Fun in paradise
Wed 23 May 2007 - Sun 27 May 2007
We're at the bottom of the South Island in the little town of Riverton 40km from Invercargill. It's a pretty enough coastal town that doesn't have many distractions, and this is what we need to work on our correspondence.
New Zealand is every bit as wonderful as we anticipated. We've been having great times seeing fabulous scenery. We don't want to try to keep that up every day, though, finding we need time to absorb and reflect. Done properly, the selection and arranging of photos, together with a blog posting and various emails, would take a good part of any day. We're not in danger of doing this properly any time soon, though. Travel rhythms keep changing and that's probably a good thing. We're both in good health and spirits.
The drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound is nearly as wonderful as Milford itself. The road winds through meadows and marshes with mountain walls gradually closing in on both sides.
The abundant rain (Milford has gotten as much as 22 inches in a single day!) cascades down the slopes in rows of slender waterfalls.
We spent just two nights at Milford Sound. It was a very gratifying experience and we could have stayed much longer except for the constraints of our remaining time in New Zealand. It would take an IMAX camera to begin to do justice to the views. The lodge is nestled at the base of the cliffs.
One of the things we learned there is the difference between a sound and a fiord: sounds are formed by water, fiords by glaciers. Milford Sound was formed by glaciers so it is misnamed, though it is in Fiordland National Park.
Our cruise on the sound took us close to some of the larger falls. The captain seemed to think we needed to feel the spray. This made it harder to take pictures, both because of the spray and the fact that we were too close to get the entire falls into the frame. We could partly compensate for this by shooting the falls on the other side of the sound. The boat took us close to sea lions and out in the sound we saw dolphins.
A visit to the underwater observatory was interesting. This is the only place in the world where you can see black coral growing. The observatory floats 9 meters below the surface and none of the marine life you see is confined or manipulated in any way.
Visit http://dianeanddave.net/albums/Milford/index.html for more photos of Milford. Click on the first slide and then use the right and left arrows keys, or click the Slide icon for a show that advances an automatically.
We'll be posting shorter blogs, more frequently we hope. As always, we're eager to hear from you, whether by email or blog comments.
Contrary to what I said earlier, I just found out that TravellersPoint does allow us to access the subscriber list. Thanks to all who subscribed.