Lauren and David in New Zealand and Fiji 2007-2008 travel blog

Lauren's Bites 3 days later...Still Bad!


Doubtful Sound Waterfalls

Sally Has Seen Much Better Days







After not having written an entry in the last several days, I hate to start this off on a bad note...but today was a 0.2/10. We woke up very early again this morning for our 170 km (approximately 2 hour) drive to Doubtful Sound, one of the many sounds in Fiordland National Park, the most south and west you can get in New Zealand. Of course, because every trip we have had scheduled outdoors seems to dictate rain, it was pouring for our entire drive, and began to rain even harder as we boarded the boat. We had heard, however, that the sounds are the most magnificent sights to be seen, so we kept our outlook positive.

What we didn't learn until we had boarded, however, was that this was just a boat that took us to a bus on the other side of the lake. We sat with a woman from Indiana who had 5 kids, 4 boys aged 15, 14, 12, and 4, and a daughter with special needs. We chatted with her for a while until she realized somehow she had lucked out and was without her kids, so she sat in silence with a relaxed smile on her face. Poor woman...we so understood how happy she was to have 5 minutes to herself that we left her alone.

After our one hour boat trip, we boarded a bus (yep...still pouring outside) that drove us on a 21 km road that was built in the 60's for $2.00/cm!!! The only good part of it raining was that the waterfalls and river rapids were in full effect, and we stopped 3 times en route to our next boat to take pictures.

Finally, we boarded the cruising ship for a 3 hour tour (don't think they got the irony, but whatever...) to Doubtful Sound. We ended up sitting with a couple, Maxine and Richard, from Sheffield, England. They were definitely the highlight of the trip. The boys were too busy learning the rules of baseball and cricket to realize that we were actually cruising the sounds. We did, however, have enough time to get sea sick enough as we entered the Tasman Sea to go out to get some fresh (and very wet) air.

The Sounds were really not so great. The waterfalls were amazing and the captain of the ship got us about 2 feet away from one that's the same height as Niagra Falls. That's what gave the day a 0.2 instead of just a 0!!! They were very beautiful, but with mist covered mountains and waterfalls that all pretty much look the same, we weren't overwhelmed. We're still deciding if it was the weather, the fact that we're on day 18 of our adventure, fatigue, or just because it wasn't that great...but we definitely were not amazed like everyone said we would be. Maxine and Richard were great, though, and Dad you will be happy to know they are also die-hard Paul McCartney fans, as they grew up just about 10 miles from Liverpool. They thought it was pretty cool that we had been there...

Long enough entry yet? Well, we still needed to take the bus AND the ship back (oh yeah, and our 2 hour drive back), so you can sense our frustration and boredom as well. As if our trip couldn't get longer, we stopped at a hydropower station 2 km under sea level, which may have been cool, if David and I were not overwraught with exhaustion.

Nonetheless, we survived it and are now back in the hotel. If I write another word I might pass out, as I still feel like I am on a boat...and seasick.

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