Friday, February 25, 2011
Day 32: Doubtful Sound to Invercargill
Day 32: Doubtful Sound to Invercargill
Pics: The first few are from the Doubtful Sound, then on the road to Invercargill (including a 3D surfer), then in Invercargill (lots of buildings, American flags, the colorful is where we ate dinner, the southernmost Starbucks), the crowd for Hamlet, and a cute utility box
Book Review: The Unnamed, Joshua Ferris, Kindle edition. A tremendous novel (his first book, Then We Came to the End, is also excellent, and much different). The story is of a man with an unknown syndrome akin to sleepwalking except he is awake and can’t stop himself from walking. His wife and daughter, needless to say, are perplexed, especially since his taking off is intermittent and unpredictable and he can’t help himself nor let them know where he is until the episodes wear off. The explanation of Tim’s descent into what is really mental illness and the impact on his family is emotionally draining, and we’re only reading, not walking in his shoes. THB Top Rating (whatever that is or means)
Medical News: Somewhere near the Dart River we picked up a number of sand fly bites, much worse for sweetblooded DB than THB. Even a small amount of exercise seems to inflame the bites as blood flows. Much worse for DB on her feet, THB has a few on his hands and the back of his legs. Deet is now being applied (not often enough, THB guesses), salve is being applied, and Benadryl taken on occasion.
We get up when the boat engines start purring at 6:30am, get dressed and hustle out on the deck to see the sunrise. Silly us! First, it is in the low 40’s on deck (some of the mountains around have a dusting of snow), even without much of a breeze. Secondly, since we are in a canyon (i.e., fjord), the sun isn’t going to rise for many hours. We hide inside and then breakfast on cereal and yogurt, included. There is a small group of dolphins off the bow about 100 yards away (not quite the same thing as kayaking with them off Monterey Dunes). After a slow sail back, as the temperature rises to the lows 60s and a cloudless sky, we are at the bus at 10am, then the bus back to the Lake Manapouri power station dock, and finally another hour boat ride to Manapouri to get back on the road. Total for the day to the Sound: $1200
Lunch in Manapouri: sandwiches and a drink, $12. A gorgeous ride from Manapouri to Invercargill, along a scenic route. Scenic route here means something above a great drive, along the coast, views of the mountains, even surfing beaches!
Arrive in Invercargill and spend the late afternoon re-arranging our final day in NZ to fly out of Dunedin instead of Christchurch. For another couple of hundred dollars, it is all set. Then, oops, we check on our rental car and Apex does not have a location in Dunedin. BIG OOPS!! So, after studying the various options, we decide to drop the Apex car back in Queenstown tomorrow, pick up a Eurocar (that does service Dunedin) and then head to Dunedin. This option means the least amount of extra driving (a few hours) and the forfeiting of a few hundred dollars to Apex for early drop off. In any case, this keeps us quite a ways from Christchurch, even though it is possible the airport will be operating just fine in a few days. With our flight to Sydney depending on us getting to Australia in time, it isn’t worth the risk or anxiety to wait and see how things work out in Christchurch.
We walk to dinner, around 6 long blocks (long blocks are sort of unusual in this part of the world), maybe 20 minutes. Just long enough for DB’s bites to start acting up. Pizza (specials on mediums, $10 on Saturday nights), two dinner salads, a beer, two glasses of wine, $32.
As we are walking back, we find Hamlet!! We saw that there was a Shakespeare in the Park tonight, and it is right on our way back (okay, one long block off our route). We stop to take in the first part of the second of two acts. This is the cliff notes version: we make it through the intermission and about 20 minutes of the last 45 minutes. THB is pretty sure he knows how this one ends, though Hamlet shoots Polonius with a gun rather than stabs him, so maybe there are going to be poisoned darts or bullets in the finale.