November 24, 2005

On Wednesday the 23rd we headed out of Queenstown towards Milford Sound for an overnight cruise. It was a beatuiful drive through farmland and the Fiordland National Park. At the top of the mountain just on the otherside of the tunnel and the way into Milford Sound Lynette ushered us out of the car and had us mountain bike down the mountain to the boat dock. It was a little terrifying going so steeply down a road where cars could come up behind you, but it was also a lot of fun. We ended at the boat dock five minutes before we needed to board the boat.

We boarded the boat, got our accommodations (I got the top bunk! - Fun!) and we were off. We cruised around the Milford Sound and anchored. Michele and I then got on a smaller boat and we spotted penguins. These Fiordland Crested Penguins are apparently quite rare (according to the skipper). We took too many pictures of said penguins and after finding no more we were back on the boat for the night.

Yesterday, the 24th, (yes that's right it's Friday the 25th here. So bizarre) after a beautiful tour around the Milford Sound on a gorgeous day in an area where it apparently rains 300 days of the year we headed back towards Queenstown. We stopped at the end of the Routeburn track to take a short hike. We climbed for about an hour and a half to two hours up to Key Summit which is 919 meters high (or 3,015 feet). It wasn't a necessarly difficult hike but having been less than active lately it still required some work on my part. When it became more than a little strenuous for me I kept plugging along thinking, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming." This internal thought I blame on my recent associations with one of the cutest two year olds ever which made me smile and think of Santa Barbara. Also on this hike memories of the girl scout backpacking trips with Kristen, Katie, Daphne, Eydie and Bob were brought to mind and I could not help but think of Eydie singing the backpack song and making us all groan. I even got the song stuck in our guide Lynette's head and that pleased me to no end for no good reason at all.

After the hike it was a day of a lot of driving as we headed back to Queenstown and then to Wanaka. Today Michele and I did some kayaking on Lake Wanaka. It's another gorgeous day. The sun came out as we were kayaking making up for the fact that our bottoms were soggy and wet.

Posted by nuala at November 24, 2005 07:49 PM

groan! my soggy bottom.

doods! we biked down a fucking mountain!!! it was 3000 feet high and we went down for 12 miles. well, probably 10 miles and then some flat bit. but still. it was insane! i told everybody on the boat who would listen that we had done it. ok, i only told shannon of the potentially inadequate package.

also, the hiking. she is full of crap. it was insane. i was gasping for air and almost died.

Posted by: michele on November 24, 2005 08:32 PM

She was gasping but did not almost die. She in fact did quite well.

Posted by: nuala on November 24, 2005 08:33 PM

Nuala! I am so proud of you! Tear...miss you tons and wish i could be there with you! Hi Michele! You are having the time of your life and I am so glad you deserve it!

Posted by: Krista on November 25, 2005 10:40 AM

I love to go a-wandering along the mountain track, and as I go, I love to sing, my backpack on my back.

fal-de-re, fal-da-ra, fal-da-ra-ha-ha-ha ???

It is now in EVERYONE'S head.

How I envy you this wonderful trip you are having!

Posted by: Eydie on December 1, 2005 12:03 PM

I clap my hands in glee at your comment Eydie. Hwee!

Posted by: nuala on December 1, 2005 02:41 PM