Voyaging through Middle Earth
Trip Start Mar 15, 2006
42Trip End May 30, 2007
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Oh you didn't? Well I never. I guess you must be British!
If you did, then well done smart arse, but I'm not interested. That doesn't help with my story.
Well as I was saying, it was our dear Monarch's birthday (or probably her official one more likely) on Monday. Had I been at home I suspect I would not have known this, I do not recall any big fanfare in the past at this time of the year. But here it is a different story entirely.
I had been witnessing the build up to this day since I first arrived in the country
Well there you go, thats my rant for your rights over. I shall continue with the trip...
As the title suggests, it really seems like we have entered proper 'Lord of the Rings' country now. I apologise if I keep mentioning these films, but for anyone who has seen them, OK for everyone, it is simply the thing that springs to mind when you are travelling through these lands. They did a beautiful job of representing it, and because of it when I see the actual lands, I want to imagine the riders journeying across them, and the computer generated fortress up on the hill!
The further south we have gone the more dramatic the landscapes seem to have become. On a trip out to Milford Sound near the West Coast we were disappointed to see that the clouds were heavy, and when we reached the fiord the rains began to fall, but in fact this just added to the drama of the place
We then moved on to Mount Cook and slept in a hostel right in the middle of the National Park near to the base of the mountain range. We watched the sun set and rise in this quiet spot, surrounding by snow-capped peaks, and did a couple of walks up to views of the glaciers. Due to the excellent clear light and blue skies that we were fortunate enough to have, Lake Pukaki shone the most beautiful azure blue and made the bright orange trees around it really ping. This sort of view most definitely makes up for the bucketfull's of rain we also had along the way.
On our arrival in Dunedin we decided to visit a local Penguin sanctuary, and though we got drenched in the process, we were lucky enough to see probably 10-15 of these rare Yellow Eyed Penguins. A couple we saw up really close because you are led through underground hides in order not to disturb them. They are all completely free to come and go as they please, and so it was just luck to have so many coming home from their day fishing. They're very cute, bigger than I expected, and have this cool yellow headband of feathers that I reckon makes them look like the unscrupulous crooks of the water world! You can decide for yourselves above.