Christian's Little Jaunt
After leaving Wanaka on the 19th with monumental hangovers, we got holed up in Te Anau for 2 nights because about a mile of snow had fallen between Te Anau and Milford Sound and the sound is so remote that they close the access road due to avalanches. Made the most of it though - walked through a bona fide dank rainforest, and also took a boat trip out to see glowworms in their natural habitat, ie the dark. Odd little things really - fine, they grow up to become flies, I can see the point in that, but to hang around upside down in a pitch black cave, with your only chance of eating coming from the rather strange ability to make your stomach glow luminous blue... well, in my book it's a tad peculiar but it still rocks cos it's nature, innit? There's hundreds of them in this network of caves, and you sit in this tiny boat while your guide rope-pulls you along a canal-type thing until you reach the worms' grotto. Craning upwards, they look like an array of blue stars in the midnight sky. Then on the 21st we successfully reached Milford Sound - the photos say it all. To say it's remote is like saying that Bongo has a bit of a Northern twang - you can see why it's one of the natural wonders of the world. Rainforest meets sea meets mountains in an untouched wilderness. The lodge where we stayed runs on generator, therefore 11pm - g'night all. The 22nd, we hired a kayak and our guide Jason took us and some dudes from Wales out on the sound itself. The plant life is like something out of Jurassic Park (5, Abi?), like it's literally been there for a million years. Saw a couple of sealions posing on the rocks and also a couple of penguins, but they're very shy so no photos of those lil characters. An avalanche came down one of the mountain ranges behind one of the huge waterfalls that crashes into Milford Sound - a pretty humbling site. Beautiful.