Monday, February 04, 2008
After visiting Milford Sound last year, i have been looking forward to this trip for ages. A real treat and a bit of luxury i hoped. An overnight boat trip onto the largest accessable fjord in the country. To get there we took a 1 hour boat trip across lake Manapouri, followed by a 40 minute coach drive through the mountains on a road that was constructed purely to install a hydro electricity station back in the 60's, it doesn't join any other roads and is reached only by boat.Then down to the sea, miles from the coast in the most majestic landscape i have ever experienced.
The ship was better than i had imagined and the whole trip flowed with effortless organisation that included every little detail for comfort and enjoyment.
The other passengers were not the usual types i have become accustomed to mixing with and it was quite agreeable to spend time with older more well to do travellers, they fitted the location well, although now back on dry land i do prefer the choices i have made.
I could write for hours about the landscape and scenery, how we stopped for a kayak experience and swim in one of the bays, close up to the waterfalls and wildlife, navigating out into the Tasman Sea and rolling on the huge sea swell for a while, watching seals, dolphins(bottlenose this time), and countless sea birds, the huge buffet dinner with more delicious food than the passengers could possibly hope to consume. Mooring up for the night and lying out on deck stargazing into the early hours, sleeping so soundly before continuing at daybreak the next morning, tucking away a hearty breakfast, and, the most amazing part of all, stopping in a quiet and tranquil bay surrounded by huge mountains and the whole craft shutting down for 5 minutes. Everyone remained completely still and quiet and the there wasn't a sound, the water calmed to mirror flat and the atmosphere was indiscribibly scerene, the landscape inaccessable and unchanged since the last ice age and just one small ship floating there. Awesome, no, really.