Sunday, 24 October 2010

Hardly anyone likes jazz ... but we all put up with it

Monday 25th October 2010 (Labour Day bank holiday)

MP3 track of the day: Ring goes south - Lord of the Rings

Weather: Beautiful and sunny, not so hot either

2nd Place wasn't bad for Lewis Hamilton. After a very eventful Korean GP I was happy last night as Lewis had closed the gap on the new championship leader (that Spanish cheating, lowlife, self-centered ... git) but it's still an up hill battle. Still if anyone can do it Lewis can and I can't wait until Brazil in two weeks time. I didn't stop for a Furg Burger last night, instead I went straight to the hostel kitchen, where I found it closed ... hey-ho, I wasn't that hungry anyway. I then went straight to sleep and skipped tea.

Well the plan was to get up early, beat the crowds, and take a load of photos of Queenstown before anyone was up to ruin the shot. Well this didn't happen and I eventually got out of the hostel around 9am. The weather was beautiful and, to my amazement, there weren't too many people around either. My first port of call were the Queenstown gardens; a beautiful green piece of land that pushes out into the lake.

Firstly I went around the outside of the gardens, taking photos of the lake, with the mountains behind, before heading into the centre. The gardens were okay; there was a nice stone bridge, that was very photogenic, and an old bandstand. After this I kept along the lake front and headed on a 1hr 30min trail to Frankton. The lakeside walk was lovely, more of the same lake and mountain scenery that you can never tire of. Looking down into the water I was amazed at how clear it was; it reminded me of water in the Rockies, Canada.

By now it was early afternoon and I decided to head back to my hostel to eat the lunch I had purchased yesterday. On my way back I noticed that one of Queenstown's many green squares was covered with people listening to the free jazz concert that had been going on since last Friday. It didn't sound too jazzy and so I changed my afternoon plans.

Instead of heading out for another walk, I decided to go back to the jazz festival, find some shade and listen to the acts. I have to admit, I did enjoy the music; it wasn't too jazzy and watching kiwi's relax on their bank holiday was interest to. Apart from one man with two placards stating 'Save the people of the shire' (apparently Warner Bros and Peter Jackson were coming to New Zealand this week to look at it as a possible film location for 'The Hobbit' and the Kiwi people are trying to make sure that Tolken's middle earth remains here) everyone was very English, minding their own business and having a good time ... but not standing out from the crowd. I have found this 'Englishness' more and more as I travel here; actually sometimes I would go as far to say that it's stronger here than at home. Whilst walking today I often gave a 'good morning' or 'hi' as people passed me by, and not many returned the compliment ... some even looked a little shocked and returned to minding their own business ... even in the UK, when you go for a walk people do say hello to each other, I found this very odd.

Also what is it with jazz festivals. I found myself pondering the question 'why a jazz festival, why does it always seem to be jazz music'. After twenty minutes of internal debating I came to the conclusion that jazz is a 'safe' music type to play. I mean no one actually likes jazz that much, but no one really hates it either, most people will listen to it if it's on. Anyone reading this blog, go to your CD collection and count up all your jazz music CD's and compare the amount to other types of music and I bet you that some other types of music will easily out number jazz. This other type maybe funk or rap or rock and roll from the 1930's which you really like ... but other out there would hate it and might even complain to a festival of rap music in their own town ... and this my friends is where jazz comes in, the happy medium; it's not offensive, it a little classical for the old people and has a beat for the young. Jazz is Rowan Keating; you may not particularly like him, but there's nothing to hate him for either.

I had decided, in my mind, that my time at the jazz festival would take up the rest of the day, as I planned to be there until the bitter end which I reckoned would be 5ish. 2:30pm it all finished; I had only been there an hour and now it was all over. I got my map out of my back pocket and consulted it. Looking at the map I found the '1 Mile Creek' trek and decided that I did have enough time to walk this.

I walked to the start of the '1 Mile Creek' and had two options; the first one, straight in front of me, was a path leading upwards that would end with me being half way up a mountain, which would take me around an hour to complete. The path to my left went down the mountain, and back to Queenstown via the lake, which would take around twenty minutes. Being fed up of climbing mountains I opted for the down hill track and that was very nice indeed; it followed a stream all the way to the lake in which the stream fed into. Once here I followed the lakeside path all the way back to my hostel.

Not sure what the plan is this evening; the $5 meal here sounds good (Fish and Chips) though I am tempted with one final Furg burger before I depart Queenstown. It will be an early night tonight, my bus to Mt Cook leaves at 7:45am and I don't want to miss it.

Toodle Pip!

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