Bethany from Clyde
Today is again my turn to blog as Bryan’s account would sound something like this, “woke at 3:30, felt itchy from bug bites, had diarrhea, couldn’t sleep, read instead, then felt nauseated, etc. Fair to say that Bryan was out-of-action. I did my wifely/doctorly duties and interrogated him regarding his symptoms then drugged him up and I went for breakfast and fjord-gawking.
Our ship pulled anchor at 7 am and we headed back to the Tasman having come further into the fjord the previous evening for shelter. The evening before had been cloudy but overnight it had begun to rain and cloud cover was low. The waterfalls had come alive. Mere tickles the evening before were now white and pulsating. The captain put the bow almost directly under one so we could feel the roar and power. We saw some dolphins and seals and headed back to shore. I took lots of pictures while unsuccessfully trying to keep,my camera dry. When I returned to our room I was happy to see that Bryan had gotten up to put on some clothes. I quickly finished packing and bundled him up as I knew our bus out of Milford was leaving immediately.
Bryan did not enjoy the ride. He slept most of the 6 hour drive to Queenstown and I closed my eyes a time or two myself. But I was fascinated by the passing landscapes. I think we might have mentioned before the the trailends of the Routeburn Track are 32 km apart by walking or 350 km apart by car. Milford Sound is about 30 km from one end of the track which would probably make it 80 km from Queenstown as the crow flies. Really quite close but worlds apart in geography and climate. Now the drive between the two goes south first to Te Anau before heading north again. So during this 350 km drive to end up 80 km from where we started, we saw fjords, moutainous areas with copious waterfalls and mostly bare rock faces, forested moutains, forests, flat farmland with sheep, cattle, and deer, and arid moutains surrounding a glacier lake. We had further experince with changing topography because as soon as we arrived in Queenstown, we hired a private shuttle to take us to Clyde about one hour away. We passed many vineyards and also the Kawarua Bridge bungy jump which was the first in the world. We then checked into the Dunston House B&B and the owners very kindly allowed me to cook some Liptons chicken noodle soup which Bryan requested. I was cruel and headed out to a restaurant for lamb – I even took a picture of the beautifully presented dish to show Bryan.
The driver of the shuttle to Clyde gave a commentary of the land he was driving through. One interesting thing we learned about him, though, is that he is trail runner and once had his mother drop him off at one end of Routeburn Track and then drive to the other end to pick him up. He was able to run the 32 km of mountainous track in less time it took her to drive. We had heard that the record is just under 3 hours. It is so hard to believe what took Bryan and I three days of trekking, with numerous missed ankle-rollovers, could take someone less than 3 hours. We are told running on rocks is a learned skill and doesn’t take “too long”. Well I won’t be learning that skill.
Tomorrow we start the Otago Central Railway Trail. Health permitting.