For some reason, my new acquaintances in the past few weeks have been mostly Irish folks. Not all of them, naturally. There's been several English people, an American guy, a French girl, one Scottish fella- but on the whole I've found myself overwhelmingly surrounded by Irish people. And they're cool. The last few days in Queenstown I've been hanging out with Jon, an Irish guy that was part of the card-playing evening in Hokitika, and his group of (mostly Irish) friends. And I've been enjoying it immensely.
Tomorrow I'm planning to get out of Queenstown, which is good, as this place is notorious for sucking the money out of travelers. The goal is Stewart Island- the little island below the South Island- which is essentially one big nature reserve. There's one teeny town where all, like, one hundred residents live. The rest is wilderness and wildlife. To get there, I shall have to pass through Invercargill, which I've been assured is one of the least inviting places on Earth. I'm sure I'll survive.