This is my last full day in Queenstown and it is a lovely day.
I am almost recovered from my experience with Covid – just a little bit of a stuffy nose, but I feel like I am pretty much back to normal.
There is little wind and the sky is blue. I caught the gondola to the top of Bob’s Park and saw some wonderful views along the lake and the the Remarkable Mountain Range. There is a new gondola being built that will carry 10 people in each car, rather than just four. every second car today was full of young guys with Mountain bikes. I think they were all too poor to afford a return ticket so they were riding back down on their bikes.
Down at the Steamer Wharf on the lake, the TSS Earnslaw was making ready for its next departure. This ship is a 1912 Edwardian twin screw steamer and is the only remaining commercial passenger-carrying coal-fired steamship in the southern hemisphere
She was built in Dunedin, about 180 kms away in 1912 . When construction was finally completed, she was dismantled. All the quarter-inch steel hull plates were numbered for reconstruction much like a jig-saw puzzle. Then the parts were loaded on to a goods train and transported across the South Island from Dunedin to Kingston at the southern end of Lake Wakatipu.
The Earnslaw worked with her sister ships, the paddle steamers Antrim and Mountaineer and the screw steamer Ben Lomond, transporting sheep, cattle and passengers to the surrounding high country stations. In 1968, the Earnslaw was very nearly scrapped but she was fortunately rescued and is now very popular as a tourist vessel.
I found a nice pub by the wharf for lunch – there are so many places to eat here in Queenstown that you could not starve, even if you tried! I enjoyed a plate of New Zealand’s speciality – Green Lipped Mussels in a beautiful creamy onion sauce. Just delicious!
The final thing that makes this a good day is that I received notice from the travel insurance company that they have accepted our entire claim for the medical, hospital, air fare and travel expenses from Jill’s hospitalisation in Singapore. Now, I’m just waiting for their refund of about $55,000 to be deposited in our bank account.