Such is the strangeness of the English language. Or rather the vicissitudes of the New Zealand weather.
A very early start, compounded by the complexity of daylight saving switch (will I be an hour early or late, does it go back or forward; no not the time I get that – spring forward, fall back; but the actual watch)
Fortunately along with my sleeping pod, juicy snooze (I just love using that name) offered me a wake up call so I left the time forward/back calculation to them.
So bright and early I stood at a bus shelter along with a large number of sleepy Chinese tourists. No I need to make a correction- the tourists need no correction, the brightness does. There was none, for almost the entire day.
We stood silent in the dark and rain waiting as instructed for ‘the bus’ which arrive and with it the brightness of my travelling companions, John and Carla.
Brightness is as much a thing of the heart as it of the sun and so with brightness in our hearts we set off.
To Doubtful Sound because it was doubtful we could get to our planned Milford Sound for fear of avalanches.
Which made us more confident about than Captain Cooke was when he named it and refrained from taking his ship, the mighty Endeavour in for fear he would not get her out. Ever cautious he was.
And so was our bus driver as he wound his bus along Lake Wakatipu, a huge dark mass of water (400m deep!) on one side and cliffs reaching up into the dark in the other.
From Queenstown to Kingston to Garston ( the most inland city in NZ) to Mossman to Manapouri – such a mix of names) we saw through the rain and mist, fields and fields of grass so green it reminded me of a melted green wax crayon – intense, solid. Lambs so newly born they could barely stand on their wobbly legs, sheep shorn in anticipation of the spring weather so forlorn wet and I would swear shivering as we and they prayed for clearer skies.
Freishens, thick coated heads down, backs to the wind (producing 50 000 Litres a day 😯)
We drove through old fairy tale forests- beech trees 1000 years old; gnarled, misshapen with long tendrils of moss and lichen. These trees hung of to the edge of mountains so steep that when you looked through them you saw nothing but the darkness of the rock. Definitely fairy tale forests, in this weather of the Brother’s Grimm variety.
And everywhere water, from the heavens, from the rocks, from the snow and sometimes it seemed from the very bowels of the earth
(Trivia 7-9 metres rain a year!) felt like we had most of it today 😉🌧
Oh and did I mention the wind?
Or the laughs?
Or the wine?
We went on buses, boats, buses, footbridges and buses and boats and through it all – had the most amazing time
And to round off a perfect day – the sky turned blue, the sun winked at us; the lambs on our way home were playing, the cows grazed, the passengers snoozed, and we had an extra hour of daylight to savour the gift of nature in all her disguises
Here’s hoping the weather plays ball tomorrow when we start riding