After a slight (but beautiful) detour at the beginning of the day, 'you can't get lost in NZ' we were on track to Te Anau and the 'sounds'. Jenny had pre-booked a Kayak trip around Milford Sounds but the weather was closing in and we were forced to cancel. In fact, the road from Te Anau to Milford was due to close that evening. We debated it for a short time and decided we would try to make it that afternoon. The journey on the way was scenic itself, we stopped at the Mirror Lakes and a sign for Knob's flat (there seems to be a theme of what we find amusing!). We made it to Milford and it was a stunning sight. It is as if mountains are growing from the clear water, sprouting waterfalls, mist and gorgeous greenery covering the peaks. We took some photos of the brilliant views and then avoiding the sand flies we made our way back to Te Anau before they closed the road. James, Jenny, Rob and I took a short walk to a waterfall and then ran back like children to the van.
We had a day in Te Anau to amuse ourselves and without the option of Milford we had to explore Doubtful. The boat trip was pretty expensive but G&C very kindly treated us all and what a treat it was. Some might say the weather wasn't ideal as it was cloudy and drizzling all day but I think it made the trip much better. The boat took us through the 'roads' of the sounds and we saw the rocks, mountains and waterfalls peeking out through the clouds. It was extremely atmospheric and there was a lot of the Jurassic Park theme tune being hummed, well I am not sure what Chris and James were humming. Jenny got very enthusiastic embracing both wind and rain as she chose to stand on the top deck, getting soaked and nearly losing Rob's hat to the winds! She really was 'at one' with the sounds!
There were some good food places in Te Anau and for our last night we went to the most upmarket place in town. The evening turned a bit raucous when Chris called James 'Graham'! None of us could stop laughing for ages, and then we laughed even more when we attempted to explain to the next table why we were crying with laughter. Even now it makes us laugh but I am pretty sure it is a 'had to be there' moment! The fun and games didn't stop there. We plotted the entire walk back to make G&C jump. So we began to walk in a huddle and then James slyly peeled off as Jenny, Rob and I continued walking so they wouldn't suspect a thing. Then at the last minute James pounced Chris's first instinct was to push Gail towards the target, this made us laugh even harder!