Driving, Driving, Rain, Rain

December 16 – Narrated by Alaina

A long day of driving through the rain from east coast Dunedin to west coast Te Anau. Frustrated with the drive as we knew the clouds were hiding beautiful scenery but thankful we would see it at some point!

 Arriving to Te Anau, I was on a mission to book the two “must do” things in the area aka Fiordland. We immediately booked a cruise to Doubtful Sound and, at first with Mike being hesitant, we booked a sea kayaking experience in Milford Sound. The minute Mike saw the videos they were playing, he was in 🙂 On another note, it was FREEZING. Because summer has begun, all the winter items were on sale, soooo I was able to pick up a $6 winter hat which has already been worn extensively.

   We arrived to the Possum Lodge in the early evening and it was the first campground where we actually had time to get settled! A non-descript campground, it is a hidden gem as it’s located on the shores of Lake Manapouri, a gateway into the fiords. When we arrived, Mike and I decided to take the path down to the lake and found a wonderland of moss covered trees, boulders and a beautiful, albeit cloudy view of the fiords. Our pictures won’t do this area justice as we felt like we were in a Tim Burton movie. We walked quite a distance and came across a rocky beach. Mike enjoyed skipping rocks, and I found a swing that provided a nice tranquil moment.

 Returning to our camper due to being famished, I had my first experience cooking in a communal kitchen. We met a mother and son duo from Israel (he is currently living in Dunedin and has hiked all the major trails in NZ, has done the PCT and hiked through the Rockies in Canada), and only introduced himself by his hiker name “Yeti”. We met two students from Germany, one whom admitted to sleeping under a couple bridges lately, and another couple from Germany that has a similar camper to Dora… He may have been 5 inches taller than Mike so I have no idea how they are doing it!

It was that experience that truly made me realize how awesome camping can be. Kids were running around, not attached to devices, playing tag. People from all over the world congregating in one place. With all the horrible things and bigotry happening in the world, it proves that, for the average person, we just want to live our lives in peace.

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