Ol’ Pompey gave us a good scare, but we were off to the Milford Sound with smiles on and fingers crossed. I wish I could write a story about how sweet the Sound was, but it rained, and we had to cancel our kayaking excursion… still batting .999 on the season, so we couldn’t complain, plus the next stop was Queenstown, a place everyone raved about.
One of the things you learn about traveling is that managing expectations is a big thing in life. When we were undersold on a place or adventure, we ended up being pleasantly, nay, overjoyed with surprise. In this case, we were told great things, and upon arrival it was clear, these people were not hyping.
Charlie cautiously took Pompey down the bending road, which curled around another beautiful lake, Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown sits right at the edge of the lake, and the surrounding mountains give you an immediate feeling of, “Ooh, this is cozy!”
As we drove up, Ira phoned up the people in charge of the skydiving, and made a reservation for four to jump the next morning—there were five of us, and Marty wasn’t feeling it, so I had to make a decision whether or not to cancel before 7 o’clock the next morning… the adrenaline was already pumping… I do not like heights… or tiny planes… or being attached to a man… who isn’t Doug…
Driving through the town, there was a palpable buzz, an energy that moved the entire town. Everyone seemed to be riding the high of adrenaline that comes with booking an adventure, or finishing one. It felt good to be apart of it.
We found a hostel called Southern Laughter, which had funny idioms written on the walls, and a summer camp feel. It would be our favorite hostel we’d stay in, and we even got our own room with five beds… can you say pillow talk!?!?!?
Charlie was keen on playing Edward Scrumpy Hands that evening: instead of forties, you’d attach Scrumpies to your hands, and see what happens. We found Scrumpies, but no tape, so we just made a pact sealed with blood (as is tradition) to not let go of our scrumpies until we finished.
A scrumpy comes in what looks a liter of sprite, and tastes like carbonated white wine… not very easy or tasty to drink. One Scrumpy down, I felt like a high-schooler after two games of ruit in the Prusoff bassment, “Yo” I laughed, “I think I’m drunk already… haha!” After both Srumpies, we were all silly, and on our walk out, Charlie started spewing in the bushes.
“NO MAN SPEWS ALONE!” We chanted, and joined him.
The street of bars was phenomenal—low-rise buildings with music blasting out into the streets. We stormed into World Bar, enjoyed some phenomenal music they were playing, dance it up, and enjoyed the beautiful scene.
I’m sure this song/horse has been beaten to a pulp in the States, but Will.I.Am’s Scream and Shout had come out and it made the boys lose it that entire weekend… let’s be honest, in da club… this song BANGS.
“Ahhh SCREAM and SHOUT andletitallout!” blared, I bounced around the club, attempting to chat up the beauties that littered the dance floor… to quote my main man Sir Winston Churchill, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Toward the end of the night, a few of the boys met some generous Australian girls, and four o’clock came out of nowhere. We’d be jumping in five hours, and there was no shot I was waking up and canceling… I had decided before my first drink, “Ahh what the heck. I’ll jump!”
Moral of the Story: 12 hours in we already realized Queenstown is the truth.