The Sound

Trip Start Jul 29, 2009
Trip End Jan 23, 2010

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Monday, December 28, 2009

We only got to spend two days and a night at Milford Sound, which was too short, but also too long of a time to be there... The Sound was absolutely amazing! It was possibly the coolest place either Tara or myself had ever been. There were thousands of waterfalls, glaciers, hanging valleys, wildlife, etc, etc, etc. Since we drove into the park, we got the chance to drive through the Homer Tunnel. Imagine a tunnel drilled directly through the base of a massive mountain, like for example, through the base of El Capitan in Yosemite. It was like nothing we had ever seen before. It took over 60 years for the workers to dig all the way through it to the other side. We also saw a lot of massive rocks that had been moved by the glaciers of the past ice age, some really cool birds, including the Kia, and some dolphins, seals, unbelievable waterfalls, and so forth. I took way more pictures than I probably should have, but the place was so amazing I just couldn't put my camera away. Even the 4.5 hour drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound was full of sights. I pulled the car over at least two dozen times to take pictures. It got to the point that Tara was laughing at me because as soon as I got back in the car and put my seatbelt on, I was already pulling over again and taking it off again to take in the breathtaking scenery and snap about a million more pictures. 
There is only one accommodation that exists in the area other than camping.  We stayed at a nice little place called Milford Lodge. Everything there was pretty typical in terms of hostels are concerned. But, with mine and Tara's luck, we got stuck in a room with five beds. In these beds were Tara, me, a 65 year old German man who only knew the phrase "Good morning!" and used it at all the wrong times, a 70 year old Slovakian man who spoke no English and had to pee upwards of 15 times throughout the night, and another older man who's parents must have been lawnmowers. Tara and I got back to our room around 11:30 at night, just about the time it gets completely dark in NZ this time of year. Of course, all three of the guys were already sleeping, and between the three of them, we could have sworn we were sleeping with a pack of Kodiak Bears. I, for one, have never heard some of the noises that were coming out of these men's mouths. One guy sounded like he was choking all night, another kept murmuring "..good mor...ning.." in between snores, and the other was just snoring like you wouldn't believe, that is when he wasn't taking a whizz outside. We were afraid of an avalanche. In the morning we "awoke" from absolutely no sleep and walked like zombies to the ferry terminal to take our tour on a boat around the Sound. Needless to say, we are going to sleep like corpses tonight here in Te Anau, but it was an epic experience nonetheless. 
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