Emeryville Amy

This blog will be a combination of my favorite places in the Bay Area and abroad, memoirs, recipes, restaurant reviews and travel experiences.

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Location: Emeryville, San Francisco Bay Area, CA, United States

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Queenstown and Manapouri

Queenstown and Manapouri
It is almost paralyzing to try to figure out which activities to do around here. If I were made of money, I would try them all, or most of them at least. Some of the option are: hang gliding, parasailing, kayaking, jet boating, bungee jumping, luge, gondola rides, helicopter rides, fixed wing flights and numerous boat cruises. Since we couldn’t quite decide right away, we chose to go early to Te Anau after coffee from Starbucks and a stroll along the waterfront. I felt more confident behind the wheel today, less white knuckled. At Te Anau we got some pamphlets at the visitors center and had a picnic lunch by the lake before heading to our accommodations at the Manapouri Lakeview Motor Inn in Manapouri.
We couldn’t believe the view from the parking lot of the Inn. We are literally by a lake that is ringed with snowcapped mountains. The Alps in Switzerland have some stiff competition! We drove around to our room and parked . I was still getting my things out of the car when Laurel cried out and dropped to the ground. The view through our glass door through the far window was so stunning that she had to pretend faint. The joy in the scenery was real though. We could be happy never leaving our room even if it is tiny and made of cinder blocks. The view from the back of the hotel is comprised of pastures filled with sheep and more snowy peaks in the far distance.
This is Lord of the Rings country and we decided to go see a few locations that are not on the official tours. This required a bit of off-roading but good things are worth a little effort and we paid for tire insurance. The first stop was by a river. I think it was where Frodo and Sam go off on their own after splitting from the company. The next stop was to a swinging bridge over a river. It was the trailhead for a bunch of hikes. We walked through the lovely green forest for awhile, enjoying the ferns and moss and trees with the occasional lookout over the river. Our last stop was to the bog that was the “death swamp” or something like that. I stopped the car next to a large flock of sheep to get a picture but I ended up scaring them and the entire flock ran away. Laurel just laughed and took a video.
I am now sitting at a picnic table sipping a diet coke, gazing at the snowy peaks and writing about my journey.


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