both of…no deaths at the hands of the other, no one left at the top of the glacier or the bottom of a sound.

it was an amazing trip…sometimes unnerving…like showing up in queenstown without reservations. not realizing that of all the places we needed them (and indeed had them) queenstown was that place. a winter wonderland…folks from all over the country and world show up to the remarkables (one of only two mountain ranges in the world that arrange themselves north south – the rockies is the other) for skiing, snowboarding, and general wintertime glee.

but we had someone looking down on us because we got a place almost immediatly, with a bathroom, at a discount rate.

the weather turned out beautifully for most of our trip. the only place it didn’t work in our favor was milford sound…where the clouds hung so low and drenched people and cameras, dimming the beauty that is waterfalls cascading through rock and into the sound. but without the rain we wouldn’t have had the waterfalls. and accompaniment to the rain was a herd of dolphins. frolicking and playing in the wake of our boat as dolphins tend to do. the captain was kind enough to make slow circles back and forth for a while so we could enjoy them until they tired of us and went on their way.

from there we found ourselves on yet another bus (if i don’t see a bus for a few months that will be just fine!) and headed to kaikoura for whale watching.


these things are beyond huge…they are bigger than our boat. we saw two of them up close and one from a distance. the sea was calm, the mountains lightly dusted with clouds at their peaks, the sun filtering through to highlight the immense size rising itself up so that its tail arches out of the water and then glides delicately down to feed in the 5km depths at 0 degrees C for another 45 or 50 minutes.

we ended our adventurer…or rather we began the ending of our adventure with a trip across an actual sound (since milford is techincally a fijord) back to the north island. we were lucky enough to catch te papa (the national museum) on its one late night a week and so we browsed for a little while before hunger consumed us (and made us a wee bit cranky with each other).

the following morning we began the epic ride home. what should have been 11 hours in transit (too long on its own) became almost 13. a car accident, some kid throwing up and assorted other drama held us back.

but finally, finally, we are home. pictures will be up soon…in the meantime, know that i had an amazing time and this truly is a beautiful country.

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