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Brian Oh: {food, travel, photo}

New Zealand (iv): Of Mountains and Clouds

The morning after hiking Roy's Peak I awoke to clear skies and frustration. Conditions were perfect and I couldn't help feeling a tinge of disappointment that it couldn't have come a day prior. For a minute I considered the possibility of staying in Wanaka another day to hike back up Roy's Peak, but the logistics and the numbness in my legs dissuaded me. I took one last look at Lake Wanaka, the fresh snowfall on the surrounding peaks, and its iconic tree and I headed out toward Glenorchy. The drive from Wanaka to Queenstown is a brief one. I chose not to stay in Queenstown because it seemed more of a tourist center than anything else. It's referred to as "adrenaline junkie heaven" with guides for bungie jumping, sky diving, speed boating, etc., but for my money I'd much rather experience the land as far as my own two legs can take me (or four wheels). But just north of Queenstown is Glenorchy, which was one of the most idyllic places I've ever seen. Following the coast north along Lake Wakatipu, the road stretches out over undulating hills as towering mountains reach upward toward the sky like jagged teeth covered in mint toothpaste.

Unfortunately, I was running short on both time and energy. This tends to happen on these post work-trip trips, but I really regret that it happened here because it makes me much less inclined to take as many photos as I otherwise might have. Being in one of the most beautiful places on earth makes that kind of a bummer. I also had to make it back to Christchurch the next evening so I couldn't linger for too long. Nevertheless, Glenorchy is a place I'll envision when I close my eyes at times of stress or frustration. I'll imagine swimming in that icy blue water and climbing its mountains. I'll imagine doing all the things I didn't have the time to do when I was actually there. And I'll make myself sad.