The Shipping News

January 1, 2006

Alas I cannot provide a link just yet to this novel which has been somewhat of our life for the past 24-ish hours as we departed sanitary, hygenic and surreally efficient and beautiful Queenstown for rustic and torrentially stormy Te Anau (rhymes with Keanu?). This much smaller town (with throw-back Brit-style restaurants and decor) was our stopping point so we could make it to the very well-earned destination point of Milford Sound, which was stunning!!

Our original plan was to take a self-punishing 15-hour drive-kayak-trek into this World Heritage location and, being a bit run down, I confess I felt I had some prayers answered when the rains were so bad last night that our tour was cancelled (but I must confess now I am sad as it would have been spectacular….and strangely enough, the tour company insisted on driving out here in the torrential rain at 5:50am to tell us — is the service so personal that they do not believe in cell phones? Alas I digress…). Anyhoo, we ate the 6:30am breakfast bar (Wheetabix and all) and then took the suggested alternative of driving the 2 hours to the Sound itself and doing a 2.5-hour natural tour by boat in the Sound (the only option available in today’s torrent).

A few blurbs to attempt to capture this indescribable place:

  • Mountains “crying” out geyser-like waterfalls that blew back up into the mist to replenish themselves (due to the strong winds)
  • Prehistoric glacial rocks imposing over the choppy waters
  • 500 million years of God working His handinto the glaciers and tectonic plates to forge a astounding beauty that leaves any observer in awe of His scope and majesty, as He is at the same time, the same God that reaches into our own individual lives here and now.
  • And unrelated to the Sound but related to the drive there (or anywhere): SHEEP! Everywhere….

Signing off so we can dash on to the next overpriced British meal!