What a beautiful day in Queenstown! Picture perfect weather and a 9:40am start time. I needed the extra sleep this morning after yesterday’s long day going to and from Milford Sound yesterday.
We only had to walk across the street this morning to board the TSS Earnslaw. It’s an old coal burning ship launched in the same year as the Titanic, 1912. Sailing up Lake Wakatipu reminded me a lot of Lake Chelan. At the end of the ride is Walter Peak and a high country farm with sheep shearing and good eating, however, the only way in or out is by ship or flying, the same as Stehekin in Washington State.
We watched the sheep shearing first. A very amiable young man showed us the shears, both electric and manual. He explained that good shearers can shear about 300 sheep in a day. As he started the demonstration, I thought it looked like hard work. He put the lamb’s head between his legs, and he kept it there. He says that he does this to stay in control of the lamb. It didn’t take him long to cut off the fleece once he started either. I took a bunch of video of the sheep shearing, but you’ll have to check back in my final blog for some of the videos that I can’t upload until I get home to my computer.
Next we saw the shepherd working his sheep dogs. There were two and a small flock of five sheep. One of the two breeds barked a lot to get the sheep moving. One sheep got separated from the flock right away and one of the two dogs kept trying to bring it back. We finally lost sight of it, and the shepherd said that it is hard for the dogs to bring in a single sheep. I was surprised at how the dogs went up and over the fence to herd the sheep. The demonstration was interesting and concluded with the second dog coming back in without that one lamb. Later I heard that the lamb got into the water, but since there is no place to go, probably headed back to land. The shepherd did not look distressed about the loss of that one sheep at all. (This is very unlike our tour director, Brent, who gently rounds us all up without dogs, counts us carefully, and never leaves anyone behind. He stakes his reputation on that!)
After that, we went right away to our first buffet of the day. It was very tasty, and we ate outdoors in the glorious sunshine. I ate something called date pudding which I liked very much. It was sort of a date bread with caramel sauce poured over it. The pudding was hot.
We had to sort of hurry to get back on board the Earnslaw, but the trip back was spent in the forward deck singing old songs with the pianist. Brent, who is probably somewhere in his mid 30s said that the songs missed a generation-his! It was fun though.
When we returned, Judy, Gary, and Garrett along with 15 other members of the tour group hopped on a bus and went down to the Shotover Jet Boat ride. Carol and I took a nap and then shopped a little in Queenstown. Gary has a video of a Shotover Boat Ride, but I didn’t download it. I’ll see if I can get it for my final blog.
At 5:30, we met again after enjoying wine in Judy and Gary’s room. Nigel took us all to Skyline Queenstown where we took the gondola up the face of a mountain to an observation deck and restaurant. Our reservations at the restaurant were for 6:30. It was another buffet with wonderful food and a wonderful view of Queenstown, Queenstown Bay, and the Remarkables Mountains. My dessert tonight was a wonderful meringue, called Pavlova after the ballerina.
Brent warned us at the beginning of this day that we’d be eating well; he wasn’t kidding.
It was the perfect way to end our journey together. I will miss Joyce the Second and her husband, Roger Hofer, and Wendy and John Damm. Tomorrow we head home, and somehow we gain back the time that we lost. I’ll be arriving home on Friday at 5:15 pm about the same time as I left New Zealand on the same day. How nuts is that!
I think I can safely say,”Where does the time go?”
One of the first things I’m going to do is check in with Weight Watchers. This trip, especially after a double delight buffet day, is bad for the waist. I’ll be very glad to see my husband, Ken, but thanks to WhatsApp, we have been able to talk almost daily. InguessI’ll be glad to see Diego, my little poodle again, too. Ken says that he sometimes goes out by the fence to wait for me. Tomorrow his wait will be over.
Judy and Gary and Garrett and Carol will also be happy to see loved ones again, too. We missed you all.
Don’t forget to check back in a day or so for my final observations and some videos. Thanks for following me and commenting. I love to blog, and it’s really nice to hear from you.