Left the fabulous apartment (so sad) for Lake Manapouri and the overnight Doubtful Sound Cruise in the Fjiordsland National Park.
The drive in was splendid and we arrived early enough to have a flat white at the world famous "Pop Inn "(well, if your world happens to be Te Anau New Zealand). Rumor has it that this is where Vigo Moritsen and Liv Tyler were spotted having an intimate LOTR snack one day. I am making that up but I will bet you that over 60% of the people, who you tell that too, would believe you. LOTR is a big, and I mean big deal down hear. Our multi page driving map the car rental company puts in every car had all of the LOTR sites on it. I know we have seen ....................................................................................
Got to the departure point for the boat early enough to remember why we A. don't do cruises, B. hate tour groups and C. dislike many Americans who travel overseas. I will not go into my diatribe about Claire, here big and the giant overnight bags.
The boat ride across the lake was good and the bus ride to the sound was great with view of waterfalls and other nature stuff. We arrived at the boat and among the staff greeting us was Carl.....now the second hottest thing since we left the states (unfortunately, not gay). And, another Aussie.......hmmmmm.
The trip on Doubtful sound was great. Beautiful part of the world they have here. I went kayaking and swimming in the sound while Joel took a tour in a speedboat. Afterward, we had drinks as we cruised the sound. We saw the edge of where James Cook discovered and named the sound and the Tasman Sea. Cook thought that he would be able to sail in but was "doubtful" he could sail back out given the shear cliffs and wind and some other nautical babble. We had some great views and a lot of nature, including Joel's new friend, the sand fly. Sand fly females, a bit like mosquitoes, cannot lay eggs until they have had a blood meal. Well, let me tell you, 70 people on a cruise ship in the middle of nowhere looks like a Gary Danko buffet for them. Unless you are caked with bug spray on every spot of your body, they will find a way to eat you. Good Times! On the other hand, the seals were especially cute and don't smell like they do at Pier 39. Unfortunately, the waves got to be a bit much and I needed to go inside.
Dinner was very good. It was a buffet style all you can eat thing. The small Japanese guy next to us had four huge plates AND dessert. We missed Dolphin Dave's slideshow about the nature of Fjiorlands, opting instead to read a bit, dodge the sand flies and watch the sun go down, turned in early so we could see the sun rise.