one of my favourite wines – Rockburn Stolen Kiss, and he is really clever and funny on twitter.  So yes he is a twitter stalkee acquaintance of mine, and he was nice enough to make time to meet up without arranging a security detail.

Another advantage of visiting a wine maker is they know where the good eats and drinks is at.  Malcolm recommended Mt Difficulty and Wild Earth wineries to us, and by golly they were lovely spots to visit.

Lunching at Mt Difficulty – noice

It was about at this point of the proceedings that I realised that it would probably make sense to slow up on the carb loading – alcohol is a carb right?  And treat my body more like a temple and less like a disco.  Brett however was able to go full Studio 54 – if Studio 54 closed at 9pm.  Because I had a race to run, and I was going to run it by golly.

As you know I runned and I finished and I survived, and I could even walk the next day.  Great success.

This is the point where my post got moved to the Drafts folder where it has stayed languishing for the last few weeks.  So I will distract you with a photo of the view from the Wild Earth winery where we stopped for lunch on the way home.  And if you are very good or very bad boys and girls one day I will let you know what we throught of Oamaru and Ashburton and Rakaia.