Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day 14 Milford Sound

WE awoke so excited. We were off to Milford Sound. An overnight experience. We had booked and paid for this while at home. It had been fairly expensive but it included everything. So when we got out of bed and saw drizzly skies and fog everywhere, for a second we were concerned, but then we realised we had prayed specifically for this time and then we knew it would be good.
So up and packed, breakfasted on our supply of goodies and were off. So much to do before we could leave. Alan and I had decided we would buy the camera for me as I was not happy going to this great place without a camera. We got that, after spending ages on the net at the Te anau Library (which was free)

Camera bought, Petrol topped up in the car and tramping supplies (LOL) we were off.
Nothing could have prepared us for the amazing journey we had. The views spectacular and as the cloud and rain disappeared, the steam on the road was incredible, the snow, everything was just breath takingly beautiful. We passed reflection pools and so many amazing sites. Saw more of the Kea birds (the local bush parrott) Such a funny bird and heaps more.

As we climbed higher into the mountains the views became more and more spectacular. Suddenly we were about to enter the Homer tunnel. We had read about the homer tunnel and how the traffic is worked on a one way system with traffic lights..we had been told to be prepared for an amazing view..etc BUT no one told us that in avalanche season, which was when we were there, with warning signs everywhere not to stop that there are no traffic lights. Another thing no one told us was that the Homer tuunnel is VERY dark. Like really dark. As we approached the tunnel there is little warning..maybe 200 m from the tumnnel..no time to stop and think m(no traffic lights) suddenly we went into this hole and bang..darkness.. "Mary turn on your lights" "yes they are already on Alan, I need my glassses, my sunnies are no good in here" and then suddenly buses coming the other way, hazard warning lights flashing..seemingly taking up 75% of the road. It was incredibly scary..It is downfhill all the way so the good thing was the buses were going very slowly.

All I can say is the scenery was just magestic. after the tunnel and as the road went steadily downhill and all we did was go "ooo" "wow" "gosh" It really was great. Even though I was driving i still was ooing and ahing.
We arrived at Milford and found out where we needed to be and then went and had coffee at the one little coffee place there. After that we walked down to the terminal, and saw for ourselves how beautiful it was. There was a waterfall that was sending as mist over everything. By this time it was about 3.30 so I walked back up to the car, drove it down and unpacked our gear and sat and waited. Alan was so excited.
Come 4.30 we boarded, were given a quick run down (safety check included) shown our cabins and we were off.
That afternoon we saw some of the Fiord (which is what it really is as it is caused by a glacier) and then we parked (dropped anchor) for the night and went out on a tender (a small boat) where we saw penguins, and seals. I might add here that God once again looked after me. I prayed to see penguins and we saw penguins and seals. The other boat saw nothing.

We declined to kyak or swim but the 30 or so high school kids (who we were lucky enough to have along with us, for the night) all did (FOOLS) just in normal swimmers. I might add it was freezing on the water and we were told  the water temp was about 9 degrees..ha I swim only when it is over 25 degrees..
Back on the boat, wine, yummy dinner, informative talk, a walk out on deck (ever so briefly to admire the stars) and bed. A great day
















PICTURES
 * One of the reflection terns we passed
* Avalanche warning signs. they were everywhere
* Some of the mountains around us
* Al after another photo shoot
* Homer tunnel with a warning sign not to stop..note the snow.Caused by an avalanche a few weeks earlier..
*Our first glimpse of our boat
* Al checking in at real journeys counter
* the next 3 are just some from the boat..beautiful
* Al and I freezing about 5pm on the small boat
* Photo of the big boat from the little boat
* One of the Fiordland yellow crested penguins.. (native to that area)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Just thought I would do 5 favs

Gosh its been so long..I realy apologise to my myriad of friends..\

My 5 faves this week are..

1.. having my friend Lara back. I didn't realise how much I missed her..but she is now back and staying within 2 hours reach so I am stoked.

2. Knowing my daughter Kirsty is so talented..re her painting. I already knew she was talented as her scrapping is awesome..but her painting is WOW. check out her blog..

3. Having time alone in the house. Al is out at his photothingy tonight and AJ breezed in for 5 mins and is gone again. Its just me and Molly..good times..

4. A glass of icy cold white wine after a long hot day..so nice and refreshing..and relaxing o YES.

5. Going to the Melbourne cup luncheon with my sister and friends Jenny and Marilyn. So fun and so good..Jenny and Helly and I all won stuff (Helly even won a bottle of wine lucky door prize) It was good fun..We really enjoyed dressing up and wearing our 'fascinators'.

Thats it for my favs..I thought I would add an extra list for this week..things that make me foul

* Hot weather..sucks. We have had hot weather (around 30-35) since August on and off..YUK What will summer bring???

* Plus then there is the  humidity..woah..today was sauna like..Horrid horrid

* being on a diet..I have been on one my whole life (well never just eating what I want. Always thinking ...no thats not good..shouldn't have that. I'd love to never have to worry and just eat whatever I like.

* blood tests..trying to get in early. All the old dears who have nothing better to do hen race down to the pathology office at sparrows. (a really important day for them) Heck I MUST have my blood tests done TODAY at sparrows. One almost gets run over by the motorised scooters..rushing down to the pathology office..NOOOOOO

* House cleaning..I hate that too..wish I could get someone into clean. I feel I would allow someone to do what they are passionate about.. and then I wouldn't have to do something I really hate.

Ok enough for this week..I will keep up with my NZ holiday. Hope you are enjoying my day by day commentary.  I can tell you are by all your comments..LOL

Ok thats it

Day 13 Lake Te anau

We arose and had a lazy morning..self service breakie again..We had a late check out so we took advantage of it.. I finally wrote some postcards and then left them downstairs at reception for them to post for us..they finally arrived back in Australia about 4-5 weeks later..so bad..


We set off slowly taking in sights and enjoying the ever changing landscape.
We had morning tea at a cute little cafe, complete with shetland pony and picnic tables outside. It was relaxing. We were surronded by windmills (modern ones ) on hills and Alan took heaps of pictures.
We arrived in Te anau and checked out the itag place and then into town where we found our "cheap" accommodation $120 (nz) a night. It was very dodgy but clean and ok..

When I say dodgy I just mean it was very dated and like a little house complete with hallway..seperate toilet etc and the bathroom was so dated..quite funny really..then we set off for a walk into town..

We booked in at real journeys for our overnight cruise the next night and got the run down on where to park etc..then headed off for sight seeing. Al took a picture of me with a Takahe statue  and on handing the camera (my camera ) back to me we both managed to let go and broke it..V SAD..
We both were in shock. Our big day the next day on Milford Sound and me no camera.


We went to the local store and he only had some point and shoot cameras..so We went and had coffee and decided to think about it. He did however confirm that the camera was broken..


On the way home we called in to the Moosehead pub and ended up staying for dinner. Alan watched the footy and drank and I played the pokies and drank and then we both had dinner and continued to drink..a perfect night really. Just what we needed.


Then we walked (stumbled home) well really we weren't so bad but it was a great night. albeit I had a broken camera. It had been a good day very relaxing..and we were way excited about the next day








The entry to the Queenstown snow fields..v famous. Al nearly had a heart attack when I pulled off here. He thought I wanted to go all the way up to the fields..
About 40 mins out of Queenstown and still the lake comes. Looking back towards Queenstown.
The view from our "dodgy" hotel..great view.
Me and my Takahe
The final picture with my "ol faithful"

Smiley of the Moment