Wednesday, January 9, 2013

the astounding sound

OK - well maybe astounding is a bit of an overstatement... having been to the fjords in Norway I don't think I would say astounding but both words had "OUND" in them LOL so I went with it for a title-

so of course Mike had us up early - and to give him his due- it is a looooonnnnnnnggggg drive from Q-town to Milford Sound....

OK that doesn't look so bad but let's put it into context- the area of the above map is outlined in blue on the WHOLE NZ map below- 
 so off we go- and oh by the way- I was just going through the photos and we won't even get to the sound until the next post- so hold your breath...LOL

we set off from Q-town along the eastern side of the lake- which runs all the way to Kingston (see detailed map above)- the scenery is dramatic- a photo from the bus window shows a bit of what we were seeing-

we get to Kingston and I personally found this place quite amusing- guess the owners just aren't really all that interested in running this business - note the boxed area on the photo (a 2.5 hour work week always worked for me- LOL)

we later made a pit-stop in Mossburn- where the local mural highlights the activities of the townsfolk - beer drinking, tea and coffee drinking and gassing up - (and animals who all get along quite nicely I guess - LOL)

this was once home to Moa (flightless bird hunted to extinction) shown below- and we also see the kiwi design on a local metal work---


we head on to Te Anau- where we make another pit-stop so Christel can eat venison meat pies and I can get yet another kind of ginger beer with my ice cream... this was the best one yet but still not the best of the trip...

along the way Mike shows us a patch of native plants a kind of reddish grassy bush - which is one of only two native plants from THIS area-

the second one is this thorny scrub bush-

Te Anau is on the eastern shore of Lake Te Anau in fjordland. The town's population is 1,857 with over 3,000 beds available in summer. Te Anau has two schools; Fiordland College and Te Anau Primary school, and a Fresh Choice supermarket. So you can imagine we didn't spend much time there- you come for the scenery not the civic amenities...

and scenery there was- so much so that this post will only make it TO the end of the road and not onto the sound itself-



the mountains reflected in the water- with enough breeze to suit Monet...LOL

 and perhaps Van Gogh as well- LOL

and this one the straight on beauty of the place shining through-

here you can see why the trip takes so long the 70 miles or so from Te Anau to Milford takes 2.5 hours... with no stops....

so for days we have been hearing about the possum scourge they have and their possum/merino wool solution - a way to make possum more valuable so that hunters trap them... and here is what the elusive guys look like: 



in the photo below note the tiny (proportionately) person in the lower right hand corner- LOL- puts things in perspective doesn't it?

eventually we do arrive- for the 1:35PM boat trip on the sound- we left at 8AM! and we didn't stop for lunch we get a picnic boxed lunch on board-

As I said Milford photos will be in the next post- always keep 'em hanging- LOL

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