Milford Sound - March 28-29
This place is as beautiful and magical as promised. The mountains rise from the water like mystical monoliths, surrounded by mist and clouds; with waterfalls rushing from inside the mountain; seemingly from nowhere. I stayed in the cabin suites for the night which was hugely expensive but really nice after a moderately difficult hike and the hut snorer. I had a chance to walk around before nightfall and experience not only the wonder of the place; but why not many people live there - THE SAND FLIES.
They attach you in droves like rabid dogs going for the kill. So I did NOT bring the mosquito hat I had; bad move. It is a constant battle fanning, swathing and brushing these things away. An aboriginal legend ends with a God putting sand flies there to keep people away - it works. I sent Amedee an happy birthday video as she turned 25 today. She had a great evening planned and even received my gift prior to the date!
Mar 29, 7:30am; a 4 hour kayak explore around the Milford sound bay. I was placed in a group of 5 American tourists along with 2 Central American doctors - all on a New Zealand adventure. They were well travelled and so very interesting. Our guide was such a character, as were the doctors, so we all had a good time. We were in double kayaks, I was in the front so in charge of steering. Thank goodness Reg and I have sea kayaks a few times I made out OK. The ability to get so close to the shoreline, the waterfall, the deal we found playing in the water was fabulous. My compadres invited me for a taco lunch which was very much appreciated as the food is SO expensive here! What a great place - reminds me of Tofino on Vancouver Island. What can I say - NZ is like a mini Canada!
1pm; back to QT. By a long 7 hour bus trip back to Queenstown; uneventful and rather peaceful.
I stayed that night at a downtown Queensland hotel and Chris had kindly delivered my enormous amount of luggage and wine to my hotel - after quick dinner set for the night; after a wonderful bath (they have been such a rare commodity!) in a cute bungalow with some wine overlooking the QT bay.