Monday, March 8, 2010

Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound.

**Updated, finally.

I wanted to post some photos because I'm dying to put them up here. Our trip to Fiordland National park and Milford Sound was truly incredible. We hiked up to Gertrude's Saddle on Saturday and took a boat cruise in the sound on Sunday - camping in between with banana, strawberry and peanut butter crepes for breakfast courtesy of Tyson. I'll be back to write about it tonight!

***Wow, I can't believe I haven't written in a week. I'm not sure what's behind that, but the natural urge to write and storytell just hasn't been flowing. I haven't been feeling well, and we had a friend from CSBSJU come to New Zealand and happen to pop by for a visit the last few nights making for less time and motivation to get online. Alas, I am here. Writing. Feels good.

I've quickly realized that some of lack of inspiration I've had for New Zealand is because I haven't really seen much of it. Living and working in Queenstown has been relaxing and wonderful, but I wasn't really feeling like I was actually living and working in another country. Most of the people I meet and work with aren't even from here and I spend my days working at the shop, making dinner and then reading my book or relaxing which isn't too much different than life anywhere in America. ...and then we went to Milford Sound. It was on that trip that I realized how stunningly beautiful this place is and that living and working are very different from traveling and seeing this place.

We set out around 7am on Saturday morning and from the moment we rounded the bend out of Queenstown until we rounded that same bend coming home on Sunday night, we saw amazing beauty around every bend inbetween.

Here's one. Yep.

Oh look, here's another.

And when we happened upon this golden field it was need-based that we pull that car over and just run around for a bit and play.

Zoom in and find a Fraggle in there! Look at my hair!

On Saturday we'd made plans to hike up Gertrude Saddle - an area between the town of Te Anau and Milford Sound. I hadn't heard much about this hike and Tyson had received endless advice from co-workers to definitely make it happen. Here's the range where Gertrude's Saddle lives.

The hike started out hiking through this valley with 360 degree stunning views. We walked along a little dirt path for about an hour in this valley and I knew it wasn't going to last forever. Soon we'd have to start climbing.

And climb we did. This was one of the more difficult hikes I've ever done, but totally worth it.

Clearly, worth it. We reached the top and munched on some snacks while looking out to the Tasman sea and Milford Sound.

Saturday night we made our way to the Cascade Creek camp ground (sounds familiar doesn't it?) and these were our views as we cooked up some dinner and sipped a little red wine.

And I have to say, Tyson discovered this genius breakfast concoction = Peanut Butter with sliced strawberries and bananas in a tortilla heated over the flame of a backpacking stove. YUM.

Sunday we headed to Milford Sound with a hot coupon in-hand for a buy one, get one free boat cruise! The cruise wasn't that great but it allowed us to get out and see the sound and the fiords up-close. With every announcement from the boat captain, tourists flocked to one side of the boat or other snapping picture after picture of the same things. It was mildly hilarious, and mostly irritating as the woman who crammed to the guard rail next to me snapped her gum like a teenager with a whole can of bubble tape in her mouth. Ha! I nicknamed her "Chewy" and we chuckled our way through the whole cruise.

On land it was a tripod explosion with the celebration (finally) of Doreen's going away gift = the bendy tripod that attaches to all things on earth.

And finally, a sunset on our drive back to Queenstown. A lovely weekend indeed.

So we are starting to make our plans for leaving New Zealand and heading home to Seattle. I'm both gutted and so excited. I cannot wait to get out and travel and meet people and see new things! Its traveling that gets my blood moving and my soul stirring. But I'm also very sad to leave. In some ways I don't feel quite ready, like we just arrived here. And in other ways I feel so excited to get back to Seattle and see friends and sleep in my bed and grab a coffee down the block at my favorite Joe Bar. It will be bitter sweet most definitely.


deb&greg said...

I don't think we will see that in Mexico next week. very cool. Dad

NinaRRheaume said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
deb&greg said...

give us a call mom

deb&greg said...

HEY....are you two finding any great rocks? You know how i like rocks love mom

hales02 said...

lovely! i miss you - call me - i'm on skype now...