Let’s keep looking at South Island pictures, okay? It’s pouring down rain here in Auckland and I very much fear that my projected lunch on K Road is going to be sloppy and damp, but that’s not for a few hours yet, allowing me to hearken back to sunnier times.
You may remember that the primary purpose of my being in Te Anau, which is where I went after Queenstown, was to go for a < a href ="http://allchiara.com/2008/03/18/my-actual-birthday/">birthday dive in Milford Sound. Here I am in all three of my wetsuits, giving the Okay signal and desperately trying to choke down the fear of the cold water, with only a minimal degree of success.
Sadly I don’t have any underwater pictures of the crays or kina or black coral and must skip to the part, photographically speaking, to where we were finished with the dive and were now hiking around various plashing waterfalls and hidden pools, still encased entirely in neoprene.
And here’s me, exhausted after the dives and starting up a nice little ear infection just in time for a two-huor car trip over very twisty and bumpy roads, doing my touristic duty by having my photo snapped at Mitre Peak. My attitude here, I notice, is very much like that in the one of me in front of the Sydney Opera House, where I’m clearly all JUST TAKE THE PHOTO CAN WE GO NOW.
Here is the very same thing but without a scowling Chiara smack in the middle, ruining the view.
I saw this campervan in the car park as I staggered around holding my hear and whimpering softly, clutching my dive log.
I don’t seem to have taken any other pictures in Te Anau except this crazy one at the request of an expat Kiwi living in New York (hi Amy!)–it was, by the way, right next to a Chinese takeaway called Wong’s, much to my horror–so let’s go on ahead to when I’ve recovered from being sick and have found myself in the midst of some more stupidly gorgeous scenery in Wanaka.
I think by the time I got Wanaka, there I was beginning to realize that, like, something was wrong and I wasn’t doing very well. I tried to spend as much time outside as I could but honestly, it just gave me more time to spin my little wheels and feel weirder and weirder. At least I was feeling weird in a beautiful place though, right?
I ought to have taken a picture of the little cinema they had there because I went there twice in two nights and had the big gigantic yummy cookies during intermission and everything. One of the other things I did was go to good old Puzzling World, where there was this big outdoor maze that was supposed to take an hour to complete.
It took me, she of absolutely no sense of personal direction, three hours to complete, and by “complete” I mean “have to sneak out of one of the emergency exits because I totally had to pee.”
At least the bathrooms had some interesting art.
I also spent some time in the optical illusion rooms and just sitting at the cafe tables that had all sorts of maddeningly impossible puzzles on them. I thought a lot about my various nerd friends who love that sort of thing while I was cursing my lack of spatial-visual ability.
Fortunately there were some kiteboarders to look at on the walk back.
I was starting to want to get up to the top end of the South Island by this point, I guess, but I thought I should, you know, see what there was to be seen, so I stopped in (very touristy!) Franz Josef as you may recall if you have been a good and faithful reader, and ended up doing
Please note my scary crampons. Not pictured: the amazing bruises I got when I tripped over those very same crampons and came down hard on the ice.
Also not pictured: me having rather a difficult time getting my well-endowed self through this wee crevasse from which I am smiling at you goofily.
And one more silly picture of me (hi Mom!) and we’re done for the West Coast. Tomorrow I’ll try to put up the Golden Bay pictures–I could have actually taken pictures of people that I liked there, unlike the rest of the trip, I just didn’t–and then after that the kayak pictures and then we’ll be back in real time, here in the North Island, where I will have to face the reality that I really am leaving in eighteen seventeen sixteen days, soon soon soon.