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Fiordland Adventures

As I write this blog entry I am returning from a few days in Te Anau. For those of you not familiar with New Zealand, it is a small town on the eastern edge of Fiordland National Park in southern New Zealand. Fiordland is well known for its wet weather, and is mostly covered with rain forest, but on this occasion the weather has been quite brilliant (it is mid summer in the southern hemisphere of course) which is particularly gratifying considering the poor weather in the rest of the country.

Fiordland is mostly wilderness and covered with dense forest and it has some of New Zealand’s best walking tracks, including the Milford and Kepler tracks. We aren’t into serious tramping but we did do a few shorter walks along these tracks and I got a few photos which I will post on the relevant sections of my web site when I get the chance.

The main walk involved a bus trip from Te Anau to a small harbour half way up the lake, followed by a boat trip to the head of the lake where the Milford Track begins. The track is about 50 kilometers long and usually takes 3 days to complete but we just walked a couple of hours up the valley and didn’t get as far as the big climb up to the pass and out to Milford Sound on the other side.

I walked the whole track many (and I mean many, like about 40) years ago but it is hard to remember what the experience was like so it was good to have a small reminder of it. Of course, I would have loved to have got up the pass for the awesome views and gone down to Sutherland Falls on the other side (one of the tallest waterfalls in the world) but that will have to wait for another occasion.

The main purpose of the visit was to catch up with the rest of the family and to celebrate my brother’s 50th birthday. So we had 18 family members for meals and other events including a rather pleasant al fresco dinner at an Italian restaurant where we enjoyed some good New Zealand wines in the sunshine until quite late.

I can write this blog entry now instead of driving like I usually would because my daughter is driving. That has turned out to be quite useful and she is not too bad a driver. Good enough anyway that I feel reasonably secure sitting in the back typing on my iPad.

Yes, I took my iPad on holiday with me but it does get worse because I also took my iPhone and laptop, plus we had another iPhone, two other iPads and two other laptops there as well. I don’t think it’s bad using technology like that as long as it doesn’t keep you too much out of the sun enjoying the great outdoors. And knowing Fiordland it could just as easily have rained most of the time and then the technology would have been really welcome! As it happened I just used the laptop to process photos in the evening after we got back to the house.

So that’s by quick report on my summer holiday. Unfortunately the rest of my summer break is most likely going to be spent more on programming work than relaxing but that’s my fault for starting too many projects I guess!

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