When Angel travel..

Trip Start Sep 14, 2010
Trip End Feb 18, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Wednesday, February 2, 2011

.. then the sun will be shining, even in one of the wettest places on earth.. Milford Sound.
It did rain in Queenstown and I went down to the reception to enquire if the trip was going ahead and she just said 'It only gets cancelled if the roads are flooded and so far they are fine.' Great.
The rain didn't last long and I had one of the most amazing, stunning and fascinating bus journeys since Nepal. Sheer mountain cliffs, lush rain forests and beech forests, rivers and creeks with water so crystal clear and in shades of sky blue to pigeon grey to emerald green and turquoise (I looked those up in the paint shop.. haha), lakes, glaciers and we hadn't even reached Milford Sound yet! It was pretty hilarious though because it was a big 45 seater bus and at each photo stop everybody stormed out fighting for the best photo position. I went down to one of the creeks and crouched down to take a photo with the mountains in the background and within seconds I turned around and half of the bus was crouching behind me taking the same shot.. haha
This is the thing about New Zealand. You think you've found your favourite most beautiful place and then you travel further and find another.. and another. I've come to the conclusion that New Zealand, mainly the South Island as I haven't really travelled around the North Island, is just one big beautiful and mind blowing place. Full stop.
Travelling around New Zealand has also felt like travelling around the UK. I walked along Sevenoaks Road, Stains Road, London Street or Kilburn Road. I saw the no7 bus to Queens Park and went to Richmond and Oxford. Dunedin is where the Scotts settled down and Milford Sound was named by a Welsh Sealer after his home town Milford Haven. They are everywhere those Brits.. haha. Milford Haven was later changed to Milford Sound but someone didn't know their Sounds from their Fjords because that what it really is.. a Fjord.
It is as I said one of the wettest places in the world with almost 300 days and an average of 7m rainfall per year (according to the bus driver). The day I went there it was clear blue sky and sunshine.. I know it's beginning to get boring all that nice weather right? Apparently we had the best weather conditions you could ask for that day. Beautiful sunshine but because it rained during the night the waterfalls, which are mostly fed by the rain water, were still huge and just roaring down the mountains. Well and everybody can probably guess what I'm going to write next.. yep.. It was absolutely beautiful, stunning, amazing, fascinating, gobsmacking, bla bla bla.. but that's just what it was. I loved it.
When I got back and looked at my photos I thought 'Gosh how many photos can you take of one waterfall?' but it's like 'Oh wow that looks good' and then you get closer and see it from a different angle and then the light changes and then 5 minutes later you've forgotten you took that photo already and you think 'Oh that's nice I gotta take a photo of that' and then you head back the same way and take some more photos of what you've already got and and and.. I call it a photo fit and I had several that day but that's the joy of digital photography so I deleted heaps (NZ for loads.. I speak so many languages now).
We shipped around the Milford Sound for 1 3/4 hours with a hilarious Captain. I quote: 'I don't know if you've heard but we're experiencing a drought. It hasn't rained for 7 hours.' We went past sheer rocks emerging vertically in a straight line out of the water and rising up to almost 2000m. I can't describe it and I don't know if you can tell from the photos how steep they were and they seemed taller than any mountain I've seen and I've been to the Himalayas. I guess it's not often you can see a mountain from sea level right to the summit, from 0 to 1692m.
So that was my amazing trip to Milford Sound and when I got back to the YHA I started talking to Jacqui who was staying in the same room and we realised we'd been on the same boat at Milford Sound.. she invited me to come along for a drink and that night I ended up with my new name 'Destiny Rooney' but that's another story..

Deutsche Uebersetzung folgt.. aber heut bin ich zu muede!

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Siobhan on

Stunning photos Stef! And I agree with you the south island is so beautiful it's hard to choose a best bit!

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