ESCAPING THE CIVILISATION (sandflies included)

In Milford Sound, a fiord in the south west of New Zealand’s South Island, Paula is hiking for the next two days. She booked this route and the overnight stay in tents via the Mountain Club DOC. Included in the price: the visit of sandflies, far from pleasant. As well as the bitter cold. Moving into the camping kitchen in the middle of a deep sleep phase it the only possibility to begin the next morning reasonably fit. But all these “inconveniences” don’t dampen Paula’s mood. On the opposite! Countless pictures and positive comments, again excitement, and gasping for breath because of the stunning landscape define her emotional state.

By now, I am really jealous! And I should also book such a “Slow Down”-Tour because on my desk speeding tickets are accumulating.

Paula’s tour begins in “The Divide” after having driven 120 km from Te Anau to Milford Sound.

Her first hiking tour leads her to the Key Summit. A well-developed “sandals-walkway”, Paula comments. No wonder, after weeks of training her calves. This three-hour walk goes up till one reaches the tree line. It goes along mountain lakes to the summit where one has a gigantic view.

Surrounded by mountains with nearly 1700 metres in altitude that rise between 60 to 80 degrees.

I cannot say exactly when Paula’s tour to the Milford Sound shipyard took place. The cell phone reception is rather bad, and I only know that she was there, was worried because of a seal baby, and asked the DOC staff to take care of the pour soul that was lying on the landing stage, lost but trusting.

Seals, dolphins, and penguins on the rocky coast and native endangered bird species of the alpine rainforest find a resting place in the national park that is protected by the UNESCO. Despite the tourist masses on these hot spots, there is enough room to escape the civilisation.















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