Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Queenstown Part I (The Bad)

Gorgeous scenery in the Queenstown area
Since we arrived 10 days ago in Queenstown, the "adventure capital of the world", our experience has been a mixed bag. Our first impression of this tourist town was not good.  As we drove into Queenstown, we were overwhelmed with the blatant consumerism and tourist-targeted money grubbing.  Bungy jumping, bunjy swing, 4WD tours, paraglide, parasail, skydiving, helicopter/plane tours, alpine slide, monster truck driving, flying fox, jetboat tour, kayking, rafting, river diving, the list goes on...  Luckily, the surrounding landscape, dominated by snow-capped mountains and a large glacial lake, is so breathtaking that you can almost forget about the overdeveloped center of it all.  The area was the sight for many scenes from The Lord of The Rings -- all of those scenes where you think to yourself, "Where is that?!".

My clipless bike shoe was dismantled during the crash
We prematurely panicked when we found ourselves amongst the trendy shops, raucous springbreak-like 20 somethings, and rich tourists.  We quickly retreated out of town to reassess our options. We found a nice bike trail along the lake, and started to feel better about the area.  That quickly changed when I had a head-on collision with another cyclist on the bike trail.  It was a blind corner and both of us were going pretty fast.  He put his head down and bashed it directly into my bicep -- good thing he had a helmet on to sustain the impact from my big pipes.  The guy kept asking me if I was okay. At first, I couldn't answer him.  Both of us stood up, and I realized that the sole of my shoe was gone -- a testament to the force that removed me from my bike.  As I hobbled up the trail, the guy asked me for the 20th time if I was okay.  My answer: "I'm fine, I just need to get the sole of my shoe...".  I did, in fact, find the sole of my shoe. Fortunately, I only had to hobble about half a mile back to the van.  I must have landed on my arm, because I was convinced that it was broken. I decided to postpone the hospital visit until the next day, but in the morning, I was shocked at how much better it felt.  However, with the "broken" arm feeling better, I noticed the other deep bruises all over my body.  Looking back on the accident, I feel sooooooo lucky that I didn't break anything -- what a major bummer that would have been.  

Stay tuned for Queenstown, Part II...

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