Ain’t nothing going to break my stride – 24th November 2011
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Grandma - you will be pleased to read that I resisted the temptation to bungee jump or skydive as we passed through Queenstown! I figured that fully functioning legs are quite important if we are to continue our quest to walk the entire length of New Zealand.
It was time for us to visit some of the places where Lord of the Rings was filmed. This was all a bit lost on me as I have not read the books and fell asleep whilst watching one of the films shortly before we left the UK. Stuart was quite excited. Glenorchy was our first stop. This is another stunning little place with lots of walking opportunities. We chose to do the gentle Glenorchy Walkway which gave us a nice flavour of the mountain vistas. There are more challenging walks in this area but they require a four wheel drive to get to the start. I was not disappointed by this as the walking of the previous days had taken its toll on the old knees! I was disappointed however not to have spotted a hobbit - I am starting to think they are not real.
We had not quite reached our walking target for the day so on the way back we stopped off at Bobs Cove and walked the Twelve Mile Delta. Bob - are you also Sir Bob of New Zealand because you seem to have a lot of things named after you?
Up above the streets and houses Rainbow climbing high - 25th & 26th November 2011
From Queenstown we made the relative short drive to Te Anau which was to be our base to explore the Fiorland National Park and Milford Sound. Before donning the walking boots (surprise, surprise) we dropped our bags off and had a bizarre conversation with the Motel owner about his recent hip replacement and the fact that his old hip was to be made into a walking stick - umm very odd! The next stomp was a walk along the Kepler Track to Rainbow Reach. This was another prime film location for the wee little things but again no sightings. Not much else to say here other than we reached our walking target which made Statto very happy!
Today was the day to visit the Milford Sound and the sun had his hat on hip, hip hoorah. It was a couple of hours drive from Te Anau and included a ride through the Homer tunnel - this was very long and very dark! The other Homer did well to get us to the end without incident.
Apparently this was the first day that the sun had shone for at least two weeks so we were very lucky and it made perfect conditions for the short boat cruise along the Sound. This was lovely if not a little windy - see photos. I was happy because I finally got to see a little penguin who was swimming in the sea - a little too fast to capture on camera but cute all the same. We followed our relaxing cruise by a quick climb up to the key summit which forms part of the Routeburn Track. We were rewarded with views over the Humboldt and Darran Mountains. Stuart also made friends with some curious little Kea birds.
Now my precious I'm off to soak my aching pins. Sleep tight x