milford sound

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January 16th 2009
Published: February 22nd 2009
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the next morning it was up bright and early and off to milford sound for our overnight boat trip. we headed out of queenstown and were on our way! then we stopped for some ridiculous add on train ride. then we stopped again in a random housing development. then again for some other random reason. basically what probably could have been done in a couple of hours was stretched to seven (yes, this is our reflection on tours in Australia and NZ - tours are for people who think life is a journey and would like to spend more time getting to their destination; they are not for people like us who want to spend more time at the destination). anyhow, we had a slightly bitter driver who's commentary reflected the waning tourist economy and missed opportunities to have bettered his life. that was super annoying, but we mostly tried to sleep through it.

as soon as we hit the mountain areas and went through this scary death tunnel that leads you into the fjords it became rainy land. susan was absolutely in awe of the waterfalls - there were hundreds of them and the rainforest and the animals. i was asleep except when enlisted as photographer. From Susan: It was one of the most incredible sights of my life - these sheer mountains and water gushing everywhere. Streams, and rivulets, and waterfalls - hundreds of them. And the mist and fog. Toisha and I got out and did a walk through one of the gorges - it was a real rainforest with tree ferns and sculptured rock from the water. AWESOME!

we finally made it to milford and after about thirty minutes we boarded our boat, the wanderer (now there is a cheap boat - the wanderer- and the high falootin' boat - I don't remember the name. they go to the same places and i doubt the quality of people on the other one was better so we would certainly recommend the cheaper boat) and headed out into the sound. it would alternate between drizzly and downpour so my aversion to being wet kept me inside. susan was loving it though - I (susan) didn't want to miss a thing and was very happy that we had bought long raincoats and long underwear. :] i (toisha) did come out though when they were getting in close to one of the waterfalls 'cause i wanted to touch it (yeah, yeah, i know best way to stay dry. ever!). it was weird though cause it was just white mist! then of course as they pulled out a big wave came over the side of the ship and completely wet my shorts. yay. susan found this terribly funny. another ship brought some dolphins our way (they were swimming on the bow of the ship), but there didn't seem to be to much wild life about.

couple of hours into the sailing they anchored and we were offered the option of kayaking, nature boat tour or swimming. we decided to go kayaking. it was sort of surreal to have these towering walls around you with waterfalls flowing down them and rain falling out of the sky, but we both loved it! now the water here is FRIGID, but there were some youths and a few crazy adults who jumped in; susan was of course one of them. i think she did it three times (IT WAS FUN - the water was so cold it would take your breath away- seriously, if you stayed in the water long, you would get hypothermia). after the recreation they served a lousy dinner and opened the bar (for those looking for something as smooth and fine as bud light, go with the export gold in nz, they don't have toohey's extra dry here). OOOH! and if you were a vegetarian you had the lousiest dinner ever 'cause you got a huge pile of coleslaw as your entree. seriously. a lump of coleslaw. as an entree. ridiculous. (I (Susan) was laughing as I watched the vegetarians' reaction to being served coleslaw - and to add insult to injury they put a huge bowl of coleslaw for anyone to take right next to them).

the rest of the night there was game playing, we did some cards and scrabble and then i (toisha) joined a game of cranium. my team won, but you knew that already ;p And Toisha made me (susan) play even though I wasn't interested in mixing with anyone and the one party game I absolutely hate is Cranium but it turned out to be a lot of fun. Plus, I had been drinking the vodka. Did I mention that we bought a bottle of malibu and rasberry vodka for the trip, and I was the one who drank most of these bottles! Toisha kept buying lots of cans of beer for outrageous prices and leaving them all over the country.

because of the rains, we didn't go that far the first night so we shot out towards the mouth of the sound, into the ocean and then quickly back to the dock the next morning. sadly it was still drizzling and foggy so we couldn't see the coastline clearly or mitre peak. for some insane reason i had a foolishly large breakfast and then proceeded to be seasick. susan was a bit disappointed that we didn't get to do more meaningful sailing since it was an overnighter. i agree with her, but what are you gonna do? the ride back was better since we didn't have to make all the stoopid stops along the way, but i felt like shit. this was remedied by a vomit fest and some american food: we had mickey d's for lunch and then we were off to the glaciers!

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