[photopress:tn_P1120444.JPG,thumb,alignright]We got up at 7 am and drove two hours to Te Anau, the gate to Milford Sound. From there on it is 120 km more but „the way is already the goal“. We stopped in a huge valley where several coaches were parked. Everybody took pictures of the valley – so we did too. It wasn’t that spectacular, just nice but still strange why everybody stopped here. Another backpacker asked us a minute later „Do you know what’s special here?“. We didn’t, but later during the day we figured out that there are millions of colourful flowers in spring so the organized bus tours have to stop there for not messing up their timetables.
[photopress:tn_P1120457.JPG,thumb,alignleft]Our first real stop was at the Mirror Lakes, again pretty obvious what you can see there… It was really nice, apart from all the other tourists… (damn package tourists).
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Lake Gunn and forest:
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Some more nice places on the way (I can’t remember the name or there just isn’t a particular name):
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[photopress:tn_P1120570.JPG,thumb,alignleft]Accomodations in Milford Sound are rare, expensive and fully booked but we got a „forest-campground-spot“ at Milford Sound Lodge which was nice and comfortable.
[photopress:tn_P1120589.JPG,thumb,alignright][photopress:tn_P1120574.JPG,thumb,alignright]In the afternoon our sponteanous sea-kayaking tour started with our guide, Alena and me :-). Cool. We got some fancy cloths and then raced seven kilometers on Milford Sound.
[photopress:tn_P1120606.JPG,thumb,alignleft][photopress:tn_P1120608.JPG,thumb,alignleft]We started close to the Stirling Falls, where we tried to get into the Falls or as close as possible whichÂ was quiet difficult as the air twirlÂ was as powerful as a helicopter andÂ we got wet within seconds. After some minutes we were lucky and saw our first dolphin family. I’ve seen many dolphins before while sailing and IÂ must admit it’s a lot easier to follow them in a sailing boat. Our guideÂ constantly shouted „come closer“ and hell, that’s what we tried!
[photopress:tn_P1120620.JPG,thumb,alignright]I couldn’t take too many pictures (and some are crooked) because it was my friend’s camera andÂ the sea pretty rough, at least for first time sea-kayaker like us. Our guide „organized“ a starfish, beautiful andÂ feels strangeÂ to touch.
Later we sawÂ the Milford Deep Underwater ObservatoryÂ and Bowen Falls. Then we had to paddle back to the base, it was already getting dark. On our last three hundred meters we saw Dolphins again, this time very close. Wow. They had babies with them that was why they didn’t come closer and we couldn’t swim with them.
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Sea-kayaking is very straining and my arms were totally limp. During the night I had some of the most painful pangs ever and I had to take a couple of Ibuprofen to be able to sleep.