While the World Fell Apart (Part Two) – Te Anau / Patea Doubtful Sound

“On a Mish” #219 While the World Fell Apart (Part Two). Te Anau / Patea Doubtful Sound. Aotearoa. 22.3.2020. Normally Aotearoa watches the world from afar and usually stays well away from any conflict. Our remote location might be annoying sometimes but it does mean we can avoid most worldly situations. We thought we were safe, until around the end of March 2020…

After a couple of days in a very quiet Queenstown we left to head south to my home in Te Anau. My home would become a hub for stranded tourism workers during lockdown. Lots of people I worked with never had a place to go so at one stage I had six people using my house during our longest (in the south) lockdown.

When we arrived in Te Anau there was one couple staying there and this meant my parents would be using a hotel for the night. Ironically using the hotel was a massive help as the hotels in the town would be still empty in the very near future.

By this stage (late March) the world was really starting to fall apart and some of my parents’ friends (in the medical industry) warned us not to go on our trip to Fiordland. But we had come so far and also were very oblivious to what was going on around us.

Before the trip we set to (I watched) and fixed up the garden and lawns at my house. It was so good to be back home and since I had only owned the place for a short amount of time I hadn’t really had a chance to really move in properly. It was situations like this where I wished so much that my hip was ok and I could join in with the work.

After the clean up we went out for a meal in the increasingly quieter little mountain town. We had no trouble finding a table at the restaurant we dined at.

Patea/Doubtful Sound from Wilmot Pass(671m)

The next morning it was show time and I had mixed emotions about heading back to the boat that had changed the course of my life. On one hand I was angry as my hobby of climbing mountains had been taken away in one foul swoop. But on the other hand I was heading to one of the best parts of a place that oozes excellence. When all is said and done I’d rather visit Fiordland no matter what my situation is!

From Te Anau we took the very scenic drive south to the Real Journeys Visitors Centre in the even smaller village of Manapouri. It was great to catch up with the friendly staff who were my workmates only a few months before, and it was also quite interesting to be the customer for a change. I was told that there had been many, many cancellations, so no bunk room bed for me on this trip! It is safe to say I was treated very well and the good folks behind the counter made sure me and my whanau were well aware of the next part of our adventure.

A quick glance at the forecast showed that the weather gods had answered our prayers. Day one was going to be sunny and still, and then day two was going to be rainy. Either weather type is welcome while we’re in Ata Whenua, but to have both is an excellent bonus!

From Manapouri we boarded a boat which took us across one of the most beautiful Lakes on the planet, according to the boat’s skipper. I am definitely one who believes this bold statement to be true!

From the Turret Range to the Cathedral Peaks, or maybe one of the many small islands, Lake Manapouri has epic surroundings on tap and even those new to photography will be able to snap a frame-worthy shot. Photogenic is a massive understatement when it comes to Lake Manapouri.

Behind us the world may have been falling apart but in front of us was a place untouched by history. A place where the worries of the world can be left behind and all that really needs to be focused on is the incredible scenery that surrounds you.

There is only one thing to be afraid of in Fiordland and we could hear the buzz before we docked at the wharf at the western edge of Lake Manapouri

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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