While the World Fell Apart (Part One) – Queenstown / Te Anau

“On a Mish” #219 While the World Fell Apart (Part One). Queenstown / Te Anau. Aotearoa. 20.3.2020. I was surprised to learn that Aotearoa had dropped its final Covid restrictions, as I had no idea there were any still in effect. Looking back it is so good to have all of that rubbish in the past, and what a rocky ride the whole thing was. 2020 wasn’t the best year for all of humanity, and it was also the year that I had my hip pummelled by a large fridge door. Before the injury my folks had booked a spot on the boat that was my workplace / home, and even though I wasn’t going to be able to work I was still keen to go on a mish and catch up with the team I used to work with. So while the world began to fall apart overseas we headed for the calmer waters of Patea / Doubtful Sound…

After a successful season on the Fiordland Navigator I was on top of the world. Along with the epic job I also had bought my first house (in Te Anau), and was in a position where Fiordland was at my fingertips. Oh how the times did change!

While out amongst with the rocky waves of the Fiordland Coastline / Tasman Sea, I was bashed to the ground in the most unusual fashion. After picking myself back up I headed down to my cabin to see a massive bruise starting to form and from there it was a downhill journey, starting with an ultrasound and x-ray that revealed only the beginnings of a long battle.

After it was obvious I wasn’t going to be heading back to work anytime soon I had to rethink how I was going to live my life. It was apparent I was going to need to make many journeys to either Invercargill or Queenstown for scans and specialists, and driving wasn’t on my to do while broken list. The fact that I could only have an MRI in either Christchurch or Invercargill was the final sign that I would be better based up north than struggle to survive in Te Anau. As amazing as the little town by the big lake is, it lacked the medical support I needed. I hitched a ride to Queenstown Airport and as the mountains of Fiordland disappeared behind me I hoped it wouldn’t be long before I’d be back.

Ironically, it wasn’t long after getting back up north that it was time for my parents to go on their trip on the boat I used to work on. I talked with my old bosses and they said I could join them on their mish. This was excellent as it meant I wasn’t going to be away from the epicness of Patea / Doubtful Sound for as long as I thought. It really did seem as though the world had handed me lemons but then had also turned them into lemonade without me really doing anything!

Lake Wakatipu & the TSS Earnslaw

The stage was set for an awesome adventure. I could sweep aside some of my injury anger and replace it with the anticipation of heading back to a place that I was so lucky to call home.

Our plan was to break up the journey south to Te Anau with a couple of overnight stops along the way. I knew the biggest challenge was the drive as my hip could only take an hour or so in the car before I had to get up and walk / shuffle off the discomfort. Luckily the weather was on our side and we drove towards our first destination of Queenstown on a sunny day.

After a couple of stops we made it and checked into a motel which seemed to be a little down on customers. This was all good with us and we also had no trouble making a booking for dinner later on that evening. It was as if something was beginning to scare all of the tourists away and a mass exodus had begun…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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