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Published: February 18th 2014
Wow, so last night I had the weirdest dream that Jackie Earle Haley was trying to sexually molest me (maybe it's time to stop playing sex offenders in your films JEH?) and when I woke up I couldn't quite seem to convince myself that Jackie Earle Haley was not currently in my room at the backpackers and waiting to do nasty nasty things to me... eventually I fell asleep again and had a much nicer dream that I don't remember (something about cooking and eating I think).
Up bright and early to go on a trip to Milford Sound, the laptop guy is still asleep by the time i've showered, dressed, eaten a few things out of my boot... the boot of my car, it's where i was storing my supplies, don't judge me... so yeah that's a good use of being in a foreign country, sleep all day and watch dvds at night... can't do that at home.
I get the backpacker people to ring and confirm my milford sound trip... good thing too because the glow worm cave trip i thought was the next day is actually tonight at 7pm, whoops!
The bus driver is fairly indicative of
many of the tour-guides and bus drivers around here, in that he displays some good old fashioned kiwi humour... minus the casual (or occasionally not so casual) racism but still with plenty of embarassing sexism, jokes abound about women, children and husband's wallets. One thing he does that's nice though is that he sits me next to someone else who is travelling solo.
After the first photo stop I ask a question about her camera which leads to us talking and hanging out for the whole trip. The girl is from Italy so I pull out the limited Italian I know, which is apparently good enough that I can even make the occasional joke (yay me). The bus trip to Milford Sound is 2 hours or so and it is ridiculously impressive, you let yourself zone out a little or get caught up in a conversation and then suddenly you look up and remember "oh yeah there are huge fuck off mountains towering over us on all sides and it looks rather like Middle Earth having a baby with LOST on steroids or something.
By the time we reach the sound it is raining, not crazy heavy rain, just blah
Fiordland drizzle which mists things up a bit... luckily we still have decent visibility of the landscape and lots more 1950s humour (minus the racism of course) on the boat. I hang out with the Italian girl (Celia or some Italian spelling of that name perhaps?) and mix with a few other people on the boat while admiring the view... the rundown essentially goes; Chinese and Malaysians, very lovely and friendly, ditto the Aussies and Italian, the Americans are a wee bit loud mouthed and opinionated (more so than me) and the English are somehow, despite being surrounded by beauty, able to get into an argument and complain about things.
Everyone tucks into the various lunches that they bought, I just stick with a morro bar that I bought... after all, gotta have a Morro, get more go on Morro... tv jingles don't lie brah.
Once we hit the Tasman Sea, the lack of food in my stomach is looking like less of a bad idea as everyone else is starting to look decidedly (figuratively) green with the rocking seas (rocking as in uneven, not as in led zeppelin) eventually we turn around and head back, good fun, feel
like it would have been even better with SH but such is life.
The bus ride back to Te Anau is much more sedate, the bus driver doesn't give us nature commentary or his jokes from the 1950s or so, most people sleep, me too for a little while but I'm still suitably wowed by the view to keep awake... it should probably be said though that, just like I was able to eventually become a bit blaise about really old churches and museums in Europe, after a full day of "wow look at that mountain, wow look at that valley, wow look at that waterfall" it starts to lose impact.
Oh I forgot to mention, my crappy camera battery decides that it will do a quick dive from half full to EMPTY while i'm on the his beautiful trip so I have to take photos sparingly, finding the thing i want to photograph, make sure there aren't a bunch of people in my way and THEN switch on the camera... even then I run out by the time we're at open sea.
Once we're back in Te Anau I am famished (stupid lying Morro commercials) so I get a decidedly subpar cheese burger from the cafe that the bus drops us off at. I could pop back to the backpackers to give my camera a quick recharge but it's the glow worms, you're not allowed to photograph them and the weather is crap so I read more Picoult and have a cup of coffee instead.
On the boat trip to the glow worm caves I get talking to an old Chinese family before venturing up onto the top of the boat... turns out highspeed boats and rain are not good bed fellows and it's like having my face sandblasted... but with water, so more kind of waterblasted i guess, so sit there are scream at the skies all Lieutenant Dan styles until my face hurts and I wuss out and go back downstairs.
At the glow worm place they can only take 12 people through at a time so the rest of us (after a bit of not very 1950s banter) have a cup of coffee and chat, i get talking to this nice Aussie couple Becs and Emma-Jane and we (along with a couple of other NZers and a Brit couple) make up the last group which is nice as it makes the boat a bit less overloaded.
the first bit of cave you do on foot and it is VERY cool, the river thunders through it and it's not hard to see how you can end up with a giant cave system being formed by power like that. We see one or two glow worms along the way but of course it's the big finale where it all comes together, we get put into the boat and sail off in pitch darkness through the river styx or whatever it's called. The glow worms are the only light and the darkness (other than them) is so complete that several times we bump lightly into a wall that I'd thought was maybe a metre and a half away!
going through those glow worm caves is something special I tells ya, it's like drifting through a galaxy of stars, no sound, no sight other than thousands of glowing dots all around, the floating sensation... who needs to go to space really?! i mean in a glowworm cave you don't risk being sucked into the airless vacuum of space and having the blood freeze in your veins before you can even say "brrrr"
We head back to the boat (almost typed goat... that would be an interesting trip) and lo and behold, not only has it stopped raining but we are presented with the most beautiful sky you can imagine, it's not pitch black but a deep deep blue with yellowish peachy coloured clouds... i try to convince my camera battery to work, think once more about how great it all is and would be great with SH and then just enjoy the goat ride back to shore.
more Picoult followed by no laptop being watched... hopefully Jackie Earle Haley will stay the hell out of my dreams tonight!
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