Diane Ross
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1. Ashburton  2. Canterbury Plains  3. Te Anau  4. Doubtful Sound 

5. Milford Sound  6. Route 6  7. Surf and Turf  8. Oahu Seal Colony


Day 5 - Milford Sound

WOW.

That is it.  That is all I need to say about Milford Sound.  Just one little word.  WOW.

During the night the wind and the rain moved in.  I was disappointed on the bus ride out to Milford because the rain looked like it was here to stay.  When I booked the trip the lady at the counter told me she preferred Milford Sound in the rain.  Yea, right.  I mean what else is she going to say, don't go if it is raining.  It rains 2 out of 3 days here.

We leave the dock and the water is choppy.  There are 74 knot wind gusts and it is still raining.  It looks amazing.  I need to tell you a little about the ecology of the fiords for you to understand the effect of the rain and the wind.  There is very little soil here.  The mountains are very steep and there is a lot of rain.  The rain washes away the small amounts of soil that form.  That means there is no soil for the rain to soak into.  All the rain forms hundreds (maybe thousands) of waterfalls cascading down the mountain walls.  The wind tries to blow the water back up the mountain walls.  The effect is spectacular.  I have no words that come close to describing it and the photos don't really do it justice.  All I can say is if you ever visit Milford Sound pray for rain.

A couple hours after the rain most of the waterfalls disappear.

I can't believe how much more I enjoyed Milford Sound than Doubtful Sound.  The weather conditions were truly terrible and yet that made the fiord more beautiful.  I am sure that under the same conditions Doubtful Sound would have been as impressive as Milford Sound.  I was just unlucky enough to visit it on a nice day.