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Day 23 - Isingard, Boromir, and Pip

NEW ZEALAND | Friday, 19 November 2010 | Views [520]

Looking at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, at the mouth of the Dart River, with its origins in the Southern Alps (aka The Misty Mountains)

Looking at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, at the mouth of the Dart River, with its origins in the Southern Alps (aka The Misty Mountains)

The next morning, we jumped into a different van and headed back up to Glenorchy to ride horses all day.  The weather was much clearer and dry, and the scenery was positively spectacular.  Our first ride was for about three hours, around the wide alluvial plain that is the mouth of the Dart River.  It was fun to be on horses, but the scenery was a bit boring since we had seen a lot of it the previous day.  After lunch, we went for a second ride which was a lot more fun.  This was through rolling fields and beech forests, and our guide was a bubbly British girl who wants nothing more than to be an extra in the upcoming "Hobbit" movies.  (Here's a bit of intel:  rumor is that the story is going to be stretched into two movies, by filling a bunch of time with some backround stuff from The Silmarillion, especially the origins of the Rings.)  Anyway, the theme of this particular ride was to see several locations that were used during filming of the Lord of the Rings movies.  We saw long distance Rohan vistas of sweeping hills, the plain that was home to Isingard (apparently the tower itself was never larger than a four-foot prop), the place in the forest where the Urukhai killed Boromir, and some of the rock faces near Helm's Deep.  Anita even rode Pip, a semi-retired horse who saw action during the charge of the Rohirrim in the decisive battle.  We also had several sites pointed out to us from the movie "Wolverine", and our suide gushed about meeting Hugh Jackman.  The second Narnia movie, "Prince Caspian" was mostly filmed in this area, too.  We are now back in Queenstown with sore bottoms, and had a pretty steak for diner.  It seems that the combination of (a) lots of restaurants in this touristy area, and (b) quizzing several locals about good food has helped us eat pretty well for the last couple of days.  Off to Te Anau in the morning...

 

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