Milford and Catlins

27/1 next on our busy program is Queenstown. I still hadn’t convinced my parents for flying. We passed Arrowtown first, a very cosy and pitoresque looking town, and wanted to drink a coffee there but by that time I had contacted the paraglide school and they told me to come over quickly so I could join and have a flight. Over to the flight park without coffee… I had my flight, all went fine. And meanwhile my parents could see that, as I said, it wasn’t that dangerous to do it nor to land it because in the landing field one after the other from the tandem company was landing. When they were busy packing up, I saw my chance and asked them whether there was still an opening for my parents to fly. And there was! In the evening! So booked it at 6pm. We had some time to kill so we drove to the city centre to take the gondola up the hill for a nice view, took a luge ride there, each ate a famous Fergburger, and went back to take my parents to their tandem flight. My mom was going to hangglide, and my dad paraglide. And guess what: they liked it! They actually were happy they done it. So that made me happy too… All good! After most of the adrenalin rushes was over, we had to go again, drive to our next destination… Te anau! Getting ready for the attraction of the country for which we changed our whole planning in order to be there when the sun would shine… The Milford Sound Cruise.

28/1 there was a bit driving left for this morning to get to where the cruise starts at Milford. It was cloudy and I was getting nervous that all of this planning would be in vain. But… When we drove to the homer tunnel, known as the point where the weather changes, it actually happened. The sun was slowly poking the clouds to move on and make room. The cruise started with some clouds, but after several minutes, sun was all over and we ended seeing the Sounds in the best possible conditions. Another success in my guiding experience 🙂 there was one other thing I wanted to do there. A walk that many people I accidentally met in the recent past (mostly while hitchhiking), named Gertrude saddle. I convinced my parents to take a rest while I ran and hiked up the steep ascent to the Gertrude saddle, crossing snow even, from where there was marvelous view to the Sound. I finished the run/hike in 2h20′ (the walk was 4-6h) and was happy with finally some physical exercise. We deserved our pizza back in Te Anau after this successful day.

29/1 the Catlins region is for next two days. We drove to Bluff, visited the suthermost point of new zealand, slope point, walked into the cathedral caves after, where you had to keep on moving in order not to be eaten by the sandflies, and slept at a beautiful spot up Florence hill, with a view to a bay.

30/1 we saw two falls in the Catlins, went to see the sunny Cannibal Bay, took pictures at Nugget Point, passed through Kaka Point, left the Catlins through Dunedin, and finally found a place to sleep in Palmerston.

31/1 we completed our tour around the South Island today. We first saw the Moeraki Boulders and passed through Oamaru and Timaru before arriving at our sleeping destination, at a place I spotted long ago… In Akaroa

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