First Dose of Doubtful – Part One

“On a Mish” #259 First Dose of Doubtful – Part One. Patea / Doubtful Sound. Fiordland. 4.11.2017. Having done a little bit of adventuring around the country means I’ve seen many different places of natural beauty. From Barren and bare to bush clad beauty, snow and ice to sea and sand. This country really does have it all when it comes to beauty in the wilderness. With that said, I still get blown away by this country’s wild places each time I head into the mountains on an adventure. With most places, after seeing the area once I’m usually satisfied and ready to move on to another location…

This wasn’t the case after visiting Patea / Doubtful Sound for the first time. The change in jobs from Track Manager on the Humpridge Track, to Manapouri cafe staff was an unexpected one. Hanging up the hiking boots and replacing it with an apron was a difficult adjustment to make (and a change I wasn’t intending to make). Having already committed to a house in Te Anau I had to scramble to get a source of income. Luckily my Old Man spotted jobs going at Real Journeys, and I have been fortunate to be with the company ever since. I hadn’t even heard of Patea / Doubtful Sound before starting my job, and I wondered why so many people would travel from so far away to see this special place. Real Journeys founder Sir Les Hutchins found the place so appealing that he changed everything about his life to begin guiding people from Lake Manapouri to Deep Cove in Patea / Doubtful Sound.

The beauty of a storm in Fiordland

I really needed to find out what the fuss was all about, so at the first opportunity I tagged along on a day trip to the famous fiord. Being new with the company meant no one knew I was staff, and I could enjoy the trip purely as a customer. We were met with classic Fiordland dizzle as we made our way across Lake Manapouri. The drizzle made the sandflies extra hungry, and this caused a few in the team to do the sandfly dance and curse the mischievous little devils. Next was the ride up over the pass in a bus. As with so many, we had no view on top of the pass, but the cloud moving through the trees provided an excellent visual spectacle. We arrived in Deep Cove with the drizzle now turning to rain…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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