My days in Queenstown and New Zealand are tick-tick-ticking away, and I'm starting to reflect on my stay here.
Do I have any regrets in coming here? Not a one.
Have I done the things here that I wanted to do? Mostly. Looks like I'm missing Australia this time around. Have technically been to Wellington twice but haven't experienced a lick of it. Haven't been to Dunedin yet; will hopefully sneak a quick trip in right before I leave. Otherwise, I've done everything I wanted to and more.
Will I come back? Yes, but I don't know in what capacity. At the very least, there's some top-notch backcountry terrain that needs to be slaughtered with a snowboard. At the very most, there are some opportunities to work here professionally that are enticing (read: not bartending). And there's lots in between.
What's accounted for a good portion of my thoughts lately, however, has been a long string of Lasts. I have been to Wanaka for the last time. I have ridden over the Crown Range for the last time. I have told many acquaintances "see you next time" when, in reality, it's unlikely I'll see them again. I have played golf here for the last (and first) time. I have swum in the lake for the last time (today...damn cold...) I have watched the dimming light from Jacks Point for the last time.
This list will get longer with every passing day, and each Last seems to serve a dual purpose: it makes me savor the particular moment or experience, and it makes me just a little bit more wistful.
Today was a good Last: my last view of the rugged country behind Ben Lomond. I made a quick trip to the Saddle to soak in some quiet time overlooking the freshly-dusted, jagged, wild peaks, and it was indeed good.
Cecil, Wakatipu, and some tussock
And what we came for...looking north from Ben Lomond Saddle
As could be expected, I'm looking forward to some Lasts and I'm dreading others, but for every dreaded Last, there's a new First waiting on the other side. And that doesn't suck.
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